One of the things I dislike about being and feeling overweight is the fact that it publicity shows my vulnerability. It’s like my body reflects those moments of weakness, the bad choices and the gluttony that I allow myself to indulge in. The idea around being fit and strong appeals to me because it is more than a physical strength, it also reflects an inner strength and a persistence, a willpower that shows the world I can stop at one bite and I can put up a good fight at the gym.
For those of you that are familiar with Brene Browns work you will be yelling at the screen right now telling me it’s ok to be vulnerable, which in terms of weight loss is very applicable and I agree, as in order to lose weight you have to be vulnerable. It’s those moments when you step into the gym confronting a workout that you know will be tough, asking for help and support whether it’s professional or social, feeling hungry and uncomfortable and accepting that the way you have been living and treating yourself is harmful and can’t continue.
My lovely sister is brought me to the attention of Brene Brown and her work on vulnerability. I am not going to attempt to sum up her work as they are deep and profound and definitely worth a YouTube search, however there are some key aspects that really jumped out at me that I wanted to share with you.
The fear of being vulnerable: One of her main points is how we have formed a society that is scared of coming across as vulnerable, and that vulnerability is seen as a weakness of character. What’s interesting is she also talks about how being brave has been ingrained into our culture, but to be brave without vulnerability is somewhat impossible especially when you look at what the word vulnerable is defined as:
“Exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed either physically or emotionally”.
Therefore when it comes to being brave how can you NOT be vulnerable? Brown talks about how being courageous without this emotional exposure ends up resulting in plain bravado or “fake bravery”, and this fake bravery is one of the things wrong with our society today.
To really confront issues of emotional eating and self image anxiety, I believe it takes a lot of this true bravery. To show up at a Weight Watchers meeting or gym class, demonstrates not only your vulnerability but also your courageousness in confronting doing something about it. Everyone is different in their strengths, some may not have any issues with running in public (hats off to you), and some may struggle to share their body with someone else, have fear of eating in public, being in public, clothes shopping etc. The weight loss journey is a very personal one, and an honest one. If you do not allow yourself to be open and raw with your emotions then I believe you will find yourself going around in circles.