This isn’t going to be a traditional blog post. I am not going to get all science(y) and stuff – although I do prefer that to what I am about to write. But I feel this needs to be said, and really shed some light on it. Losing weight won’t lead to happiness.
Most of you reading this are probably thinking “Haley, you don’t understand”. But, I do. We all desire different things. Some of us want to lose 50lbs and some of us just want to have nice abs. Either way, it comes down to losing body fat. And although some people look at “skinny” girls and think that they already look good and that they don’t understand. But they do. Because they also have goals, and an image in their head they want to achieve. But I am going to tell you this, losing weight isn’t going to lead to the happiness you are imagining.
Physical vs. Mental Changes
Whenever we think about working out, it usually stems from some kind of physical change we want to make. Maybe we gained weight after high school and we want so badly to go back to that “sporty” old you. Or maybe you made beautiful babies and never seemed to lose that baby weight. Or maybe you just desire more muscle or definition. No matter what way you put it, they all have to do with losing weight. And this weight loss and this goal is what fuels our workouts and we begin to tell ourselves “when I lose x weight, then I’ll be happy”. And that typically is not the case.
Society today tells us we need workout and be healthy for longevity and overall quality of life. But unfortunately, most people don’t start working out for that reason. Our brains tell us that when we look in the mirror we “hate” our bodies and we want to change it. And the only want to do that is to eat healthy and exercise. And day after day we got on the scale and see it change (or not) and we just countdown until we see that magic number we are after. Maybe it’s pre-baby weight, maybe its high school weight – either way a number is ruling your happiness.
Screw the Scale
So stop. Stop getting on the scale everyday. Stop letting a little square on the floor dictate your happiness or your mood. Because I bet you $$ that whenever you get off the scale you aren’t jumping for joy. You likely are disappointed or discouraged. AND if you are jumping for joy, it lasts 2 minutes until you get the thoughts of “well it should be more” or “I have been working harder than that”. Either way, it never creates happiness. And although you may think “well if I just lose this weight I will be happy and love myself” but if you wait that long to love yourself, it isn’t going to happen.
Loving yourself is a deep connection with you and only you. And even if you aren’t a spiritual person, I 100% think your body listens to everything you say. So the more you say you hate it, you pick apart your “problem” areas and you tear yourself down in front of the mirror, you are making yourself your biggest enemy.
Happiness is a Choice
I know it is a hard place to come from but we truly need to exercise and eat healthy out of a celebration. We workout as a celebration of what our body can do. And we eat healthy food to fuel our body and make sure we are setting ourselves up to be disease free. I know most women start working out or join a program because they have “let themselves go” and need to get their shit together. Which is fine. But once you do start to move and get into a routine, you have to shift your focus to FEELING good. The key to true success in any journey is making your goal a feeling and not a look. If you work to feel good, have energy, sleep well – then you will be more successful than hoping the number on the scale will more everyday.
Happiness is a choice. It doesn’t come from anything external, it is created by us. And until you let yourself understand that you are beautiful just the way you are then you will never truly be successful. Because even if you do lose the weight you might still have the ideas of more when you get there. You assume that your weight or body image is the reason you’re unhappy, but the true reason is your lack of self love.
You have to exercise from a place of happiness.
You have to eat healthy food (with a few treats and fun foods) from a place of happiness.
You have to keep going when motivation is low from a place of dedication.
Losing weight won’t make you happy. Just like being skinny doesn’t make you fit. You have to put in the work everyday. And the work for you might look like daily affirmations of being more positive. But it could also look like intentional healthy eating to give you more energy for your family. Whatever your goal is, whatever your end game is..don’t let it dictate your happiness. It is going to be a journey either way, so enjoy the process. Love your body and the amazing things it is capable of. And let your happiness dictate your fitness journey, not the other way around.