09/30/2014 12:48 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

I Thought I'd Be Happy (The Biggest Myth of Weight Loss)


I used to weigh 235 pounds. I wasn't in the depths of depression or anything, but I certainly wasn't happy. I decided to lose the extra weight, because I just knew my life would be completely different once I did. With focus and determination, I eventually found myself 100 pounds less than when I started. I was sitting at my desk one day, feeling down, and that's when I had a realization. I looked at my husband, confused, and said, "I thought I'd be happier."

So many things I had put off until I lost weight -- until I arrived "there." You know, that place of "Once I lose weight, I'll..." because, of course, everything in my life would be 180 degrees different than it was before I lost weight, right? All my hopes, dreams, and happiness had been contingent on getting "there." That's when I realized -- there is no pot of gold (or happiness) at the end of the weight loss journey. Everything I had been waiting and hoping for didn't miraculously appear the day I reached my goal.

Don't get me wrong, I was thrilled I had lost 100 pounds. But I didn't suddenly know my purpose or feel my life had meaning or view my circumstances with a new lens or think I was now beautiful. Every doubt, worry, or longing I had before I lost weight was still there. I wish I had known that's how things would end up being.

Because if I had known, this is what I would have done differently:

-- I wouldn't have based my happiness on losing weight.

-- I would have gone after my dreams while I still weighed 235 pounds.

-- I would have recognized my beauty no matter my size.

-- I would have known my worth was not based on physical attributes.

With my newfound realization that weight loss was not a cure-all, at first I was discouraged. It was a huge letdown. Then it hit me -- it was actually freeing -- I no longer had to wait to arrive anywhere in my life before I could start pursuing my dreams and go after everything that would give my life meaning and make me happy. I could choose to change at any minute, or right now, in fact. So, yeah, losing 100 pounds had its benefits, but the biggest benefit came in reteaching me how to view life.