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Old 03-21-2013, 07:40 PM   #1
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Weight Loss and Elusive Happiness

I have heard before that weight loss cannot be the thing that brings happiness. I think that is true, yet, I find I am disappointed. I have hope that I can lose X more pounds, and I don't really think beyond that, but I think subconsciously, I have been banking on it.

I can think of examples of ladies that have lost a lot of weight due to major stresses in life. One of my old best friends lost 50 pounds when her husband threatened to leave over her weight. He left anyway. She became an exercise fanatic to deal with the stress and improve more.

My grandma lost a similar amount of weight when she divorced.

My MIL lost a lot weight for the same reason I did - my husband's declining health basically scared us into it and we hoped to lead him by example (in different ways). Now his passing has startled me into continuing on, seeking health to be here for my daughter. I need to be here for a long time; she has no one else to count on.

Yet, I know, deep down, somewhere in there I feel weight loss is going to solve my problems. I'll have a better career. I'll be happy. People will like me. I'll be loved. Yet, so far, it has not brought me those things and it I know I have some fear that it won't. I have gotten kudos and social approval, but that comes here and there and it fades.

What do you think? What is this? Media brain washing?

Are you seeking happiness? Are you realistic about life at goal? Why are you doing it really?
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:56 PM   #2
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I'm sorry for your loss, I know how difficult it is.

I am losing weight to function. I had almost gotten to a place where walking, doing my housework, attending functions and working in the garden were almost undoable.

I think one must come to a point with too much weight stress that we have to make a decision, do I stop this madness and care for myself so I could take care of myself or do I continue and have to depend on someone to care for me. It actually comes to that I discovered.

I'm happy with my decision. I am so thankful for the weight I've lost, it's worth it.

I appreciate all I've learned on this board and for all the wonderful friends I've met. Thanks for all your help.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:10 PM   #3
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Thank you for your kindness. I do need it sometimes, but I am OK today. I am just looking for conversation on weight loss - why are you doing it.

That is a really great point. Who knows how long I could have gone on gaining weight. I had so little energy and just getting clothes out of the dryer was so hard. I would hate to think about my daughter having to do things for me. Great!
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:14 PM   #4
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I'm so sorry for your loss.

Weight loss does not give us a happy life. Sadly, it does not work that way. I knew a woman who thought life would be wonderful if she just lost 100 lbs. She lost the weight & was upset to find she was not any happier.

Happiness comes from within. It is something we have to work at if we are not happy. We need to learn to love ourselves unconditionally. We need to look at our attitudes regarding other people, situations, etc. We need to examine the things that make us feel bad & figure out why we react that way. It is best to work on this all during weight loss.

Years ago I was so unhappy. My life was miserable. One day I asked myself, What if this is as good as it gets?" I realized I could be miserable all my life or I could change my attitude about a lot of things, learned to love myself for who I was regardless of my weight, etc. I chose the latter.

I pushed myself outside my comfort zone (still do this regularly) and got more involved in life. It was the hardest & best thing I ever did for myself. I love who I am inside. People who knew me at the time told me I had completely transformed myself & I was a better version of the old me. Not all the people who said this knew me after I'd lost weight.

Weight loss will not make people like us or magically grant us our dream jobs. If we get those things after losing weight it is because we made other changes, too.

I am happy NOW. Tomorrow is not promised to us.

I don't use the scale as a goal. It has nothing to do with how I look or feel. I want to be the best & healthiest me I can be. I work hard at it every single day & expect to for the rest of my life. I can do it. I'm worth it. I know there is no magic number to hit & I'll suddenly be "done." That is a fairy-tale.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:19 PM   #5
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good thread..... very interesting !
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:19 PM   #6
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Interesting questions....really made me think.
In my case I am not trying to lose weight and eat healthy to be happy.
I am trying not to die early, so that I can live life......happy, sad, and everything in between.
I know that regardless of what I weigh there will always be good days and there will always be bad days, that's life.

I do feel physically so much better having lost weight but I am not sure you could say
it has made my life happier.

I know that when I finally reach my goal I will have extra skin that I will not like so I am not
anticipating being "happy" with my body but I know I will not be unhappy either.

