Are you one of those people who can set a goal for yourself and just tunnel vision until you achieve it? If you aren’t, welcome to the club. If you are, I can only assume you are an expert in witchcraft.

In the past I thought I was one of these determined people. Turns out I just developed an unhealthy obsession and lifestyle to head in the sorta right direction of my ultimate goal, which lets be honest, was pretty vague. All I wanted to do was lose weight. I didn’t want to lose X number of pounds, I didn’t want to be a specific size or fit into any outfit or look a certain way for an occasion (as many people do) but nope, see I just wanted to be as thin as I could get while also convincing myself I was so healthy in what I was doing. As I have mentioned before, I was tracking everything I did or consumed and weighed myself multiple times a day. I deprived myself of all the foods I enjoyed basically and thought I was doing what was best for my body and life.

Looking back on all the phases of my previous weight loss, anytime I had a specific goal it had to do with a weight or BF% because my strength was nothing impressive and I wasn’t training for anything measurable. Surprise ending to all that? I wasn’t any happier with myself or my life because I was now a size 0/2… So why do I mention all of this?

It took me years to figure out one simple concept: goals give me anxiety and I can work out purely because I enjoy it if I want to. I guess in a sense, I’m in recovery mode. Not that I want in any way to take away from the severe struggle that men and women with eating disorders deal with each and every day, but i will allow myself some credit in changing my mindset of the necessity to be thin and athletic and turn down cookies. Maybe i’m a little higher in body fat than I would like and my endurance isn’t where I would like it to be but you know what was worth it? Eating at my wedding and not regretting a thing. Planning our honeymoon at Disney World and not worrying about tracking my meals while we are there. Going to our nephew’s birthday with the cakes we made and actually getting to enjoy some without guilt.

Let me be clear on something: I don’t think there is anything wrong with setting goals, being healthy, tracking food, losing weight, etc. However, be conscious of your mental state before you start any of that. I was not in a place where it was ideal for me to take on all those new habits at once and so strictly right away. Weight loss doesn’t fix a broken self-esteem and as time goes on that won’t change the more you lose. Maybe you aren’t perfect but it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you making small changes and not tracking them.

I’m terrible with goals. I have realized this more and more in the past couple years. I think of new goals like every week but then I don’t bother or I give up or I realize that I don’t need a goal to be progressing in my life. That is the biggest thing for me, goals don’t give my life meaning and losing a bit of weight won’t make me a better wife or daughter. Being strong won’t make me not struggle with food sometimes. Self love will be a struggle for a while for me, I know this and I embrace it. This is my one goal I will stick to, I will be happy with my tiny body or my squishy body, I will be happy with my bare face, I will learn what it’s like to not criticize myself when I get a compliment, I am worthy of love from others but most of all from myself.

I hope that this applies to anyone reading it somehow. Let yourself find happiness in who you are right this second, flaws and all. Each day will be different, some will be harder than others, but now that you’ve read this far take a minute to be happy with who you are.