I was just like every other girl, typically jealous of those who had what I didn’t. But what started out as harmless jealousy quickly turned into a downward spiral, and it didn’t take long for it to become an obsession. The girls I stalked on Instagram were the definition of happiness, and unless I looked like them my life simply wouldn’t be good enough.
At first I was just motivated, and it felt really good. Pushing my body to the limit was rewarding, and resisting the doughnuts in the office showed just how impressive my willpower was. I wasn’t missing out on anything because each time I deprived myself I was one step closer to being a size where I could be truly happy. Life’s little pleasures were seen as a barrier in my journey; I’d be able to treat myself once I had achieved my goal and my life could finally start.
“…each time I deprived myself I was one step closer to being a size where I could be truly happy”
Fast forward through months of restriction and losing myself, and the realisation that the day was never going to come hit me harder than I could ever imagine. Stepping on the scale and realising I had reached my ‘goal weight’ left me feeling none of the feelings that I thought it would, and instead emptiness was what followed. I thought so much in my life would have changed, but the reality hit that the only thing that had really changed in my life was the number on the scale.
Mr Right hadn’t suddenly waltzed into my life, I felt more insecure in a bikini than I ever had before and I had completely forgotten what it was like to enjoy food without the guilt that had become attached to it. With none of my problems solved, there could only be one solution; time to make a new goal weight. Far from satisfied with what I had achieved, I would take to social media on the hunt for some other body to aspire to, another girl’s diet to try and replicate and a new exercise revelation to give me the body shape I desired.
I’m not sure exactly when I realised that my goal weight had nothing to do with my happiness and that online lives were far from reality, but I couldn’t believe how oblivious I had been to what was right in front of me. It’s easy to get wrapped up in trying to live your life like those you admire online, and convince yourself that there’s one single thing standing in the way between you reaching a state of happiness.
It’s only natural to want to have a good body, but it’s also completely natural to want to stuff yourself with pizza sometimes too. Real happiness comes from balance, and despite what the media insists on telling you; there’s far more to life than reaching an ideal body weight!