Wow, what a question. Do you think so? For me, weight loss does, in some way, lead to happiness. No, it is not the key to happiness. However, it is key when it comes to my confidence and confidence, for me, supports a happier life.
Slimming and Slimming World
So, a large portion of my online self relates to my relationship with Slimming World. More specifically, I share a lot about my weight loss goals and journey. If you have read or watched any of my previous content, you may know from my goals that I don’t aspire to be ‘skinny’, whatever that might be. I am not on a journey to make my way to my thinnest self. I have a weight range that I know I feel good at and there is still plenty of meat on my bones. My aim is to feel good, get fit, be healthy and live my best life. Simple as. As my journey progresses, it evolves and I find myself analysing the changes, especially in terms of the impact.
As I sit and mull over the way things are now, gone are the days of the constant awareness of my size. That uncomfortable and sometimes subconscious awareness of how I look to others and nagging worry of what others think. Oddly, the realistion of this changes comes as a surprise. That’s not all it was either. This awareness affected how I held myself, how I behaved around others and, subsequently, my self-esteem. How I actually looked to others, whether I appeared slim and happy or cuddly and confident didn’t matter, it was what was going on in my head that was holding me back.
Before I go any further, I will just say that I have never been a quiet little mouse. Also, as with many, my confidence levels fluctuate. However, only periodically sticking to plan and irregular, if any, exercise meant I wasn’t achieving my goals. This, in turn, always led back to those low points where my confidence would hide in the shadows. This has been the ebb and flow of my whole life really.
For a long time, I felt I could never get a nice picture of myself. It was upsetting. There a lack of confidence in my own skin. Others would say my outfit and photographs but I could never quite see it. Yes, I knew that I was making the best of myself and could accessorise with the best of them, but I was never entirely proud of my appearance. I always felt that the way I dressed was just ‘making do’ until I could lose weight.
Even recently, when I changed my life drastically and gave up my job last year, the one thing I didn’t expect to regress, (other than my bank account) was my confidence. During the process of leaving my job, saving hard and planning my life as an online content creator, I visualised my dream. A happier life, creating, supporting others, enjoying everything that came my way, all whilst I had the time to exercise, to eat better and naturally slim down. That didn’t happen. In the first few euphoric, if surreal, months of my adventure, yet again, I found myself unable to stick to Slimming World.
But then something changed. If I am honest, it was a combination of factors. Frustration at myself but also an awareness of how future me would feel. Aware that others around me were slimming and I didn’t want to be that one who still couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to stand in that future situation, lacking confidence and wishing past me had been strong enough to make that change. So I did it. Why that time it changed I don’t quite know, but it did.
So, as I said, now that 21lbs have disappeared from my own personal luggage, I am certainly feeling different. I still have rolls, stretch marks and the little banana that sits under my left bum cheek, but my confidence has grown enormously. I still think about my size and I am still actively working towards my goals, but I no longer have that incessant niggle. It seems only a minor thing to change in the expansive landscape of the human psyche but it’s big. As my confidence grows, my enjoyment of life blooms.
As much as possible, we should all try to live without regret but if there is one thing that stands out to me most, it is the years wasted on waiting. Waiting for that day that things would come good, that the motivation would come and life would be forever better. It doesn’t work like that.
As one of my favourite blogger/vlogger lasses, Helen Anderson, recently said, ‘There is more to life than worrying about our bodies and the idea of perfection’. Amen. But we all slip up and fall into old habits. Interestingly, I have never really considered striving for ‘perfection’. What even is that when we are all so different? All I have ever really craved is to feel good and feel happy with myself.
I suppose you could argue that that is my ‘perfection’ and that we all have our own version. I know that my love of food means I will never just naturally stay in a target range (Slimming World terminology) but that’s ok. If I can continue to achieve balance then I am good with that. A regime of regular exercise, good healthy food and treats in moderation works for me, I just hope this isn’t another one of those phases… because as they say, Slimming World is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle.
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