When I was pregnant, if you’d asked me what post-baby weight would make me happy, I’d have said 9 stone 3 or lower. When I got there, I looked and felt awful. My head looked too big for my body, and I wasn’t toned. So although my weight was ‘ideal’, I was far from being fit and healthy, and frankly, I was miserable.

A lot of people have a ‘goal weight.’ It might be ten stone, or 140lbs; the weight you were when you got married eight years ago. It might be 130lbs; the weight you were before having kids. Maybe it’s a size rather than a weight that you want to achieve; you were a size ten when you graduated and you want to get back there, or you’ve always longed to be a size fourteen.

The hard truth is this: reaching your goal weight, or your perfect size, won’t make you happy.

Why?

Because if you’re not happy now, you’re not going to be happy then, either.

The key to true happiness lies within. Yes, that sounds cheesy, but stop and think about it a moment. You might be unhappy or perfectly pleased with your physical appearance, but happiness depends on so much more than that. Sometimes, we can become so preoccupied with what we want to become, that we don’t take pride in what we are right now.

You want to know something? Right now, I am in the best shape of my life. I also weigh more than I ever used to (apart from being preggers, of course!). My body is tight, toned, and I feel fantastic. But you know why I FEEL fantastic? Because I continue to surround myself with supportive, happy friends and family. I have a good sense of humour, I enjoy my free time, and I love the work that I do. I love working out, eating well, and making daily decisions to continue on that path. Nothing at all to do with a number on a scale.

So what if you’re 20lbs overweight? If you’re taking steps to change that, you should be happy. You won’t lose that weight overnight, but you can and should change your mindset. Don’t think “When I get to ____ I’ll be happy.” Instead, think “I worked out today, I ate well; I made positive choices and that makes me happy.”

Take time to think about how you speak to yourself. Would you say that stuff to a friend, or to your daughter? When you’re pulling yourself apart in the mirror, stop and regroup. Think about how wonderful you are. You have so many talents, strengths, and capabilities.

Look at your life as a big picture; that glass isn’t just half full, it’s full to overflowing! Think of all the people and things on your life that being you joy; pets, kids, family, friends, new shoes, your car, your job. If something or someone in your life is not doing that for you, CUT THEM OUT. Don’t be afraid to get rid of negativity. Surround and immerse yourself in positivity, starting with yourself.