Marie Claire Reminds Us to Avoid Magical Thinking!

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In the July Marie Claire, there’s an interesting article on page 94 titled “What I Miss about Being Fat.” The author, who’s lost 40 pounds—slowly over several years—talks about coming to grips with the loss of her excess weight. As in ‘sad to see ya go’ sentiments vs. ‘don’t let the door hit ya in the ass’ kind that most of us would feel.

She admits to some magical thinking along the way in which she envisioned a whole new life for herself. A better body, cute clothes, improved health, renewed sex appeal. Perhaps all her deepest insecurities suddenly shed along with the extra poundage. But it seems that reality, however attractive, never really panned out.

Sure, you may look and feel better, but the problems you had when you were fatter are the same problems you have when you’re thinner.

The letter from editor-in-cheif Joanna Coles commiserates that women, no matter if we want to lose 5 or 50 pounds, usually share in this altered belief pattern—visualizing that all our worries will suddenly melt away along with the excess weight. We’ll be prettier, more successful at work and have an affair with Ryan Gosling. Well, some of us would.

And the same can be said about any major physical change women undergo be it Botox, a boob job or a butt lift.

We all tend to think that once we have the desired body improvement all will be well with the world. Essentially, that all will be well within ourself.

But the thing many of us fail to take into consideration is that we’re still the same person fat or skinny, pre C- cup or post booty lift. Those things, while they may make us feel better ourselves and happier with our appearance, will never be the source of happiness, success, love or money we fantasize them bringing. You won’t get the promotion solely because you look five years younger or 10 pounds thinner, and Ryan Gosling won’t be sexting you anytime soon. Drats!

Truth is, you’ll still have the same problems, the same insecurities, the same fears, the same failures—only now you’ll just be thinner, bigger chested or younger looking.

So before you go out and do anything drastic, whether it’s surgery or a starvation diet, think about the end result for a minute. What’s the pay off? Picture yourself 25 pounds lighter, 5 years younger looking. Maybe less tired looking with bigger boobs, no crow’s feet, or the annoying eleven crease between your eyes wiped smooth. All looks great. On the outside.

But how do you feel inside? Are you more successful? Is your relationship fixed? Did you find the perfect partner? Have all your insecurities been erased? Are you happier? Do you have more money, more free time, more friends, more love? Probably not.

So don’t confuse improving your physical self with qualities that likely won’t be born of those changes. Improving something physical may be a great idea. But don’t give in to magical thinking.

Thanks Marie Claire for the reminder.

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