We all know that it is important not to be overweight. This is a message that is drummed into our heads from day one and we have a fear of gaining too much weight. The health problems that are inherent when we put on weight are there for all to see and we all want to avoid this at all costs. Yet, is this fear a motivation to lose weight? There are many reasons that can be given as to why lose weight and it is very important that we have a good reason or we have a much increased risk of giving up and failing in our attempts to lose weight.
The question, therefore, is why lose weight? Obviously, the health benefits are innumerable and losing weight is a way in which we ensure that our bodies remain healthy. This is, by far, the main reason why people lose weight – there are signs everywhere that can shock people into wanting to lose weight and the motivation is always there – everyone knows a person who’s had to have a heart bypass or has died from a heart attack and it can be quite an emotive subject. The best reason to lose weight, therefore, is for self-preservation.
However, some people have the wrong motivation. A desire to conform often drives many people to try and lose weight but this is rarely enough for people to keep it off. You lose weight, whether because of peer pressure or because you want to be the same weight as your friends and, once this has been achieved, you relax back into bad habits and put the weight back on again. This need to conform can also be the root of many eating disorders such as anorexia where people see a warped view of what is normal and are not content with their weight until they are able to get down to an unattainable level.
If we do not know exactly why we want to lose weight then we soon lose the motivation to do so and are much more likely to give up. Even if we have a reason, if it is not a good reason then we will merely yo-yo and become more and more demoralised. Therefore, before we start to lose weight we must choose to do it for the right reasons or risk losing all faith in our weight loss abilities.