New Year’s Resolution: Weight-Loss Isn’t Everything

The new year is around the corner and people are going to start making their New Year’s Resolution. Many of them will have something to do with losing weight to start some type of life-changing catalytic reaction.

Some will succeed and some will fail. For some people, this will be their hundredth time with this new year’s resolution of weight-loss with no life-changing results. But, have you ever thought that maybe losing weight was not the solution to all your life problems?

The lack of self-esteem, depression and the loneliness will still be there when the weight has left.

Losing the weight does not always magically make all the emotional baggage disappear and we need to stop associating weight-loss with happiness in this new upcoming year.

This new year, I challenge you to think differently about weight-loss and find a new reason to lose weight. How about losing wealth to improve your overall health or to be strong? A bikini body is not always going to bring your confidence. It may work for some people but, you are not always going to be in that “some people” cohort.

Make a resolution to increase your confidence, get rid of your baggage and don’t put all the pressure on your weight-loss.

I am tired of people thinking that weight-loss will solve your inability to date. Try again. There are lots of people with long-term partners who are overweight or even obese.

Your weight is not the problem. It is the attitude about the weight that you have on you that is bringing you down.

When you make your New Year’s Resolution, why are you choosing to lose weight?

I am not knocking your decision, but be cognizant of what you really want to gain from this so you are not disappointed in what you actually get once you succeed.

Almost more than half of my life, I wanted to lose weight. Why? Because I wanted to wear the same clothes as the other girls my age without worrying about my stomach, I wanted to be “date-able” and, get a date for prom. I wanted to be confident enough to wear what I wanted.

Years later, I realized that the weight-loss did not give me the confidence that I desired. Shorts still are a struggle because my thighs will always touch and jeans rip from the friction.

I still did not change my ability to get a prom date. I was too shy, too unsure, too much of a loner to be date-able. You cannot date anyone without making yourself approachable to a conversation.

Diagnose why you feel fat.

Sometimes we use fat as a feeling but, fat isn’t a feeling or a derogatory term. It is a state of being. I am fat. I am skinny. You cannot feel fat. For me, when I felt “fat,”  it meant I felt unworthy, sad, ashamed of my body and unattractive and yet, I would never insult a fat person by saying that.

There are fat people who I think are very attractive, wear bikinis and wear them well but, because it was me, it didn’t work. I was ashamed of myself. If only my body looked like the plus-sized model on Instagram then, I wouldn’t be afraid to wear that with my weight. But, would I really? Probably not.

I had have deeper issues than that. It is more than just the extra insulation I carry around because I am definitely more than my body. It is just hard to see past that sometimes. I think that goes for a lot of us. So, think more; think harder.

Do you really need to lose weight?

Why? Do you want to reach a certain number on the scale? Have you ever thought that the number on the scale might not be reflective of your actual health? When you look in the mirror, do you actually look like you need to lose weight? How do you feel at your size?

I struggled to try to make it down to 143 pounds because that was within my BMI range and that was around the weight of some of my friends, even the ones taller than me. I thought I would be skinnier and more attractive at 143.

I struggled and fought my body to get to 150 pounds. My knees were always getting out of line, sometimes my shoulders would ache with movement and my shins hurt all the time. Yet, still, I wanted to be 143.

After becoming tired of dieting and counting calories for years (since I was 10 years old), I gave up and let my body be. I am 156 pounds eating whatever I want in moderation of course and I feel so much better. I have fewer aches and pains and people think I am losing weight. I still weigh the same, I just have more muscle than fat.

With that being said, when you choose to lose weight, what do you want to lose?

When you plan to lose weight, you are losing everything: muscle, fat and, water. Be specific. Maybe,  you might want to lose fat rather than muscle. Set yourself for success and eat well. Disregard quick fad diets because they are not sustainable for long.

What are you going to do after you lose the weight? What habits do you have to keep that weight off so, you do not fall into the same continuous cycle of futile weight-loss resolutions? Quick money does not last and neither does quick weight-loss. It takes a lot of hard work and planning. It takes a lot of falling and getting back up again.

What is your plan to get back up again if you fail at your New Year’s resolution?

If you eat “horribly” for one day, what will you do the next day? Depriving yourself for one failure will not help. Do not put yourself in a punishment mindset. Your weight will fluctuate day-to-day and hour-to-hour.

Your 156 may not look my 156. At 5’5″, my 156 will look a lot different from a person of a 5’10” stature so do not just take a person’s weight as a reference for yourself and run with it. When you choose your goal weight, if you are still unconvinced that the scale does not matter, take into account your height and body shape.

Where does your weight go? Your belly? Your Hips? Your legs? Are you naturally skinny or muscular? Are you more on the fluffy side? These are all factors that affect how the number on the scale looks on you but, I would also say to learn to listen to your body. Does what you are doing and eating feel right?

Do not run if you feel like death every time you are done.

Try jump rope. Try yoga, Pilates, lifting, gymnastics. Do what an activity that makes you feel refreshed afterward. Do not just do something because you feel it will get you results. You can get results from anything you can stick to for a long time even walking. It may take a little longer but, you will also stay at your best for longer.

Final Words

I guess what I am trying to say is do not bank your success on weight-loss. You will be sorely disappointed. It is not the solution to all your problems. You may need to do some deep digging in yourself to find your actual new year’s resolution but, it will be worth it. If weight-loss is really what you feel that you need, do it in a way that will be conducive to sustainable results and long-term success.

Thank you for reading my rant,

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Shika Tamaklo is a pharmacist who graduated from Mercer University (2020). She is a college lifestyle blogger who writes on fitness, health, life struggles, creative side hustles and, occasionally dabbles in creative writing.

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