Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill announced this week that she reached her weight loss goal of 50 pounds—a goal she had announced via Twitter back in May.
McCaskill said that she chose to tweet her business as a way to hold herself accountable, saying: "I'm tired of looking and feeling fat. Maybe talking about it publicly will keep me on track."
Now here's the kicker...some websites and blogs are lambasting McCaskill for so-called preoccupation with a number on a scale, and they're critizing her for, as one website stated, putting "way too much emphasis on [weight] under the guise of getting fit.'"
They're claiming that by publicly setting a weight loss goal, McCaskill is perpetuating society's constant public scrutiny of women's bodies and the pressure that women have to be smaller.
The same site goes on to say: "Your weight does not matter. Your health matters. Your ability to physically complete the tasks you ask of your body matters."
Yes, fine. That's true. Being able to lift a bag of groceries or play with your kids is what matters.
But do you know what also matters? Your weight. Your weight is directly tied to your health. If you are obese (and, according to the CDC, about one-third of U.S. adults (33.8%) are obese, whether they realize it or not) your risk for life-threatening disease goes through the roof.
Over the past few decades morbidity (death) levels have sharply increased due to the rising rates of chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and more. If every overweight adult lost just 10 percent of his or her body weight (or 20 pounds for someone weighing 200 pounds), the rates of these chronic diseases could be drastically reduced.
If you are obese you are more likely to be depressed, have sexual dysfunction, have thinning hair, have joint problems, have sleeping problems, and on and on and on. You are more likely to have heart disease, diabetes, memory loss, stroke and cancer.
If you are obese and lose enough weight to lower your BMI into the healthy range, your risk for all of these things plummets. Sick of paying for ridiculously expensive health care? Losing weight would lower the price of that, too.
We understand where these bloggers are coming from. Our country puts way too much emphasis on womens' appearance. But this isn't an issue of appearance, it's an issue of a health care crisis of an epidemic proportion.
Sure, if you are in a healthy weight range and just want to lose five to 10 pounds, focusing on the number on the scale might not be the most productive way to get there. Instead you'll want to take measurements, or simply notice if your jeans fit better over time.
But if you have 20 or more pounds to lose, we don't think there is anything wrong with checking in with the scale to monitor your progress. Just because you are weighing yourself doesn't mean you are obsessive about it. Set goals about getting the gym three times a week, or eating healthy breakfast every day, and make those your priority. But if you want to lose 50 pounds, then by gosh you should go for it.
Here at YouBeauty we applaud McCaskill for losing 50 pounds, and for setting a public example for losing a significant about of weight. We hope it inspired other Americans to do the same.
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