Are You Really Happy?

I dieted for years. Like many people, I was constantly "dieting." You may not have believed it if you watched me eat candy bar after candy bar, but in my mind I was always trying to lose weight. Of course those attempts at losing weight were never successful. As the years marched by, I became more and more convinced that it was impossible for me to lose weight. I tried to convince myself I was destined to be overweight. Surely, I really was happy being fat.

I dieted for years. Like many people, I was constantly "dieting." You may not have believed it if you watched me eat candy bar after candy bar, but in my mind I was always trying to lose weight. Of course those attempts at losing weight were never successful. As the years marched by, I became more and more convinced that it was impossible for me to lose weight. I tried to convince myself I was destined to be overweight. Surely, I really was happy being fat.


Not true
. I wasn't destined to be overweight, and I definitely wasn't happy being fat. Where are you today? Do you sometimes find yourself thinking that you should just be happy where you are right this minute? Do you ever try and convince yourself those extra 50 pounds really don't matter? I know I did. Are you secretly trying to convince yourself that it's okay to be overweight? I'm not saying that you should base your happiness on your weight. But what if you looked at your life like a pie chart? If you pull out the weight component, are you satisfied with that part of your life? When I think back to the time that I struggled with my weight, I realize that I was happy in most areas of my life, but underlying all the good that was happening, my weight problem always held me back. 



After years of dieting and never exercising, I tried to give up. I quit joining weight loss groups, stopped checking weight loss books out of the library, skipped the "I lost 100 pounds" articles in magazines, and continued to eat like there was no tomorrow. Although I publicly espoused the mantra, "Big is Beautiful," I didn't really believe it. I still hated shopping in the plus-sized department. I abhorred any type of physical movement. I avoided social situations that made me uncomfortable. And most importantly, I still wasn't satisfied with my appearance, my energy level, or my weight.


I had given up on the outside, but somewhere inside of myself I couldn't give up completely. Where are you today? Have you publicly declared satisfaction with your weight, but still have an internal struggle raging? Are you like I was, and trying to convince yourself you are happy at your current weight and satisfied with your appearance? If so, believe me when I say to you, I understand.


After many years of dieting, and a few years of "giving up," I finally reached the point where I was ready to try again. After my third child’s birth, I realized I was heading in the wrong direction and there was no end in sight. My weight problem wasn't going to go away, and I wasn't going to wake up one morning 10 sizes smaller. I finally put all the knowledge I already had into a plan that worked for me: eating smaller portions, exercising consistently, and eating foods that contained less than 30% of their calories from fat. And it worked. Over the course of 14 months I lost 158 pounds.


I encourage you to not quit. You may be at the point in your life where I was, and feel like the effort and emotional trauma of unsuccessful dieting just isn't worth it, but that's where you may be wrong. Unsuccessful dieting isn't fun, but unless you try again, how will you know if really can achieve your goals? If you are unhappy with your weight, health and appearance, try one more time! I’m so glad I did.

Will you ever feel comfortable in your own skin? That is, if you don't make an effort to protect it? Although 64% of adults do report wearing sunscreen when outside for prolonged periods of time, it turns out that only about 10% of people surveyed actually protect themselves daily, according to a recent review.

No matter what your skin tone is, unless you live in a cave with no sunlight, daily protection with either sunscreen, sunblock or protective clothing can not only protect you from developing sunburns (ouch!) but can significantly reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, particularly the deadliest type called melanoma. In addition, for those of you wanting to keep your youthful looks, daily sunscreen has been shown to reduce the development of wrinkles. A great teacher once told me that the best way to not have wrinkles is not to get them in the first place (think of how much money you can save on useless creams that claim to diminish wrinkles).

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