Last Updated on May 28, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
I’ve seen a vast number of obese people who are simply happy with what they look like. They have no ambition to change because they are proud of who they are on the inside. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it may be responsible for killing you sooner rather than later. Blood clots and bone damage from excessive weight will happen regardless if you’re happy or not. I understand the need for self-esteem speeches about what’s on the inside is what counts. In fact, that is more true than you realize; the inside is where the most damage is done.
Happy Doesn’t Mean Healthy
There are a lot of people who are proud of who they are both inside and out, which is fine until a heart attack claims another life. Who’s to say you can’t be proud of yourself after you lose some weight?
Don’t Focus on Appearance
I’m not saying that everyone on the planet should look like they came out of Sports Illustrated. You shouldn’t be overly concerned about your appearance, but you should focus on what it means to be healthy in the first place. Humans were not meant to weigh 400+ pounds as demonstrated by disease and bone structure. It’s not about being sexy; it’s about staying alive with far less pain. Whether it’s internal emotional pain or physical, losing weight can do wonders for you in a plethora of ways.
Which Side of Pride Are You On?
I know a lot of overweight and obese people who are proud of who they are and have no intention of changing anything. But, wouldn’t that be pride stepping in the way of practicing better health? Too many people think that others are trying to change the way they look. In reality, it’s this sense of pride that will increase the risk of disease and other physical damage. Pride can be a good thing as long as it doesn’t interfere with making rational and logical choices.
Health Benefits Beyond Appearances
Being happy with yourself is excellent in many ways. It will boost your self-esteem, confidence levels, reduce stress and affect your blood pressure. Unfortunately, it won’t prevent a variety of ailments from attacking your body when you’re overweight or obese.
Joint and Bone Damage
The human body is developed to handle a finite amount of weight efficiently. By going beyond this limit, you’ll begin to damage the actual bone structure as well as the joints. In many cases, this damage becomes permanent and will continue to get worse over time. However, losing the weight will greatly reduce the pain and suffering as well as reverse some of the minor issues that have developed. For example, I developed metatarsal stress fractures when I walked a 5K in 2015 because I weighed 270 pounds when I did it. I was also wearing bad shoes, but it’s the weight that did the most damage. These healed over time, but the wearing down of the tissue and cartilage in my knees may never return.
Heart disease will happen at some point regardless of how much pride you have in yourself. While a reduction in stress will affect your blood pressure, there are other things that being overweight will contribute to within the cardiovascular system. This includes strokes caused by blood clots, which are more prevalent in those who are overweight.
Resistance to Injury
This is one of my favorite points to bring up. Healthy people are less likely to suffer from virtually any injury as opposed to those who are obese. This includes the healing time of flesh wounds and the repair time of broken bones. Even illnesses such as the flu or colds are less likely in those who are at a healthy weight. You see, a virus or bacteria really doesn’t care if you’re happy with yourself or not. It can just take up residence because the immune system isn’t as finely tuned as it should be.
Enhancing Your Mental State
A lot of people really don’t connect how fitness plays into mental development. Everything from memory to fine motor control can be further enhanced by being healthier. Risks to things like Alzheimer’s disease can also be greatly reduced through weight loss and proper eating. This is because the human body requires a certain level of nutrition in order to operate in an optimal capacity. If you think you have a good head on your shoulders now, image what you could accomplish if you were to lose the weight and focus on a better diet.
You don’t have to be the epitome of fitness in order to be healthy. While you can be happy with who you are and what you look like, you still need to take into consideration everything that goes with being overweight. Proper health isn’t about looking like a toothpick. It’s about keeping yourself alive for a couple more decades.