Published on October 18, 2023
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Recently, as I started to do my end-of-year clerical clean-up at the office, I started to go through many of many old client charts, paying particular attention to the last part of the questionnaire we have everyone fill out prior to a consultation:
“Please give three reasons, in order of importance, why you want to lose weight.”
It was an eye-opener for three reasons:
1️⃣ Answers were most often very different by gender.
2️⃣ It was surprising how many clients did not list “health” as priority #1.
3️⃣ The responses haven’t changed over the decades!
I want to address many of these responses from females. If you are an overweight or obese woman, see if perhaps any of these responses given by our clients to that question above applies to you. I’ve grouped them together by stages of life (single, married, grandparents).
✅ I hate attending social events because I’m embarrassed by my size; I think everyone is focused on me.
✅ I hate going shopping because I can’t buy what I’d like to wear; I can only buy clothes that cover my body.
✅ I can’t enjoy winter sports as much as I used to: I used to love skiing and ice skating, but my weight makes me more unsteady and less sure of myself.
✅ My weight inhibits me when it comes to dating.
✅ I can’t enjoy summer activities like I used to: I used to love hiking for miles, but don’t anymore because my feet hurt. I used to love to go water skiing but can’t now because of weight-related knee and ankle issues.
✅ I used to love going to the beach, but now I refuse to put on a bathing suit.
The fact is that for many overweight and obese people (women as well as men), as they get larger, their world does gets smaller. Physically, they cannot participate in many of the pastimes and activities that so many other young people enjoy that draw them together. Emotionally, then, many overweight and obese young adults find themselves more alone, with perhaps like-minded friends who are as lonely and unhappy with their weight and appearance as they are.
✅ I am getting married in a few months, and I want to be healthier before I start a family.
✅ My sister is very overweight, and she had many infertility problems before she was finally able to become pregnant. I want to try to prevent that.
✅ I have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome).
According to research, obesity is linked directly to not only an increase in infertility but more pregnancy complications as well, both in terms of fetal development and carrying to term. The less visceral fat a woman has, the more balanced her hormones, the greater the chance of an optimal hormonal environment with which to conceive and carry to full term without incident. And for those with PCOS and who are also overweight and obese, getting pregnant is even more difficult. There’s no cure for PCOS, but maintaining a slim, healthy weight is crucial.
✅ My husband is as slim as the day I married him, and he bothers me about my weight.
✅ I avoid intimacy with my husband because I know how he feels about my gaining so much weight during our marriage.
✅ I don’t sleep well through the night; I’ve started to snore. It gets so bad sometimes that my husband sleeps in another room.
✅ My snoring got to the point where the doctor told me I had to wear a CPAP. I hate it; it’s uncomfortable and unattractive.
These are issues we hear a lot and, when we do, we’ll ask the woman to use a little transference, to turn the tables for a minute. If she was as slim as she was on her wedding day, it would be because she took pride in the way she looked and practiced a lifestyle that kept her in good shape. It might also be because she wanted to maintain being attractive to her spouse. So, if her husband was no longer the same slim man that she married, if he didn’t dress as nicely as he used to and that attracted her to him initially, if he couldn’t be as physically active as he was, and didn’t have the same passion or stamina in intimacy as he used to because his excessive weight inhibited him, or even prevented him from being intimate, would she be happy?
If you are an overweight or obese woman, ask yourself those same questions. If your slim husband or partner has voiced his concern for your weight gain and health, this doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love you. It just means he wishes you would take better care of yourself so you can be around longer, and so the two of you can grow old together, enjoying life together.
It’s not only for the maintenance of a physical attraction that we all should want to take care of ourselves, but also to maintain overall good health for the duration of our marriages. With obesity comes medical issues. With medical issues, comes limitations. Do you want to spend time with your husband doing things . . . like traveling, dancing, going to concerts, walking in museums? Or do you want him to spend time taking care of you, reminding you which medications to take, and transporting you to and from doctors’ appointments? Is that what you think he envisioned on his wedding day? Did you?
✅ I don’t allow anyone to take pictures of me; I hate being in pictures.
✅ I’ve got teens who have important dates coming up (junior and senior programs; high school graduation), and I want to be in the photos.
This a very common complaint. Let’s face it, capturing important moments such as proms and graduations should be only about the moments, and not about how we look. Still, many women tell us they know the importance of these events in their kids’ lives, and they want photos to capture how they want to be remembered as their kids get older and look back on those photographs.
✅ My weight prevents me from doing lots of things with my grandchildren.
✅ I’m going to be a grandmother in a few months, and I’d like to be able to get on the floor to play with my grandchild.
✅ I want to have the stamina and physical ability to take all my grandchildren to Disney World in a couple years.
Being a grandparent is all about the pampering and none of the punishing! It’s about having fun and no responsibility for child rearing! You can be 60, 70, 80 and beyond, and if you’re slim and healthy, you might be a wee bit slower in your step, but you should have minimal, if any, physical limitations as to what you can do with your grandchildren. If you’re overweight and obese, however, it will limit your options: Will you be able to travel with your grandchildren? Will you be able to take them to the park and run after them if they get away from you? Will you able to go with them down the sliding pond?
It doesn’t matter how old you are, if you’re overweight or obese, improved energy and feeling of wellness, strengthened immunity, sharpened mental focus and enhanced mobility are just some of the benefits of weight loss for ‘seasoned citizens’, and they are all worth the effort. It’s never too late to lose weight and to give yourself the best quality years of ‘living’ ahead.
✅ I see my children are starting to gain weight now too.
✅ I want to set an example for my kids; I want to learn how to prepare healthier meals.
With a few exceptions of stay-at-home dads or fathers who just love to cook, it’s the moms who are the keepers of the kitchen—shopping for groceries, preparing meals and snacks. If you’re overweight or obese, please stop and think about how your own weight affects your young children. Childhood obesity is a product of adult behavior! Do you want to give them a lifetime battle with obesity and all its attendance physical, emotional, and social issues? And, please don’t think older kids, even if they’re slim, don’t suffer as well. They do. We hear too often from older teens, college kids and older married kids, about how concerned they are for their mom’s or dad’s health and longevity. They love you, and they want you to be around for the many milestones in their lives that you’ll miss if your obesity leads to your early mortality.
Ladies, regardless of your age, excessive fat takes a special toll:
✅ Obesity wreaks havoc on female hormones and sexuality, due to increased testosterone levels and a greater risk of PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome).
✅ Obesity increases a woman’s risk of developing breast, colorectal, kidney and ovarian cancers; gallbladder disease, high cholesterol, kidney cancer, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, osteoarthritis, and type 2 diabetes.
✅ Obesity increases the probability of snoring, which increases the risk of obstructive sleep apnea.
If you look down and can’t see your feet . . . what are you weighting for?