Do you think you'll be happier when you lose weight? Today I’m going to tell you why happiness can sabotage your diet. Yes, happiness.
A few years ago, a Special K commercial asked viewers, “What will you gain when you lose?”
Now, let me be clear: I fundamentally oppose the idea that you can gain happiness by losing weight, because happiness and enjoyment of life are NOT tied to the number on the scale.
If you’re putting your life on hold or telling yourself you’ll be happier once you lose weight, could be you’re actually afraid to be happy.
At first glance, this may not make sense. As one woman put it, “I’m miserable right now. Of course I’ll be happier if I lost weight!”
But if you dig a little deeper, maybe you’ll discover some anxieties attached to happiness.
Maybe you’re afraid to be too happy in case it’s taken away from you, the rug pulled out from under your feet. As if by daring to be happy, you’re inviting punishment from the universe. As long as you’re not too happy, that happiness can’t be taken from you.
Could be you attach a positive meaning to unhappiness: true artists must suffer, or it’s noble to struggle, makes you a better person. This notion suggests that you’re a good person if you suffer and a bad person if you embrace joy.
These are ideas that you may have taken as absolute truths. But are they?
Here's some food for thought:
Why are you afraid that happiness can’t last?
Are there any exceptions to that notion in your history?
What makes you think that suffering is noble?
As long as you’re battling your weight, you have a reason not to be too happy.
When you get really comfortable with the idea that enjoying life, loving and being loved, and being happy is a birthright for you and all humans, then you’ll allow yourself to be – and stay – happy.
And that's how you win the diet war.
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