There’s nothing like having the support of family and friends, a gentle accountability buddy, and a positive environment when trying to lose weight. Another motivation is that being overweight can definitely cause health problems.
Over a third of United States adults are overweight, according to WebMD.
More specifically, anyone whose weight is 20 percent or more above their ideal weight for their height is considered overweight. Where body mass index is concerned, that would be 30 or higher.
Some of the health issues that can arise when a person is overweight include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, liver disease, gallbladder disease, certain cancers, pregnancy complications, and depression.
Jeff and Angela Jordan have been married for 25 years and found themselves in the plight of many couples who have been married for a while and have kids and full-time jobs — they had gradually put on weight over the years.
Jeff was 5’9″ and weighed 264 pounds, while Angela was 5’3″ and weighed 195 pounds.
“I had actually gotten to the point where my wedding ring was cutting off the circulation to my finger. And I developed lower back pain just from standing and doing the dishes,” Angela told CBN News.
“I had gotten to my peak weight,” said Jeff. “I was the heaviest I’d ever been, and gotten so lethargic waking up Monday morning not having gotten anything done around the house.”
The couple had each other for support as they began their journey to make lifestyle changes involving diet and exercise. They also committed their efforts to God, asking for His help to remain consistent in those changes, too.
“I told God, I said, ‘Every step I take toward becoming physically fit, I want you to prosper and bless it’ and I feel like He has,” said Jeff.
One of the keys to weight loss is finding a form of exercise that’s enjoyable and allows for weight loss goals to be reached. So that could be running, hiking, walking, swimming, dancing, riding a bike, on-line exercise classes or Zumba, exercises classes at a club, or something else that’s personally appealing.
Jeff and Angela settled on running. And for extra help with that gentle accountability, they joined a running community.
When Angela runs on her own, she likes to “go out on a run and put worship music on and you surround yourself in that and you feel like you’ve actually been to church and worshipped.”
Angela also did some research on nutrition and found that avoiding foods that are processed and foods high in sugar helped with the dietary aspect of weight loss.
She also found that eating whole grains, foods high in fiber, more vegetables, beans and fruit made a difference in her energy level.
Jeff came to the realization that, “If you take in less than you burn, you’re going to lose weight.”
It took about a year of being consistent in exercise and dietary changes, but in the end, Jeff lost 100 pounds and Angela lost 50, and Angela no longer has back pain.
As a married couple, they have the blessing of being able to help each other along. But those who are single may be able to find that supportive environment in a community setting such as a health club, personal trainer, community exercise group, classes at a YMCA, or a close friend with similar weight loss goals.