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Choosing Health Over Weight Loss describes the common behavior of periodically dieting to lose weight, as opposed to the simpler and safer goal of maintaining health.

Choosing Health Over Weight Loss

With the slinky look plastered on everything from magazines, to TV, to the Internet, it's easy to lose sight of the reason we're seeking weight loss.  Many of us take from January until May to force our otherwise healthy bodies into unhealthy condition just so we can fit into the latest fashion or the sexiest bathing suit.  Another group purchases and abuses the latest in special workout equipment to trim those thighs, abs or whatever.  Chasing this up-and-down weight and abnormal shape are often the things that destroy our health to "look healthy."  Instead, by choosing health as our focus, we can live longer, more energetic lives and look our best in the process. 

Lose The Weight Loss Diet:

The biggest culprit in the health and fitness industry is the weight loss diet.  Strategically-placed advertising tries to convince us that we can eliminate months of weight gain in a few easy weeks.  No matter the method, trying to lose weight too quickly is more dangerous to your health than just being overweight.  Please consult with your doctor before using any weight loss diet.  Assuming you succeed in losing weight on the diet, the next problem is how to transition back to normal life without gaining it all back.  This is the yo-yo effect that endangers the health of most people who use weight-loss diets.  The slogan goes..."just replace one meal a day."  Right!  What's usually in the fine print is, "...along with a healthy, well-balanced diet."  Here are some of the top-selling weight loss products if you'd like to try, despite this article.  Do you want to lose weight slowly and safely?  When you see your doctor, get a sample of a healthy, well-balanced diet to use and follow're going to need to, anyway.

Exorcise The Exercise:

These ads try to sell you specialized equipment to "sculpt" your body into what they want you to believe is the most desirable shape.  Unfortunately, they use the most grotesquely abnormal men and women to depict that shape.  They remind me of comic book characters.  If you want to appear on "muscle beach" this summer, go for it, but don't kid yourself into believing it's for your health.  In fact, it may be a symptom of a serious mental condition known as Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  Mentally healthy people don't need sculpted pecs, washboard abs or the wasp look so popular among women, to feel good about themselves.  The fact is, feeling good is less about how we look and more about promoting our health through the right exercise. 

Choose Health...Eating Right...Exercise Right:

Doctors will tell you people come in all shapes and sizes.  Though they try to set standards for weight, the variations are so large that someone rated as "obese" on the Body Mass Index could actually be normal and healthy for their body type.  Our weight goals should aim at a healthy weight for our type.  They should be met by following the "along with a healthy, well-balanced diet" part of the diet plans and losing the diet products.  Our shapes are dictated more by our genes than anything else, so, exercise should be to maintain our bodies in good working condition, not to reshape them into some idealistic image.  Thirty minutes of aerobic exercise 3-4 days per week will do more for our health than an hour a day trying to shape ourselves. 

We spend billions of dollars and millions of hours each year, trying to reach an unrealistic ideal of what a healthy, vibrant, energetic person should look like.  We force our bodies to do things they weren't meant to do for the short-term result of a certain look.   In fact, the long-term strategy for looking healthy is by setting health, not looks, as the goal.  As an added benefit, this goal is far easier to achieve and maintain than some arbitrary shape.  You may discover that the fastest and easiest way to look healthy is to be healthy.

If you're looking to improve your health and fitness, you probably want a healthy life...including mind, body and spirit.  You can renew your mind and spirit with God's help.  He can heal the stuff your diet doesn't control.  If you want His help, go to Healing From God.

What are your ideas about weight loss?

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