I try not to worry too much about who loves me but concentrate more on who I love and how I show that love.
You know, by losing weight I am here for my family and that does make me happy!
So maybe I am doing it to be happy.
I am now more confused than when I started!

I think that you are doing a wonderful thing, making sure you are around for your daughter.
That kind of love and devotion is so so much more than "happy".
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:25 PM   #7
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DiamondDeb,

What you wrote is so inspirational!

Thank you!
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:54 PM   #8
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I'm very sorry for your loss, Keytones...and the worry you are feeling right now. I actually *do* expect my weight loss to make me happier. I expect to physically feel better which will make me happier. The ability to move my body without struggle will be a constant source of joy to me...to feel athletic again...I cannot wait. The freeing of my constant fear that I will die young from a heart attack, stroke, or cancer...will be bliss. It doesn't cure everything, but in these ways, it will increase my happiness as well as a sense of pride in myself over what I have accomplished.
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:42 PM   #9
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Are you seeking happiness? Are you realistic about life at goal? Why are you doing it really?

First of all, I'm terribly sorry for your loss. Terribly thing to deal with. You ask why are we here. Well as far as self body image goes, I like to look good in my clothes and for once in my life I'd like to buy a summer dress and have a nice figure to go along with it. That's no the made reason I'm here though. The first time I started low carb was for a career I had an intention on pursuing. I had to lose weight to join the Navy, well I did. I lost 40lbs to join at 146lbs. I got sent overseas, dealt with separation anxiety and adjustment disorder. Gained back all the weight and then some---and I was sent home. Now at that point in my life, I was suicidal, depressed, anxious all the time, and not wanting to live anymore. I got out in November 2012. Since then I have a new job, finishing my masters, and I have a great hobby. It took me 4 months to decide that I can't go down this road of losing my self worth because of my weight, self image, and overall feeling terrible. I had the tools to start but no motivation. Well at the end of February I hopped on the scale and it read 206lbs. I was baffled. I tried to cure my pain with food for 2 years. NO MORE! I noticed I was having a hard time breathing and couldn't even sit comfortably anymore because the weight was overwhelming, I've never been that big in my life. So fast forward 3 weeks from then I've lost 11lbs and have a new self worth already, and a euphoric feeling about the weight loss because I simply am doing something positive in my life. Aside from weight loss, as mentioned before my mental health declined and my physical health was nothing to speak of either. So I am also here for my health because this lifestyle is the only one I've had work to lower BP, Cholesterol, and mentally make me feel good.

So am I here for happiness? Yes. Am I here for my health? Yes. Am I here for to change my life? Yes. If I don't lose another pound from today I will continue to have this lifestyle because it is what makes me feel the best about myself, and my health. Who needs sugar anyway??

Thanks for the thread to get us thinking!!!
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juliekaboolie View Post
I'm very sorry for your loss, Keytones...and the worry you are feeling right now. I actually *do* expect my weight loss to make me happier. I expect to physically feel better which will make me happier. The ability to move my body without struggle will be a constant source of joy to me...to feel athletic again...I cannot wait. The freeing of my constant fear that I will die young from a heart attack, stroke, or cancer...will be bliss. It doesn't cure everything, but in these ways, it will increase my happiness as well as a sense of pride in myself over what I have accomplished.
This is a great way of looking at weight loss. I'm doing LC to lessen joint pain and decrease the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Sure, there is also some vanity involved but I mostly want to lose weight for my health.
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:57 AM   #11
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I've been at goal for a while and losing the weight really did make me happier. It didn't solve all of my problems, nor did I expect it to (I've gained and lost this weight before). But I get very depressed when I'm overweight, lethargic and unable to do all the outdoors things that make life happier for me. I was wasting my life on the couch because I had no energy and couldn't do the things I enjoy most. Now I can hike and xc ski and snowshoe and canoe again, without excessive pain. That makes me happy.
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:15 AM   #12
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Losing weight doesn't solve every problem in life or make everything all better, but it does help. It removes the unhappiness from feeling uncomfortable with your body and from the problem of finding flattering clothes or being out of breath and winded from walking up a flight of stairs.

