By Rhonda Campbell
Losing weight and getting down to a healthy weight is a sign of self-love. Even losing 10 pounds could help you avoid high blood pressure and joint pain. Dropping weight could also set a positive example for your children and grandchildren.
Weight loss that leads to better health
Dr. Oz puts it this way, “The average American woman has a BMI of 28, which is overweight – nearly obese. Her waists measures 37 inches, almost 5 inches too wide, and she weighs nearly 165 pounds. In 1960, the average American woman’s weight was 140 pounds. If we continue at this rate, in the next 50 years, your daughter or granddaughter will weigh 190 pounds.”
Realize the benefits that you can gain from losing 10 pounds and you could drop the extra weight easier. In addition to lowering or avoiding high blood pressure and joint pain, losing weight can help you to reduce your risks of developing heart disease and dementia. Other benefits associated with losing weight are:
- Less inflammation (inflammation is at the root of some joint and muscle pain)
- Increased mobility (Ever tried to bend over and pick up something you dropped on the floor after you added 20 to 30 extra pounds to your stomach and thighs?)
- Improved self-image
- More energy
- Better confidence in your abilities to start and finish goals that require you to be physical
Denial and self-deception could keep you fat
If you’ve been gaining 5 to 10 pounds a year for the past 3 to 5 years and you’re telling yourself (as you pull in your stomach before you look in the mirror) “not me; I’m not getting fat,” think again. “Nearly half of Americans have too much visceral fat, the abdominal fat that surrounds your internal organs, visible in their protruding bellies. The danger is this: visceral fat contains cells that release inflammation-causing chemicals in the body, which can cause memory loss and increase your chances of developing dementia,” according to Dr. Oz.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shares that more than 34% of American adults are obese. Medical costs associated with obesity were at $147 billion in 2008. You might be surprised to know that, according to the CDC, obesity didn’t increase sharply in the United States until 1990. Could technology and the trend of living less active lifestyles and working jobs that require adults to be less active be playing a huge role in the shift?
Do you want to comfort or do you want to lose weight?
Whatever the cause, losing weight to experience improved health is worth it. Steps you can take to lose 10 pounds require you to start exercising, the type of exercise that raises your heart rate. Forget trying to stay comfortable while you work out. If you’re a “comfort” junkie, freeing yourself of the goal to always feel comfortable could be a huge first step toward losing 10 pounds. Ways you could break out of the need to constantly feel comfortable include:
- Breaking a pattern (i.e. take the bus to work one day, go for a bike ride if you haven’t been on a bike in years)
- Stop yourself when you catch yourself thinking a thought that’s been repeating itself in your head for years, a thought that has produced not a single positive thing in your life
- Write down habits and patterns you practice, including the times of day that you do these things. This could help you to start spotting habits that work to keep you feeling “comfortable”.
- Speak to a neighbor, relative or colleague you normally avoid talking to simply because someone else hasn’t introduced you to the person yet
- Take the lead on a community or work project (You may feel uncomfortable at the start, but if you build a strong time and relate to the team members well, you’ll learn that you can do a lot more than you thought you could.)
Lose 10 pounds as a form of self-care
Losing 10 pounds is going to take action. It’s also going to take motivation and encouragement. The good thing is that there are several ways you could lose 10 pounds. If you’re looking for ideas, to lose 10 pounds, you could:
- Jump rope for 15 to 20 minutes a day
- Speed walk (I have a friend who lost 30 pounds speed walking for five miles four or more days a week.)
- Jogging or running for 45 minutes four days a week
- Lifting weights (This has helped many people trade fat for muscle.)
- Dancing (If you love to dance, this could be a great and rewarding way to lose weight.)
- Trim 200 calories a day out of your diet
- Drink water in place of soda (Make sure you don’t start snacking more if you take this approach.)
- Chew gum when you feel tempted to snack
- Meditate for 1 to 2 minutes when you feel stressed instead of reaching for fatty foods and/or sugary drinks
- Get a good night of sleep, so you don’t find yourself eating or drinking to try to boost your energy levels or to shake off sleepiness
- Maintain healthy relationships to avoid using food to block out undesired thoughts and emotions
The more you sweat, the more calories you generally burn. Raising your heart rate is also a sign that you’re out of your “comfort” zone and burning calories. To lose 10 pounds, in addition to exercising, start the day by eating breakfast. Orange juice, a glass of water, fresh fruit or an egg muffin are all great breakfast foods. Oatmeal, fruit yogurt and Malt-o are other great breakfast foods.
On the flip side of eating being sure to eat breakfast, to lose 10 pounds, avoid eating late at night. If you get hungry and feel you must eat, go for vegetables instead of bread late at night. Read and listen to encouraging material. Stay motivated.