Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Why Lose Weight?

Sometimes, especially when motivation is lacking, it helps to make a list of the reasons why you want to lose weight.

For me, losing weight has many benefits. One big benefit is looking better. I really want to look better and be able to wear the styles of clothes I like. Right now, at my current weight, those styles are not very flattering.

Another benefit is health. Diabetes runs in my family, and being overweight makes it even more likely that I will end up with the same disease. Also, I don't like feeling out of breath when I do simple things. I suffer from back pain regularly, and carrying around the extra weight makes it worse. I used to suffer from plantar fasciitis (painful, inflamed heels). It made it painful for me to stand or walk, and I hobbled around as if I was arthritic. That has already gone away just since losing the little bit of extra weight that I already have.

In my last two pregnancies, I developed high blood pressure. Both times it became dangerous and with one of those pregnancies, it became life-threatening. So far, in this pregnancy, my blood pressure has remained low. In fact, it is even better than it usually is when I'm not pregnant! Seeing the obstetrician and midwife yesterday was a good thing as I heard from them how good I have been doing to lose all of this weight and in keeping my blood pressure down.

Yet another benefit is energy. I have teenagers and small children. For the small children, a lot of energy is required. I have found that I do not have as much energy in dealing with them as I had when my teenagers were small. But when my teenagers were small, I was ten years younger and weighed almost 100 pounds less than I do now. My age might have something to do with having less energy, but I am more inclined to see it as caused by my weight. Being overweight, not exercising and eating unhealthy, high carb and high fat foods is known for making people feel sluggish and tired.

Another benefit is sleep. Since starting to exercise regularly, I sleep better. Getting better sleep helps me in so many weighs. I have more patience with my kids, I crave less sweet, sugary food and I have more energy.

Another big benefit is self esteem. My self esteem is better when I am thinner, and even before getting to my goal weight, just knowing that I am able to do this, that I am able to lose the weight and overcome many obstacles in order to do so, helps my self esteem.

There's also the benefit of being a good and healthy example for my children. I really do not want them to struggle with their weight the way I have. I want them to see that exercise is a good thing and that eating healthy is so much more enjoyable and desireable than eating sweets and other junk.

Gaining control. That's another benefit. My eating can and has in the past been out of control. I would occassionally binge eat, and I always felt badly after doing so, but never felt like I could stop myself. There were days when I would make up a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough and, instead of baking cookies for the family, I would eat the whole batch of cookie dough! I was completely out of control! But now, I wouldn't dream of doing that. I am able to control my cravings, to an extent, and in so doing, have taken control of my eating habits. In taking control of my eating habits, I am helping to show myself that I am just as capable of taking control in other areas of my life.

The list of benefits to losing weight can go on from here. There are so many reasons to lose the excess weight and so few reasons to keep it. Why not make your own list?

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