Operation Beautiful Virtual Book Tour

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on August 6, 2010

ob_2_small2 Toot, toot!

All aboard, the Operation Beautiful Virtual Book Tour!

I am excited to be talking about a body image topic that is very near and dear to my heart this morning- Happy Weights!

 

But first, a delicious, healthy, and energizing breakfast!

IMG_5438

YUM!!!!

IMG_5449  IMG_5445

Morning Glow Vegan Overnight Oats

Ingredients:

  • Classic Vegan Overnight Oats (1/3 cup oats, 1.5 tbsp chia seeds, 1 cup Almond milk, 1 tbsp Amazing Grass chocolate Amazing Meal powder)
  • 1/2 apple, chopped
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1 dried apricot, chopped
  • 1/2 Raw Energy Cookie Bites
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • Drizzle of maple syrup, optional

 

Directions: Mix classic vegan overnight oat ingredients and leave in fridge overnight or in fridge for 1-2 hours. When VOO is ready, stir in mix-ins (chopped apple, blueberries, apricot, 1/2 cookie bite, peanut butter. Serve and enjoy!

IMG_5448

This was soooooo delicious.

IMG_5446

Revved up and ready to roll!

IMG_5447

IMG_5238

Fun fact about the OB book- OSGMOM has the very first note in the entire book!

IMG_5246

You can also find me on pages 25 (my OB note) and 129-131 (I talk about the Superwoman Syndrome). I am so honoured to be a part of this great book!

OK, let’s begin.

aaaa (2 of 2)

I went on a post-it spree in Wal-Mart in honour of this post!

1 (1 of 1)

Happy Weight: What It Means To Me

The term Happy Weight seems like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?

I mean, who is ever happy with their weight?

I define a Happy Weight as a weight that your body can maintain with relative ease where you feel healthy, energetic, and sane.

How many women do you know who have said to you, ‘I am at my happy weight?’ and then 2 months later they still say the same thing? And a year later they still say the same thing? It is usually along the lines of, ‘In 10 pounds I will be at my happy weight’ or ‘Just 5 more pounds to lose until I am happy with myself.’

At least for me it always was.

Part of the problem is that the weight we think will make us happy is often not the right weight for our body.

The weight that we desire and the weight that the media tells us we should be is often NOT the weight our own body is happy at. This happy weight will be different for every single one of us. My Happy Weight is not the same as yours and your Happy Weight is not the same as your sisters or your best friends. We are all unique.

It took me years to figure this out. In the process my weight went up and down and up and down.

Many women pick a specific number on the scale that they want to reach. We chose our goal and we do everything in our power to get there and stay there. Often in the process, we lose ourselves and forget that we have worth outside of this goal.

An ‘unhappy weight’ is a weight that we do not feel our best at energy wise, health wise, and hunger wise.

For years, I used to battle with myself, with food, and with the scale to maintain my weight. I fought the battle every single day to stay at that weight. Every morning when I opened my eyes, the first thought in my mind was about my weight. I vowed to eat less and to workout more. To stop bingeing. At night, I would often cry into my pillow, ashamed at myself for eating ‘too much’ food or for being weak and bingeing on junk food. The cycle of shame, guilt, and desperation went on for years.

I always told myself in 10 pounds, I would finally be happy. All I had to do was lose 10 pounds and achieve ‘x’ weight and my life would fall into place. In 10 pounds, I could eat normally, binges would stop, and I could stop hating myself. All I had to do was lose 10 pounds and my problems would be solved.

I would love myself in 10 pounds….but not yet.

Not yet.

For myself, and for many women, the number on the scale is sadly a barometer for our own self-love and self-worth.

If the scale tipped higher, I hated myself a bit more. If it tipped lower, I was a better person worthy of at least a small amount of love, but of course not fully until I achieved my goal weight.

Not yet. Some day though.

I promise.

Well, I finally did lose those 10 pounds and when I got there I realized that the number was actually not my happy weight. I couldn’t love myself yet because- wait for it- I actually had a new goal weight! I was mistaken before. I thought my happy weight was 10 pounds less, but I was wrong, it was actually in another 5 pounds.

