In other words, what’s the literal goal when you say, “I want to lose weight”? Does it mean you want to be thin? Or thinner? Or fit? Or fitter?

Does it mean you want to reach your “ideal” weight? And, what number is that?

What about reaching a “healthy” weight? Seriously. Can we chat about this for a minute?!

Being thin does not equal being healthy

We know that just because someone looks thin doesn’t mean he or she is healthy. There is no shortage of informational videos out there that plays with our perception of what we believe is healthy. Yet we get so caught in in what we see, and we assume that being thin is what we should strive for. Further, many of us don’t even care, or at the very least, have never thought about, the internal health that some have regardless of weight. In other words, many declare, “I don’t care what it costs me, I want to be thin!”

Society has provided us with a myriad of images of the “perfect” body, and whether it’s mentioned or not, we believe it’s what we should all strive for. Forget feeling good. Forget feeling strong. No, we must all strive to have the svelte figure, free of cellulite, wiggle-free, jiggle-free, with the perfect bust-hip ratio – and all at 125lbs.

I call BS.

woman with thin friend

Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with having goals and working towards improving how you feel daily.

But some of us have allowed ourselves to feel such pressure to like the photo-shopped perfection of others that we see on magazine covers and all over social media. I am speaking strictly to those who have been willing to literally harm their health as they try to reach certain levels of thinness. Yep. I said it. That used to be me.

Can I just drop some truth bombs on ya? No one else seems to be talking about it, so why not?!

Tell me what you really think...

truth Bomb #1.

Being slightly overweight does not translate into an undeniable risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease. At my heaviest weight, I never had high blood pressure, a high fasting blood glucose, nor high triglycerides. It wasn’t because my eating habits were stellar but my the A1c (examines insulin levels over time) didn’t lie. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t imminent, but the only thing that likely kept me healthier was my love for kickboxing and racquetball. Obviously, regular indulgence of high fat, high sugar sweets counterbalanced the activity.

truth Bomb #2.

While my blood work didn’t reveal I was on the fast track to diabetes or some other chronic disease, it didn’t mean that my joints didn’t suffer as my knees and spine carried my weight. I didn’t have any knee pain – yet. I didn’t have any back pain – yet. But I am sure it was coming. If I hadn’t cleaned up my eating habits and lost the weight when I did, undoubtedly I would be diabetic by now and have a whole host of other health issues.

truth Bomb #3.

People can defend any weight they choose, but eventually the body will pay a physical price. I am not talking about joints here. I am speaking to cardiac endurance, heart health and mobility, but let’s keep it simple. At 255+lbs, I was not mobile. Although I often practiced those beloved kickboxing routines, I went months at a time without even a brisk walk. During my “uncommitted” months, I couldn’t climb several flights of stairs without feeling like my heart would beat out of my chest. Yep, that’s right. What I practiced “some” months out of the year didn’t translate into feeling great during the “other” months. It must be intentional movement and a constant commitment to health in order to create lasting change.

Truth Bomb #4.

Being very overweight or morbidly obese can affect self-confidence, even if you don’t think it does. For me, my weight represented an obstacle in my life that I simply felt like I couldn’t supersede. Feeling like I couldn’t overcome something that many experts say is so basic created confidence issues in my job roles, speaking up to defend myself, how I handled situations, how I communicated, etc. There were times I was able to hide it, but only by compensating in other ways. Of course, this lends itself to questioning if many of us really know how to tackle a weight loss journey to begin with.

You tell 'em cat

Shouldn’t how you feel trump everything else?

I think so – and that’s an opinion of experience. The point is not to strive to reach an ideal weight on a chart to align with what you believe is thin. If you have more lean body mass than fat mass and weighed 153lbs, would you care what the number was on the scale? Your gauge should be how you feel, not the number you see. As long as you are moving towards the goal you have in mind and it continuously feels aligned, that’s what matters most.

Perfection, Smerfection.

Don’t strive for perfection – and don’t live in a black or white world. Things are rarely black and white anyway. (Physiology can be complicated!) Instead, envision what it feels like to have a vibrant life doing the things you want to do!

Strive for those things as opposed to a number from a chart, or a symbol of beauty that distorts your idea of health. And when you do that along with implementing some weight loss strategies, everything else will fall into place.

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