Being happy at your goal weight

There’s a trend I’ve noticed recently in women who have recently met their goal weight, both those in the blog world and those I know in real life.

They are at the weight they’ve always idealized, yet they struggle to find happiness. Some say they’ve experienced a “this is it?” type of feeling when finally seeing their goal weight pop up on the scale. Of course they’re pleased but that “reaching goal” moment was so built up that their actual feelings are almost a disappointment compared to how they thought they would feel.

The overestimation of one’s feelings is a common occurrence in Western society. People tend to predict that they will feel happy for long periods of time after a positive event, yet when the event actually occurs, their feelings are not as strong and long-lasting as they anticipated. Perhaps this leads to that disappointment some have felt after reaching their goal weight. Perhaps they had anticipated being happy for weeks after reaching their goal, yet the reality was that the happiness was much more short-lived.

With this short-lived happiness comes the quick realization that suddenly your life is not perfect because you’ve reached your goal weight. I know I’m guilty of having thought that all my problems would disappear if only I was at my goal weight. Yet, in reality, it’s not realistic to expect that everything will change for the better immediately.

So how can you be happy at your goal weight?

Well, obviously the answer is different for everyone, but one thing I’ve settled on is this: rather than focusing on ways in which your life is suddenly not perfect after reaching goal, focus on all the ways in which your life is better now that you’ve reached goal. Are you finally able to shop in any store you wanted instead of plus-sizes? Can you run x number of miles when before you might have only been able to run for 30 seconds?

Here are some of my own “life improvements” that resulted from adopting a healthier lifestyle and losing weight:

  • I don’t have to wear the biggest size in any stores or worry that I won’t even fit into the biggest size.
  • I can walk up a flight of stairs and not be out of breath by the top.
  • I have visible arm muscles!
  • I can run 3 miles without a walking break. (I finally did it!! I was super proud of this accomplishment.)
  • I can wear shorts in public and not feel (too) self-conscious about my legs. (I am still working on this one a bit though… but I have improved, which is the entire point.)
  • I properly fuel my body with lean protein, whole grains and fruits/veggies rather than processed foods and too much sugar. I’m also way more aware of proper nutrition.

Of course, there are more things that have improved in my life. So I think it is possible to be happy at your goal weight by focusing on how far you’ve come rather than nitpicking what you could still change, or expecting perfection from a number.

Just a quick note here: I’m not trying to say that no one is happy when reaching their goal weight, but as I’ve noticed a trend of disappointment recently, I just wanted to offer some speculation as to why this happens to some of us and some possible ways to combat that feeling. I think losing weight and being healthier is something each person should be proud of and being disappointed is unfortunate after such an accomplishment!

Have you ever experienced some level of disappointment after reaching your goal weight or did you feel satisfied with the changes? What are some of the improvements that have resulted from either your weight loss or adoption of a healthier lifestyle?

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