I’ve always been shy about my very real body image issues, but they have always been in my life, haunting me. As a girl who was always a little too close to being technically overweight, I’ve always been self-conscious of the way I look. I have absolutely nothing against plus-size people and I’m truly jealous of the women out there who can feel confident no matter what they look like. I love all different body types – I’ve just always thought that, personally, I should lose some weight. And then I did, and things weren’t exactly what I expected. Want to know what REALLY happens when you lose a lot of weight? Read on.
In the last few months, I have lost a decent amount of weight. I’m not sure of the specifics, but if I had to guess, I would say that I’ve lost at least 20 pounds since January, and in the last two years, I have lost over 30 pounds. I’m only five feet tall, so any kind of weight loss or gain looks pretty obvious on my tiny frame. My weight loss has become especially obvious in the last two months, since I started wearing less clothing (it’s really hot in New York) and being in my bathing suit more.
Since everyone asks this question, I’ll tackle it now: How did I do it? To be fair, I can’t take all the credit here. I’ve been dealing with some very serious chronic stomach issues that leave me unable to eat for days at a time sometimes. These stomach issues have forced me into a major lifestyle change. I very rarely eat dairy, I can’t eat fried food or fast food, I can’t have a lot of oil or butter, and I stick to a pescetarian diet of mainly veggies, fruits, and seafood. I don’t drink alcohol, I can’t have more than a few handfuls of chips or popcorn in a day, and I have to stay away from delicious things like nachos and pizza and ice cream. I do yoga every day and go for runs about three times a week. I am fairly active and love to be outside as often as possible.
It doesn’t sound very fun, does it? It’s not, to be honest, but my strict diet has much more to do with my health and stomach issues than it does with me trying to lose weight. If I had my way, I would be drinking a chocolate milkshake while eating French fries and a pizza every night. I can’t do that, unless I want to be in excruciating pain later on.
To be real with you guys, I’ve always thought that losing this weight would make me a happier, more confident person. When I was heavier, wearing a size eight and glaring at my reflection in the mirror, I would pray for a flatter stomach. I imagined that if I just lost 20 pounds, I would feel SO much better about myself. I thought I would transform into that confident girl that gets all the attention. Spoiler alert: losing a lot of weight does change things, but it does not make your life instantly better. So if you think the way I used to, please stop.
There are other weird things that come along with dropping pounds – mainly the comments you’ll get from other people. I need a place to vent, so here are 10 surprising things that happen when you lose weight. Moral of the story? Being thinner does not make life better.
You Don't Even Realizing It's Happening SometimesSomehow, in between January and now, I lost over 20 pounds. Of course, I knew my body was changing while this was happening, but I didn't realize just how much. This has happened to me before - when I focus on losing weight, nothing happens. But when I start listening to what my body needs and wants and I stop focusing on weight loss? It happens. It sounds really weird, but it's true: if you stop focusing on weight loss and start listening to your body, you may notice changes without even really trying. Source: iStock
You Will Not Instantly Be More Confident And HappyLike I said in the intro, I always thought that losing weight would make me instantly more confident. While I definitely do feel more confident with my body now, I am not the most confident girl in the room by a long shot. I still have insecurities that I deal with, and I don't know when I'll be able to conquer them completely. This is an important reminder that losing weight is not the answer to all of your problems. If you're unhappy with your weight, like I was, you might think it is, but this isn't a healthy way to live. Source: iStock
Everyone Will Start Commenting On Your BodyWhen you lose weight, everyone will start talking about how you lose weight. At first, it's nice to hear someone say, "Hey, you look great!" Then it starts feeling like, "Huh, I guess I really didn't look good before," which doesn't feel great. At first, you like hearing, "You lost so much weight! Good job!" Then you're quickly like, "Uh, how do I respond to that?" It's awkward to have everyone you know talking about your body. It feels uncomfortable. They will quickly start going over the line and saying things that don't make you feel good. It's like, why do you feel the need to make all of these comments on my body just because I lost weight? Source: iStock
People Tell You What You Should Do With Your BodyHere's something I've noticed throughout my life: when you gain weight, no one will say anything to you about your body. When you lose weight, they won't stop saying things about your body. Since I've lost weight, I've heard these annoying phrases more times than I can count: "You're not going to lose any more weight, right? You don't need to!" "You shouldn't exercise so much." "You need to eat more!" "You barely eat now, you need to learn to eat these foods!" Listen... I know some of these are supposed to be compliments, but they're not. Just because I lost weight doesn't mean you have a right to tell me what to do with my body now. Stop! Source: iStock
Some People Make You Feel Terrible By Assuming You're Not HealthyI've changed my lifestyle a lot. I don't eat the same things most people eat, and this has much more to do with my stomach issues than it does with my weight. But a lot of people in my life refuse to see that. A lot of people keep saying things like, "I don't think you're eating enough" or "Are you sure you're still healthy?" I hear this being said to so many people who have lost weight. Guess what? It doesn't feel good. Just like you wouldn't like to hear "you're eating too much," you don't want to hear "you're not eating enough." Someone actually accused me of having an eating disorder, which REALLY made me angry. The bottom line is that people will ALWAYS comment on your body, no matter what size you are. And it will ALWAYS be the worst. Source: iStock
Some People Grill You, Then Make You Feel BadThis is what I hear from people all the time: "How did you lose the weight? Oh, that sounds awful, I could NEVER." Okay... cool? I don't care if people ask how I did it. I just don't need to be insulted about it right after. Please, sometimes, just keep your opinions to yourself. Source: iStock
Some People Give Weird 'Compliments'A lot of my friends have said stuff like this to me: "Wow, you lost so much weight! But I like how you looked before!" I see what they're trying to say and do, but it's still like saying, "Hey, you look so different, but I liked you better before so why did you do that?" I've also heard, "You didn't need to lose any weight!" Here's the thing: I thought I did, and I feel happier now. Please don't say that. It's not nice. Would you say to someone, "You didn't need to gain any weight!" I seriously doubt it. Source: iStock
You Feel Kind Of Awkward About Your New SizeI am still adjusting to my weight loss and I keep buying clothes that are too big on me because I don't really know my new size. It's not the worst thing in the world, but it is awkward. I feel awkward when I try on clothes that fit differently than they did before. I also feel awkward every time people talk about my weight (if you couldn't tell!). You think it will make you instantly happier, but weight loss can be complicated! Source: iStock
Your Lifestyle Changes A LotMy lifestyle has changed tremendously. This isn't as dramatic for everyone who loses weight, because not everyone is dealing with health issues like I am. But things change! You start eating differently and you feel different. It's an adjustment. Source: iStock
You Realize That No Matter What Size You Are, People Will Have Something To SayThe sad truth is that people in this society will always comment on your body. If you gain weight, they might do it behind your back in a mean way. If you lose weight, they'll do it to your face because they think it's okay. Regardless of what size you are, listening to other people discuss your body and what you do with it doesn't feel good. So could everyone just stop? Source: iStock
Have you ever lost a lot of weight and experienced these things? What did I forget? Tell me in the comments.