A friend of mine wants to lose 10 pounds before the end of June. Although she's already slim, the weight she wants to shed has nothing to do with reaching her goal weight or making her doctor happier. Nope! She fully admits it's all about looking better than her sister-in-law at her niece's wedding! Ha! Gotta love her candor, but when she admitted this, it really got me thinking about what motivates our weight loss goals.
Personally, I know my current workout and healthy eating regimen is being looked at as an obvious extension of being a bride. Everyone assumes that from the moment they're engaged, brides-to-be are a.) growing their hair out, b.) on Pinterest 24/7/365, and c.) on an extreme wedding weight loss plan -- with the end game obviously being looking gorge in their dress (which they've already pinned and found the perfect hairstyle to accompany, of course).
And while, yeah, looking amazing on The Big Day is very much a motivating factor for me, it's certainly not the only one. If it was, I'd be DOOMED.
That's because losing weight for a particular outfit or day or season or even person (someone you want to make jealous at a wedding or reunion or even an S.O. or your kids) is just not enough. For instance, on The Biggest Loser, contestants will come on and say they're there because they want their kids to have a healthy daddy. That's heartwarming and admirable, but in the end, that daddy also needs to also be shedding pounds for HIMSELF -- for his own health and well-being.
Which brings me back to the even shallower reasons to lose ... To say, "Oh, I want to touch X weight for that special occasion, but then, screw it!" is a recipe for disaster. Because losing for that one-day event or a special outfit or "bikini season" only leads to yo-yo dieting, which can really wreak havoc on the body.
The big picture and long-term outlook matters more than we realize. For me, yeah, I'm out to be "fit to wed." It's an incredibly powerful, visual goal pushing me through my workouts and keeping me on track. But my drive is about more than that. I also want to maintain well beyond that day. So I can continue to look -- and feel! -- good in a bathing suit the following summer but also have a strong, healthy body for carrying a baby a couple years later and not look back at wedding photos with regret for a body that existed for only a brief moment in time. Those are just a few of the deeper reasons for getting in shape. We all need those -- or else, our weight loss goals don't have a leg to stand on.
Do you agree that trying to lose weight just for an outfit or a special event is a mistake?
Image via rockinfree/Flickr