I’ll Be Happy When…

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For too many years in my youth I had the assumption that I’ll be happy when I’m skinny I was very unhappy with my weight, “nothing” was working to lose it (I use quotes because I wasn’t REALLY trying), and I felt frustrated. I don’t know why I thought losing weight was the magical pill that would fix everything else that I was unhappy with in my life but I did.

For awhile it did kind of work. As I was steadily losing weight and getting attention and positive support from friends, family and coworkers, I felt happy and determined. Once I reached goal weight I felt confident and happy and was getting TONS of attention from men that I hadn’t really experienced before. That was a huge ego boost. Then I met Michael and we started dating. I felt happy to have found such an amazing guy.

I saw this quote online and wanted to share it:

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I followed this philosophy for a long time. While I was losing weight my #1 focus was reaching goal. Once I reached my goal weight, I flounder a bit and felt lost–that’s when I started running. My new goal was to run a 5k. Then an 8k, then Hood to Coast. Every year for the last 5 or so, I had a goal that I was working towards. Training for Hood to Coast. Training for Reach the Beach. Training for the Portland Century ride, etc etc. It helped having a goal. It made me focused, I felt happy that I had something I was working towards.

Last year was the first year I didn’t have a big goal I was working towards. I was still coming back from my knee injury and wasn’t cycling a ton. The frequent bike commute to work turned out to be about once a week and it wasn’t the entire route. I was slowly getting back to running but had lost the drive to run any races because I couldn’t do the mileage in order to train for it.

Getting engaged and planning a wedding has been taking over a lot of my life lately. Thankfully I’ve gotten all the vendors taken care of and booked so really, there isn’t much for me to do from now until around June. This helped me with my “I don’t have a big goal to work towards!” blues–at least a little bit. But I’m still feeling lost. I wish I had that same fire I had three years ago to challenge myself to do races and rides. Where did it go???

I wanted to run a 5k in 2014. I know I can do it. I’m up to about 2.5 miles running now. I can bump that up to 3.5 with some consistent training–which is hard in the winter because it rains so much in Oregon and I’m a wuss. And who wants to spend their whole winter on a treadmill?! As for cycling, I don’t see myself doing any big rides any time soon. I’d be happy with just being able to bike to work once or twice a week this summer.

So what do I do? I feel lost. Not sure what to plan for. Not sure where to focus my energy. Not sure not sure not sure!

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One thing I’m sure of is that I do not want to put my happiness on hold. I want to be happy NOW. Being unsatisfied with my job has clouded my moods. Gaining a few pounds this winter has made me feel down about my body. I do know that whenever I get home from work in a bad/sad/mad mood, Bella cheers me up. Her goofy face helps and she seems to be in-tune to emotions in the house. She’ll come up to me and lick my face and neck as if she were saying “CHEER UP MOM! LET’S HAVE FUN!” 🙂

I know part of my issue is not living in the moment. I’ve tried for decades to practice mindfulness. It’s so hard. I’m the type of person that lives in the future, or as this article calls it a Future Junkie. That is totally me. I’m a planner. Looking forward to my wedding, the honeymoon, planning our future and kids, etc. It’s hard to backtrack my brain and live in the moment. Partly because the current moment I’m in is making me dissatisfied. So I need to fix that!

Note to self: YOU DON’T HAVE TO WAIT TO BE HAPPY.

8 Responses

  1. Some people are never happy no matter what. You don’t strike me as one of those people, but it’s easy to fall into an unhappiness hole. I thought anti-depressants might help me out of the hole, but they really didn’t. So I just keep throwing things at the wall to see what sticks: exercise, juicing, Vitamin B, talking with friends, going to the movies. I know I feel happy when I’m valued and when I feel people are supportive so I try to find that. Practicing gratitude helps immensely. Remember Happiness is always a relative term. I don’t believe it’s a single destination.

    1. Winter is harder for me but Vitamin B and Vitamin D help. Exercise helps. But lately I’ve been feeling burned out on that too. I agree, when you feel valued, it’s easier to be happy!

  2. You have a goal of a wedding in the future. Just enjoy the moment of planning etc. It goes away and soon you’ll realize that all you did for months was plan the wedding and believe it or not you’ll miss the process. Enjoy it. Find a hobby away from exercise. I exercise 5 days a week, I need my down time. I workout right after work then rush home to my huge puppy (great dane) and then rush straight to my sewing room. I started out making cute little tote bags or diaper bags for friends who were expecting. Then after watching my sister use the diaper bag I made her to mop up the rain off of the football stadium bleachers I realized I needed to sew something that would last a lifetime. I started quilting. I’ve made absolutely beautiful keepsakes for my family. The best part is I start the project and it eventually ends which gives me time to focus on something else before I start another one. Your a positive thinker you’ll be just fine.

    1. Thanks for the comment and encouragement, Jenny! I think you are right about having another hobby. I’ve been thinking about that for awhile now. I love reading and read all the time but I need another hobby beyond that.

  3. I will admit that I too have the idea that I will be happy when I am skinny. The reason is that my weight hinders me so much. If I have more energy and feel better, I will be happy. You are right – I should be happy now. That’s hard to do.

  4. How about turning your efforts back to your book? I know it was a nasty set-back when your up-to-date version was stolen, would that be something you could focus on for a while?

    I do have to admit this suggestion has a selfish motive – I’m anxious to see your writing get published!

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