What Transformation Pics Don't Show
Do you dream of building a perfect body or getting to a perfect size or weight or fitness level so you’ll finally be happy and confident? I used to. I used to think that was the answer to liking myself, to being happy, more confident and at peace. If I just lost "X" amount of weight, I'd be happy. If I could just run "X" amount of miles I'd be happy. If I could just lift "X" amount of weight, I'd be happy. If my butt was just a little bigger, I'd be happy. If my waist was only "X" inches, I'd be happy. I’ve shared this pic often over the years but I don’t even like sharing before and afters anymore because I don’t want to perpetuate the notion that this equals happiness. I literally look like two different people ...on the outside. But they don’t show what’s on the inside -- it's the exact same person. The person on the left trying to hide her weight behind a kid & refusing to smile because she did NOT want her picture taken at that size was no less valuable than the person on the right in the slinky dress, holding trophies that told her she was the best. And the person on the right holding the trophies didn't like herself any more than the person on the left did. They both hated themselves. Neither of them thought they were worth anything. The person on the left used food to numb her emotions and feelings of inadequacy... so did the person on the right. The only difference was the person on the left was pre-bulimic and the person on the right was in recovery -- but food still ruled her life and intensified her feelings of disappointment in herself. Both of their lives were consumed with food, the scale, an abusive inner dialogue, unhappiness with their bodies, and deeply rooted feelings of inadequacy. See, we think losing weight or transforming our body is the answer to fixing those things but it it doesn’t change any of it -- it only changes the package it comes in. The other thing physical transformations don't show is that the results are not permanent. As soon as you stop doing the things that resulted in the transformation, the changes start becoming undone. So we spend months or years chasing happiness through things that are often making us unhappy (like strict dieting or brutal exercise programs) only to have it all just disappear if we ever stop doing those things. That's the amazing thing about doing the inner work to change our brains instead -- when we change our brains, it DOES last. Those results ARE permanent. Now I look at both of those people and I don’t even recognize either of them anymore -- but I'm deeply grateful to them both because I wouldn't be where I am without them.