Well Do You?

It’s that time of year again. New Year, New Me…. the time of year when everyone starts telling themselves that they need to lose weight… but my argument is why? 

Do you actually need to lose weight? Or is society just telling you that you do? 

Being excessively overweight can be detrimental to your health, there is no argument there. If your weight is starting to cause problems with blood pressure, sleep schedule, or even general day-to-day existence. Then yeah, in that instance you may need to lose weight. But for the large majority of people who think they “need to lose weight” that’s not the case. 

Being skinny and being healthy are two very different things and are not always connected. Being skinny is often seen as the ideal, the healthy way to be. Often this can be the complete opposite, being on very restrictive diets can do just as much damage to your body as being overweight.

With the fitness industry profiting from weight loss in the realm of several millions of pounds a year, it’s in lots of companies and influencers interests to keep you feeling down and out about your weight.

Since media has been a thing we have been pumped full of images of ‘the ideal body’, the latest fad diet or the newest fitness trend. We’ve been told who’s thick and who’s thin, who’s hot and who’s not, all whilst being made to feel uncomfortable in our own bodies. 

With the addition of social media, we have been opened up to the 1% of the population that look incredibly skinny/ripped and then makes us think that not being like that 1% means that we are unhealthy. Not only that but social media allows us to be exposed to posed pictures, tensed stomachs, shadows and lighting, playing HUGE factors in the way these individuals look.

Is it just a confidence thing?

For the majority of people who “need to lose weight” health reasons probably aren’t the thing driving them towards weight loss. The real reason many people “need to lose weight” is more for a confidence boost. 

They feel as though losing a few % body fat will change their lives. Again, this might be the case, looking better can do amazing things for your self-esteem.  (You  just need to look at the arrogance of that 1% to know that) 

But there is a fine line here. The sacrifice it takes to get the ‘ideal physique’,  in my eyes, just isn’t worth it. Getting and maintaining that physique has to become your life. It takes hours of planning and preparation, a huge dedication and discipline towards training. Your life has to revolve around your diet and workout schedule. Your physique has to become your sole personality trait. 
And there is nothing wrong with that if that’s what you want to do. But let’s be honest, most of us have better things to be doing. We want to play with the kids and eat chips with them. We want to cuddle up and have a hot chocolate on a cold winters evening. We don’t want to get up at 5 am to train hard before work and then again after.  We enjoy meals out now burgers made of salad.

So what instead?

So if a confidence boost is a driving force behind your weight loss then let me offer some other alternatives.

Number one:  find a type of training you actually enjoy and get good at. Focus on improving and fall in love with the process along the way.

Whether it’s martial arts, running or dance doesn’t matter as long as you love it. Once you figure out what it is, perfect your craft. 

Instead of losing weight why not try and get stronger, faster, better! The more you can focus on progress other than just weight loss the more likely you’ll stick at it. As an added bonus you’ll probably find the minute you stop focusing on weight loss the more your body will change. 

Finally, stop letting society tell you how to look. If your social media makes you feel bad about your body, unfollow some of those accounts.

Your friends and family love you for who you are, not what you look like.

Happiness comes from enjoying your surroundings, not a big bum and a 6 pack (well maybe if it’s beer).

If your body doesn’t cause you pain, if it allows you to do the things you love doing then you really don’t need to lose weight. 

Learn to love your body for what it is!

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been that 1% I was that person who went to the gym twice a day, calorie counted everything I put in my body. I made myself sick with guilt and worry if I missed a workout or had to go for dinner where I didn’t know if it would fit into my allotted macro split. Looking back I can see how unhappy I was, how controlled and rigid my life was. How I didn’t have a life outside of my body and how it looked.

Nowadays I don’t have a toned body, that dream Hollywood six-pack. But I look at myself and I am happy. I eat what I want when I want (yes, in moderation as I am greedy). I can still lift heavy, heavier than I ever could previously at that 7% body fat and the rush and endorphins I get from that is a million times better than knowing I have a six-pack.

So here’s me, telling you, that no you don’t “need” to lose weight. Your weight doesn’t define you so don’t let social media tell you that it does!