I can’t be happy until I’m thin (aka the lie that’s stealing your life)
“I can’t be happy until I’m thin.”
I hear this a lot from clients when we first start working together.
It’s a belief that stops far too many incredible women from living fulfilling and purposeful lives.
So in this post, I’m busting the myth that thinness equates to happiness.
Plus, I’m sharing some coaching questions to help you challenge this soul sucking belief.
Listen or read below:
The “I can’t be happy until I’m thin” allusion
I hear so many women saying, “I can’t be happy until I’m thin.”
Many have spent some of the best years of their lives on diets trying to lose weight and feel worthy.
Living in a culture that glorifies thinness above other things, particularly if you’re a woman, I understand why you feel this way.
Every form of media perpetuates the idea that being thin will make you happier, confident, and successful.
But having a thinner body doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be any of these things. Instead, chasing after the elusive thin body is more likely to make you feel miserable, exhausted, anxious, and low in confidence.
And while you pursue a thinner body, you’re wasting time you could use to do things that would really help you be happier, confident, and successful.
How to challenge the belief, “I can’t be happy until I’m thin”
If you’re struggling with the thought, “I can’t be happy until I’m thin”, I’ve got some coaching questions that will help to challenge your thinking:
What do you hope to gain by being thinner?
Achieving thinness is rarely the end goal. The desired outcome is what you believe being thin will give you.
As humans we crave acceptance and worth. Because we live in a culture that equates being thin with being acceptable and worthy, it’s no wonder you mistakenly turn to your body to achieve these things.
But worth and acceptance do not depend on your weight or dress size. If you don’t feel acceptable or worthy in the body you’re already in, you won’t feel that way in a smaller body.
What happens once you become thin?
Is it all unicorns and rainbows once you reach your ideal weight or size? I hear women saying that once they’re thin, they won’t worry about what they wear or have negative thoughts about their body anymore. Sadly, it doesn’t work this way.
Even if you achieve your ‘ideal’ weight, you’re likely to get stuck in a loop worrying and obsessing about maintaining that weight – and so the cycle continues. That doesn’t sound like happiness or confidence to me!
What has the pursuit of thinness cost you?
Doing everything you can to shrink your body is hard work, especially if you’re following a rigid diet and/or exercise programme. Restricting your food, pushing through hunger, and doing punishing exercise routines can feel miserable.
Even if in the short term you lose some weight, in the long term, intentional weight loss doesn’t work because it goes against your body’s natural weight management mechanism (if you want to learn more about this, read the excellent, “Health at Every Size” by Lindo Bacon).
Dieting is more likely to result in regaining all the weight you lost and more. Plus, being a dedicated dieter can result in obsessive thoughts about your body, which can increase your anxiety.
So, if your diets haven’t produced the thinner body you’d hoped for, and the process has made you miserable, maybe it’s time to try something else to feel happier?
What’s more important to you than being thin?
What do you love to do? What are the most important things in your life? If you didn’t care about being thin, what would you do?
It’s likely that you’re putting your most important goals and dreams on hold until you’re thinner, from a misplaced sense that you can’t do them as you are.
But, doing the things that you love, engaging with what’s most important to you is the key to feeling happier, more confident, and worthy! So, do those things now, in the body you’re in!
So now over to you. If you think, “I can’t be happy until I’m thin” – take some time to answer these questions and see what insights they bring you!
If you’ve found the coaching questions above useful, why not grab a copy of my book, The Little Book of Body Confidence – it’s got 52 simple, yet effective strategies to help you feel more comfortable in your body.