Janelle Brown: Why Aren’t You Showing Up?

12/10/2012

Janelle Brown of Sister Wives is Kody's second wife. Follow along on her journey forward to weight loss and a healthier lifestyle.

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My fitness mentor asked me a few days ago: “Why aren’t you showing up?” It took me aback. At first I was angry. “What do you mean?” I asked, “I am here every morning. “ He was sitting at his desk and again asked me: “Why aren’t you showing up?” I was at a complete loss and sat with my mouth opening and closing with no sound coming out.  He went on to explain that in our partnership he was putting in his effort. He had started to get up 90 minutes earlier to accommodate my early morning appointments. He was busting his rear end; he was sacrificing to be there.  He was showing up. But, he pointed out that -- based on my clever euphemisms and excuses that I often offered about screwing up my eating plan, etc. -- I was not showing up. And my reaction surprised me.  

For a brief second I was angry and then I was, of all things, protective. Wait, what? My motherly instinct kicked in for this person -- my mentor – that is my age. It was very weird. But suddenly I wanted to make everything all better. I felt like I was in a movie, the character who is swearing up and down that "It will all be better now, Timmy…” But it was the magic I needed. I was immediately painfully aware of how I had not been showing up. Sure, I was going through the motions. I got up with my alarm every morning and hauled my rear end into the gym. I even sweated and went through the motions of working hard, but the commitment had not gone any further than that outward, superficial level. I indeed was not “showing up."

I went home pondering my epiphanies and I am happy to report I have begun “showing up.”  But I have wondered why it took the equivalent of “mom guilt” to wake me up. Why are women, and possibly men, the most motivated when it becomes about taking care of someone else? Are we so wired as caregivers? I still am at a loss to understand why this was the magic key for me.  Maybe it worked because it is always easier to take care of someone else rather than myself. But it flipped a switch in me. I am showing up now for me and I now see great value in doing so.  I am so grateful for that one simple question that changed things so dramatically.

Get updates from Janelle on Twitter @JanelleBrown117 and @TLC!

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About the Authors

Sister Wives explores the lives of Kody Brown and his four wives, Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn. Join Janelle and Robyn Brown as they blog about the ins and outs of their lives as sister wives.
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