So I was driving to work this morning and I was thinking about how glad I was that I actually got out and walked before work. Next thing I knew, I was thinking about numbers on a scale – specifically, my numbers and how much weight I wanted to lose and if I lost X pounds then I’d be happy and then…
And then a little voice said, “Stop right there!”
And so I unpacked that thought just a little bit. I actually, finally, heard myself say, “…if I lost 40 pounds then I’d be happy.”
I smiled to myself a little bit because I knew then that sometimes we lie to ourselves without even batting an eyelash. Sometimes we say things and we just take them as gospel without ever questioning the truth of it.
The truth of it is this – losing 40 pounds won’t make me happy. Neither would losing 50, or 60.
Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I am UNhappy. Not all the time. Somewhere along the way I mashed up unhappiness, depression and anxiety into one mood, one thing, one big ass heavy backpack that I throw on each and every morning.
So I am forever seeking a way to lay down my burden and reach the gates of the land of Happy and spend forever after there.
I am learning that it doesn’t work that way. The fairy tales we read as children led us all to believe that we could, actually, live happily ever after. But happiness doesn’t work that way.
I thought happiness was not having a care in the world. I thought happiness was not worrying about paying bills and balancing your checkbook. I thought happiness was a clean house and having the best clothes/car/phone…boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, children. AND my definition of happiness definitely meant that I would be at my perfect weight. That I would be pretty. That I would be loved.
But it occurred to me, this morning, that I am most happy when I am exercising daily and eating right. Maybe ‘happy’ isn’t the right word…maybe it’s ‘content’ but that doesn’t quite capture that feeling of promise and “HEY – this feels good. I feel good!”
Last year, when I was training for the Flying Pig – for about 4.5 months, I was eating really well and walking 3-6 miles a day. I was feeling really good and that expanded into other parts of my life as well. I remember one day in particular when I just felt really good…I think it was an endorphin high…and I thought, “This!! This is me being happy.”
So it’s not really that I want to lose X pounds, it’s that I want to feel like that day, last year, again and again.