At What Point, Do You Decide to Be Happy With What you See in the Mirror?

Kate Conradie
Dec 9, 2019 · 4 min read

When will you look in the mirror and be happy with what you see?

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Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

I don’t know at what age I became conscious of my weight and my body shape. Probably around the age of 12 or 13.

I decided around that time, that I needed to be in shape and lose weight. I was putting on weight. Probably normal for a girl going through puberty. Since then I have been in and out of the gym trying to keep in shape and almost never happy with what I see in the mirror.

I always felt like I was trying to lose weight, even though I am healthy, fit and in great shape. I run half marathons and go to the gym about 5 times a week. My partner and I live a healthy active lifestyle and we exercise and run together. We eat healthy and nutritious meals. And we also indulge and eat ice-cream or dessert on occasion.

And at some point, I want to look in the mirror and say I am happy. This is it. I am happy with my body as it is now.

Maybe I could eat better or exercise harder and longer. Maybe I could lose a little bit more weight but to look like what?

It is exhausting to be in a permanent state of losing weight.

I am not desperate to lose weight anymore. I was about a year ago. But losing weight has very little impact on the inside. If you struggle to love yourself already, then losing weight will never be enough. There will always be more you can do. You will always beat yourself up about the tiny fat around your tummy or thighs.

Last year I told myself I just wanted to lose enough weight to fit into a pair of black jeans that were too tight. I did that this year. Sometime around June, the black jeans fit my body again. Snugly and not too tight. I was happy temporarily and then came, what next?. What else am I going to do to keep losing weight?

And that is exhausting, never being happy even when you achieve your goals.

There are many reasons why even when we reach our imagined ‘ideal weight,’ we aren’t happy. Our ideal weight is not something we should be aiming for. We should aim for a healthy lifestyle and for a mind and body that is healthy and fit.

I am looking in the mirror now and I am happy with what I see.

It's exhausting to always be looking for ways to lose more as opposed to loving what I see.

There is no ideal weight.

No ideal standard of beauty.

There is no magic number on the scale that will make you love yourself.

I don’t want to lose weight anymore.

Almost every woman I meet is trying to lose weight. Or has expressed the desire 10 times or more in her lifetime. Losing weight is part of our everyday conversation. Weight loss and keeping in shape is a conversation I have had many times with my friends.

Looking skinny is a compliment.

What the heck? Why is skinny beautiful?

Skinny is not compliment and we should remove it from our vocabulary.

You will never be happy if weight loss is your goal.

Probably because we place too much importance on weight loss. I have looked at skinny people on Instagram and fitness influencers and thought: they must have no problems because they are so skinny and in shape. They must love themselves unconditionally.

But I was wrong. Losing weight will not take all the problems away. Losing weight will not make me love myself and never feel down again.

Losing weight may make my clothes fit better but it will not make my life better.

There is no happy weight.

Happy weight is a myth. There is no number on the scale and progress picture that will make you happy forever. Because you will always be looking for more.

I was happier when I wasn’t recording my weight. I don’t weigh myself but I do take progress pictures. I stopped for about a year. I stopped obsessing.

I stopped taking a picture every month hoping to see a change.

I was happier. I looked in the mirror and was content. Then I started taking progress pictures again. I was losing weight but I wasn’t happy with what I saw in the mirror because I had not reached my ideal weight or what I thought I should look like.

I am stronger and fitter.

And that is more valuable than weight loss. Who cares how much we weigh or whether our progress pictures are Instagram worthy. What is more important is how we feel. Whether exercise uplifts us. Whether we eat food that is tasty and nutritious and keeps us fuelled for longer.

At some point, we have to decide when to be happy. When to love ourselves. I am deciding that now. I am happy with what I see in the mirror. I don’t need to lose any more weight.

I am going to be living my life and enjoying every moment I can. Even if that means my weight will fluctuate.

What is the point of living to make ourselves disappear?

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Thanks to Jonathan Irwin

Kate Conradie

Written by

I am a Lawyer, Writer, Reader and Traveller. From Johannesburg, South Africa. I am writing to find my voice. Fortune favours the brave.

Age of Awareness

Stories providing creative, innovative, and sustainable changes to the ways we learn

Kate Conradie

Written by

I am a Lawyer, Writer, Reader and Traveller. From Johannesburg, South Africa. I am writing to find my voice. Fortune favours the brave.

Age of Awareness

Stories providing creative, innovative, and sustainable changes to the ways we learn

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