New Year, New Resolutions

The New Year is here and a time for resolutions and thoughts about personal change. One of the most common things that many people think about is weight loss.  Given that in our country, obesity is the first leading cause of preventable death, this is not out of the norm. Yet, many people start out with the best of intentions to diet, exercise, and lose weight. As January progresses, the enthusiasm for such begins to wane and the “changes” that one wanted to make are forgotten come February or March.

When approaching weight loss, do not think “dieting.” Have a different perspective and think about making a lifestyle change. Lifestyle changes become permanent and this is how one can avoid the “yo-yo” cycle of dieting. People often tell me that they want to lose weight and keep it off forever. Yet, what happens is that many people are not able to sustain the energy and motivation to do so.

I think a good idea to start with a little soul searching. Take some time to really think through as to your Pros and Cons of losing weight either medically or surgically.  You might not think that there are any Pros to not losing weight but there are. Only you can answer these questions for yourself.

Here are some ideas that one of my patients shared with me. This person has given me the permission to share them with you.

Pros of Losing Weight:

  • Longer life
  • Less joint and back pain
  • Better quality of life
  • I can play with my dog and my grandchildren
  • I can cross my legs
  • I do not need a seatbelt extender
  • I can fit in an airplane seat
  • My diabetes and high blood pressure will go away and I can stop at least eight of my medications

Cons of Losing Weight:

  • I like to eat
  • I enjoy the warm fuzzy feelings I get after eating a large meal
  • Food is my best friend

Pros of Not Losing Weight:

  • I don’t have to change
  • I can eat anything I want
  • I don’t have to exercise
  • I won’t lose my best friend

Cons of Not Losing Weight:

  • I will still be “fat”
  • I don’t like the way I look or feel
  • I will not become a better person of I don’t change and grow
  • People will continue to judge me because of my weight

Complete this table with YOUR answers.  What you can also do is refer back to your answers when your motivation for weight loss wanes.  You can use this to help you stay focused and remember why you started your weight loss journey the first place!

Pros of Weight Loss





Cons of Weight Loss





 Pros of Not Losing Weight           





Cons of Not Losing Weight       





Kathleen Baskett, MD is the Medical Director of Weight Management at St. Vincent Healthcare. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and the author of “Moving Forward: The Weigh to a Healthier Weight”.