The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that at any given time two-thirds of all American adults are on a diet to either lose weight or prevent weight gain. Of those, 29 percent are men and 44 percent women. Yet only 5 percent of these dieters will be successful at keeping the weight that they lost off.
What are the typical goals of weight loss? Ask many people that question and you will hear things like upcoming wedding or bikini season. Check back with those people in a month and see how they are doing with their weight loss efforts. Usually, they will have fallen off the rails and quit, opting to either skip the wedding, reunion or other event and either wearing a sensible, black one-piece or never going to the beach again. Using a singular event for motivation for a weight loss goal is never going to work for long term, healthy weight loss especially when you look at how unmotivated you have been up to this point. The goals of weight loss actually have to go a little deeper and they must be a little more meaningful. And no, I do not mean that you should be trying to make your old high school rivals green with envy.
Goal One: Better Health
When you think of your excess weight in terms of your general health and well being, it should scare you to death. Are you aware that your excess weight could be killing off your heart, choking out your brain cells and smothering your lungs? Do you realize how hard your pancreas must work to continually pump out insulin to your body because you are flooding it with high glycemic foods? And, have you ever stopped to think that your creaking, cracking and aching bones and joints would probably creak, crack and ache a lot less if they did not have so much to carry?
Losing weight to gain better health should be your first priority, goal one. Think about it this way: You would lose weight to look good for people you see once a year at most, but you do not want to lose weight so that you can feel good around the people you see every day?
Goal Two: Better Mental Health
How many times have you stood in the mirror and literally burst into tears? Is it more than a couple? Or, you how many times have you gone to the mall and tried on clothing only to come home feeling more miserable than you thought possible because you are nowhere near your ideal size? Depression is a real disease that can be exacerbated by excess weight, and one that can be brought on by it as well. Simply put, you can become depressed if you are overweight or if you already depressed, being overweight can make you feel even worse.
Goal Three: Better Sexual Health
You do not have to be thin to enjoy sex; however, if you are feeling self-conscious about your body, then you may not relax enough to enjoy intimacy. You are not going to lose all of your weight in a matter of a few days and you cannot deny yourself or your loved one the pleasure of skin contact. Relearning to enjoy each others company can be a very big ego boost, and can help you reinforce the goals of one and two. And think of this: Sex counts as exercise too.