There is no magic number!

Sunday morning in the Weight Watchers meeting room one of the things we talked about is how you aren’t determined by the number on the scale or in your clothes. Those numbers don’t define you and shouldn’t be the cause for you to “wait until you’ve reached that so called magic number”. My leader caught me agreeing to all that she said and put me out there. I responded with some painful truth for me. When I hit my goal weight in 2010/2011, I didn’t find that pot of happiness at the end of the journey and at the time I couldn’t tell you why. I couldn’t tell you why until just recently.
Now don’t get me wrong, I had some other things going on around this time that added to my misery but my weight loss “let down” was from other choices. I’ll roll back to the beginning. My original “weight loss why”, the reason I started my journey was “To do something for me, put myself first”. Nathan was born in the summer of 2008 and he was a tough baby and then I went back to a job I was unhappy in. But at the time my husband’s business was still in its infancy and it was necessary for me to work outside of the home and carry a steady income and medical benefits. Come January of 2009 I had still not lost any of the baby weight and celebrated my 30th birthday. I was drained and felt horribly about myself. I was wearing size 18 pants to work and felt disappointed in myself constantly. I joined a gym and that wasn’t working for me. I just continued my poor eating habits. My job then offered Weight Watchers in the office. So I figured I’d try it. So I began in April of 2009. I lost 25 pounds by July and was feeling great. That fall I was really starting to feel confident, people were starting to notice my weight loss and my physical transformation. I began thriving off of those comments. I began to depend on them. I hit my lifetime status at Weight Watchers the following June (2010). I was still seeking out the compliments and the “how’d you do its!”
I kept the weight off for the remainder of 2010, all of 2011 and most of 2012. During this time I placed all of my happiness into other people’s hands. I felt if I wasn’t receiving accolades for my successful weight loss or the way I looked then I wasn’t doing something right. I felt like I must look horrible if someone wasn’t saying something about it. I was obsessed with the number on the scale and in my clothes. Instead of focusing on the fact that I was the healthiest I had ever been. I was physically fit and eating clean. I was wearing size small and single digit pant sizes.

(I used this as a before and after reminder.)
Towards the end of summer in 2012 things had settled down in other areas of my life and I seemed to be happier there. I changed jobs at work and home life seemed smooth. I started to gain some weight unexpectedly around this time but attributed it to enjoying summer too much. Then we decided to have another child so I really threw my healthy lifestyle to the wind.
Since James was born in 2013 I’ve been battling the weight loss along with Hashimotos. But I’m happier. Even though I’ve lost some and gained some over this time, I’ve remained focused on trying. After James’s accident I decided to try Weight Watchers again to have a little something for me each week (attending meetings), but my “why” changed. My why became “To be an example to my children and to be more active and involved with them. But also show them it’s ok to put yourself first sometimes”.
So what I’ve taken away from all of this is something that has been said to us so many times. Your worth is not determined by the number on the scales. But your happiness also shouldn’t be placed with someone else. I believe that you and only you should be in charge of your joy.
The pictures of myself from 2010/2011 are hard to look at for me. I see so much sadness and narcissism in these photos. I was so focused on the look at me, don’t I look great because I felt like it masked how miserable I really was.  In 2017 I think I’m getting closer to total happiness, one that I am in charge of.

One thought on “There is no magic number!

  1. Kimberly says:

    I think your happiness is a far better indicator of things than the number on the scale. When I hit lifetime before having kids, I was happy with the number on the scale and felt great. I'd always been chubbier (and have returned to that now) and for the first time was hearing “oh you look great!” and, “You're so skinny!” Things I'd never heard before. I agree that it's easy to thrive off of those comments. I started having kids and my body just didn't respond to any of my habits. I was still active and eating well, but my body hung onto the weight. Most important to me was nursing my girls. Some people actually gain weight while nursing and apparently I'm one of those. When my third daughter was born I tried really hard to lose weight, and in turn my body fought me. Not only did I not lose weight in the two months, my daughter didn't gain an ounce in those same months. My pediatrician/lactation consultant asked me what was most important- losing weight or nursing. I didn't even have to think about it, I wanted to nurse. Shortly after that I tore my ACL and my activity level took a serious downturn. So here I am four years later and at the biggest I've ever been. It stinks, but I'm trying to move in the right direction. Similar to you, I'm doing it to be more active with my kids and set a good example.

    Throughout the past 9 years as I've put on weight my satisfaction with my weight has dwindled, but I've always felt “happy.” My individual happiness is not dependent on the number on the scale… hell, I maybe weigh myself once every six months, if that. I don't want the number on the scale to dictate whether I have a good or bad day. That being said I have realized that I am no longer comfortable in my own skin and I want to change that. I consider my journey to get in better shape a journey of gaining more satisfaction with that physical aspect of my life. If I lose weight, great, if I get stronger from my workouts, great. If it doesn't happen, I'm going to try my best to not let it bring me down in the other areas of my life.

    Your pic up top of creating your own happiness is truth. Happiness isn't the same for everyone. Some people need validation from others to make themselves happy, some don't. As long as you can find what makes YOU happy, run with it. Life is too damn short to do otherwise.

    P.S. I'm not sure any of that made sense in re-reading it, but it's what came to mind.


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