Happiness from weight loss

by Khushboo on May 12, 2014

A conversation with a K Weigh client some weeks ago spurred on this post.  We were setting her weight loss goals for the upcoming weeks and after some number talk, we went on to discuss qualitative signs of progress.  One thing she had said to me was that she was excited for the people she’d meet after losing weight. 

It hit home for me because I could once relate on some level i.e. the belief that reaching a certain size would be the solution to all my problems. I think we all have expectations that come with achieving our “ideal weight”.  Maybe it’ll land you the job you’ve been desperately seeking or help you meet the perfect partner. Maybe your children will respect you more if you were slimmer.  In other words, our society has construed weight loss into a ticket to validation and overall happiness.

Calculating self-worth

Although it’s been a gradual process, I’ve come to realise that being a certain size doesn’t guarantee any of the above.  Sure I feel much more confident, fitter & healthier now than when I was 30 kilos heavier, but losing weight didn’t automatically turn me into a better person.  There are a lot of things weight indicates: the weight of our tissues (e.g. bones, muscle and fat) and substances that are just passing through your body (e.g. water, food, and waste). But there’s one thing weight doesn’t show:

Self-worth

Our appearance is no indication of who we are, our strength, intelligence, kindness or beauty. We all experience fat days and/or tell ourselves that Everything will be okay after these last 5 lbs go.  I do too, but I’m constantly making a conscious effort to ensure those days are less frequent.  It’s coming up to 10 years since I decided to embark on this journey of achieving a healthier me, and if could go back and talk to my then self, or anyone else that equates happiness & the size of his/her body, here is some  advice I would share:

Our environments are a reflection of how we perceive ourselves. If you can’t love yourself, don’t expect any man or woman to be able to either.  If you don’t feel worthy, chances are potential employers won’t think you are either.  While developing healthier eating habits is certainly key, don’t forget to foster something even more important in the process: Self-worth.   Being a certain size might make you fitter, healthier and more energetic but it won’t bring you happiness if you can’t love yourself & appreciate all that you and your body can do.  Get comfortable with your inner you and honor your character, talents and achievements.  Learn to love yourself so much that it’ll be impossible for others not to as well.

cat-looking-into-mirror-lion

No questions today, but I’d love to hear your thoughts…

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Shashi @ RunninSrilankan May 12, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Awesome post lady!
Losing weight might change a lot of aspects of the quality of ones life, but -you make an awesome point – by stating that “Our appearance is no indication of who we are, our strength, intelligence, kindness or beauty” – and learning to love our own “strength, intelligence, kindness or beauty” is paramount to us loving and relating to others.
Happy Monday!

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Khushboo May 13, 2014 at 11:57 am

Thanks Shashi! Rather than focusing all our energies on achieving a certain figure, we should be working towards strengthening our inner selves & relations with others!

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z May 12, 2014 at 2:34 pm

What a thought provoking post K.
I agree that, self loving is important even when we are not 10 kilos lighter.
But when I had lost weighy and everyone complimented me it sort of made me feel like a strong woman.
to sum.it up, I think its the will power that.shines when we lose all the weight and that makes us love us more.
Makes any sense?

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Khushboo May 13, 2014 at 11:59 am

I definitely think weight loss is empowering as it makes you realise how much you and your body are capable of. However I think we also need to give credit to our other qualities beyond appearance that make us who we are.

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Arman @ thebigmansworld May 12, 2014 at 5:08 pm

This is so true, K. I had that mentality when losing weight that it would make me happier, brighter and more attractive- the irony was- I may have been overweight, but eff I was 100 times more fun to be around and all around happy. I think as we grow, we can assess how warped our thinking really was.

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Khushboo May 13, 2014 at 12:00 pm

You nailed it, Arman! I’ve come to realise that I rather weigh a couple of kilos rather than miss out on fun times with friends and family. And let’s be honest, many of those times rotate around food/drink!

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Sam @ Better With Sprinkles May 12, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Great post, lady! The media seems to promote the idea that everything falls into place once we lose weight. We’ll have more friends, more dates, more job opportunities…and just be happier overall. But of course, losing weight just makes us a smaller version of ourselves – we’re still the same person. And losing weight won’t immediately give us a sense of self-worth…we have to develop that for ourselves.

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Khushboo May 13, 2014 at 12:02 pm

I love that you said that losing weight only makes us smaller versions of ourselves…not necessarily better or worse!

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vuppala gopinath May 12, 2014 at 5:43 pm

Great post. Well said.

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Khushboo May 13, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Thanks Vuppala!

