People begin diets for any number of reasons. A doctor may recommend weight loss as a means to prevent future health problems like adult on-set diabetes or congestive heart failure. A once active person may want to resume a favorite high-performance sport, and seek to lose a few pounds to better enjoy play. A person about to undergo surgery may need to lose some weight before being admitted to the hospital.
For many, many others, vanity plays a large role in the desire to lose weight. An upcoming high school reunion, a desire to wear a sexy bikini to the beach, and just wanting to look and feel beautiful every day fuels many of us to try various diet and exercise programs and hope for the best. Unfortunately, saddled with vanity is another factor that may spur people to lose weight for the wrong reasons - societal pressure.
Watch any television program, open up any fashion magazine, and you will be bombarded with images of rail-thin celebrities and models, glamorized by the media as the ideal body image and definition of beauty. True, while today's top movie stars, athletes and singers may evoke an aura and personality people find appealing, it should be noted that the standards they maintain need not necessarily be held by everyone else.
Consider the life of a famous actress or pop star - how many professionals are in her employ to keep her looking young and beautiful? Factor in a hair stylist, makeup artist, fashion consultant, personal trainer, and personal chef, and it is easy to see how one person can look like a million dollars. More than likely, a million dollars is how much it costs annually to stay that beautiful!
Consider, too, that being thin is not always equated to being healthy. It would be unfair to say that the petite, size 2 movie star is healthier than the busty, size 14 rap artist just because she weighs less for her frame. For all we know, the rap artist may exercise daily and be a vegatarian, while the movie star gorges on junk food and lives a rather sedentary life.
Being thin also does not exempt you from health problems - genetics can play a large role in your risks for heart ailments, high cholesterol, and low blood sugar. Consequently, being underweight presents health problems as well. Whoever said “You can never be too rich or too thin" didn't consider that being underweight increases your risks for osteoporosis, anemia, fertility problems, and a compromised immune system.
So why should you lose weight?
You should lose weight because it is what you want to do for yourself, not because a magazine tells you to do so. You should lose weight if you feel the change in your body will change your life for the better. If you feel losing weight. . .
. . will improve your sexuality and stamina
. . will give you more confidence and raise self-worth
. . will boost your self-esteem every time shop for clothes and browse smaller sizes
. . will allow you to better enjoy activities with your family
. . will give you a new, positive outlook on life
. . then definitely consider doing it to benefit yourself and your life. When you do lose the weight, then society will benefit from your positive mood and improved health. But let this be a decision only you or your doctor dictates, not society.
Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer of health and weight loss articles for Compuslim (http://www.compuslim.com ), custom fit weight loss and evaluation.