01/04/2016 06:08 pm ET Updated Jan 04, 2017

How to Find Your Happy Weight

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She steps on the scale and it says XXX, 12 pounds more than her "normal" weight. Immediately the thoughts flood in...

Every January millions of people get caught in body limbo. Holiday parties and food filled gatherings have gone, we've possibly traveled, and probably haven't exercised as much or even at all. Millions of people step on their scales only to utter some version of, "Uh oh. I've gained some weight. I should get in shape this new year."

She remembers jumping on the scale, being heavier than the xxx plus 12 pounds. "Oh my god, oh my god I'm getting fat," she said. Her friend told her that she might be attached to her weight a little too much. She denied it then.

Scales talk to us in numbers (How to End a Love Affair with Your Scale), but when we attach our worth as human beings on a digital output, the number can become an abusive voice.

For those with disordered eating or body image concerns, that version may sound more like, "You fat pig. You're a failure. Look at how fat you are. You're gonna go on a diet (or whatever punishment you attach to an increase on the scale).

The world surrounds us with messages that an increase in body weight is a bad thing, something we should be ashamed of, and want to fix. The message whispers that skinny is better. Gaining weight should be avoided and is a problem to fix.

She steps on the scale and it says XXX, 12 more pounds than her "normal" weight. She smiles. The last time she weighed this much she was happy. In spite of other struggles, she was happy.

But what if an increase in weight wasn't a problem, but a solution?


She steps on the scale and it says XXX, 12 pounds more than her "normal" weight. The last time she weighed this much she lived with a friend and they laughed and giggled. They ate sandwiches at night, made hot chocolate, baked cookies, and made art. It was a tumultuous time in their lives. They returned to the house after days full of work and playing hopscotch over emotional landmines. At the house they took breaks from the real world, and remembered what it was like to play.

She realizes that there is a happy weight.

She eats more when she feels emotionally solid and fulfilled. Her body holds food comfortably when she's taking care of herself. Her appetite increases with laughter, and when she feels grounded and secure.

In other words, eating more and weighing more is directly connected to her happiness.

She laughs about it now with her friend. "Remember that time that I thought I was fat," she says, "and you told me I was just full of happy."

"My happy weight."


Forward Locomotion:

Right now you may be stepping on the scale and vowing to lose weight in the New Year. It's great to want to look and feel your best, but keep in mind that how you feel about yourself, and your body, is more important than it "looks."

Consider your happy weight.

  • What can you do to take care of yourself this year?
  • How can you keep yourself emotionally solid and fulfilled?
  • Where can you add more laughter to your day?
  • What might you need to adjust to feel grounded and secure?

What's your happy weight?

*This blog and audio first appeared on