Do I want to lose weight?

imageI’m asked that question a lot these days. It’s that time of year, I guess.

I’m also spending time with a bunch of performance oriented athletes with race related reasons to want to weigh less.

I’m never sure what to answer.

The easy answer is this: Yes, yes I do.

On the one hand, I’ve been reassured by an endocrinologist that I have no health related reasons to lose weight. For whatever reason–healthy eating, lots of activity, or just plain genetic good luck–I’m in great shape healthwise by the usual standard measures.

One the other hand, we live in a world with pretty strong anti-overweight bias. While my self-esteem is pretty secure (see here and here), I do worry sometimes about the external effects. I’m pretty sure it hurts my teaching evaluations. Research also shows that being overweight has a financial impact.

And finally, there’s hills. And it’s harder to run fast when you’re larger. And pull ups. I’d love to be able to do an unassisted pull up.

So yes, I want to lose weight.

But wanting something doesn’t make it so.

I’d also like a million dollars, world peace, an end to global warming, and a second job in a warmer climate for the winter months. Oh, and nice boots that fit over my thighs.

And unicorns, and rainbows, and puppies…you get the idea.

If you’ve been reading the blog awhile you’ve heard lots about my weight loss journey:

So there’s things I’d love to have, better eyesight!, and things I can actually control to some extent, like my training and my nutrition.

I can control what I do. I can’t control the results.

It’s January and the group I cycle with is holding a “healthy weight loss challenge.” They’re ruling out extreme dieting. The goal is to get to racing weight by the time of our March training camp. Will I take part? Maybe.

But for me becoming thin, forget racing weight, isn’t likely on the agenda. I’ve never been thin. Even at my lightest (I wore a size 10) I was overweight by the standard measures.

Luckily, I’m a strong believer in the Healthy at Every Size  approach to life.

Health at Every Size is based on the simple premise that the best way to improve health is to honor your body. It supports people in adopting health habits for the sake of health and well-being (rather than weight control). Health at Every Size encourages:

So yes, I eat well, I track what I eat, and I try to make better choices. I follow the main precision nutrition habits. I’ll likely spend more time with my Lean Eating buddies on Facebook. (Our group from our 2013 class is still very active. Go Team Switch! We archived all the PN materials and we continue to reuse them.) If that results in weight loss, then fantastic. I’ll be thrilled. If it doesn’t, I’ll keep on moving. Because that’s what I love best. It’s a good thing. It would be sad thing to have my sights set on being a weight loss unicorn.

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