[adrotate banner=”26″]There are lots of reasons to want to lose weight and shed unwanted fat. However, if you’re tuned into social media–or any media, really–you’d think the only reason is to be “bikini-ready.” Swimsuit season may be one reason (in fact, it’s one we’ve even cited), but it shouldn’t be confused with being the only reason. Why? Because, newsflash: How you look in bathing suit, be it one piece, two piece, tankini, or bikini, DOES NOT DEFINE YOU!
Let’s break this down. A swimsuit is as close to being naked in public as you’re going to get (unless you live somewhere such as Brazil or a liberal European country where anything goes). Being naked–or very close to it–makes people feel vulnerable. While you might think the lack of confidence comes from your body not being perfect (and newsflash #2: No human body is!), the truth is that just about everyone feels a tad insecure thanks solely to being exposed. We cling to what we wear like security blankets, contouring our bodies with often uncomfortable shapewear and tricking the eye with slimming patterns and lots of black clothing. Once we bare it all, what you see is what you get. The only way to truly be bikini-ready is to start loving you–every lump, bump, scar, wrinkle, and curve that makes you, you.
That doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t make changes to your body if you don’t like something, but starting with the how you look nearly naked in public–the Mount Everest of goals–maybe isn’t the greatest place to begin. There are far more superior reasons for improving your health that have nothing to do with baring it all. Why not start with these instead?
Better Health: When you carry unwanted fat, your body can be more prone to health conditions such as diabetes, stroke, certain types of cancer, heart disease, and depression. By losing even a small amount of weight, you can reduce these risks or avoid them altogether.
Saved Money: Regardless of your insurance situation, it pays to stays healthy. Since losing weight can lead to less negative health conditions, it can also mean less non-checkup related doctor visits, medications, procedures, and downtime from your job. All of which can be pretty pricey. Some insurance companies even offer incentives to help you improve and maintain your health in the way of reduced premiums, and reimbursements for buying produce through local Community Sponsored Agriculture (CSA) and for using your gym membership.
Loved Ones: The time you spend with your family and friends is precious. Life is too short to be limited by your body weight and health, which is why it’s so important to eat right and exercise so that moments spent together are ones filled with making fond memories. If increased fat and disease are already rampant around you, make a pact to get healthy together. The people with whom you surround yourself are often the ones who support you, not to mention the ones sitting next to you when you eat or stay sedentary on the sofa. Knowing that you’re in it together will make it that much easier to achieve better health.
Increased Energy: The better you feel, the more energy you are likely to have. When you’re bodyweight is right for you, you’ll be better able to chase after your children or grandchildren, stay alert while on the job, take on obstacles with limited stress, and try new fitness activities without questioning your abilities. And all that energy used up during the day means sleeping better at night–a time when fat-burning hormones are at their busiest.
When choosing a reason to change your body, make sure it’s for the positive. Feeling great in a bikini certainly has it’s advantages, but living a long happy life is even better than a day at the beach.
What keeps you motivated to shed fat? Share with others in the comments!