I’ve seen this many times before – well-meaning folks pinning all their hopes and dreams of happiness on their weight loss, thinking that once they get to their goal weight that they’ll be happy and fullfilled.
Unfortunately, thinking that weight loss will make you happy can backfire on you – weight loss does not guarantee happiness.
You’ll still be the same person on the inside once you reach your goal weight unless you take action and work on your inner self before or at the same time you work on your outer self. Also, unless you do that inner work, you just might find yourself going back to your old habits and regaining the weight that you lost.
Happiness is an Inside Job
People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
— Abraham Lincoln
Happiness has nothing to do with how much you weigh today or how you look. Happiness truly does come from the inside and while your physical being certainly plays into your overall happiness (ex: it’s hard to be super happy when your obesity keeps you immobile), it’s a backwards approach to think that by only changing your physical self that you’ll automatically achieve joy and fulfillment.
It is possible to force yourself to lose weight and get fit (I’ve done this before), all the while struggling against that part of yourself that really doesn’t want to treat yourself with love and respect, that part of you who is sabotaging your peace of mind and inner happiness. On the other end, it’s much easier to lose weight by getting your inner self on track either before you start the physical process of weight loss or at the very least doing so while you’re in the process of creating a fully healthy lifestyle for yourself.
If Life Happiness is Your Goal…
Hey, don’t get me wrong here – it’s sure not a waste of time to lose weight, get fit, and gain loads of energy by creating a healthy lifestyle filled with whole foods and regular exercise, in fact all of these things will help you feel better about yourself, especially the exercise. It’s definitely a worthwhile goal, but if your end goal is happiness, inner peace, and joy, you can reach that goal now!
This is so freeing because it means that you don’t have to wait until the weight comes off before you’re happy! You’re no longer attaching your happiness to an outcome and believe me, this will help you lose weight. It’s a great deal of pressure to put on yourself to think that all your problems will be solved by losing weight and when you instead work on your “inner happy” now, then you are already at your goal.
Reach Your Goal Today
Think about this – you can essentially reach your goal today, isn’t this something? After all, when you drill down to what you really want, on the surface you say that you want to lose weight, but why do you want to lose weight? To look better, to feel better, to have more fun, to live longer, to be pain free or whatever your reason is, and essentially don’t all of these outcomes really come down to you being happy?
So, if you decide to be happy now (and yes, happiness really is a decision), you’ve already reached your goal and you can separate the physical act of weight loss and fitness from your end goal of happiness. If you’ve already reached your end goal of happiness then you can work towards your goal of weight loss, strength building and fitness to increase your quality of life and health, but do it in a much easier and joyful manner. Wouldn’t it be a lot more fun to lose weight as a happy person than as a sad person who thinks they are unhappy because they are overweight?
Separating the Physical from Your Inner Happy
While I do believe that your health and fitness habits need to take a top priority in your daily life, the reason for doing this is so that you can achieve a healthy lifestyle and live life to the the fullest. Let’s face it, it’s kinda hard to feel fulfilled and satisfied in life if you’re living in a body that has low energy, aches and pains from being sedenatary, and is filled with constant food cravings – that’s not my definition of a fulfilled life, and I’m going to bet that it’s not your’s either.
However if you work on the physical this will affect the emotional, mental, and spiritual realms of your life because they all intertwine. If you’re living in a fit, healthy, toned body, you’ll have a much easier time doing all that you want to do in life. This is all true, and the only problem is if you are looking at weight loss as being the cure for your current state of unhappiness.
A further problem that can occur from this state of being (thinking that your unhappiness all stems from your overweight) is that if you do not work on your inner self and find the things in your life that you are happy about now and cultivate them to create more happiness, that unhappiness will more than likely follow you even if you lose weight, and you’ll find yourself either an unhappy thin person or an unhappy person who regained the weight they previously lost.
The More I Think About This, The Clearer It Becomes
Which comes first, the unhappiness or the overweight? I’m going to bet that in most cases the unhappiness comes first and the overweight springs forth from the emotional eating and/or food abuse caused by the unhappiness. So again, what we need to do is work backwards and instead of only trying to solve the issue of the overeating and overweight, instead solve the issue of the unhappiness. Always go to the core of the issue instead of only trying to cure the symptom. The symptom cannot be cured by ignoring the cause of that symptom.
While this post is not an end all be all to your problem of unhappiness, my goal is to open your thinking to the fact that your overweight is really not your problem – the problem, or shall we say challenge, is how you became overweight.
The same goes for me, which is how I can even present this to you today. I’ve used my overweight as the excuse for any unhappiness in my life when it’s just not true – I became overweight because of XYZ, it’s not my overweight that is making me unhappy and while it doesn’t contribute to a fulfilled life, it’s still not the cause of my unhappiness as much as I may have liked to think so at times (because it would be easier to fix that overweight than it would be to work on the underlying issue that causes the unhappiness, which led to the overeating).
This is why I say that the weight loss solution is not simply using a magic pill, powder, or quick fix diet. We must look at our motivations to overeat and abuse ourselves with food and then work on healing those issues if we truly wish to create a whole, healthy, loving and happy lifestyle.
And the best thing about this whole topic is that your happiness is not dependent on your weight – you can decide to be happy now by changing the thoughts that you think. Isn’t that just the best thing that you’ve heard all day? There’s absolutely no reason to wait until you’ve lost weight to be happy. 🙂