Swimsuits come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and patterns, but you may dread having to wear one. Excess weight and body image often play a major role. However, when summer arrives, no one wants to miss out on fun times at the beach, pool, or lake. You can use this as a source of motivation to hit the gym and drop some pounds, but such inspiration will probably fade once swimsuit season ends.
While looking shapely in a swimsuit feels gratifying, there are many more personal victories associated with weight loss that can be great sources of motivation all year long. They are also beneficial to long-term health and well-being. These are called non-scale victories (NSVs), and they are the health improvements resulting from even the smallest physical and emotional changes that happen while you lose weight. NSVs show that weight loss motivation can be found in many different areas of your life, beyond numbers on the scale. Here are some of our favorite NSVs that can have a big-time impact on weight loss, health and wellness goals:
- Alleviating Serious Health Issues: It only takes a small amount of weight loss to positively impact chronic health conditions and comorbidities, such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Research has even proven that weight loss leads to a decrease in triglycerides, which are risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Many times, weight loss can help eliminate serious health conditions all together and allow you to completely discontinue disease medications.
- Enhancing Mobility: Losing weight can help take away the stress on load-bearing areas of your body, such as joints, knees, legs, and lower back. Once you start dropping pounds, you will probably notice a reduction in physical pain and an improvement in your mobility, whether it be walking or jogging longer distances without pain, lifting heavy things with more ease, or getting up and down a flight of stairs without struggling.
- Increased Energy: Any weight loss routine that includes clean and nutritious eating as well as exercise can help enhance your energy level and put more pep in your step. When your body is lighter, it requires less energy to complete tasks. Weight loss also enables you to have more oxygen efficiency, so your actions become easier to complete. Meanwhile, like a domino effect, more energy makes you feel able to do more and more, a great way to continue burning calories and shedding pounds.
- Gaining More Self-Confidence: Losing weight often translates to feeling better about yourself and gaining more self-confidence. People who experience weight loss success will often allow that success to bleed into other areas of their life. For example, they feel proud for reaching their weight loss goals so they use that as motivation to apply for a new job or to take up a new hobby. Losing weight can often be the gateway to more milestones as well as the confidence boost needed to pursue other goals and achievements.
- Finding More Happiness & Elevating Your Mood: Research has shown that losing weight really can help you feel happier. According to a 2009 study of a behavioral weight loss program, patients not only lost eight percent of their body weight but they also experienced significant improvements in their depression symptoms.
- Improved Fertility: Reaching what is considered a medically normal body mass index (BMI) can help with fertility. If you are overweight and are having trouble conceiving, weight loss can help you reach a normal BMI, which is good for regulating your menstrual cycle and ovulation. It is also helpful in managing polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition that makes it difficult to get pregnant.
- Developing Better Skin: Better health habits and increasing your body’s level of hydration with water can lead to more youthful and cleaner looking skin. Improved skin health also comes from eating more fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants, and eliminating many high-glycemic foods, such as white breads and sugars.
- Doing More Things You Love to Do: After shedding pounds, increasing your energy level, increasing your mobility and overall feeling happier, you will likely feel freer and more able to start doing more of the things you love to do, such as nature hikes, gardening, working in your yard, running around after and actively playing with your kids or grandchildren, or visiting an amusement park. Additionally, travel may become easier, as you can more easily navigate an airport, fit into an airplane seat, and walk longer distances as a tourist.
- Creating Stronger Relationships with Loved Ones: Feeling healthier and more energetic will also allow you to get out and do more things with friends and loved ones. Quality time spent together often helps build and solidify relationships, and being surrounded by people who love and support you can also be used as motivation to keep working toward your health and wellness goals.