You still have problems at goal, it's just that being fat and unhappy and unhealthy is not one of them so it makes dealing with the other problems easier. It's like being wealthy, it doesn't make you happy all the time and carefree, but it does help with dealing with problems. For example, if you're in an accident and can,t work - you don't have to worry about paying your bills or having enough money. But, you are still dealing the problems of pain and recuperating.
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:50 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Key Tones View Post
I have heard before that weight loss cannot be the thing that brings happiness. I think that is true, yet, I find I am disappointed. I have hope that I can lose X more pounds, and I don't really think beyond that, but I think subconsciously, I have been banking on it.

I can think of examples of ladies that have lost a lot of weight due to major stresses in life. One of my old best friends lost 50 pounds when her husband threatened to leave over her weight. He left anyway. She became an exercise fanatic to deal with the stress and improve more.

My grandma lost a similar amount of weight when she divorced.

My MIL lost a lot weight for the same reason I did - my husband's declining health basically scared us into it and we hoped to lead him by example (in different ways). Now his passing has startled me into continuing on, seeking health to be here for my daughter. I need to be here for a long time; she has no one else to count on.

Yet, I know, deep down, somewhere in there I feel weight loss is going to solve my problems. I'll have a better career. I'll be happy. People will like me. I'll be loved. Yet, so far, it has not brought me those things and it I know I have some fear that it won't. I have gotten kudos and social approval, but that comes here and there and it fades.

What do you think? What is this? Media brain washing?

Are you seeking happiness? Are you realistic about life at goal? Why are you doing it really?
I just hit my ideal weight this week and nothing has really changed in my life, except I'm excited to buy some new clothes next week. Besides that same old, same old. But, I wanted lose the extra weight mostly for health reasons (I now have a normal bmi yay!). Losing the weight and reaching goal has also given me a big confidence boost and I'm now excited to do new things, like start exercising. Next week I'm also starting the process of going from a dark brown hair color to a blond, which is something I've wanted to do for a while but was to self concious to do it. Not anymore
My personality, attitude and life are still the same though, I was happy before I lost the weight and I'm happy now at goal.

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Old 03-22-2013, 11:00 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazills View Post
Are you seeking happiness? Are you realistic about life at goal? Why are you doing it really?

First of all, I'm terribly sorry for your loss. Terribly thing to deal with. You ask why are we here. Well as far as self body image goes, I like to look good in my clothes and for once in my life I'd like to buy a summer dress and have a nice figure to go along with it. That's no the made reason I'm here though. The first time I started low carb was for a career I had an intention on pursuing. I had to lose weight to join the Navy, well I did. I lost 40lbs to join at 146lbs. I got sent overseas, dealt with separation anxiety and adjustment disorder. Gained back all the weight and then some---and I was sent home. Now at that point in my life, I was suicidal, depressed, anxious all the time, and not wanting to live anymore. I got out in November 2012. Since then I have a new job, finishing my masters, and I have a great hobby. It took me 4 months to decide that I can't go down this road of losing my self worth because of my weight, self image, and overall feeling terrible. I had the tools to start but no motivation. Well at the end of February I hopped on the scale and it read 206lbs. I was baffled. I tried to cure my pain with food for 2 years. NO MORE! I noticed I was having a hard time breathing and couldn't even sit comfortably anymore because the weight was overwhelming, I've never been that big in my life. So fast forward 3 weeks from then I've lost 11lbs and have a new self worth already, and a euphoric feeling about the weight loss because I simply am doing something positive in my life. Aside from weight loss, as mentioned before my mental health declined and my physical health was nothing to speak of either. So I am also here for my health because this lifestyle is the only one I've had work to lower BP, Cholesterol, and mentally make me feel good.

So am I here for happiness? Yes. Am I here for my health? Yes. Am I here for to change my life? Yes. If I don't lose another pound from today I will continue to have this lifestyle because it is what makes me feel the best about myself, and my health. Who needs sugar anyway??

Thanks for the thread to get us thinking!!!
Jana
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:14 AM   #15
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I have a hard time with it. Usually I want to lose weight for vanity reasons. And for me, it's hard to stay on plan when that is the reason. I did a really strict migraine diet once and stuck to it like glue. I had NEVER in my life been so good on a diet, and it was VERY restrictive but I so so scared to be in pain! or to eat something that could cause my pain. It didn't work but that's another story.

