When Overweight is GREAT

What? Did I just say there might be a POSITIVE to being overweight?

But how could that be? We all know that being overweight leads to many health problems, diseases, loss of fertility, and even earlier death. Where is the upside of that?

I'll tell you.

First off, what does the term "overweight" mean? Exactly what weight have you exceeded? And how did you gain that weight?

There are some instances where putting on weight is desirable and healthy. Pregnancy is one example. A weight gain of at least 25-30 pounds is normally recommended. During breastfeeding is another time when weight loss is not necessarily the best plan. Losing weight too quickly after giving birth can affect milk supply and the quality of that milk. So this is a time when being overweight is still a positive.

In addition, when you are working out with heavy weights and putting on muscle, you will probably gain weight. Muscle tissue is much denser and weighs more than fat. If you are transforming your body composition from fat and flabby to tight and firm, weight gain is a positive. Even if you are losing pounds of fat, you might end up weighing MORE due to the amount of muscle you are adding. This is an instance where you should throw your scale in the dumpster and FORGET about the number of pounds you weigh. Instead, focus on the number of pounds you can deadlift. Or bench press. 

All of the above are probably pretty obvious instances where weight gain, or weighing more than normal, is a net positive. But there is one more that you might not have thought of.

Let's say you are overweight right now. Maybe even obese. I'm guessing you don't receive too many positive messages about this state you are in. But there is something positive. You have something to work with that your smaller friends are missing: all that weight.

Yup, the weight you are carrying can HELP you LOSE WEIGHT.

In many ways, the odds are stacked against you once you are overweight or obese. The heavier you get, the longer the road to recovery. But keep this one happy thought in mind: every time you exercise, whether you are walking on a treadmill or grooving in your zumba class or hiking up a hill or doing squats, you are burning WAY MORE CALORIES than all your skinny friends. True story.

And carrying around all those extra pounds has made you STRONGER. Anyone who is obese, yet working out on a regular basis, has some serious muscle underneath the fat. All you skinny folks: just imagine strapping on a 100-pound weight vest and then dancing for an hour. Or jogging. Or just walking up a flight of stairs. No picnic.

So my message to you, if you are obese or overweight, is this: use your advantage! Get up and move your body. Do whatever you can. Walking is a great start. Climbing stairs or walking up hills is the next step. Add something active to your routine that you think would be fun. Go hiking, cross country skiing, line dancing, biking, or snowshoeing. Even vacuuming and mopping the floor is better than sitting on your butt.

Everybody has to start somewhere. And the only place you can start is right where you are. Whether you are one pound overweight or one hundred, be your own cheerleader. Be your own best friend. Get yourself up and moving and see how great you feel!

And if you need support during the new year, just leave me a message below. I am available for weight loss coaching, one-on-one fitness training, private yoga or Pilates sessions, local or long distance. Let me know how I can help!