The Trouble With Weight Loss

Do you need to lose weight, or do you want to lose weight?

Because they are not the same thing.

“Need” suggests that there is a medical reason to lose weight. Unless that’s the case, you don’t need to lose weight.

If that’s not the case, then you “want” to lose weight.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to lose weight. But there is something wrong with how we view weight and weight loss.

We assume that extra weight (whatever that means, because I honestly don’t know. Extra weight compared to what?) is “bad”. I think most of us would tend to say that it’s unhealthy, but I don’t think most of us mean that. I think we just think it’s bad because we think it’s bad. Or that we are somehow less for having it. That it speaks to our value, our self control, and who we are as a person.

I don’t know how that came about. It probably started with certain ideals portrayed in movies, TV shows, and magazines, and then spiraled into a million different things that make us feel “less than”.

Losing weight doesn’t necessarily make you healthier, or happier, or more valuable. It does make you smaller…but that’s about the only guarantee.

I’m not bashing you if you want to lose weight. Shoot, I’d like to lose about 5-7 pounds right now. I get it. I’m just pointing out how much the language you use matters. If you are constantly telling yourself you need to lose weight, when you really just want to lose weight, it conflates things, and you associate your desire for weight loss with something that is critical for health and happiness.

Things get really ugly really quick when that happens.

If weight loss is something you want, make sure you keep the perspective that it’s a preference…not a need. It doesn’t have any bearing on your worth, your value, or your health.

Doing things for the right reasons is important. Doing them for the wrong reasons often leaves us unsatisfied, and still unhappy when we meet our goals.

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