Why Do You Really Want to Lose Weight?
By Carolyn Richardson
Aside from lowering your risk for chronic disease, living longer, and being a good role model to your children, some have emotional and psychological reasons for wanting to lose weight. Without delving into those reasons, we may find ourselves unable to maintain our goal weight, or worst, lose the pounds only to repeat our old lifestyle because we’ve not yet addressed our past issues. I confess to having irrational thoughts as to why I wanted to lose weight leading up to my journey of losing 50 pounds. Some I thought were positive motivation for weight loss, but at second glance, may have hampered me from embracing life. Below are some common lies people give for wanting to lose weight, and the truth behind them.
The Lie: I’ll be more successful if I lose weight.
The Truth: Your goals are tied to your belief that they will happen, not some number on a scale.
While many studies have come out that speak of the real discrimination that overweight men and women experience, many of us unreasonably blame our failures on our weight, and thus we’ve made it ok not to step forward confidently to achieve our purpose. Since childhood I’d visualized a skinnier me walking down the aisle. Leading up to my wedding day, I was fixated on my weight, and lost out on some of the happiness I’d found in getting married. Visualizations that disqualify your current self from experiencing certain milestones can be dangerous. You can be happy. Don’t punish yourself by sitting out of the spotlight. No matter what you weigh, you can achieve what you’re working towards. Pursue what you’ve set out to do with the same vigor you would if you loved the way you look.
The Lie: I’ll fit in better if I lose weight.
The Truth: You only want to fit in when you’re at your ideal weight.
It feels good to hear all the well wishes that people spew out when they start to notice your weight loss, doesn’t it? Guess what, even at that feel-good time, you’re sticking out like a sore thumb. So why is it ok then, but when you’re overweight, and no one has much to say, you feel you don’t fit in? The answer lies in your self-talk. Allow yourself to acknowledge all the things that affect your ability to fit in, including your personality, experiences, social aptitude, and the people around you, and assess your ability to “fit in” as the complex thing that it is. At any given moment, you could fit in or not fit in. You’re not stuck in an abyss because of your weight. It’s about your daily environment, of which is consistently changing. There’s no scale to step on before you start a conversation. Go for it.
The Lie: So and so will treat me better if I lose weight.
The Truth: The way someone treats you depends on respect and concern for your feelings, not your weight.
One of the biggest motivations many people have for losing weight is acceptance by a significant other, relative, or friend who they perceive will treat them better if they lose the pounds. Unfortunately, when the weight comes off, and the initial kudos go away, the pervasive negativity in that relationship will manifest itself in another way. Don’t allow yourself to be motivated to please others, if and when it forces you to sacrifice your feelings for theirs. If you truly want to lose weight to feel healthier, hike up a mountain, or play with your children more, do it. But if you think your husband’s going to treat you better solely based on a scale, chances are you may be disappointed.
What lies do you struggle with about why you want to lose weight? What is the truth behind them?