Anyways when my husband was diagnosed with cancer a number of years ago, I lost a bunch of weight. I sometimes think I was trying to cure him through myself. I read all of these cure cancer through diet books... I just started eating SUPER healthy.

I think losing weight makes me happier. I certainly don't think it's the answer to all my problems, but I am happier when I am at my goal weight. I feel better, am more confident, etc.
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:21 AM   #16
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I think weight loss leads to happiness indirectly...it helps you to do things that make you happy. I mean you have to want to have more than losing weight to work towards...goals achievements...I didn't want to be the fat mom/grandma...I don't want to not be able to get down on the floor with my grand kids or have some stranger be the one to help pick up a toy they have dropped because I can bend down to get it myself.
You have to find out deep inside you why you want to lose the weight...looking good is superficial as I find there is always gonna be someone skinnier and prettier than myself...but, are they happier...although I want to be thinner I don't want to be superficial... I just want to be happy and healthy with myself and those who care.

You said it yourself you want to be healthy to help your daughter...but you have to help you first. I just posted in another thread the oxygen mask analogy...when on a plane and the O2 mask drops the attendant will tell you to put yours on first and not try to save someone else before doing so...you will pass out before you can get to them.

It takes a certain amount of selfishness to take care of yourself properly, but you have to or you can not help others. Your daughter will learn from your example and you will then get some happiness from that.

Take time to grieve but know that your daughter is grieving too...the longer she sees you not taking care of yourself the more sad she will be and she will have the fear of losing another parent looming in the back of her mind.

If I never get to goal I will at least be able to function somewhat normally as an adult in this world. Maybe you should not have a goal weight but set a goal to be able to do things with your daughter with the ultimate goal of teaching her good habits.

Good luck and I wish you success at achieving whatever goal you set for yourself.
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:01 PM   #17
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Everyone is different, I guess, but for me, the over weight is a symptom of many things that aren't working in my life (in addition, of course, to a carb addiction). I eat if I'm depressed, lonely, stressed. It is very easy to see in my food diary: the days I'm stressed, I'm hungrier and I eat more. I guess that if one somehow manages to lose the weight but doesn't address the underlying problems, one will be thin and still unhappy. Or perhaps once the food isn't there anymore to soothe and numb, one is able to see things more clearly, and sometimes you are not happy with what you see. I don't know. I found that once I couldn't (or wouldn't) have that bag of chips while watching TV I actually had to find something to do with myself and was kind of dismayed to find that all I did in my free time was eat and cook. Argh.

But if one sticks to plan, at least you know you have been able to do something quite difficult and amazing - lose the weight - and that if you've done that you certainly can overcome/change other things.
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:50 AM   #18
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Very interesting question. No I don't think weight loss in and of itself will bring happiness, but it can and will make life easier. I'm losing weight to stay as healthy as possible and to be able to do more and get more out of life. No it won't being happiness by itself but it definitely will make life easier by making you feel better, inside and out. There are too many miserable unhappy skinny people for me to think weight loss in and of itself will bring happiness. But being thin and fit will make it easier for you to pursue things that will make you happy.
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:55 AM   #19
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Thank you for your kindness. I do need it sometimes, but I am OK today. I am just looking for conversation on weight loss - why are you doing it.

That is a really great point. Who knows how long I could have gone on gaining weight. I had so little energy and just getting clothes out of the dryer was so hard. I would hate to think about my daughter having to do things for me. Great!
And that's the thing about being overweight, it never stops, a person doesn't just stay the same overweight size, you either keep getting bigger or you take control and lose it and keep it off. If you don't take control then it gets out of control and worse and worse as time goes by. There is no in between.
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:21 AM   #20
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I am happy with my weight loss, still have about 10 more ponds to go and some light toning, however, my hubby this weekend just told me my attitude changed??? We were out drinking for my bday fri night and he said I was flirting...no way...I was just being my normal friendly self. Plus he said some other mean stuff. Not going to go there on here, but I thought I was going to be happy but I can see he going to stand in my way. LOL!
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:46 AM   #21
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Anytime we do something that 'improves' us, we feel good about ourselves.
That's a good thing. Losing excess weight is hard to do, so the feeling of accomplishment
makes sense. Unfortunately these feelings will soon pass....If we are an unhappy person, for whatever reason, those feelings will return.
It's been said 'happiness is an inside job' The external things, car, job, money, etc. are certainly no guarantee of happiness.
Keep doing the things that make you feel good about yourself.
You will attract more of the same.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:51 AM   #22
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I don't know if being thin will make me happy. I know that being morbidly obese was making me miserable. I'm a heck of a lot happier now than I was, and I still have 50 pounds to go.

