For years I struggled to lose weight. I was constantly in a weight-loss, weight-gain cycle that I could never break. I had this idea that once I lost weight, I could finally be the happy, fulfilled person I so desperately wanted to be. However, once I would reach my “goal”, I was never satisfied. I remember specifically going to the doctors and being told, “you weigh 114 pounds” and being utterly shocked. “114 pounds!?” I thought, “Wow that’s basically what I’ve always dreamt of!” So why wasn’t I happy? In fact I was not only NOT happy, I was as miserable as I had ever been in my life.
Like many girls, and the female gender specifically (not to minimize any of the pressures men feel in society as well however), we are constantly told that being thin and the number on the scale is directly related to your success, how many people will like you, accept you, love you, etc. etc. We constantly see images that tell us if ONLY we were thin, we would be pretty, happy, and accepted. However, after meeting someone who knew what ‘real’ health was, a former personal trainer, through learning by observation, over time and most recently, I finally learnt the common mistakes I made and myths I believed on my weight loss journey that held me back from ever achieving long lasting success in my body and in LIFE. By writing this, hopefully someone out there will save themselves years of neglect, constant under eating, constant over eating, anxiety, fear and depression, and overall, a complete lack of love and acceptance of him/herself. Most importantly, I am writing this for myself, as a reference and story to never forget.
If you want to lose ‘weight’ and have a better body that is OK. But don’t think it will solve any of your problems, doubts and fears, make someone love you, make you successful or happy, give you inner peace, or ANYTHING with long lasting satisfaction.
Your pursuit for a better body is an external pursuit that will never satisfy the soul. We are internal beings first, and most importantly. Losing weight, getting a better body, or being a better version of yourself, whatever you define that is, is seeking satisfaction from something outside yourself. Until you accept yourself as you are right now, you will never be happy with anything external in your life.
Say you get the body of your dreams. It is exactly what you always imagined and it is finally yours! But what you considered perfect or what you wanted was something that now you have expanded to in your most current state. As humans, we constantly expand. In other words, it is ALL RELATIVE. What was once satisfying to you today, once you achieve, will no longer be satisfying tomorrow, because it’s already been DONE. Once you get small legs, you want a bigger butt. Once you get a flat stomach, you want a six-pack. Once you have the perfect body, you want to be a bikini model. Once you worked at an ice-cream store, now you want to be a CEO.
My point here is: your whole life will be improving and expanding on what you have now become. You will never reach any point in your life and say, “I’m finally here! I am complete!” Well, sort of. In reality, the day to say that is right NOW. Because Now is all you ever have. You are never in the “future” you are only ever in the present moment. Which is why if you are constantly chasing tomorrow, you are missing out on today. When you miss out on today, you miss out on all the opportunities in front of you that can make you happy NOW and satisfied NOW.
In life, there is absolutely no destination; it is only a journey. Would you rather enjoy the journey, being your entire life? Or, constantly chase a utopian destination that you will never arrive at?
I can hear some of you asking, “If I accept myself and love myself as I am right now, won’t I become lazy, unmotivated, and not care about being a healthy fit person, and not care about my body goals anymore or any goals for my life for that matter?”
Of course not! And that is the mistake I made probably since I was 15 (I am 21 now). Loving yourself now is an INTERNAL acceptance of your inner self. Wanting a better body is an EXTERNAL process outside that internal being of which you are.
Another way to look at it is, for the rest of your life you will change, along with the circumstances in your life. Your jobs, friends, houses, clothes, family, perceptions, ideas, goals, your body, your face,…pretty much everything about you right now will change over time and is OUTSIDE of who you truly are. The only thing that will not change (IF you allow it) is that internal love and acceptance of yourself regardless of external circumstances. This is why people constantly chase external pursuits (cars, money, lots of men/women, expensive clothes, lots of friends, etc) and thinking that those THINGS will be their saving grace. But see, you are NO THING.
Your internal essence cannot be defined by human constructions. You are simply a Being that is worthy, valuable, lovable, and perfect in every way (YES, Perfect). Anything externally gained and achieved is a cherry on top that adds some fun and spice along your journey, but it can never be what your happiness is based on because it is not ever lasting. Many people who are considered in our society to “have it all” are actually very unhappy people. This is because they constantly try to obtain more and more THINGS to satisfy internal nourishment that can only ever be satisfied by turning inwards for love, acceptance, and inner peace. That external pursuit which they take very seriously is only a temporary fix. Just like a drug will only temporarily get you high and make you feel good. Over time though, it wears off, and you just need more and more to satisfy yourself.
I want to clarify again that having goals in your life is absolutely okay and important! It is natural and should be a source of excitement and pleasure. I am not saying external pursuits are bad in any way. I am simply saying they turn bad when you believe that they are the only things that can and will ever satisfy your life. If you feel that there are things in your life that if you could only just have and then you can be truly who you are (A happy, loveable, outgoing, peaceful, satisfied being), then you are viewing life as a means to an end, one day realizing that you wasted your whole life trying to “get somewhere”, when you already had arrived, and had everything you needed inside yourself.
My take away message is: Don’t miss out on today because today is all you ever have.Tomorrow never comes because it will always just be today. Love yourself right now regardless of anything happening in your life. Once you love yourself fully, you make good decisions towards your health and life pursuits that will get you to your goals much faster and you will be able to sustain them. Speaking again from experience, I didn’t love myself and didn’t think I was good enough for a very long time (Although this is still a process we all must work at every single day). That belief alone sabotaged my body goals, because your thought processes determines your actions. I didn’t think I was good enough to be allowed to eat food, the right food for my body, or think I was worthy of the time and effort to put into myself at the gym.
Before starting any goals in your life, fitness related or not, ask yourself these questions as honestly as you can: Do I need this to satisfy me? Do I need this to make me happy? Once I reach this goal will I then finally accept myself and feel like worthy, whole being? If your answer is yes, I seriously suggest you begin an inner transformation before starting any outside transformation. Until you do this, all of your life’s successes will never be good enough and very short lived, because you don’t believe you are good enough just as you are right now, with what you have right now, and who you are internally at your core.
Let go of resistance today and love yourself right now, because I promise, it will be everlasting satisfaction and success.
This article was written by Natalie Campbell. Natalie is a self-discovery detective based in Toronto, Canada. Currently designing a 365 day ‘Spirituality Workout’ she will soon embark, she hopes to break the habitual cycle of negative thought, self-hate, and excessive worry she has carried through her 21 years. Find her atwww.thespiritualityworkout.wordpress.com or Natalie.firstname.lastname@example.org