If You Want To Lose Weight, Then Don’t Make It Your Goal
The top New Year’s resolution in America is losing weight. Almost everyone I know would not mind dropping a few pounds and many make it their primary goal. As a society we diet and exercise when we want to lose weight and we focus on how much weight by obsessing over the pounds that flash across the scales in our bathrooms. I’m no different.
Several years ago, my weight shot up as I gained over thirty pounds within the first eighteen months of my marriage. I totally lost control of my eating habits, which led to an unhealthy lifestyle. I made a change after watching a video of myself and realized how overweight and unhealthy I was at that point. I decided to diet and dropped thirty five pounds over eighteen months. I felt great, but that began an obsession that became just as unhealthy as being overweight.
How much I weighed became my primary goal. I wasn’t happy unless I weighed a certain amount. If my weight shot up by 2 lbs, I became grumpy and critical of myself and those around me. I would judge how I looked and that in turn determined how I felt about my day.
The problem became worse, because not only did it affect me, but also my family. One afternoon I overheard my young daughter announce that she felt fat, something I would often say about myself. The problem was, she was only 11 years old. I knew that I had gone too far and I needed to adjust my thinking.
I began to rethink my approach to weight and health over the past year and started to truly evaluate what I want from my life and how I want to live it. I realized that ultimately my goal is to be fit and healthy so that I can enjoy my life. I want to live long and have a quality of life that allows me to experience it with the least amount of pain and frustration because of chronic illness. Ultimately, my primary goal is to be healthy and remain healthy as long as I can.
I recently outlined my goals for 2016 and for the first time in many years, weight loss is not on the list. In fact, I’ve decided I’m not even going to measure my weight AT ALL in 2016. I’m going to pack up my weight scale and move on with my life, because my body weight is irrelevant and distracting. Instead, I’ve decided to focus on my health and activities that will promote a healthy lifestyle. Here are the activities I’ve chosen:
- Qualify for the Boston Marathon (exercise goal);
- Decrease my soda intake and eat more whole and natural foods (eating goal);
- Get eight hours of sleep a night (mental health goal).
If I pursue a healthy lifestyle than my body weight will take care of itself and my body will find its natural and ideal weight. I will no longer shoot for an artificial weight goal that will make me feel better about myself if I hit it. Instead, I will pursue activities that will actually make me healthier and will truly make me FEEL better. How about you? Do you have a weight goal in mind? If so, why?