Acceptably Overweight

As someone who has spent their entire career in fitness there is one thing that I find interesting about people who are overweight, most of the overweight people I know don’t seem to get bigger. There might be the occasional person who puts on a lot of weight over a very short period of time but that can often be due to a very challenging life situation where the person has used food as a way to deal with emotional stress, but in general most of the overweight people I know have stayed within a similar weight range for a very long period of time. 

Think about overweight people that you know, have they always stayed around the same level? Or if you are overweight yourself do you always sit within a certain weight range? 

I have been thinking about this and have tried to figure out why this is the case, I have an idea that I want to introduce, it’s called ‘your acceptable level’. Let’s say you are 15kg overweight and have been for years and while you know you are carrying too much weight you have learnt to accept it. You would ultimately like to lose the extra weight but you are used to being this size so it’s easy for  you to stay within this weight range.  

An interesting time for you is after the Christmas period, you have been out of your routine which meant you ate more, didn’t exercise at all and drank a lot more alcohol so at the end of the holiday season you have put on an extra 5kg. You are really unhappy with this so when you get back into your normal routine you are determined to get rid of that extra weight asap. You identify the behaviours you need to sharpen up on and with the dissatisfaction you feel about the extra weight you find the motivation to stick to those behaviours. Within a short period of time you are able to lose that extra 5kg of holiday weight and now you are back to your normal weight, the 15kgs overweight that you have been for years. One would think that after losing 5kg you would want to maintain the behaviours that made you successful but now you are back to your ‘acceptable level’ for some reason you lose your motivation to stick at it and you stay where you have been for years. 

If you see where I am coming from with my idea of this ‘acceptable level’ you can understand that these acceptable levels have behaviours that come alongside them, behaviours that keep you at the place you are used to. The person who has identified themselves as being 15kg overweight has allowable behaviours that keeps them in this place, they may allow too many unhealthy snacks during the day or they could eat to excess a couple times a week. Whereas someone who has healthy acceptable levels would have different behaviours, behaviours that keep them in a healthy place and is the ‘norm’ for them in their daily life. 

Think about yourself, are you happy with the acceptable levels that you have in your life? What are the behaviours that you have around nutrition and exercise that keep you in this place? If you are someone who wants to lose some weight a good place to start is spending some time identifying the unhealthy behaviours you have and to try and shift them towards healthier levels. 

If you can work on adjusting your acceptable levels and the behaviours that come alongside them you’ll be shifting towards a healthier version of yourself, if you know you are in this place, this is an idea definitely worth exploring. 



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Bevan Eyles