Unfortunately, in our society, weight is often a determinant of how we feel about ourselves. Body image has become a huge issue in recent years. Therefore, it is often tied to depression. We would like to offer some simple advice on how to avoid making body weight an issue in your life. We will keep it simple…very simple, by using a logical A+B=C formula. However, first you have to understand this concept:
Understand that your weight does not determine whether you are happy or unhappy. You control your own feelings. You can be happy no matter how much you weigh. However, if you are unhappy with something about yourself, like your weight, you can do something about it. This is no different than if you don’t like your hair color. You can change it. You can do something about your weight if you want to. If you do not have any medical reasons for weight gain, you can do lose weight. It is physically possible for every healthy person to do so. Remember You control You. No one can do it for you. You have to decide whether you want to lose weight or not.
If you are 5 feet tall, weigh 300 pounds, enjoy a few daily walks, and have no problem with depression, good for you. I’m glad you are happy with yourself. I’ll suggest that you lose weight for your physical health, but I have no qualms about your mental health. You choose to be happy.
If, on the other hand, you are 5 feet tall, weigh 300 pounds, lie in bed all day and choose to feel terribly depressed, we need to talk. You can help yourself feel better. You can lose weight.
You may be thinking, “What about emotional eating? What about eating disorders like anorexia? What about medical weight loss?” These are completely separate issues. This simple advice is only a practical suggestion of how to avoid making body weight an issue.
Here is our A + B = C formula
If you (A) eat more than your body needs + (B) do not do any kind of exercise or activity, then = (C) then you will gain weight.
On a very basic level, it does not matter if you eat an apple or an ice cream sundae. The physics are the same. Food is fuel. If we fill up our bodies with fuel and don’t use the energy by remaining inactive, it is stored, and we gain weight. If we fill up our bodies with fuel and then expend that energy by staying active, we will maintain our weight. Finally, if we fill up our bodies with fuel and then expend more energy than we took in with activity and exercise, we will lose weight. It is really common sense.
If you are concerned about your weight, don’t make it a mental health issue. If you feel badly about something that you can change, CHANGE IT!
Think of the formula and make the right choices. Learn how much fuel your body needs to maintain the healthy weight you want to stay at. Be aware of what you put in your mouth versus how active you are. Allow yourself to indulge at times but follow those times up with extra activity. Make smart choices as well.
When you are about to put that Big Mac in your mouth, ask yourself one question: “Is it worth it?” Think of it as a cost versus benefit thing. Is the benefit of eating and savoring this 700-calorie hamburger worth the cost of gaining more weight or having to do more sit-ups? Would I rather taste this hamburger, or maintain my figure? You can take this as far as you want to go. It’s all about choices. Weigh the cost versus the benefit throughout your day. Does the benefit of relaxing on the elevator outweigh the cost of taking the stairs and getting exercise?
If you want to lose weight, you know what kinds of choices you have to make. You have to think about what you put in your mouth. You have to choose healthy foods versus unhealthy, caloric foods. You have to choose to be active and exercise versus sitting on the couch inactive. No other person is more qualified than you to make these choices for yourself.
It is worth reiterating that your weight does not determine your worth or your happiness. Your ideal weight is the exact weight you choose to be. Always remember that YOU control YOU.