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Weight Loss Isn't Just a Number

Published in Weight Management, Heart & Vascular, For the Health of It Author: Hannah Warzecha,RD LD

Weight can many times be unfortunately associated with feelings of discouragement following multiple attempts to achieve a desired weight loss. Weight loss may be a goal of yours for the new year. But as we enter the later half of January, my challenge would be to take a refreshed mindset when it comes to the topic of weight.

Indeed, weight loss can help improve — and prevent — a multitude of health conditions. But sometimes we can lead ourselves into thinking if we cannot achieve a specific weight, we have let ourselves (and perhaps others in our lives) down. This is not true.

Yes, a weight number is concrete, something we can measure, but it is not the only measurement of health progress. Sometimes the number you see on the scale does not seem to budge, but it does not always indicate that your efforts are ineffective.

Making strides toward a healthful lifestyle — such as swapping fruit and vegetables in place of cookies and chips for snacks or drinking more water and less sugary beverages or taking the stairs instead of the elevator — are just a few examples of small, realistic changes. These changes may lead to more energy, increased self-esteem and body image, improved ability to fight off infections, and much more that a number cannot be placed on. And weight loss may come as a result as well, but it is important to take into consideration the other health benefits that are sometimes overshadowed by the mere scale number.

If you have chosen weight loss as your New Year’s resolution, I encourage you to refocus on smaller health goals that will reap many health benefits, beyond weight loss.

So, the next time you catch yourself thinking, “if I could just lose those 10 pounds, I would feel so much better!” Instead, try asking yourself, "what about losing those 10 pounds would make me feel better?"