I also know that I can become obsessed with whatever I'm doing. Right now I'm a bit obsessed with losing weight. Is that a healthy obsession? Maybe not, but I'm going with it for now.
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:18 AM   #23
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Feeling physically well goes a long way to my happiness and weight is a part of that but it is kind of like asking what came first the chicken or the egg? I think in my case, it is the ketogenic aspect of my woe that brings me 'happiness'. My brain outside of that state was not a happy place to be.
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:28 AM   #24
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I just saw this the other day about a woman who list 180 lbs and found that it did not bring her the happiness she sought. Interesting read.

Woman who shed 180lbs after weight loss surgery reveals how 'the fairy tale of being skinny' was an 'astonishing' disappointment | Mail Online
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:40 AM   #25
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Although losing weight has brought some predictable happy events (more clothing options, not being the biggest person in the room, increased stamina for physical activities, etc) it is the PROCESS involved in losing weight that lends comfort and self satisfaction for me. I am finally in control of an aspect of my life that was previously out of control. Having tackled my weight makes anything seem possible as long as I am willing to commit and apply myself. Finally understanding that I alone am responsible for my actions and attitude is both empowering and super scary. But it's true.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:48 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by SadieJack View Post
I just saw this the other day about a woman who list 180 lbs and found that it did not bring her the happiness she sought. Interesting read.

Woman who shed 180lbs after weight loss surgery reveals how 'the fairy tale of being skinny' was an 'astonishing' disappointment | Mail Online
I read this too. She is a pretty bad example of a WLS story. She did lose a lot of weight, but Clearly she had underlying issues which surgery and weight loss couldn't fix. She also admittedly didn't follow doctors orders.

Losing weight, naturally or with surgery, isn't the solution to one's issues. It only solves a specific problem - being overweight.

Last edited by GAVIV; 03-24-2013 at 09:49 AM..
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:55 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by GAVIV View Post
I read this too. She is a pretty bad example of a WLS story. She did lose a lot of weight, but Clearly she had underlying issues which surgery and weight loss couldn't fix. She also admittedly didn't follow doctors orders.

Losing weight, naturally or with surgery, isn't the solution to one's issues. It only solves a specific problem - being overweight.
Agreed.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:59 AM   #28
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that's what I thought when I read it too. Weight loss can make you happier if you have things you want to do that your weight is keeping you from doing...or feeling comfortable doing.

But, losing weight won't automatically solve all of life's problems .
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:05 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by shelby'snana View Post
that's what I thought when I read it too. Weight loss can make you happier if you have things you want to do that your weight is keeping you from doing...or feeling comfortable doing.

But, losing weight won't automatically solve all of life's problems .
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^this^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:34 PM   #30
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This was a really interesting thread. I'm slowly coming to realize that this isn't a diet, but a way of life or woe. I actually told my hubby yesterday that I'm ok with messing up once in a while as long as I get right back on the horse. Am I going to eat sandwich again? probably. Will I have a baked potato (my kryptonite) once in a blue moon? sure. But the point of this is to not let food control me. I'm losing this weight to better my chances of having a baby. We've been ttc for 3 years and I have just been diagnosed with Insulin Resistance. Anyway, I seem to be getting off track I'm not really sure what the point of my post is lol, but I know that if I'm not happy now, being a smaller person won't make me happy either. It's important that we are happy with who we are as a person. Being happy with what we look like isn't the same as being happy on the inside. Not sure if any of this made sense, but it made me feel good to type it!
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