I am currently seeing an older client right now who struggles with an eating disorder. She has gone though the whole spectrum– from anorexia, to over exercising, to bingeing. She’s strongly believes that if only she were a size 12, life would be different. She would be happy and social, she’d feel comfortable in her own skin. To an extent, some of this is true. Who doesn’t want to be happy with their body? This can create great confidence. But on the other hand, the mindset that “everything will be better when I’m 20 pounds lighter, 10 pounds lighter, maybe five more” is sort of misbelief. It is this mindset that often sets people up for failure because we’re constantly waiting to live.
I, like my client, have felt the exact same way. As a matter of fact, I relate to her so much that I can almost predict the things that she will say. I understand not wanting to be social because the thought of trying on outfits makes you cringe. I understand the pain of restricting and going overboard, of being so consumed with feelings of shame and disgust. For many years, I didn’t have a full size mirror because I was unhappy with the reflection. I get it.
My client came in yesterday so excited because she and her friend were signing up for Jenny Craig. Her energy was high and she was so hopeful that this program was going to be it. The lady at Jenny had promised her that she will lose the weight and maintain it once and for all. She couldn’t stop smiling and I wanted that newfound excitement too.
Since starting my blog, I’ve really made an effort not to diet. I’ve done them all…. well, except Jenny Craig. I left our session eager to look into Jenny myself. Maybe this is it for me too? I’ve seen the commercials. The girl with red hair looks fabulous. And Valerie? Boy, she has really been a success.
Then I snapped out of it. For me, dieting does not equal happiness. Happiness comes from going to a restaurant and ordering what you really want— not what is points friendly. Happiness is working out and feeling yourself getting stronger. Happiness is learning to stop eating before you’re in a food coma. Happiness is stopping a binge before it starts. Happiness is looking in a mirror and being proud of what’s before you. Happiness is going into your closet and feeling like you can wear whatever you want. For me, happiness cannot be found at a Jenny Craig counter.
I am striving for all of these things without a program. To me, this is living.