Unwanted weight gain is a real bother. Gaining just 15 lbs is enough to increase one’s risk of ugly things like cancer and heart disease. A few extra pounds can also impact our appearance, our self-confidence, our energy level, and even whether or not our clothes fit. Truly, no one wants to be overweight. It can be painful, frustrating, and downright depressing!
For weight loss success, one must first WANT to lose weight. Envisioning our future with the many rewards of weight loss can be all we need to give us that added motivation to get the job done.
After all, envisioning a better future after weight loss is not hard, because weight loss has some amazing personal benefits. As a physician caring for overweight men and women the past 30 years, I’ve seen and heard from countless patients first hand what they considered the rewards of losing 20, 40, 80, or 100+ pounds. Sometimes the rewards are tangible (like getting off blood pressure medications) and sometimes they are intangible (like just plain feeling better about looking in the mirror).
Here are ten of the rewards my patients have commonly reported after weight loss:
- Reward #1: Self-confidence. “My self-confidence has skyrocketed since I lost weight!” When I ask why self-confidence would change so much, the answer is usually something simple like, “I just feel better about myself when I’m thin! I can’t help but be more confident!”
- Reward #2: Energy. “My energy level has never been better. I’m no longer a ‘couch potato’!” There is nothing that robs people of energy like the cycle of poor nutrition, weight gain, and a sluggish metabolism. As weight goes up, energy levels and metabolism goes down. Weight loss, vitamins, and proper nutrition can break the low energy cycle.
- Reward #3: Professional rewards. “My opportunities at work have never been greater!” As one patient reported, “Dr. Tague, after I lost weight, I got promoted. Then they asked me to give all the presentations in our office. They NEVER asked me to do that before. I know it is because of the weight loss…”
- Reward #4: Clothing options. “I love shopping for clothes again! I look great in the mirror!” Many women dread shopping for clothes due to weight concerns. Finally finding cute new clothes that “fit right” is a true joy for many of my patients. As one reported, “Dr. Tague, I went shopping recently and the salesperson said I looked great in everything I tried on. And you know what, for the first time in years, she was right! I did look great, and I love shopping again!”
- Reward #5: Physical health. “I’m off my blood pressure and cholesterol medications. My family doctor just tells me to keep doing what I’m doing… it’s working for me!” Over 50% of U.S. healthcare costs are for “diseases” caused by overeating of unhealthy foods and being overweight. Those with obesity spend an extra $1,426 a year on unnecessary medical expenses. It’s a joy to see people eliminate costly medications through weight loss.
(Note: Please do not stop prescriptions without medical supervision.)
- Reward #6: Compliments. “Losing weight has made this my best year ever! I love all the compliments! I didn’t even realize how the excess weight was affecting my relationships.” I often see patients reverse 20 or 30 years of weight gain in a matter of months, which is always exciting. Friends and loved ones of my patients are often in awe and can’t help but deliver compliments on the transformation. And that’s good for anyone’s self-image, quality of life, and relationships!
- Reward #7: Travel. “Dr. Tague, it’s easy to travel in an airplane seat again! People no longer avoid sitting next to me, and it’s great not needing the seat belt extender!” We are traveling people, sometimes for work and sometimes for pleasure. But airplane travel can be uncomfortable if overweight. Weight loss makes it easy again…
- Reward #8: Adventure options. “I can hike again! We’ve got some real adventures planned this year!” Many of my patients are previous athletes. Then, when sedentary jobs or a pregnancy triggered weight gain, their active lifestyle became a thing of the past. I love hearing my patients report rediscovering their love for things like running, bike riding, hiking, boating, and even water skiing.
- Reward #9: Social life. “My social life has blossomed since I lost weight! Dr. Tague, don’t be surprised if you get a Christmas present from my boyfriend this year! He couldn’t be happier with the new me!” My patients have made me blush more than once when describing their newfound social life. Others have told me how proud and pleased their husbands or wives are now that they have a healthy, trim, fit, and active spouse again.
- Reward #10: Future health risks. “I know my risk for diabetes and heart disease has dropped dramatically. I feel really good about the fact that I’m finally taking care of my body as I should…” My patients love lowering their risk of disease through nutrition and weight loss. Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, dementia, sleep apnea, sexual problems, joint pain, and sudden death are just a few of the unnecessary diseases associated with being overweight. What a reward to see those risks plummet and quality of life skyrocket. And, “Being around for my grandchildren” is a truly great reward!
Excess weight is painful, expensive, pleasure-limiting, quality of life-limiting and, at times, deadly! When we look at the rewards from weight loss, it becomes quite clear that everyone should pursue and maintain a healthy (or healthier) body weight. It is simply the right thing to do.
Determining the effective tools and strategies to achieve this, one person at time, often requires a personalized medical approach and is my professional passion. If you are in the danger zone of overweight by having gained 20 lbs or more as an adult and are currently struggling to get control, get the assistance necessary for success. It’s worth it! Go to TagueNutrition.com for more information on how to get medical support on your journey towards the rewards of weight loss.
For Optimum Health,
Rick Tague, M.D., M.P.H.
Note: The above stories are based on actual patient stories. Some patient statements are combined for the purposes of this article.