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A healthy weight loss, one that makes you look and feel good does wonders for one’s self-esteem. When you are able to fit into your old clothes, or are buying clothes in smaller sizes, or when your weighing scale and measuring tape show smaller numbers, it is hard not to smile and feel on top of the world. Low in weight, and definitely high on self-esteem.
Having a positive body image, accepting how you look are all hot topics of debate among those pushing for body acceptance movement. But it is also a fact that most people look tired and drawn when they start to put on excess weight.
In fact, one of the reasons they decide to lose weight is to improve their body image and self-esteem.
Here’s what people feel about healthy weight loss
While most no longer celebrate being very thin – unhealthily so; being out of shape due to excess weight is not fun either. Excess weight actually restricts movement for many and can cause many health complications.
Take the case of Bangalore-based software professional and new mom Bandana Dash. “Due to pregnancy, I had put on lot of weight, and I had a very high BMI(Body Mass Index)
Despite all efforts I was unable to shed excess weight. I actually tried everything that I could think of, including exercising, going on regular walks, even diet control. I also tried some weight loss diet. But that was of no use.
My hectic lifestyle and caring for a new baby just left me tired. Added to this was the worry that my sugar levels were increasing. I had started feeling depressed because of the ungainly changes in me – none of my clothes were fitting me and I had low self-esteem.”
So she accepted when her husband put her in touch with Truweight’s weight loss diet program. Dash was able to lose over 10 kgs in 3 months. “I am so happy now that I am able to fit into my old clothes. I did it by following a healthy eating plan and light exercises,” explains Dash, who is not thin, but looks fit and healthy is very high on self-esteem currently.
In the case of Bangalore-based software professional Praveen Kumar, it was a catch 22 situation. He was overweight because of diabetes and high cholesterol, which in turn did not let him be fit, shed excess weight and become healthy.
More than being worried about his fat body image, Kumar, at 35, wanted to shed fat because it was hampering his lifestyle. “Today, after losing the considerable amount of weight, I feel very confident.
My self-esteem and body image has become very positive. I now have higher levels of energy and can work long hours. This was not possible earlier. Today I am able to work for 12 hours without feeling exhausted. I now have more energy with less food – I eat a lot less than the amount I used to eat earlier. I really love my new self,” he says.
What do our experts say
Encouraging healthy weight loss, fitness expert and lifestyle consultant, Namita Jain says, “It is important to be fit, and not necessarily thin. You should do that by eating right and lots of activity instead of mindless dieting. It is important that you remain active and conscious about your fitness levels.”
Says Dr. Shunmukha Priya. S, Scientific Research Officer, Truweight, Bangalore, “It is important to establish an optimal weight to be fit and healthy. Being fat is not really healthy for your heart, and spine. A balanced diet with the right food groups like salads, or whole grains should be your aim. You should be able to feel healthy at all times.”
Why healthy weight loss is good for your self-esteem
- You beat negative body image: You feel more confident and are able to mingle more easily in a social scenario. Research shows that many obese people shun social gatherings for the fear of criticism.
- You feel healthier: This is a definite. With excess weight gone you are able to fight weight related diseases better. Bring your sugar and cholesterol levels under control.
- You feel more in control of your life: There is more energy to achieve your goals. Excess weight can cause fatigue and lethargy. As you feel lighter, so you get more energy to finish your task and get more involved in an active lifestyle.
Why is weight loss so important?
Mindless weight loss is actually detrimental to your health. It is a good idea to lose weight in a healthy way if you are overweight or have belly fat. It helps you fight many lifestyle diseases like stroke, or diabetes.
Is it possible to have low self esteem due to excess weight?
Yes, research shows that obesity can induce people to shun social interactions due to the fear of criticism. Since excess weight can cause fatigue and tiredness, a person might not feel ready to handle anything. They might look down upon their own self.
How can weight loss lead to better self-esteem?
When you lose weight you feel lighter literally. You feel more fit, and many diseases come under control. You are able to look good and feel good because your clothes fit.