You know, that reaction usually felt following one of life’s big moments like a graduation, a wedding, 21st birthday or even after a first kiss?
I’ve had my fair share of “is that all” moments and never really understood why I felt like I something was missing. Had I built up the experience so much in my head that reality didn’t stand a chance? Did I set my expectations too high?
Although these explanations might be true for some people and certain situations, I have come to realize, for me, it was something completely different. And it might be the same reason you sometimes feel “is that all” too.
For the past couple of months I’ve been Facebook stalking one of my friends as she preps for her wedding. Hey…we all do it!
Seeing and reading about all her excitement is really contagious. It’s beautiful to see her eyes sparkle in anticipation for her big day. But along with all the pictures of engagement parties and dress hunting, she’s also documenting her wedding body project AKA wedding weight loss.
**Important Equation Below**
Wedding (or any event) + Body Project = “Is that all?” feeling
In case you haven’t noticed, having the perfect wedding now means you must fit into a certain dress size and for many brides-to-be, their ideal wedding is only complete when this magical number is attained.
When a successful body project is the primary determinant of happiness you experience during a major life event, disappointment and regret are pretty much a guarantee. This is not because we have unrealistic expectations for what our body should physically transform into, but rather because a large emotional investment as well as time and energy are poured into looking a certain way rather than feeling a certain way.
Focusing our efforts and placing our happiness on the “success” of a body project robs us of life’s meaningful experiences and stops our ability to live in the moment. All which leaves us asking ourselves, “is that all?”.
With graduation is full swing, I can’t help but recall my college graduation; fully immersed in my eating disorder and anxiety ridden because I was forced to take the day off from the gym on top of eat at a restaurant where I had no idea of the menu’s calorie count. I sat in my seat with all the graduates, numb to the celebratory energy and completely consumed with my obsessive thoughts.
When we become so wrapped up in our body projects because we want to portray some media-derived image of success and perfection, we miss out on being fully present in our experiences both big and small. We watch life pass us by while we are left to wonder, “Is that all?”