I don’t mean to be nasty with this short series of posts, but let’s face it: Most people will probably not like it.
In fact, most people who think they need to lose weight will just stop reading pretty soon. After this post, to be precise.
Because of that very question. Asking “why?” hints at a re-assessment of one’s actions or motivation. In this day and age, questioning actions, and the thoughts behind those actions, is often seen as a critique of the person behind the thoughts and the actions. Even though they are not the same at all.
Something as important as weight, and actions taken for losing some or maintaining a “healthy weight,” must be considered carefully.
You see, weight is an extremely important predictor of long-term health.
Well, actually, some indicators related to weight are important predictors of long-term health. All too often, we take the short-cut of using weight alone, but in fact those indicators are far more important.
Take BMI, for instance. Nope, bad example; BMI has been widely discredited as the indicator to use. Which is actually a good example of why it is important to question what we are being taught, and what we think, about weight.
The current thinking is that abdominal fat (mid-section circumference measurement) and body composition (percentage of fat) are more accurate indicators. So we should all keep an eye on those.
But chances are pretty good that, if you are reading this and are trying to lose weight, those are not the indicators you are trying to change. And long-term health, deep down, is not what you are after. It should be your Purpose, but you probably have different answers to the question “why?”.
Don’t get me wrong: There are many good reasons for wanting to lose weight. And then there are some bad ones. And there are even some ugly ones.
Let’s have a look, shall we? Starting, for now, with the “good” reasons… (You still there?)
As already stated, without a doubt, maintaining a healthy weight that keeps our waists and fat percentages in the “correct” range is the best possible reason for losing weight. If you are not currently in that range.
It has been shown repeatedly that many chronic illnesses, diseases of affluence as they are sometimes called, can be avoided or their odds greatly reduced by keeping our weight in check: type 2 diabetes, cardio-vascular disease, and even cancer are less prevalent, to name just the most impressive ones.
But there is a second reason, not studied the same way, that also should matter: Feeling good about your body and its ability to “do stuff.”
By maintaining a healthy weight, everyday actions are just routine, not a major chore, to accomplish. I’m not just talking about fitting in the confines of a car’s driver’s seat or airplane passenger’s seat, but the general, normal feeling, of being able to move about unimpeded. Of not having to worry about whether you can go up a flight of stairs. Of not feeling like you have to take your car to go to the corner store.
There is a lot to be said about just feeling good about your body and its ability to move.
In today’s world of energy saving, and of considering physical exertion something to be avoided, we have lost track of how good it feels to move. That is something that slowly goes away when we become sedentary and gain too much circumference and fat.
It’s as if we’ve reset the discomfort threshold over time, so that now even the slightest effort becomes difficult, and we feel terrible as soon as we try to do something that was once routine.
Resetting that discomfort threshold, recalibrating our bodies, and re-gaining that good feeling that comes from movement is an essential part of why it may be a good idea to lose weight.
My next post will explore what I call the Bad, and the Ugly, reasons for wanting to lose weight. Stay tuned.
And keep on moving, no matter what your current weight might be.
Pictures from Pixabay