Vulnerability: the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.
The beauty of a blog is that you show only what you want to be seen. I've hid a lot, some because it doesn't need to be seen by the world (or by all three readers who may accidentally slip across this page), some because I didn't want to show my own weakness; I didn't want to be vulnerable.
Over the last year or so I've discovered material from Brene Brown on vulnerability. You can check out a video here.
This, my friends, is me being vulnerable about the very topic that pushed me into shame. I'm nervous about being this open, but it's time. I need to do this for me. Because its going to be a rather long post, I'll break this up into a few segments.
Several years ago I documented my weight loss journey right here on this
blog. In 2013 I lost a total of 50 pounds...and most of "me", or at
least who I felt like I was.
It's kind of hard to explain unless you've been there. When my weight loss
became really noticeable to others, it was as if everyone had something to say.
There was quite a bit of positive feedback, and having people tell me I looked
beautiful on a regular basis was nice...for a little while.
After several weeks, though, I began to wonder if no one ever thought I was
beautiful before, that somehow it was only possible to be seen as such because
I lost the weight. People wanted to know my "secret" (seriously,
healthy diet and exercise). People wanted to hear what I'd changed. All of a
sudden, people who had never spoken to me before were inviting themselves into
my life...and I let them.
In January 2014 I had a total and complete breakdown. Without being overly
dramatic, I was headed right to an eating disorder. On the outside I still
looked as I had, but inside I was a shattered mess. I absolutely HATED myself.
The worst part was that I put up walls around myself...I couldn't let anyone
know what I was dealing with. I felt I was the only person who ever felt this
way (reality check...not true)!
Over the next couple of years I would yo-yo with food intake, exercise
level, weight gain/loss (mostly gain), and self-image. All of a sudden the only
voices I could hear outside myself were people talking about how much weight
they wanted to lose, how uncomfortable they felt, and bragging about how little
they ate. These were women (and some men) I looked up to and admired them, not
only for their looks but for their knowledge, experience, and wisdom. I wanted
to be like them, but they, who I only ever dreamed of looking like, said they
weren't good enough. Whatever positive self-image I had tried to regain slipped
right back into obscurity. It would be impossible.