Five Exciting Benefits of Keeping a Healthy Weight


I was thin all my life until my 40s. I had never needed to lose weight before so it was a strange concept. In fact, until then I worried more about keeping weight on or gaining weight. 

When I recently finally dropped excess weight and went from an "obese" BMI to a healthy one, I was surprised to not only be back in my "old body" again, but also had a way to evaluate why being slender was such a very different existence and why I never felt at home in the plumper version of me.


When it comes down to body fat, we focus way too much on weight as an appearance issue or some kind of character weakness when it's truly and absolutely a health issue. 

My catwalk type of walk went away with a new balance of body fat on me. Aches created by the inflammation from body fat made me compensate. I didn't waddle, but I also wasn't the cat-like grace I once was. When I lost the weight, my walk became straightforward, strong, and graceful.  I felt tall and sleek and energetic.

A gallon of water weighs 8 pounds. If you lost 40 pounds, you lost the equivalent of carrying 5 gallons of water (a water cooler refill bottle) everywhere. 

Imagine taking off a 40 or 60-pound backpack and walking without the burden? This is how it feels. It's like gravity changed for you. You can walk further, uphill, run faster, get winded less because you aren't carrying that backpack. 

I used to turn down hiking to places I knew I'd have to climb hills. Not anymore! I'm amazed how I'm not wheezing and stopping constantly to regain my breath. As well, I can tolerate heat a lot better without all the insulation.

I took up yoga again now that the belly wasn't in the way and also started doing my dance workout again. Something as simple as getting up and down off the floor was no longer overwhelming. 


Check your cholesterol panel risk factors HERE.

My #'s a few months ago (no doubt even better now)

Total cholesterol: 144 (should be below 200)
HDL: 51 (should be 60 or above)
LDL: 73 (should be below 100)
Triglycerides: 133 (should be below 150)

When I punched it into the calculator (link above), here's what the values mean. The TC/HDL ratio and LDL/HDL ratio are the most accurate measures of risk of heart attack or stroke.

TC/HDL Ratio = 2.8 – this value suggests a very low risk of cardiovascular disease. 
(men should be <3.4 and women <3.3)

LDL/HDL Ratio = 1.4 – this value suggests a very low risk of cardiovascular disease.
(men should be <1.1 and women <1.5)

■ A Total Cholesterol level of 144 mg/dl represents an optimal value.

■ A HDL level of 51 mg/dl represents a borderline risk value. (with exercise, this has surely gone up)

■ A LDL level of 73 mg/dl represents an optimal value.

■ A Triglycerides level of 133 mg/dl represents a near optimal value. (with fat loss, this is surely lower)

Having excessive body fat isn't a character flaw or an aesthetic concern. It is, however, a health concern with increased risks of all diseases brought on by inflammation. Fat creates an inflammatory process and new studies have found that those with high body fat have lower vitamin D values, putting them at immune risk with things such as Covid. The fat is supposed to restore itself and burst and release vitamin D it's hold onto, but in those with high fat levels, their D vitamin remains low because the fat is not doing the turnover like it did before. Many doctors are reporting that those with covid who ended up at risk of death on ventilators were showing low vitamin D. 

I have to say that it's not just your numbers that change when you're a healthy weight. Sleep is better, exercise endurance higher, energy, good mood. Our bodies are made to eat a certain whole foods diet, have certain activity levels, and get plenty of rest. When those things come together, we have optimal bodies. 


When I modeled and even after that when I was slender, I put on anything I liked. I didn't worry about coverups, tight clothes, tucking things in, etc.  I could even put on an old tank top and shorts and head out with some flip flops in hand. 

You can take more fashion risks because you don't mind being looked at. You also can wear flowy clothes that tend to look "dowdy" when you're more padded. 

When I got back to a healthy weight recently, the real excitement was being willing to wear sundresses and tank tops again. I was surprised how, if I had to get up and go in a hurry, I could throw on anything and not give it a second thought. I looked at my closet and realized how many "over shirts" I owned to try and coverup arms and belly. It took some time to get used to being able to wear fitted clothes and not freak out. 

Playing with fashion and my look became a long-lost activity that I readopted.  I refined my look now that I could see the real me. I say "real me" because there was a puffy-faced, bloated body woman I had been before that was awkward, wore beige to blend in, and stayed quietly in the background (a sign of an overbearing husband at the time and my hidden anger).  Now, I see a puff-free face and body that feels like the geniune me without the bullshit.  






There is something to be said about meeting people and doing activities without worry about how you appear. You can remove your swimsuit coverup and play in the water and focus on the fun instead of worrying about being seen in profile. When you meet people, there's no worry that they are meeting you at your worst. You accept invitations more readily. You take on opportunities that come your way. You lead. You participate. You dive in.

In a world of sedentary work, shortcut meals at fast food restaurants, and stress, it's a real confidence builder to realize you can slow down and take the time to nourish, not just feed yourself. That you move your body daily says you understand how vital that component is to vitality and energy levels, as well as stress coping. 

Even in the last vestiges of facial paralysis from Bell's Palsy, I am excited to take on Zoom meetings and don't mind being seen. I don't worry about if I have a double chin or what angle makes me look puffier. I also take on new activities like new forms of exercise knowing my low risk of #s from my labs and EKG.  That confidence is priceless!


I'm not sure about men, but females certainly think about weight all the time. They compare themselves. They swear they'll drop some more weight. They turn down pool party invites. They dread dressing up for a wedding party. They cringe when they're the biggest woman in the room.  Everything seems to be in reference to, "when I lose weight, then I will do things." It's like living in a purgatory.

When I was skinny the majority of my life, I didn't consider my weight. I even modeled and did beauty pageants not thinking about weight. I was thinking about my goals for college and parenting, travel and writing. I wasn't thinking, "oh dear, what if I succeed and someone takes a photo of me fat?" It wasn't part of the mind clutter at all. 

Weight can become a measure of success and worth. We are such a media-based society where everything is visual and advertising. They want us to buy products, so they make it all look so perfect. Characters on TV seem to get dates and look great going to and from the office. It's overwhelmingly a message of, "this is success." 

Imagine a life where you don't have messages in your head limiting your life and its possibilities? The freedom of getting "fat" out of your head!  Now, you begin to focus on goals without any excuses. 

These five benefits I listed above are enough to maintain weight loss. They have for me!

*I am not a medical professional. I'm an average citizen who lost weight to have quality of life, less expense from health care, and an active old age. If anything I talked about here is striking a note with you, please talk to your doctor and make a plan together.*