Striving.⠀ ⠀ Verb. "To make great efforts to achieve or obtain something."⠀ ⠀ We live in a social environment designed to convince us that unless we're striving to achieve or obtain something better than what we have right now, we're failing. ⠀ ⠀ But when our best is never good enough we fall into a trap of perpetual striving that leads to feelings of worthlessness, shame, and discontent. ⠀ ⠀ I see this exemplified in the world of weight loss every day. People striving for perfect bodies, better results, and more pounds dropped. When one diet doesn't get us what we want we hop to the next program. When 5, or 10, or 30 pounds isn't enough we strive for more, often in unhealthy ways. ⠀ ⠀ That's not to say that weight loss is categorically bad. I lost weight, improved my mental and physical health, and feel really proud of myself for sticking with the changes I made. ⠀
But this is different than striving for some elusive, idealized future that never materializes because because the standard for achievement keeps changing.⠀
When I reached "goal weight" I still wanted more. When I couldn't lose fast enough I sought out diet pills, supplements, and "detoxes" that were a waste of money, and it wasn't healthy. When that didn't work I'd give up, self-sabotage, and relapse into old patterns.
⠀ I didn't feel better about myself, I felt worse. ⠀ ⠀ And even after exceeding my own expectations for weight loss I was ashamed because I thought I still didn't look fit... enough.⠀ ⠀ That is until I made a shift in my thinking. Instead of endlessly striving for more I became committed to being more of myself. ⠀ ⠀ More Authentic. ⠀ More purposeful. ⠀ More connected to my values and what really matters besides external appearance. ⠀ ⠀ When people stop striving for more they experience greater contentment, satisfaction, and wellbeing. They consistently make better choices and are not pulled off course into someone else's lane. ⠀ ⠀ When a person is clear on who they are and what they stand for they're more successful at making changes that last because those changes become a part of them, further cementing their identity. ⠀ ⠀ This is how people are successful with long term weight loss maintenance. ⠀ ⠀ They stop striving for thin ideals and start being the person they want to be when it comes to their health and well-being. ⠀ ⠀ They take a long range view, set clear goals, practice sustainable habits, and make peace with food. ⠀ ⠀ If the goals you are striving for and the life you're living give you some sense of purpose and satisfaction, you are likely headed in the right direction for you. ⠀ ⠀ If your efforts to lose weight and change your body leave you feeling drained, uncertain, deflated, or envious, it might be time to reevaluate who's goals you're pursuing, and why. ⠀ ⠀ If you need help with this, I got you. 👊⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