I guess I was wrong.

I would love myself someday, but….

Not yet.

Not yet.

5 more pounds, and I promise that you can be happy again. You can eat more in 5 pounds. I can eat normally again. I will love myself. I will be able to concentrate on my school work. I won’t binge when I lose 5 pounds. I will be free of the monsters that tell me I am no good.

These thoughts are easily justified in the mind of someone suffering with disordered eating. You are never good enough. Life passes you by as you chase after happiness in a number.

The problem- and I didn’t figure this out for years- was that when I allowed the scale to be a barometer for my happiness, the number will never be good enough. I will never be happy living this way. Happiness is not derived from some extrinsic factor, it has to come from within to have a lasting impact.

soap So many women chase a specific number on the scale. When we approach it, it slips away from our grasp like a wet bar of soap. We try desperately to cling harder to it, and it shoots in the opposite direction. We trip and fall many times chasing it. The harder that I clung to my strict diet and exercise regime, the worse my binges got and the more the scale climbed and climbed which only perpetuated the negative thoughts and desire to restrict. It is an extremely hard cycle to get out of.

[Image source]

So how did I find my happy weight?

It took me years and a lot of hard work to find my happy weight, but I can now confidently say that I am there. I attribute this to several choices that I made along my journey. These are my own personal choices and I do not assume that they are necessary for others. It is simply my own experience and what worked for me.

1) I claimed responsibility for my happiness

  • For so long, I felt powerless about my own happiness with myself and my body-image. I felt like I couldn’t change myself, my thoughts, or my actions. One day it occurred to me that I had to finally accept responsibility for my happiness. If I didn’t, who would?

2) I ditched the scale

  • While I don’t think scales can make us unhappy (ultimately, we have the power to decide that!), I do think the scale was negative for me. To this day I do not weigh myself. The scale can be a useful tool for many people, but it was poison in my life and I chose to stop weighing myself. I have never been happier since ditching the scale.

 

3) I got professional help

  • Having suffered from an eating disorder since the age of 12, I strongly believe the only way I could beat the negativity and find my happy weight was to seek out the help of an experienced professional. I tried and failed many times on my own, but things started to fall into place when I had the counsel of a loving professional. You have to want the help first though. My commitment and determination + a loving professional = the right tools for progress. There is no shame in talking to someone!

 

4) I stopped counting calories

  • Just like scales, calorie counting can be a useful tool for weight loss. However, in the hands of the wrong individual (like myself) calorie counting turned into an obsession. I couldn’t stop even when I tried and it took over my life. I had to get rid of calorie counting and I instead chose to listen to my body’s hunger signals. It took me years to be able to do this successfully. For so long I had denied my hunger that I found it was almost impossible to listen once I tried. The worst part was that I continued to binge even when I stopped counting calories because my body didn’t trust me. However, overtime my body trusted me again and I became in-tune with my body’s needs. This does not happen over night…patience is a virtue.

 

5) I exercise for FUN and for a healthy personal challenge (not just to burn calories!)

  • I never focus on how many calories I burn during workouts anymore. I focus on how I feel and I do things that I enjoy like racing. Find what you enjoy and stick with it. Set goals. See what your body is capable of! Make it an adventure.

 

Today, I can’t tell you how much I weigh (because I don’t know), but I can tell you that I am at my Happy Weight. I know this because I eat healthy foods when I am hungry and I exercise in a moderate amount. Some days I overeat or indulge in too many sweets, but other times I pass up on dessert. It is all about finding a balance. I don’t starve myself anymore and my body feels no need to binge. My body is happy because it stays about the same size and my clothes fit how they should. If my pants get a bit tight, I know to pass up on a few desserts or extra servings here and there. Nothing extreme anymore.

For the first time in my life, I don’t care how much I weigh because I know that I am healthy and happy. As long as I have this, no number will ever be able to dictate how I feel about myself again.

