One motive for losing weight that is often sited, is a special occasion. I have a wedding to go to, I’m going on vacation in a month, usually something along these lines. Then it’s followed by an urgency to lose 5, 10 or 20 pounds in a short time period. This is not only impossible at times, but extremely unhealthy. Let’s say a person is successful in losing 20 pounds in a month. This can only occur through extremely strict dieting methods. The ability to sustain such a diet and/or workout regime is generally improbable. For example, if someone is eating 1200 calories a day when they really need 2000, and working out for an hour a day or more as well, the body will revolt by inflicting injury and fatigue. Not only that, when a normal diet with even a slightly higher caloric intake is resumed, the weight will be regained and often with additional pounds. Losing weight for a special occasion is not one of the better reasons to diet.
If I lost weight, he or she would love me. People often want to lose weight to capture the affections of someone else. On one hand it may be true that having a more attractive figure brings more attention, but it won’t bring the love that some seek. Attention received just because a person is physically attractive is very superficial and often short lived. A better starting point is loving yourself exactly as you are, so if you want to change your body composition, it’s entirely for you. In this way, you can keep the weight off and you won’t go on a binge because he or she doesn’t love you anymore.
Some who are obese or overweight are badly ridiculed by others. This contributes to low self-esteem and generally perpetuates the cycle of obesity or overeating. Often people who are overweight or obese are that way because food brings them comfort from emotional difficulties. In many ways society is flawed in that it puts very thin people on a pedestal and says that we must emulate them. But being extremely thin can be difficult to accomplish, so when a person who has weight to lose seeks to be extremely thin in a short period of time, it’s a recipe for disaster. Losing weight just to please society or some mean people who want to make fun of others who are different, is not the best reason to lose weight.
One extremely good reason to lose weight is for health reasons. Obesity is responsible for a lot of health problems. For example, the incidence of Type II Diabetes is on the rise and there is a link between obesity and diabetes. Eighty to Ninety percent of people diagnosed with Type II Diabetes are obese. Diabetes can cause kidney and nerve damage, heart and blood vessel disease, foot and eye damage, as well as hearing problems.
High blood pressure, nicknamed the silent killer, can also come about as a result of obesity. High blood pressure can cause kidney damage, it can cause total kidney failure and/or kidney artery aneurysm (which can lead to internal bleeding). Brain damage in the form of a stroke or cognitive impairment (problems with understanding and memory). It can also lead to heart and artery damage.
Osteoarthritis is another complication of obesity. This is a painful, irreversible disease of the joints of the body. It occurs when the cartilage in the joints of the body is broken down or lost. Cartilage acts as a cushion for the joints and when it is gone bones scrape against each other, which causes the afflicted extreme discomfort. Being overweight places an extra burden on the body, causing an extremely painful condition to be even more painful.
Sleep apnea and asthma are also problems that can be initiated or made worse by excessive weight. Sleep apnea is when a person stops breathing for a short period of time during sleep. Obesity is linked to sleep apnea because it is thought that the tonsils and extra fat on the neck of an obese person press on the airways when the throat muscles are relaxed during sleep. Asthma is another condition that can be caused or exacerbated by being overweight. Asthma is a chronic condition that occurs when the airways are inflammed with mucous, causing breathing problems. Obesity is linked to asthma, or higher instances of asthma, because excessive weight causes smaller lung capacity (ability to take in air) and chronic inflammation. Cancer, gallbladder disease and gallstones are also linked with obesity.
The reasons listed above are excellent reasons to lose weight. Some also want to lose weight to be able to play with kids and grandchildren, to have more energy and live a longer life. These are great motivators that can help with the lifestyle change that accompanies weight loss, not just something for a special occasion or to make others happy.