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Seeing beyond weight loss

woman reaches top of hill

When we think about our weight, we tend to think in terms of pounds and physical appearance, but weight management is about a lot more than that. Your weight matters for your health!

Contributions to weight loss include: a healthy, balanced nutrition plan, a comprehensive fitness routine/plan, behavior modification, pharmacotherapy and more.

Many of us might think about the external benefits which accompany these behaviors. We imagine ourselves in thinner bodies and think about the positive reactions from family and friends. Maybe we picture the types of clothes we will be able to wear, or the social/mental benefits we’ll reap if we reach our goal weight.

These common perceptions also fuel many media messages about weight loss and weight management. Commercials, billboards, and print advertisements appeal to our emotions by motivating us through the promise of happier relationships, greater confidence, attractiveness, social status and more. These are common things we all strive toward. While these types of reactions can be normal, they fail to consider the bigger picture in terms of weight loss: better health. Ultimately, a healthy weight is the foundation for a happy and healthy life.

Contributions from weight loss to a greater quality of life include: greater energy, pain reduction, disease risk reduction (cancer, stroke, diabetes and heart disease), better sleep, a stronger immune system and improved mobility.

A healthier weight is essential to a healthier lifestyle. While it is OK to lose weight for the associated external benefits, please think of the improved quality of life factors that result from weight loss.

We emphasize healthy behaviors every day in our Via Christi LIGHT weight loss clinic in Manhattan. To speak to someone about exercise and weight loss in the Manhattan area, please contact Via Christi LIGHT at 785-565-2900.

For Ascension Via Christi Weight Management resources in Wichita, visit viachristi.org/weightloss.

About Debra L. Doubek MD

Debra L. Doubek, MD, is medical director of Via Christi LIGHT, a physician-supervised weight loss program in Manhattan, Kansas. She is certified in bariatrics through the American Board of Bariatric Medicine.