A Weight Loss Journey Requires Vulnerability
When we’re younger, we’re fearless. We don’t mind climbing trees, making friends with strangers, or telling our secrets to people we’ve just met. We open our eyes and hearts to new experiences and people and trust that everything will be okay. But, somewhere along the way, we learn that vulnerability can hurt and be uncomfortable.
Brené Brown, a renowned professor, lecturer, author, and podcast host – best known for some popular TED Talks, has focused her research on shame, vulnerability, and leadership. Ironically, all 3 of those things can relate to a person on a weight loss journey and the journey itself.
Brown has said: “Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center, of meaningful human experiences. Vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage.”
Could those words be any more representative of a bariatric surgery patient and this exceptional experience they are about to embark on? A person needing weight loss surgery may not have a more important human experience than going through the process of having surgery and the ensuing journey to change their life completely.
So Why Is Vulnerability a Key Aspect of Your Weight Loss Process?
There are myriad reasons.
We can’t have genuine connections without authenticity, and the most meaningful connections are the ones where we reveal part of ourselves. In this case, you need to connect with YOURSELF. You must be deeply connected to yourself to be as successful as you hope when going through this life-changing process. Your thoughts, your emotions, your feelings, your reactions, your motivations, your courage. It sounds easier than it is. Often the person we lie to most is ourselves. Taking stock of where we are and genuinely looking for a solution to our problems requires vulnerability and honesty.
You may finally have to let your ego go and admit that you need help. Have you ever lived in a state of separation from your ego? Most people haven’t, and maybe never will. But, as you decide to have surgery, you must be able to put your ego in a box and block it out. And the decision could go either way. Are you ready to commit? Maybe…maybe not. But you will find it exhilarating and liberating to set your ego aside. It may free you from the self-created shackles that have held you back from so many things, and so many decisions.
Being vulnerable brings our authentic selves to the surface, allows us to work through our emotions, and build empathy. And, as previously mentioned, it is a sign of courage. And you will need the courage to successfully navigate this weight loss process—the courage to overcome and push forward when you experience the inevitable ups and downs of this journey.
Ultimately, your willingness to be vulnerable will make you stronger.
You’ve made yourself vulnerable by even considering this journey. Think about what you’ve just begun. You’re considering a life-changing decision. You’re considering surgery to ignite a change. And you may be completely turning your former lifestyle upside down to reshape yourself – physically and mentally.
You’ve made yourself vulnerable by facing your fears or lack of motivation. You’ve welcomed vulnerability into your life by accepting that your body is not what you want it to be, and maybe you need help to change that.
Try to convince anyone that this internal discussion alone will not make you stronger, bariatric surgery or not.