Most women approach the scale much differently from men. We place huge value on that magic number. Our self-worth can be affected drastically in a moment depending on what happens when we step onto that great diviner of all of our flaws, faults and shortcomings. Although this is an unrealistic, punishing mentality, it is a sad truth for many women. The media accelerates this phenomenon. Bullying behaviors by society concerning overweight women drive the point home. How much stand up comedy has been based on the “fat lady” joke? As we grow up we are constantly bombarded with commercial images of “the perfect woman” and as we approach adulthood we have a very specific image of what we believe to be acceptable an a female body. All of this combines to create a profoundly emotional state of self criticism and a never-ending pursuit of an unrealistic body. I have learned the concept of being the best that I can be, not the best that someone else can be. It’s freeing. It allows you to pursue excellence.
“It’s Not Fair!”
To further complicate this issue, there are real issues that hinder weight loss that are unique to women. It is an age old complaint of women that it seems that men can eat so much more than us and still lose weight. Guess what. They can. The main reason is that we are usually smaller and it doesn’t take as many calories to sustain our bodies. If we eat as much as a man, we will weigh as much as a man.
Boys Will Be Boys
There is also the issue of testosterone. While we do have a little, men have much more and higher testosterone levels make more muscle from the calories that we eat. Muscle is more compact than fat so that weight is more streamlined. Since it’s not fat, it doesn’t appear fat so yes, men can eat much more and not be as fat as we will be. The only solution to this is to eat less.
Motive Is Everything
Women have less self-compassion than men (1) and this leads to overly zealous dieting and sometimes exercise. The problem with that is that when we crash diet we will lose water and muscle and some fat. After starving ourselves on some crazy fad diet for a short period of time, we usually get resentful and give into the cravings and hunger that fad dieting induces. Then we gain weight in the form of fat and don’t replace that precious muscle that boosts our metabolism and gives us a great shape. Low self-esteem and self-loathing will always lead to a rebound effect that lands us in a much worse place than we began. It is mandatory that our weight management efforts come from self-worth and the desire to care for ourselves in a sane, healthy manner in order to be successful.
We all know about monthly water retention. It’s very discouraging to work hard to see the scale drop a small increment and then suddenly, overnight, without any error on our part, see that scale to go back up a few pounds. Along with the water retention comes strong cravings and seemingly less ability to exercise control. Our serotonin levels tend to be lower during the premenstrual days and that leads to all kinds of moodiness that seem to be satisfied with carbs. Carbohydrates do build serotonin but so does exercise! Work out with your doctor’s permission to turn that monthly gain into a loss.
We tend to want to lose weight fast. Not only is this unhealthy, it makes us so miserable that we give up much quicker. Aim to lose about a pound a week and you’ll be much more likely to be successful.
Consider strength training. Traditionally strength training has been thought of as a male activity but strength training will build shapely muscle and boost your metabolism like nothing else. Reconsider your ways if you’re a cardio bunny.
Above all, never give up on yourself. I found David’s Way after trying every weight loss organization and fad diet ever conceived in the history of the world. It works. It’s simple. Read our articles. Try our recipes. Ask questions. It’s FREE and we’re always open.