A Weight on Your Mind

Weight Scale

I’ve been feeling really down in the dumps lately, it’s because of my weight. I’ve always been the “fat kid,” but things have gotten way worse for me since I got to college. I’ve gotten really obese, and it makes me miserable. I have the way that I look and feel. Feeling awful hasn’t really helped me get skinnier, though. When I feel lousy, I just eat more and give up on my exercise goals. Experts, I feel so lost! What can I do?

When it comes to health, weight can be a tricky issue. While experts agree that there are risks to being overweight or underweight, it’s also true that people can be healthy at a wide range of different weights. Furthermore, experts agree that it’s possible for people to be too concerned about their weight and their appearance, and for this to cause mental health issues.

Ultimately, it’s important to understand two things. First, you should strive for a healthy weight. Being overweight puts your physical health at risk, and it also harms your mental health in a variety of ways. Second, it’s crucial to care for your mental health and self-esteem regardless of what you may weigh at that particular moment.

With all of that in mind, let’s talk about the risks of excess weight. They’re serious. Being overweight or obese will raise your risk factors for all sorts of injuries and illnesses, including the most deadly disease in the United States (and the world): heart disease.

On top of this, being overweight can limit your mobility, make you feel less energetic, and cause you pain. All of this can harm your mental health. While you must consider other factors, it’s clear that obesity and depression are linked.

Losing weight, then, should be a good idea. Just make sure that you do so in a healthy way. Rather than denying yourself food with a calorie-deprivation diet, opt for a healthy and sustainable diet of whole foods, especially vegetables. By avoiding processed foods more often, you should be able to eat your fill and still lose weight. Plus, eating this way will make your more than just skinny — it will make you healthy, which is more important. Combine this plan with regular exercise (you should put in 30 minutes per day, five days per week), and you’re virtually certain to lose weight.

Experts tell us that one to two pounds per week is a good maximum for healthy weight loss. Lose weight any faster, and you’ll be putting your health at risk. There are some exceptions for extreme cases, explain medical professionals who specialize in sleeve surgery. You should always consult with your doctor before going on any kind of diet or weight-loss plan.

Losing weight is all well and good, but don’t assume that it will miraculously fix your mental health issues. Mental health and physical health are linked, so your plans won’t hurt — exercise will elevate your mood, and a balanced diet should make you feel better mentally as well as physically — but they are not enough to solve all of your problems on their own. Besides, a poor mental health picture will make it harder for you to commit to positive changes. All of this means that you should focus on your mental health!

Focusing on your mental health means seeking out professional treatment. Just as you’d need a health care expert to treat an injury or illness, so do you need an expert in mental health to address your mental health-related symptoms.

Fortunately, finding a mental health care professional is easy. In addition to resources on your campus, you could take advantage of websites like With Therapy and connect with a therapist online. With such an easy way to get help, you have no reason not to act. Speaking with a therapist about your body image issues and health goals could help you gain valuable perspective and smart strategies for making the most of positive motivations.

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