I had been around 6 years old when I found relaxation\. I was 7 when I learned that my friends at the kitchen cabinet not seemed to solve my problems. They made them even worse, if anything. By the time I turned 13, I knew I had to search for answers elsewhere.

Because I took comfort from meals in such a young age, I spent all my youth and adolescence trying to get rid of weight. I would often say I was”on a diet” I hooked onto any quick repair encouraged online or on TV: meal replacement shakes, dietary supplements, cleanses, pre-assembled frozen”low-cal” dishes – you name it. I’d try anything if it guaranteed to allow me to shed the pounds and then reflect the man I wanted to be.

In my head, losing weight might mean so much more than a tighter tush along with a specified jawline. It’d make me feel unworthy. It would eliminate the pain of rejection. It would decrease the harm that I was so deeply hoping to run away from, the constant sensation of being unworthy.

I was 17 when I started to drop the weight and my dieting became even more extreme. It started with several pounds and a lot of compliments, which have been initially intoxicating. That instant rush of validation was addictive – I sensed noticed and accepted, and just like all my troubles were finally starting to melt out with the heavy perspiration of a tough workout.

Within the course of the next few years, I dropped a total of 70 pounds through a poor combination of healthy eating, unhealthy eating, exercise, and also absurd fads. I’ve always been a go-getter, so enjoy any other facet of my life, I put my head to losing weight and did not stop until I’d accomplished my goal. But when I eventually reached my”target weight” – that the number I just knew would instantly change my entire lifestyle – I felt much emptier than I ever had earlier. The more weight that I lost, the less impressive it turned into everyone around me. (Sometimes, they even appeared to be concerned.)

In a world of quick fixes, we are rarely told that what should be repaired actually lies within.

It’s hard to describe this feeling. It is as though you’re digging for a block of gold at the bottom of a giant torso of sand. You dig and dig and digonly to see that the gold never existed. It was a trick sold to you by society, and now you need to set off on a search to find that treasure somewhere else. At some point, you stop looking, because you simply can’t take the disappointment . No matter how much weight you lose or lean muscle you put on, it never feels like enough.

Then, one evening you look in the mirror and realize that, somewhere along the road , you dropped who you were when this journey first started. You begin to remember how hurt you were afterward and appreciate just how far you have come. You truly feel prepared to give up the hopeless standards you have set for yourself. Ready to stop chasing that invisible treasure.

My body has been many sizes, both big and small, but end of the spectrum caused me joy or satisfaction, or solved any of my problems. The flood of compliments at the beginning of my weight loss journey never truly satisfied the void inside me. It was a hole no amount of meals or diet pills could ever fill, since the problem was never my weight in any respect. In a world of quick fixes, we’re rarely informed that what needs to be repaired really lies within.

When I began to work more on my self-worth than my size, what shifted. I searched for solutions or validation from anyone else. I understand that I’m worthy. At any weight. In any dimension. I’m worthy. And that is better than gold.