Client Spotlight: Happiness Starts Now, Not in 10 Pounds

I talk about body image and weight a lot. Our culture values thinness (sometimes under the guise of health) and places one image of beauty on a pedestal (thin, lean, blonde, Caucasian). Consequently, a lot of women find themselves lost in self-loathing as they don’t seem to measure up. Rather than putting their energy into positive self-care, they put themselves on unsustainable diets and exercise regimens then blame themselves for not being able to “stick with it.” (Why not blame the regimen, I wonder?)

I often hear women say that they put themselves through this because they simply cannot be happy or go after their dreams until they lose weight. If they lose weight, they’ll have the confidence (or whatever else) they need to take their dream vacation or go after a new job. I’ve got a news flash for you- life is passing you by!

A client of mine recently wrote this journal entry and I received her permission to share it.

“Lately I’ve been trying so hard to convince myself that things will get better once I’m thinner. But the past actually shows me that this is totally unrealistic. When I was thinner, I was too hungry, too busy at the gym, and too obsessed to be happy.”

Don’t lose yourself chasing after a number on the scale. Live your life now. Sure that includes moderate, healthy, balanced nutrition and exercise (and by the way, your healthy weight will naturally follow on its own). I’m not suggesting you abandon taking good care of yourself. In fact, happiness is a by-product of good self-care. But I am suggesting that life is so much more than your dream weight. It’s about relationships, experiences, and moments that may pass you by if you’re too focused on the calorie count to enjoy it.


  1. Amen!!! Wise words from your client. Reminding myself that a number will not make me happy has been one of the most helpful tools in my recovery. Those of us in recovery (and pretty much everyone in our society, I suppose!) need to remember that happiness

    can only come from within, despite all of the societal messages telling us otherwise. Thanks for this post!

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