I decided that all scales should come with a disclaimer when you open up the package…

IMG_5390

Half way through writing this disclaimer, I was overcome with emotion and I broke down into tears. I wasn’t expecting to feel those intense emotions after all this time. I guess my heart still remembers the pain I went through for many years.

The fight was worth it.

I am worth the fight.

And so are you.

If you would like to be entered in a random draw to win a copy of the Operation Beautiful book, please leave a response below.

What would your ‘Scale Disclaimer’ read? What does a happy weight mean to YOU?

Let's get social! Follow Angela on Instagram @ohsheglows, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Google+

Previous Posts

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Page 9 of 9« First...«56789
Roxy August 7, 2010 at 12:50 am

Thank you for such a lovely post. As I travel through my ED recovery I have found that your blog has helped me understand more clearly myself and what I deserve. Thank you for your reinforcing words that have touched me so much. I Love myself these days more than even when I was 10lbs lighter <3

Reply

Annie August 7, 2010 at 2:12 am

I love this post and can relate to what you experienced in the past. I agree! Scales SHOULD come with warnings. No joke. What you wrote in your note is so profound. But what would mine include?
Something about only having 24 hours each day. I get to decide how each moment is spent. Removing clothing, jewelry, testing the scale several times during the day…how much time is wasted? It’s not worth it! Move on and break up with the scale, baby! You’ll be so much better off. :)

Reply

Stacey @ Tipping the (Kitchen!) Scales August 7, 2010 at 2:27 am

I am still trying to find my ‘happy weight’. After years of restricting and then bingeing, I had nothing but contempt for my body and my food choices. I hated myself and valued who I was based solely on how much I had eaten, or what the scales said. I weighed in everyday, and during my bingeing phase watching the number keep increasing was soul destroying. I lost confidence in a big way!

However, since finding blogs like yours I have been able to stop overeating and am now trying to eat when I am hungry and find balance. It is really hard and I still think I eat too much; this could be one of the stages of overcoming binge eating or it could just be my perception, who knows?! I now exercise for fun (which is something I never thought I would say!!), never weigh myself and don’t even think about calories. My focus is on trying to be the best version of myself that I can be, without anything having to be forced.

We often think life will be different in a smaller size. In reality it’s actually no different, and in many cases can even be worse!

Reply

kaila August 7, 2010 at 3:50 am

what an amazingly important topic. my scale disclaimer would read: WARNING! this prodcust may cause low self esteem, bad body image, and overall poor health. for best results: DO NOT USE!

Reply

D August 7, 2010 at 6:42 am

Thank you for this post!
My happy weight would be when I feel at peace with my body, don’t try on more than 1 outfit (okay, maybe 2 outfits) before I leave the house, and most importantly: feel enough self-worth to go out and accomplish my dreams.
I am not at a happy weight right now, but as you said– it is up to me to take the step toward a happier existence– this does not necessarily mean a change in my weight! This first step is attitude.
Your post definitely reminded me of this today. :)

Reply

Ashley August 7, 2010 at 8:17 am

Thank you so much for this post. It has given me a lot to think about!

My scale disclaimer would say “WARNING: No matter what this number is, you will never be happy with it. Why bother stepping on it at all?”

I struggled with an ED during the end of high school and beginning of college. (I’m 23 and have graduated now, for reference.) I got help, gained weight, and thought that was that. But since I started exercising with regularity six months ago, I have been losing weight. You’d think that would be a good thing, but I was 5’1″, 108 lbs. to begin with. I am now 98 lbs., and even though I feel happy that my body is finally smaller again I know in my heart that this is not my “happy weight.” I have to take a nap everyday because I’m so tired, obsess about calories like I used to, and my hair is falling out again.
My body is trying SO hard to tell me that it doesn’t want me to be at this weight, but I’m having a hard time listening. I like being thinner. I feel prettier. I like fitting into the new, smaller clothes I bought. Unfortunately, those things are coming at a price. My body is not what it used to be. It’s weaker. I know that. I’m just petrified to get to my body’s “happy weight” again.

