Raise your hand if you have ever bought into the lie that you would be happier when you were thinner? You cannot see me, but my hand is raised high in the air. If we are honest, we have believed some form of that lie at one time or another.
I will be happier once I get that job promotion.
I will be happier once I get married.
I will be happier when I move to a new city.
I will be happier when I own a house/car/business.
I will be happier once I have the latest technology.
I will be happier once I am thinner.
Honestly, the list goes on and on depending on what your interests are. Some of these things will no doubt make us happy, but happiness is a fleeting emotion. That is why we are always chasing it. It does not stay with us. Getting a job promotion is a great accomplishment, but with a better job comes more stress and more responsibilities. Getting married is a joyful, exciting, and life changing experience, but it is not sunshine and rainbows all the time. Moving to a new city to start fresh might seem like an exciting new adventure, but there are many stressors that come with it. Making new friends, finding a new job, finding a place to live, and figuring out how to navigate around the city are all things that can become overwhelming. Buying a house is one of the biggest purchases a person can make. However, things can go wrong and need fixing. Technology is always changing. When we think we have the latest and greatest gadget, a new product comes out and the feeling of happiness that was there is now gone and replaced with the longing for the next best thing. When is it enough?
While our culture is all about the next thing and getting more, more, more, women are constantly being sold the idea that we will be happier when we are thinner. We will be more outgoing, confident, successful,and intelligent all because we are a lesser weight. We see it all the time in commercials, magazine advertisements, TV shows, movies, etc.
Ugh. Give me a break.
I will say that research shows there is a small percentage of women who report being happier when they become thinner and that is all fine and dandy. However, there are women in my life who I have talked with and they have reported that they might feel happy for a while at their new weight, but then at some point that new low weight becomes the norm and they want to get smaller. How thin is thin enough? Body image issues are not skin deep. They are rooted deep down in the ground. Those issues are not going to go away just because your body gets smaller. Losing weight does NOT equal improved body image.
I believe that part of the problem is that we can end up putting our lives on hold until we reach this ideal goal weight we have in our head.
I will lose the weight and then I can have kids.
I will lose the weight and then I will go on a vacation.
I will lose the weight and then I will start dating.
I will lose the weight and then I will start _________.
Why are you not living your life right now? There are so many double standards out there. You need to be thin, but not TOO thin. Men like curves, but you cannot be TOO curvy. Blondes have more fun, but brunettes have the mysteriousness that is sexy. Can a woman catch a break?! (P.S. I am not saying men do not have double standards because they absolutely do.) Do not add one more thing to your plate to stop you from living life. If you want to start a family do it! You will never regret having more time with your kids, but you might regret waiting so long all because you wanted to be at a certain weight. If you are stressed out and in need of a vacation do not let the scale make that decision for you! If you want to start dating there is going to be someone who is attracted to you the way you are at this very moment.
You will not magically become a different person by losing weight so stop letting it have so much control over your life. The ideal body will not show others love, compassion, empathy,etc. Your heart does that. Your actions do that.
Again, I think this all comes back around to happiness. This trying to fill our soul with the things our society says will make us complete. While my experience with this comes from a body image and weight perspective, people put their lives on hold waiting for many different things. Some people wait to have a family until they have the ideal job with the ideal salary to support a family. Others believe that having a big house, having a fancy car or living in the right city will fill them with happiness.
When does it become enough? How much is enough? How thin is thin enough? Why is happiness always fleeting? And when do we stop and realize that what we are chasing is always changing? What is the foundation that is never going to change in our life? Do you have a foundation that is never changing? That is what I will be blogging about next time.
Here is a hint: Our foundation is not something materialistic.
Catch ya next time friends!