Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Why We Lose Weight 2

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Like Maria, Juan was looking forward to going back and reconnect- ing with his old buddies. Although he, too, had picked up several pounds since high school, he wasnt especially concerned about what people would think about his appearance. He was very concerned about his weight, though. The week before, he had applied for a new life insurance policy and it required him to have a comprehensive physical examination.
Much to his surprise, he found out that he had high blood pressure and borderline-high blood sugar. Concerned about his health, Juan had called his doctor and seen him the next day. The doctor told Juan that he needed to take medication to lower his blood pressure, but that if he lost weight, he might be able to reduce or go off the medication and there was a good chance his blood sugar would return to within the normal range. Given the bad news
about his health and higher insurance rates, Juan also found himself sud- denly motivated to lose weight. That night at dinner he turned to Maria for help: He said, “I know you want to lose weight before we go to the reunion. I need to lose some weight, too. Can you help me? The doc- tor told me that I need to lose at least twenty pounds if I hope to get off the blood pressure medication. I love you and the kids and I want to be around for a long time. I am going to lose this weight for good!”
Here we have two people, a husband and wife. Both know that they are overweight and both suddenly want to do something about it. Although their goals may be the same—to lose weight—that is where their similarities end. Their motivation for losing weight happens to be verydifferent. Whether it is a high school reunion or hypertension, before most people voluntarily commit themselves to losing weight, something triggers the motivation. Like Maria, many women are initially motivated to take off extra pounds because they want to look better. While appear- ance is important to guys, too, its often the diagnosis of a health prob- lem like Juans that makes them get serious about losing weight.
Not only do different reasons often motivate women and men to start losing weight, but what motivates anyone to continue losing weight after the first days also tends to change and shift. Studies have discovered that motivations generally change from the beginning to the end of weight loss and beyond. A continuing desire to achieve a healthy weight is key to lasting weight loss. This chapter sheds some light on what makes women and men want to start losing and what then keeps them motivated to achieve lasting
results.
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