Friday, July 27, 2012

Benefits of Losing Weight

I love chocolate. Today was one of those days where I was questioning my desire for weight loss. Maybe it would just be better to stay a bit chubby and eat chocolate* to my heart's content. No. It wouldn't (besides my weight would probably continue to climb). I made a list of the benefits of weight loss to remind me why I'm embarking on this healthy lifestyle. And, I want to share it with you.

More Self-Confidence
Yes, it's what's on the inside that counts. But, I want the outside to look great too! First impressions matter, and we are judged on appearance frequently. I want the first impression of me to be that I look thin, fit, healthy, confident, and fabulous. And, of course, I'll continue to work hard to make sure I have a great heart to match my soon to be hot body.  I know that people can be beautiful and confident at any size, but being overweight definitely doesn't help. I'm looking forward to being able to wear any clothes I want without worrying about disguising the muffin top. Skinny jeans, and form-fitting clothes here I come.

Less Stress on Joints
I've got about 30 pounds to lose. It didn't seem like a whole lot until I picked up a 10 lb dumbbell. Imagine carrying three of those everywhere, all the time, and never being able to put them down. Sounds terrible, right? That's what happens when you are overweight. And, it puts a tremendous amount of stress on the joints. A study in Arthritis and Rheumatism showed that for each pound lost there is a 4 lb reduction in knee joint stress in overweight adults with osteoarthritis. Just a few pounds can greatly reduce the load on the joints. Great! Additionally, people who are overweight have a greater risk of osteoarthritis, something I want to avoid.

Better Athletic Performance
I really enjoy playing tennis and taking ballet classes. I'm not fabulous at either, but I want to be the best that I can, given the amount of time I spend on them. Again, I just imagine doing either of those carrying an extra 30 lbs. Sounds tough. Lose those, and I'll be able to run faster, jump higher, and generally be able to do more with less effort.

Look Good in a Swimsuit
I swim frequently, and while I am able to put aside my body insecurities to get my workout in, it sure would be nice if I could practice my flutter kick without feeling my thighs jiggle. Swimsuits show off your body (for better or for worse). And, I want my fellow swimmers to be admiring my fit, healthy look (yes, I'm what). Bikini body- here I come!

More Energy
This is probably one of the benefits I'm most looking forward to. A few pounds down, and I'm already feeling the difference. Every pound lost makes it easier to do everyday things. And, less effort leads to more energy for other things (like blogging).

Sleep Better
Losing weight can greatly reduce snoring and improve sleep apnea. I don't have either of these problems (yet), but as they say, and ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Reduced Risk of Heart Disease
Extra weight puts excess stress on the heart (this is bad). Losing excess fat, especially abdominal fat, reduces several cardiovascular risk factors including: high blood pressure, high total and LDL cholesterol, and high triglyceride levels. Losing weight can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, and stroke.

Prevent Diabetes
Losing excess weight decreases high blood sugar levels, and reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The risk of diabetes increases by ~25% for each 1 point increase in BMI over 22. In other words, excess weight greatly increases the risk of developing diabetes.

Lower Risk of Certain Types of Cancer
Being overweight or obese may increase the risk for certain types of cancer including colon, breast, prostate, endometrial and gallbladder cancers.

Sense of Accomplishment
Losing weight is hard. About 60% of American adults and 30% of American children are overweight or obese. If it was easy everyone would be healthy. Losing weight and keeping it off takes a long term commitment. You have to make lifestyle changes you can stick with forever, or the weight will come right back on. So, when the weight comes off you should feel really good about yourself. You set a goal, and achieved it. What a wonderful feeling.

*Note: In case you were worried, I did get my chocolate fix in for today. I managed to resist the urge to visit the vending machine at work for a Hershey's bar. But, after dinner I made some heavenly (and pretty healthy) hot cocoa. Yummy! I find that after just a couple weeks of healthier eating, my sweet tooth has diminished. I was satisfied with much less sugar than I would usually use. So, I made it with:
-1.5 cups skim milk
-3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
-1.5 tablespoons sugar
-dash of salt
-splash of vanilla extract and peppermint extract

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Krissy! It's so important to keep the goal in mind when working toward something like this. It sounds like you're on the right track, just keep it up :)