The Journey or the destination?
Have you ever thought “I’ll be happy once I lose 10, 15, 20 pounds”?
I sure have! For some reason I always had this arbitrary number in my mind; once I’m 125 pounds I can relax and enjoy myself, feel confident, start focusing on other things, be happy, etc.
Who even knows where this arbitrary number came from! My lowest weight five years ago, a number that randomly popped into my head, secretly wishing I was the same size as a friend.
The source doesn’t matter. What matters is that I let this arbitrary weight affect my happiness, confidence, and all around well-being.
I would make myself miserable trying to obtain this number, and then once I did would either continue my misery trying to maintain it or by focusing on losing yet another five pounds. Oh, and let’s not forget the self ridicule for gaining a pound.
There should be no surprise when I say that this is no way to live!
After years of dissecting myself, comparing myself to others, and experiencing self loathing for not being able to maintain my arbitrary “this is how much I should weigh to be happy and confident” weight, I realized that I was tired and done.
At this rate will I even allow myself to be happy???
It’s the Journey Not the Destination
It took years to start getting past this mindset, and to be honest I’m not completely there yet. BUT I’ve finally started to realize that the journey is so much more important that the finishing line.
Take Christmas for example. Who doesn’t get excited for Christmas? I don’t know about you, but I love setting up my Christmas tree, finding the perfect presents, attending parties, enjoying delicious treats, spending quality time with loved ones, and everything else about Christmas. There’s just a feeling in the air you can’t beat!
However, after all of the parties are over, presents are opened, and the decorations come down I feel a bit sad. All of this anticipation and the day is quickly over.
So my point- it’s the journey of Christmas celebrations that’s exciting not December 25th exclusively.
What is personal growth without the journey? Oprah didn’t wake up one day and bam was OPRAH – talk show host, respected philanthropist, and all around bad ass. It took years to get there! And and once she became OPRAH the learning and growth didn’t end. Instead, these things expand and evolve. This is the beauty of life.
When I think about it, I never want the journey to end.
The journey is where we learn about ourselves, evolve, and become better people. Do you really want the learning and growth process to be over? I don’t!!
The best part about the process is that we aren’t perfect, and we’re going to mess up! But the mess ups are also our most valuable lessons.
We’re all going to get off track at some point. Whether it’s a weight loss goal, business goal, or another personal goal. The fact that you’re working towards your goal is amazing! Let that mess ups take the back seat, learn the lesson you needed to learn from it, apply that lesson, and move on.
“EXPECT FROM YOURSELF that you have the courage, strength and resiliency needed to KEEP GOING ANYWAY.” – Jill Coleman owner of JillFit
Allow Yourself to Be Happy
I want you to do something for me and give yourself permission to be happy, and feel confident and beautiful even if you haven’t achieved your weight loss goals just yet.
1) You will get there!
2) Life is too short to wait for some destination to be happy.
Ask yourself this:
What if I never reach my weight loss goal? What if I reach my goal, but then decide that it’s not enough? What if the end never comes?
We could end up living in self misery our whole lives if we never reach our arbitrary goal weight.
Why torture ourselves with this mindset?
Think of it this way – if you were to die tomorrow could you look back and say you were happy? Or would you look back and say I was waiting to reach x weight loss goal before I could be happy? Would you regret not giving yourself permission to be happy/confident in your current body?
We also effect personal relationships with this mindset. I can count on both hands, feet, and then need some extra fingers to keep track of how many times I pissed someone off talking negatively about my body, how much weight I need to lose, etc.
This continued to happen even when I was at my goal weight! I still wasn’t happy even though I had “reached the finish line”. I finally learned that all of the self loathing, pinching my belly fat so hard it felt like it would detach from my body, and staring at myself in the mirror while saying negative things was not the way to create a healthy relationship with myself or my loved ones.
So not only are we making ourselves miserable, but we’re also making those around us miserable!
Enjoy the ride
So how do we get past this mindset?
It’s not easy, and took years for me to get to where I am today. I didn’t even realize how much progress I’ve made until one day not too long ago I noticed that it had been awhile since I had last pinched the skin on my stomach or stared myself down in the mirror.
As I look back at the slow changes I’ve made, I noticed a few tricks I had been using as a result of tons of reading and working with experts in this area.
- Every day I give myself permission to mess up. Instead of beating myself up over a scoop of ice cream I decide to enjoy it.
- I give myself permission to enjoy life. I spent a few days in Asheville, NC with my blogging ladies at the JillFit Biz Retreat last weekend. While I didn’t over indulge, I did have a few glasses of wine, some dessert, and a burger. Guess what? The world did not end and my pants still fit!
- I focus on the parts of my body I love. Yeah my butt is big, but it also looks great in a pair of jeans!
- I catch myself whenever I get stuck in the comparison trap. The comparison trap will never allow you to win! We will never have someone else’s body, and chances are the person you are idolizing wishes they had your body too. We want what we can’t have, so let’s start wanting what we do have!
- And the best part about enjoying the ride?? As I stress less, I think about my body less, and end up losing weight faster. Stressing about weight loss only brings our good old friend cortisol into the mix, and ain’t nobody got time for that!
All in all life is more enjoyable with self love. I can focus the mental energy I once devoted towards body shaming to more productive aspects of my life like writing this blog post. My family and friends enjoy spending time with me, and life as a whole seems that much brighter!
Until next time,
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