The Emotional Side of Weight Loss

Posted by Brittney Casalina on

According to the CDC, two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight or obese and the number continues to rise.  Children are also impacted by overweight and obesity. The National Institute of Health (NIH) reports being overweight or obese puts individuals at risk for high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, stroke, respiratory problems and cancer. Unfortunately, mental and emotional conditions, such as depression and anxiety, were not listed in this statement as a health risk secondary to overweight and obesity but mental illness is a leading health issue overlooked. The condition of being overweight and obese has a significant impact on a person’s mental and emotional well-being. When a person gains weight he/she may feel down or sad and when he/she loses weight that individual may feel happy or excited. Maintaining a healthy BMI is key to maintaining and living a healthy life.

The mere thought or mention of weight loss or weight gain can trigger a tsunami of feelings and emotions from excitement, frustration, and irritability, to anxiety and depression. Why is the concept and process of weight loss so powerful?  One reason is because losing weight changes a person’s body image and their mental image of self.  Many illnesses cannot be seen but the illness of being overweight and obese is visually evident to the individual and to others. Talking to an overweight person about losing weight can cause the individual to have an increase in heart rate, increased breathing, panic attack, feelings of sadness or they may emotionally shut down or check out. Because the concept of weight loss is so powerful, overweight persons often avoid the subject and do not address the problem. When a problem is not addressed and goes unchecked, the problem can only get worse. Because of the overwhelming factors related to weight loss, individuals often need help - and this is what ITG does. ITG is a program designed to not only provide tools for weight loss, but also provides coaching to individuals along the way for as long as necessary.  

And just as frightening as the subject of weight loss can be, in contrast, the accomplishment of losing weight can stimulate joy, excitement, energy and gratitude unparallel to other achievements. When an overweight or obese person steps on the scale and their weight is down, that person feels phenomenal! Achieving a weight loss goal is a positive lifestyle change which promotes self-esteem and self-confidence, decreases anxiety, increases energy and nurtures peace and happiness. The body is ill when it is overweight and obese and as an individual moves closer to his or her recommended BMI the body begins to heal. A healthy body weight promotes a healthy well-being, improves relationships and prevents physical and mental illness.

Where the mind leads, the body will follow. Without sound mind, clear thoughts, happy feelings and healthy social relationships, a person is at risk for a cascade of physical and mental problems. A healthy well-being incorporates physical and mental wellness. One key to maintaining a healthy well-being is prevention. It is important to continuously work on maintaining a healthy mind and body to prevent physical and mental illnesses. The same concept applies to maintaining a vehicle, such as routine oil changes, new brakes, and new tires; the same should be applied to maintaining a healthy mind and body by having an annual physical, participating in activities and exercise, avoiding stress, eating healthy foods, and drinking water. Living a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle prevents illness and promotes wellness. Prevention, Prevention, Prevention, ITG for life!



By Helen B. Hayes, MSN, MBN, FNP-BC, PMHNP-BC
To View More About "Mind Over Matter Topics, View ITG Diet's Website HERE!

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