We often measure our success as women in numbers — judging ourselves in terms of pounds, size, and age. Lower numbers indicate success, while higher equal failure. And as such, we’ve developed a counter-intuitive association between losing and gaining. In our worlds, losing equals success and gaining equals failure.
We focus on losing weight, lowering our sizes, taking years off our faces. But consider for a moment how refreshing it would feel to focus on losing the following instead:
judging ourselves from the outside in
And instead of worrying about gaining weight, going up in size, or showing years on our faces, how great would it be if we could gain these?:
experiencing ourselves from the inside out
Our culture has taught us the convoluted notion that losing superficial aspects of ourselves like weight will lead to positive internal states like happiness. But then there always seems to be one more step to take, one more improvement to make, one more product to buy. That carrot is continually dangled farther and farther away, making us feel like failures, and drawing us toward that extra slice of carrot cake for temporary relief. This cycle may be self-defeating to us, but it also helps the beauty and diet industries gain billions of dollars in revenue, while losing nothing.
Maybe it’s time to reexamine what losing and gaining really mean.