What’s Your Motivation for Weight Loss?  

Is your weight loss journey motivated by your desire to look good, to be healthy or both? I hope you said, “to be healthy.” Why? Because if you are motivated to be healthy, you will not only look good, but you will also feel good and enjoy the many benefits of a healthier life. 

And looking good, often defined by how thin you are, is no guarantee that you are healthy. You can “look good” and be extremely unhealthy. 

Being thin and “looking good” does not mean you are healthy. In fact, it could be the exact opposite. My mother was a thin, healthy-looking woman when she died from a massive stroke at age 42. The consequences of a not-so-healthy diet, lack of physical activity, smoking, stress and poor mental health contributed to her early death leaving three children and a lot of heartbreak behind. 

Having low numbers on the scale does not mean that you have low or normal health numbers—LDL (low density lipoprotein), waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, triglycerides, blood pressure and fasting glucose. 

Your “health numbers” should be what you want and need to know: 

  • LDL: Should be <100. 
  • Waist Circumference: Should be ≤ 37 for men and ≤32 inches for women. 
  • Triglycerides: Should be < 150 mg/dL. 
  • Blood Pressure: Should be < 120/80 mmHg. 
  • Fasting Glucose: Should be <100 mg/dL. 

And I would like to add that being motivated by a desire to be healthy, not simply thin, increases the likelihood that your healthy efforts will be lifelong, not only until you have achieved a desired body weight.   

Your goal should be to achieve and maintain a constant state of health for your entire life. 

You may ask, what does it mean to be healthy? 

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” 

In other words, if your goal is to be healthy, then you should want to be physically, mentally and socially well, free from illness or disease.  

How do you achieve and maintain a constant state of health?   

Here are a few simple daily tips to help you on your healthy lifestyle journey. 

  1. Start your day right by creating a calm and stable emotional/mental state first thing in the morning through prayer or meditation. 
  2. Set an achievable goal in your personal and professional life that will lead to growth over time. 
  3. Hydrate your body with plenty of fluids to get the daily recommended 12 cups for females and 15 cups for males. Fluids can come from water, other beverages and food. About 20% of daily fluid intake usually comes from food, and the rest comes from drinks.  
  4. Nourish your body with whole fruits and/or vegetables with every meal or snack. 
  5. Exercise for at least 30 minutes and/or intentionally move your body vigorously for 10 minutes 3-4 times throughout the day.  
  6. Relax and rejuvenate by adding at least a ten-minute break between meetings or tasks. 
  7. Nurture an important relationship by connecting in a meaningful way with someone you care about. 
  8. Develop a skill, talent, or ability by reading a journal article, book, or practicing for improvement. 
  9. Release the burdens and responsibilities of the day by leaving them at the “door” at the end of the day. 
  10. Accept that each day is not a measure of your worth but a day of growth towards your purpose. 

Want a printable daily reminder of these 10 tips? Download the daily 10 checklist at www.dailytenchecklist.com

Each day, it is important to nurture yourself and those around you. Having a healthy relationship with yourself and with others is an essential component of overall health. How we see ourselves and how we perceive others see us has a significant impact on our mental and social wellbeing. 

It is also important to integrate physical and mental activities that decrease the likelihood that you will become ill or suffer from chronic illnesses such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s disease and stroke. 

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Six in 10 adults in the United States will have a chronic disease and four in 10 adults will have two or more.” 

By contributing daily to your physical, mental and social well-being, you increase the likelihood that you will live a happier and healthier life not only free from illness or disease, but also full of growth, possibilities and purpose. 

Your health and your overall wellbeing should be the driving force that motivates you and moves you into action each and every day, not how you look in the mirror. 

Live intentionally, live on purpose and do what is necessary to live your happiest and healthiest life and looking good will simply be an added benefit! 

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Photo credit: Getty Images

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