What’s your best weight for your best health?
Let the quality of your life and your health help you set goals to manage your weight. Weight management is about finding ways to make realistic, long-term changes to your lifestyle that will improve the quality of your life and health.
These changes may involve energy in (calories) and energy out (exercise). There’s even more to think about such as:
- your health conditions
- your family and work commitments
- the medicines you take
- the environment you live in
- the time you can put towards making and keeping these changes
Managing your weight may include changing the way you think about some things. It also involves learning and practicing new skills for long-term progress.
Progress is different for everyone. How will you know if you’ve made progress?
Something to think about ...
Go to your
reflection journal and check which of these statements will show you that you’re making progress.
- The quality of my life will improve.
- I’ll feel better about myself.
- I’ll have more energy.
- My overall health will be better.
- My risk of health problems will go down.
- I’ll be able to do the things I want to do (e.g., social, family, travel).
Weight and the quality of your life
The quality of your life and health is more than numbers on a scale. Although your BMI measures health risk, your health can’t be limited to 1 number.
If you think about your weight within the bigger health picture, what does your best weight look like for you?
The scale can only give you a number that reflects your relationship with gravity. That’s it. It cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, possibility, strength, or love. Adapted from Steve Maroboli, behavioural scientist and best-selling author
Your healthy weight is what you can reach and stay at, while enjoying the healthiest life that you can. This may not be your “ideal” weight. For example, “ideal” weight may be the weight you’d really like to be or the weight the charts say is usual for your age and height.
It may take time to begin and get comfortable with changes to your life, but you can find a weight that improves your health and lowers your health risks.
Here are examples of how others came to terms with how they felt about their weight.
Todd wanted to reach his target weight. He quit going out for beers with his buddies and didn’t go to family events where food was being served. Todd started going to the gym every day after work.
It didn’t take long before he realized that his lifestyle choices didn’t line up with the other things he valued in his life. He needed social connections and time with his family to feel balanced and have a healthy lifestyle.
Todd made some changes. He planned how to handle certain events with his buddies and his family. He also adjusted his weight target to one that suited him best.
Sue once wanted to lose weight to fit into her favourite jeans from high school. Now she really wants to have more energy to play with her kids. Her healthy weight may not be her ideal weight. It’s more about improving her fitness and health than the number on a scale or the size of her clothes.
At hher yearly doctor appointment, Peggy talked about her concerns and that she wanted to lose weight. After making some lifestyle changes and losing about 15 pounds (about 5% of her weight), her blood pressure went down to normal. Peggy found herself at a weight where she felt good, and her test results were normal even though her BMI was still above the normal range.
You may not need to lose a lot of weight to feel healthy. Your BMI may still be above the normal range, but you can enjoy life and be healthier. Your best weight is something you can feel good about and stay at over time.