I’m Afraid to be Thin.

Hi Davey,

I’m a long time Blog Buddy, having watched your videos and read your blog for about four years now.

I finished my workout the other day and saw the tiniest of contours starting to form around my abs and got so excited! But then kind of nervous… and I couldn’t pinpoint the source of that concern for the life of me. I thought you might be able to shed some light on why we get scared of physical progress.


OvercomingFear222Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for asking this question.

Through the lens of fitness, let’s ask the question: What are you afraid of? Some obvious answers might boil up. I’m afraid of being fat. I’m afraid that I’ll fail at the gym and not get results. I’m afraid that I’ll never be able to successfully manage or control my weight.

But there is a much deeper fear for some people, and it’s one that your answer points toward.

In her book A Course in Weight Loss, Marianne Williamson says it perfectly:

Your deepest fear isn’t of being fat; your deepest fear is of being thin. Your deepest fear is of being beautiful.

It’s a powerful hypothesis – and, of course, it’s not true for everyone. But consider the example of sexual abuse. As Williamson notes:

The number of women whose excess weight can be almost directly traced to sexual abuse is significant. When I was beautiful, I was molested. Or, when I’m beautiful, I don’t know how to handle the sexual attention. Such thoughts run rampant through the minds of many who are overweight, men as well as women.

Diane Petrella, a spiritual weight release coach, notes that excess weight is a “sexually abused child’s solution to the fear of unwanted sexual advances. Wearing layers of flannel pajamas to delay the inevitable transformed into layers of protective fat in adulthood. Compulsive overeating was the only way to self-soothe when no one was available for support.”

To replace fear with love isn’t easy – and it’s not always something that you can do alone. Assuming that your environment is safe and secure, Petrella recommends confiding in a trusted friend or family member and giving yourself the gift of professional help.

It also takes time. Petrella continues:

Have patience and realize that this process isn’t just about releasing weight. It’s about releasing your fears and your pain. The longer it takes to release weight the more you can trust that an inner shift is happening… Your developing inner strength then becomes the foundation that will help you release weight with confidence and self-love.

Whether or not this advice resonates with your personal experience, it’s an important topic that’s rarely discussed – so I appreciate the opportunity you’ve given us to bring it into the light. For further exploration, I recommend this article on weight loss and sexual abuse and Marianne Williamson’s book, A Course in Weight Loss.


About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.


  1. Dear Davey,
    Like you said in order to get abs, you must lose fat. I am not a fat guy I’m rather skinnyish, although I need to lose a little fat on my stomach. What exercises or cardio do you recommend to lose the fat, gain muscle, and look amazing? Also, when I the right time to start?

  2. Cheyenne says:


    This ^^^ is a great article on exploring other reasons one might be ‘afraid to be thin’.