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Lucie@FitSwissChick May 12, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Love this post so much Khushboo! I remember so well the times when I thought that weight loss would solve all my problems. How wrong I was! Of course it is nice to be in shape and feeling confident with that bikini, but I always think about my friends and family – do THEY care if I carry a six-pack under that shirt? For sure not. They care for my smile to be real and my body to be healthy. So we should all!

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Khushboo May 13, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Thanks so much, Lucie! I definitely think we should work hard to keep our body fit and healthy but at the same time, we need to also focus on developing our own inner selves & strengthening our relations with others!

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Hansa May 12, 2014 at 8:23 pm

Great post. I think the media has to be blamed as they always show slim people having the best of everything. It’s almost a sin to have a few pounds extra on you. Thanks for the reality check and realizing that self worth is the key to loving and being loved.

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Khushboo May 13, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Thanks 😀

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Tara @ Sweat like a Pig May 13, 2014 at 2:10 am

Awesome post! I think it’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that all of life’s problems will be solved if you lose X amount of weight. I spent years, and I mean years, thinking that I would be so much more successful, happy and loved if I lost 5kg. When I actually managed to do it, I was miserable! I’m much happier now at a heavier weight (15kg above that original “ideal”!) – confidence comes from within, I say 🙂

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Khushboo May 13, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Thanks Tara, love that you consistently spread the message about inner confidence. I think the more we focus on hitting a certain weight, the further away we become from it. That energy is far better spent appreciating and recognising our achievements & inner beauty.

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P May 13, 2014 at 3:31 am

This post is an awesome reminder. Thank you! 🙂

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Khushboo May 13, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Thanks, P!

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Parita @ myinnershakti May 13, 2014 at 6:20 am

You are so right, K. No scale or measurement compares to the amount of love you show yourself. It’s taken me years to learn this lesson. And some days I’m still learning it. It’s so cliche but true…happiness comes from the inside – it’s something we radiate – no matter how much we weigh or how we look.

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Khushboo May 13, 2014 at 12:09 pm

Thanks so much, P! It’s also taken me a long while to realise that we are constantly radiating energy, whether or not we realise it. That certainly includes our thoughts and feelings towards our own self. It’s almost empowering to have finally made that mental switch.

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Brittany May 13, 2014 at 9:29 am

Fantastic points and post! I think it’s sad how society has shaped and morphed the minds of people, myself included at times! I try to focus myself anytime I notice the negative mindset taking over.

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Khushboo May 13, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Thanks so much, girl! Although these thoughts tend to creep up, the key is being conscious to not let them dominate the way you see yourself overall…and it sounds like you certainly are:)!

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Miss Polkadot May 13, 2014 at 12:44 pm

Truth. The thought that shedding some pounds will make us a different or even ‘better’, more likeable person is one of the biggest misconceptions of weight loss. Five pounds up or down from our current weight we’re still the same character. People who like us before will like us afterwards just as much and if there are any others who don’t until we’ve lost weight: they’re not truly interested in -us- as persons.
Great post and reminder, lady!

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Khushboo May 14, 2014 at 9:55 am

Great point- those who actually matter won’t be interested whether you’re a few lbs heavier or lighter.

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Amanda @ .running with spoons. May 13, 2014 at 6:15 pm

LOVE! I remember being absolutely convinced that being thinner would make me happier, so imagine my shock when the thinner I got, the unhappier I became. I mean, sure I could wear smaller jeans, but what I had to sacrifice to get there just wasn’t worth it. It’s really depressing to see how much time and effort our society uses towards looking a certain way rather than redirecting that energy towards something that will serve us far better in life — confidence in who we are.

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Khushboo May 14, 2014 at 9:57 am

Absolutely, Amanda- we need to make that energy shift asap i.e. focusing on what really matters ultimately. I know I rather be a few lbs heavier rather than sit at home alone to ensure I can eat according to a strict calorie count or diet plan. There’s more to life than food and the size of our jeans!

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Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets May 14, 2014 at 7:39 am

Awww, this is exactly why I’m so glad you are back in our little blog bubble. I missed these kinds of posts. Well said.

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Khushboo May 14, 2014 at 9:57 am

Aww this comment is kinda cute, thanks Meghan 😀

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Lacey@fairytalesandfitness May 16, 2014 at 2:18 am

Size is just a number. It doesn’t define happiness. When people lose weight they think all their problems will be solved but once they do, they somehow find something else to be unhappy with and want to change. You have to learn to just be happy with who you are, regardless of size. (I’m sure it is easier said than done).

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Khushboo May 16, 2014 at 10:16 am

Easier said than done, but it’s still so important to remind ourselves that there’s more to happiness than just the size of our jeans 🙂

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vuppala gopinath May 18, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Thanks for your nice blog and advise.

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Khushboo May 19, 2014 at 11:26 am

Thanks Vuppala!

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