This is a subject that I cover in my book, My Big ‘Fat Loss’ Secret and it’s a topic that I have spent a great amount of time pondering. Considering the billions of dollars that the weight loss industry rakes in every year worldwide, one would assume that the general consensus out there is ‘yes, slim clearly = happy’. So I ask you to take a moment to reflect on this question. Some of you who are currently overweight may have the perception that slim does equal happy and you wouldn’t hesitate to respond in the affirmative immediately. Why? Because when you are overweight and your life is not running the way that you would like it to, being overweight would be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. So you would equate being overweight with being unhappy. We all know that this is not true. We know that you need to be happy within yourself, within the deepest core of your being is where true happiness is found. We know that when this is not the case, when unhappiness stems from within yourself, it will infiltrate the rest of your life. So its like the old adage goes ‘what came first, the chicken or the egg?’ Did unhappiness cause you to be overweight or did being overweight cause you to be unhappy? I think that perhaps in most of our lives, its a little of both. One does have the ability to affect the other. When we’re unhappy, most of us tend to turn to food to comfort us emotionally, resulting in an oversupply of calories, which will lead us to gain weight. Equally to blame would be the hormone cortisol which is released in abundance when we are overstressed and can cause our bodies to store more body fat.
What images do we conjure up in our minds eye when we contemplate the question ‘Does slim = happy?’ You immediately see a picture of a slim person, perhaps with a slim partner, the picture is bright and colourful, they are outdoors, and they are both beautiful and smiling right? This is the picture that the media has helped to permeate our inner psyche. Why? So that they can make you believe that the only way you can be happy is to be slim, so that they can sell more product to more people and make more money.
Some of my happiest days and moments were spent in all my chubbiness. What springs to mind immediately are the days that my beautiful children were born. I wasn’t stick thin, I didn’t even resemble a plus size model, I resembled a little baby elephant, and I was as happy as one who had just discovered the joys of rolling in mud in the glorious golden sunshine. There were many, many similar, equally happy and content days spent in chubbiness over the years.
The question should be this: ‘was I happy that because I was chubby I could not fit into my previous slim clothing, or was I happy that because I was overweight I couldn’t be as active as I wanted to be, or was I happy that because I was overweight my partner didn’t look at me the way that he used to? My answer to all of these questions would be ‘no, I wasn’t happy for all of these reasons’. Was I happy at the core of my being? I’m not sure. There were times that I was ecstatically happy, and times that I wasn’t. Is this not just being human though?
I am tired of the media dictating how we should feel about ourselves. The saying goes ‘media does not tell us how to think, but tells us what to think about’. They make us think about the fact that we don’t look like Kate Moss. That’s all it is, they direct our thoughts to a particular subject or topic. What they should be making us think about is our health.
This is my motto: Healthy = Happy = Sexy
This doesn’t mean to say either that if you’re not athletically built that you won’t be happy. Just the feeling of healthy is sexy. Being able to wake up in the morning, bright eyed and ready to go, feeling your best physically is sexy and would make you happy.
My opinion is, that being slim gives you a certain kind of, and a certain amount of happiness.
What kind of happiness does it give me? The kind of happiness I derive from being slim is that number one, I feel healthy and I feel fit and I am able to move around as much as I want to – I am not restricted to do absolutely anything I want to in terms of physical fitness, energy and stamina. This does give me a tremendous amount of happiness, as I would not like to be restricted from doing any of the physical challenges I would like to and if I only ever chose one reason why I would want to be slim, it would be this reason.
When I buy clothes, I am not bound to only a certain section of clothing for larger people, and I am able to buy any of the clothing I see in any store – this does give me a certain kind of happiness – absolutely, especially since I have been on both sides of the fence and I have experienced, first-hand the emotions that go with both scenario’s! Perhaps in America, choices in terms of clothing for a larger person are way more liberal, but where I come from, they’re not.
Fitting into, and looking good in:
· A bikini
· My jeans
· Small tops
· Sexy gym clothes
This makes me happy!
Having my children and family be proud of who I am, of what I’ve achieved, and how I look, makes me happy!
Okay, I admit!! Being slim does give me a huge amount of happiness. You have to decide for yourself what makes you happy, and why. Within this exercise you will find the answers and the deep rooted motivation as to why being slim is important or not so important to you.
One thing I do know for certain is this: overcoming a weight issue gives you the confidence to tackle most of life’s issues. Overcoming stuff, against all odds makes you stronger, and the principles used in dealing with these issues are the same principles which can be applied to every area of your life. Dealing with, and overcoming a weight issue gives you the platform to go on and achieve so much more in your life, knowing that you’ve conquered something that has a lot of people constantly perplexed. It’s a BIG deal, and one that’ll make you happy and proud!