A Gallup poll on obesity, desired body weight, and changing perceptions over the years caught my eye. The 2011 study, reported by Fox News, indicated that the average American weighs about 20 pounds more than they did 20 years ago. This is plenty obvious to me by just looking around the mall, visiting a school, or sitting at a concert.
What was of particular interest to me was the desired goal weight of the people surveyed.
Men indicated they wanted to weigh 181 pounds, and women said their ideal weight was 138 pounds.
Unfortunately, for many Americans, these are just imagined goals because so few people will actually lose weight and keep it off.
We are further away from those goal weights now than ever before, yet many Americans do not consider themselves overweight or think it matters.
On Facebook the other day, a friend of a friend of a friend posted this on her wall:
Honey, I’m cute in the face, and I’m thick in the waist. I look good whether I’m in cotton, leather, or lace. I’m beautiful, vibrant and above all, smart! And there’s more to me than my weight. We all are not self-conscious about our weight. . .
For some reason this made me both sad and happy. I was happy that this woman enjoyed a healthy self-esteem, but also sad that she did not see the the necessity to get to a healthy weight, or seem to understand the health-related dangers that long-term obesity can bring.
The “ideal weights” from the people in the survey seemed reasonable to me, given that the average man is about 5’10” inches, and the average woman about 5’5″. What is concerning is that even though we all have a an idea of what we’d ideally like to weigh, the majority of Americans cannot seem to get there.
Part of the weight loss process is setting healthy goals and taking the action you need to actually meet those goals. It is not enough to say, “I’d like to weigh 138 pounds” but not do anything about it, or to say, “I’m embracing my overweight self so there.
I was very excellent at saying I wanted to lose weight, but not very successful at the follow through. Unlike the woman on Facebook, I never really embraced my obesity because I was not healthy or happy weighing 300 pounds.
Setting real, healthy goals and acknowledging your need to lose weight are one of the first steps to take when losing weight. So many of you have done that and I love reading your stories about how you are beating this obesity monster that looms large in America and passing your healthy mindset onto others.
Although I did not set a specific goal weight when I began to lose weight, I had some real, healthy goals for myself that I never lost sight of.
Here’s a few from my list from way back then:
– Be able to climb a set of stairs without huffing and puffing.
– Have the ability to run with (or after) my kids.
– Not wake up every morning feeling like a beached whale.
– Learn to make meals that were healthy and tasty.
– Getting under 200 pounds.
– Stop shopping in the plus sized department.
What were (are) some of your healthy goals that have helped you move past just talking about getting healthy and actually do it? Diane