“I’ll be happy when…”
Ever told yourself that?
I presume we all have.
“If I had XYZ amount of money I would be happy”
“If I had that newer car I would be happy”
“If I was 25 pounds lighter I would be happy”
I think it’s human nature that we see future milestones as what will bring us happiness.
I started strength training during my senior year of high school. For those first 6 or so years my goal was to get big and strong.
Not at the expense of packing on body fat but being ripped was not my number one goal.
I worked at it for years and ended up 50 pounds heavier than when I first picked up a weight.
Fast forward a few years.
I decide to get really lean.
After some hard work, a skinfold caliper test revealed my body fat was at 4.8%. I was content with the results.
There was one thing in common before I started lifting, when I put on size, and when I got really lean:
How happy I was never changed.
Where Happiness Comes From
Fortunately for me, I don’t feel as though I relied on the end product of my goals to change my life.
But, what DID continually bring me happiness was, and still is, the process.
All too often I see people who have lost 10, 20, or 30 pounds and they aren’t happy.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about having big goals.
Maybe the person that lost 30 pounds needs to lose 60. Or perhaps the person who put on 8 pounds of muscle wants to put on 16.
This doesn’t mean the process and the continual achievement shouldn’t bring happiness to your life.
Often times, I see the process for people running narrowly close to self-punishment.
They sit in a perpetual state of depression.
All in the name of, “I will be happy when…”
The sad part of this is that fitness is supposed to help you build a stronger relationship with yourself.
Ideally you improve your body physically, mentally, and emotionally. All while your pride and self-confidence go through the roof.
Latch on to these.
These are what should be bolstering your happiness in the wake of your increased fitness.
You deserve these things and should relish in them.
Happiness does not come from reaching a goal, it comes from loving and appreciating who you are right now.
If you don’t appreciate where you are and how far you have come right now, you won’t when you are lighter, stronger, or have more muscle.
At the risk of going all Mr. Rogers on you, I truly hope if you are struggling with this that you can let the above sentence sink it.
The Take Home
I want you to have goals.
I want you to have goals so big that they make you a little nervous.
But I want you to love the journey of working towards them.
Don’t beat the crap out of yourself waiting solely for the day to come where you see a certain scale weight or do XYZ number of pushups.
How many people do you think cared when I put on 50 pounds and got strong as an ox?
If anyone did they never told me.
How many people do you think cared when I got my body fat down to 4.8%?
Nope, still no one.
In fact, no one even knew because it was in the middle of winter and I didn’t post any selfies.
Afterall, posting internet selfies is a great way to show the world that a chunk of your self-image comes from being validated by others.
Yep, don’t need that.
BECAUSE WHO CARES.
It was about me. No one else.
Until you can make your fitness about you, I would be careful about how you go about it.
It can be the best thing in the world for some people and also terrible if you connect your self-worth and value solely to how you look.
Just remember, if you don’t see your value now, you won’t no matter what goal you hit.
One Final Thought
I firmly believe that you need to allow yourself to be happy as you succeed in each step of your fitness journey. I also will say that some aspects of happiness may, in fact, be delayed.
This may seem deceivingly like a “I will be happy when…”
By delayed, I am referring to the further through your goals you get you may have:
- Increased energy
- More restful sleep
- Better strength
- Better luck in job interviews
- More success in dating
You get the idea.
The further you get in your journey, these types of things may become increasingly optimal.
But my point is, do not wait for any one thing to make you happy.
All of these things can bring temporary joy, but you must love and appreciate where you are in every moment of the process.
“I will be happy when…”
“I am happy.”
If there is anything I can help you with I would like to hear from you!
Email me right now at: JwaltersPT@gmail.com
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