Reply

Urban Turtle August 7, 2010 at 8:29 am

My scale disclaimer would say:

“WARNING: This device can trick you into feeling badly about yourself. REMEMBER: No scale can measure how wonderful you are.”

I have been at a “happy weight” for the past 6 months, and I really have never been happier. I’ve learned to enjoy breakfast, cooking, and eating in general. And I’ve learned not to be obsessive about exercise, and to be kinder to myself. A happy weight for me means that I have energy and a zest for life. I have more energy to give to others as well, because I am not using it all up struggling with food/body image issues. I love not looking at the scale! : )

Reply

JJ August 7, 2010 at 8:53 am

Scale disclaimer: The number on this scale reflects ALL of you, muscle, bone, tendons, blood, water, electrolytes, fat, the fiber in your gut!…ALL of you! Don’t base your life off the “number”. What matters is that you take care of yourself – not only the physical (which this scale reflects), but the emotional, mental, and spiritual. Only step on if you promise to admit your life is worth MUCH MORE than the number!

Reply

Kristina August 7, 2010 at 9:47 am

Your post really hit me, because every single experience you talked about with your disordered eating was an experience I went through, too. Every day I felt like there was no happiness, no hope. All I could think of was how much I had eaten. I was consumed by my need to be THIN, be “beautiful.” I thought that if I could drop those pounds, people would like me more, I would be happy and radiant and life would be perfect. I glorified my ideal weight!

Like you, it wasn’t after ditching the scale that I was able to start recovering. Now I judge my weight not by a number, but by how my clothes fit. I don’t deprive myself anymore. I can’t say I’m 100% better, but I can feel that every day, I learn to love my body for how it is, right now.

To me, a person’s “happy weight” is not about a number, but about a mindset. It is when that person can honestly say that they love their body, when they can look in the mirror and see inner beauty, not flaws.

My scale disclaimer would read: This number does not define your worth as a human being. How beautiful you are on the inside is not tied to the number on this screen.

Reply

Bianka August 7, 2010 at 10:29 am

awesome post! you are truly an inspiration :)

Reply

Gypsy August 7, 2010 at 11:51 pm

Late reply but I’ve been waiting to have the time to sit down and really read through everyone’s posts.
I hope you read this Angela because you are helping so many women. I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now and not only do I look forward to your delicious recipes, and your funny posts, your beautiful pictures, your insights, and getting a glimpse into your peaceful and fun life, but for the first time in my life I’ve started feeling less guilty about enjoying food and not having to count every calorie and instead putting good wholesome food into my body.
I never used to even eat bananas and mangos or fresh juices because they were high in calories. It just seems so silly sometimes.
Sometimes I would forego activities with my fiance because going on a hike wouldn’t burn enough calories and I would go alone to the gym instead. After reading your blog and seeing you and Eric go on bike rides and runs together it made me realize that’s what really makes you happy and healthy!
I never even knew until I read this that’s what people mean when they say “I’m at my happy weight.” I thought your happy weight was what you wanted to get the scale down to.
It’s crazy how even 1 pound can affect the way I feel about myself – whether I’ve won or failed.

You are really making a difference. Thanks for helping me become a happier and healthier woman :)

Reply

Carley August 8, 2010 at 1:19 am

Awesome post Angela!! My scale disclaimer would read; ‘You’ll need me to determine your goal and if you don’t set healthy boundaries as to how often you get on me I will become your life’. I do not: determine happiness, make you prettier or uglier, change your heart or make you smarter. I simply offer a rough outline of your progress.

A happy weight to me means enjoying getting up in the morning and being excited to eat breakfast and make healthy meals throughout the day without my thoughts being consumed by food and/or exercise. It means not planning my life around food. It means feeling confident and realizing no one else can be me and I need to live fully the body and life I have been given!

Reply

kelsey August 8, 2010 at 2:23 pm

love this post!!!! :]
as for a scale disclaimer, i don’t have one. and i don’t think i need one, either. i will never go near a scale ever again! i suppose that’s its own disclaimer….

