There has been a lot of confusion in recent years over whether or not to lose weight. On one side of the issue, there is the mainstream media with its usual campaigns full of skinny girls and reality television about getting thin. On the other side there is a growing encouragement to be happy with who you are and an increasing number of plus size models are being featured in ads.
Unfortunately, the one factor that tends to get muddled in this weight loss war is “quality of life”. For many, the only goal of losing weight is to look like the traditional American idea of beauty. For others, the concern is self esteem. But quality of life is the real reason to consider losing weight.
If you are stuck in the middle of the debate, then the trick is to examine the potential benefits and see if losing weight will actually improve your life, or if it will have no effect. This is especially true for those who are thinking about losing weight for the sake of image alone.
I have a gut
Losing that spare tire can do more than affect your looks. While having a lot of weight can cause problems anywhere, an ‘apple’ shape can be especially problematic. The fat in your belly area is associated with the largest risk of heart disease. Thankfully, it’s also the easiest fat to eliminate. In addition to reducing the risk of heart problems, losing your belly will make it easier to fit into clothing and may make daily activities easier.
I have trouble with stairs
One of the largest problems with weight is that it it makes the body work harder. If you’re having trouble climbing those stairs or walking long distances, then shedding a few pounds might just make it easier to do everyday activities. This is especially true if you have active children, as it will allow you to chase after them and even enjoy more time playing sports.
I can’t find nice clothes that fit
This is another big concern of people suffering obesity, and that’s a shame. But the truth of the matter is that the fashion industry caters mainly to smaller body types. Another problem is that body weight distributes differently from person to person, so it is very difficult for a designer to come up with an outfit that fits everyone well. For example, a shirt made for a large belly may not fit smaller arms, or pants may fit the hips and be too loose at the waist. A tailor has some capacity to fix these issues for a fee. As unfortunate as it is, if you’re having trouble finding clothes, then losing weight will make this area of your life somewhat better.
I have diabetes or other health problems
While losing weight might not solve all of your concerns, many health problems are linked directly to obesity. You may find that losing as little as ten pounds will lessen or even reverse many of your health concerns if you are overweight. If your doctor has suggested that you have or are at risk of diabetes, heart disease, or other serious issues because of your weight, then the benefits of weight loss are quite clear.
I am having financial problems
This is one of those areas smokers face, but they aren’t the only ones who suffer from budget problems due to their unhealthy habit. The next time you go shopping, take a highlighter. Mark off all of the snack foods and drinks on your grocery receipt, then add up the amount of money you spent on feeding your junk food habit and compare it to the rest of your grocery bill. You might find a small amount being diverted from healthy foods and household goods, but if the cost of unhealthy food is a significant percentage of your overall bill, then simply changing your eating habits could help improve your finances.
Junk food seems filling when you first buy it, but potato chips, for example, contain mostly air in the bag. For the same amount of money as one bag of chips, you could buy an entire sack of potatoes and make your own fries using a healthier oil such as olive or sunflower, sprinkled with low-salt seasonings. Potatoes are quite filling and may be eaten raw or in a variety of forms. Raw vegetables are also a wonderful snack which seem expensive until compared to what you normally buy. Healthy eating will not get you out of debt, but it could leave a few more dollars in your pocket.
I’m not popular or good looking
Sadly, this is a time when losing weight might not be the answer. Self-esteem is an internal issue, not external, and attempting to get skinny for this reason often leads to eating disorders. Learn to love yourself and pursue a high quality of life. Once you really love and value yourself you’ll automatically want to improve your physical health and maintain a well-groomed appearance.