Weight Loss Series: Asking a Health Promoter the “Why” Behind Weight Loss

February 06, 2018

Health Promoter on Weight Loss

As a women’s health promoter, I’m often asked for advice on weight loss, and that’s because the vast majority of women are unhappy with their weight and/or their bodies. And it’s no wonder they feel this way, when you consider the conflicting messages we receive about how we should look and how fit we should be. In fact, our country seems to be waging a war of sorts, with highly polarizing views on both sides. Popular culture seems to glorify an unhealthy and often unattainable level of thinness and fitness, and women everywhere seem to unwittingly compare themselves to actresses and models, then, predictably find themselves wanting. On the other hand, the so-called body-positive movement promotes the idea that it’s not only okay to be obese—it’s actually something to be celebrated.

Finding the Middle Ground

As with many things, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. With that in mind, here’s what you need to know about women and weight:

First, let’s set the record straight. Being positive about your body is not the same as believing being obese is a good thing. Being positive about your body means accepting its natural “flaws,” as you see them, whether they are cellulite-dotted thighs, thick ankles, or a larger-than-you’d-like nose. It also means realizing that all these parts of you make up YOU, and that YOU are someone to be celebrated for many unique reasons. Most importantly, it’s about knowing that your self-worth is not tied to what you look like.

You Knew a “But” Was Coming

Your body enables you to do many things. It is only as strong and powerful as you allow it to be, so you need to care for it properly to ensure you can continue doing what you love and being there for your loved ones. As a women’s health promoter, I believe we have a responsibility to care for ourselves, and that means being conscious of the food that we eat, the activities we partake in, and the amount of exercise we engage do. This goes for all ages as well, which I’ve touched upon in some of my previous articles like keeping fit in your 60s and being happy at 50. When you’re seriously overweight, you put undue stress on your body, to say the least. In fact, ask any health promoter, obesity a national health crisis, and just over 70% American adults are overweight (that’s more than 2 out of 3 adults), and 37.7% of adults (more than 1 in 3 adults) are obese. Far from being a positive thing, carrying extra weight is a serious health problem. Just look at what the National Institutes of Health has to say on the topic:

“Weighing too much may increase the risk for several health problems…Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, kidney disease, and certain cancers are some of the diseases linked to excess weight. Obese men are more likely than other men to develop cancer of the colon, rectum, or prostate. Obese women are more likely than other women to develop cancer of the breast (after menopause), gallbladder, uterus, or cervix. Cancer of the esophagus (the tube that carries food and liquids to the stomach) may also be linked to obesity…Other diseases and health problems linked to excess weight include breathing problems, fatty liver disease, gallbladder disease and gallstones, and pregnancy problems.”

Knowledge Really Is Power

So, what does all this mean in terms of your weight-loss efforts? While it’s true we often feel more self-confident when we look our best, the most important reason for maintaining a healthy weight is because it’s good for you. And as a women’s health promoter, I simply cannot endorse either of the opposing attitudes our society has adopted. Being obese is NOT a good thing. Nor is placing excessive pressure on yourself to attain body perfection. So, the first step in attaining and maintaining a healthy body weight is to be realistic and moderate in your expectations and goals. You need to understand that, in the majority of situations, celebrities and models literally make their money by staying extremely fit and even excessively thin. They can afford personal trainers, huge home gyms, and nannies and cooks and assistants—all those luxuries that make it much easier to fit in plenty of workout time.

At the same time, you also need to remember that loving your body doesn’t mean accepting that you are obese or overweight and doing nothing to change it. It means caring about your body, yourself, and your family enough to make the tough changes necessary to start living a healthier life. So, how do you get there when you have a career, family, love life, and, yes, even personal time, to juggle? I’m glad you asked, because that’s the subject of my next post in this series.

Next Up in my Women’s Weight Loss Series

Being a women’s health promoter means I’ve amassed a lot of knowledge on this topic. I not only want to help you live a healthy life, I’m living proof that it’s possible to juggle all your responsibilities while also finding time to stay healthy. So, stay tuned for my next post to get my best tips and advice on women’s weight loss—and, for extra motivation, you’ll learn about the big benefits you’ll reap in return for your efforts!