Reply

Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul August 8, 2010 at 6:55 pm

Just wanted to let you know that this was my all-time favorite post of yours! What a beautiful and important message. Thanks for sharing. It’s going up on my page under my favorites!

Reply

Melissa @ TryingToHeal August 8, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Such a beautiful post Angela. This has reassured me during my struggles that I can find my happy weight and truly be happy through and through one day.

Reply

Sarah Lynn August 9, 2010 at 3:01 am

Reading your words just made my chest clench up and my eyes fill with tears. I am in awe of your beautiful outlook and grateful to have read this post tonight.

That picture with the disclaimer is just… emotional. It IS a war, every day. Thanks for this, no wonder you have so many comments :)

xo

Reply

Marathon Bound Gal aka Grace August 9, 2010 at 10:45 am

Wow, this totally hit home for me. At one point I’d lost 90 lbs. and went from 230 lbs. to 140 lbs. I thought I was a happy person at that point but truly I was not. It wasn’t until I continued training for triathlon and figured out that is where my happiness lied and not what the scale was telling me each day that I stepped on it. Like all of you, that number pretty much consumed me and I would become totally depressed and very unhappy with myself if I’d step on it and didn’t see what I expected it to be every time. I am now, I believe at a happy weight. I gained about 20 lbs. and I know that with the lifestyle I lead, it’s not about the number it’s about how I feel and if I want to have some sweets or a drink and my pants are a bit too tight, so be it. Not as big of a deal for me anymore.

Thanks Angela for writing a great blog on this subject. I’m going to get Operation Beautiful from Amazon. I’ve been absent these few days from reading your blog and let me tell you reading your blogs makes me happier than almost anything. You always seem to put a smile on my face!!!

Reply

Kristy August 9, 2010 at 11:01 am

What an amazing post! I just hopped over here from the couch potato athlete’s blog and I am so glad I did. I can’t wait to get this book! You have such a positive outlook, I really enjoyed reading your blog. And guess what, I ditched the scale a long time ago!!! Looking forward to following you! Thank you!

Reply

Kaitlin With Honey August 9, 2010 at 8:41 pm

Beautiful post. It made me tear up a little bit!

Reply

rhonda August 14, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Thanks for those words from the heart, Angela.

rhonda

Reply

Mo August 18, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Perfection in a post!

Reply

Claire August 21, 2010 at 10:23 pm

I was wondering, what do you recommend substituting for chia seeds? I’ve never heard of them and only have walnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds on hand. Would these work and how much should I put in your vegan overnight oats recipe?
Thanks a lot and keep posting, I read ten times a day and love your blog!
xxo

Reply

Molly July 29, 2012 at 8:51 am

This post was truly beautiful. I, myself have dealt with an eating disorder, and still am…currently in recovery..and I’ve found your website extremely helpful with getting my eating habits back on track! I’m being healthier and feel so much better about myself. & reading this post brought me to tears..I shared the disclaimer picture with a couple of my friends who also suffer with an ED, so inspiring <3

Reply

Amber September 13, 2012 at 5:50 am

That was a great post to read. Im recovering from an eating disorder myself and for me I dont even know what a Happy Weight would be anymore because ive been so unhappy with my weight for so long. The scale has really dictated my way of life and how much I should and shouldnt eat for so long. Its been so hard to try and find that happy medium to be happy with myself and not hate myself so much for maybe enjoying food. Ive been working so hard to overcome this battle of an ED, but it def gets the best of me. So when I read your post it def touched me and it also makes me want to fight a little harder to want to get better, but most of all it helps to know sometimes that im not alone in the awful fight. So I Thank you!!!!!

Reply

Hanna-marie November 21, 2013 at 10:10 pm

Hello Angela,
Thank you so much for this post. I am currently struggling to overcome anorexia nervosa. You are an inspiration for me, and a light to show that I can beat this thing. Thank you so much Angela.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: