If you have been a part of the My Beautiful Ideal community for a while you already know my story. Over the past few years, I have lost a lot of weight – 125 pounds (and still counting) to be exact. And during this process, I have shared recipes, workouts, tips, tricks, ideas, etc.
However, when I was brainstorming for this week’s post I thought why not tell the honest truths about losing weight that no one talks about? Everyone talks about the steps to take, the foods to eat, and the workouts to do. But, what really happens when you lose a lot of weight?
I did some research and some people have talked about what they have experienced. These have been my favorite read:
I appreciate the honesty in these articles and I hope that by sharing my truth it will help some of you feel that what you are experiencing is a part of the process. Or maybe it will help kick-start the process for you!
So sit back and relax…this is a long one 🙂 Here are the 10 things people don’t talk about when losing weight.
1. You have to be mentally ready to lose the weight – this is #1 for a reason! If you aren’t mentally prepared to put the work in you aren’t going to lose weight and keep it off. Losing a lot of weight is a lifestyle change – you can’t decide to lose weight for anyone other than yourself…and you are the only one that can make it happen. You can have lots of support around you from family and friends but ultimately it all comes down to you!
You can look at it two ways 1- that is a lot of pressure OR 2- you have the control to make it happen. When I finally got down to losing the weight I had to think about it in the mindset of #2. I have control over everything that I do! I make the decisions for my body. You have to make a commitment to yourself! Saying that is WAY easier than actually doing it. But, throughout this process, I have become not only stronger physically but also stronger mentally and I believe that is 70% of the weight loss process!
2. Learning to say no is powerful – the first time you say no to donuts at work (or any other type of food offering) your mind will be blown. 1/3 of you will really want the freaking donut…1/3 of you will feel weird because everyone else is having one…and the last 1/3 of you will be jumping up and down with joy. The more you say no, the more successful you will be, and the easier the act of saying no will be! At this point, I have said no to so many bagels, happy hour drinks, hamburger buns, birthday cakes, etc I am an old pro. I think the important things to remember are 1- moderation (if you really want to celebrate have the cake…but realize its a one-time thing) and 2- you have goals and the only way to achieve them is to stick to the plan that you have!
3. Losing weight won’t fix everything – this ties back to the whole “you need to lose weight for yourself” thing. Losing weight won’t fix everything going on in your life. Stresses will still be there, people who don’t like you will still be there, unhappiness will still be there, etc. It’s a pretty big blow if the whole time you are losing weight you are thinking something like…”If I lose 10 more pounds he/she will like me better”…or “If I lose 10 more pounds I will be sooo much happier.” But, 9 times out of 10 that stuff doesn’t happen. And now you are left on the other side wondering, now what?
It’s good to remember that life will always be there…and life isn’t always great! However, I have found by learning to like myself more and keeping myself healthy I am able to better deal with what life brings my way.
4. You will wonder why it took you so long to make the change – after you get into a routine and weight starts coming off…and especially once you are on the downhill side of your goals, you will wonder why it took you so long to lose the weight. I judge myself based on this idea all the time…”why did I waste so much time?…why did it take so long for me start…I could have been healthier for so many years…blah, blah, blah?”
And I mentally kick myself in the ass for having this thought all the time. My weight loss happened when it was supposed to. I was in a place where I was comfortable and felt like I could do it. I had the time to commit to the process – I was finished with my education, I had a good career, etc. If I would have started this journey at any other time I truly believe I wouldn’t have been as successful. There is no point in looking back and demeaning yourself. It’s all about what you can do now!
5. You will understand why people like physical fitness– there used to be a joke…if Jamie was running you should be too. If I was running there was an emergency or a zombie apocalypse! Well, now I run because I want to! I run because I want to prove that I can do it! Physical fitness has turned into a side goal for me. I don’t work out because it helps me lose weight…I mean it probably does…but, I remain physically active because it feels good.
Working out has helped with my mood and helped me sleep better…not to mention helping me make some great friends too! The endorphins are a real thing and I don’t know how I lived without them before.
6. People will treat you differently – I have found that there are three categories of people that you encounter when you lose a lot of weight:
A) Those that are super proud of you and support you in a way that isn’t weird – these are your really close family and friends. They treat you like they have always treated you and throw in a “I am so proud of you” every so often. They let you bounce ideas off of them, they let you use their recipes for the blog :), they work out with you, they may even be on a similar path as you. But, most importantly, they realize that you are the same person you have always been just a little healthier. They help you to stick to your goals and support you in any way that they can. These are your “ride or dies” right here! And to all my “ride or dies” THANK YOU!!!
B) Those that always compliment you…no matter how awkward it is – these are the acquaintances that you see every so often. They notice your weight loss more because they don’t see you all the time. When they do see you they HAVE to comment on your weight loss…every single time. They use the weight loss to identify you. Luckily, I only have a few of these people. Because these people, unintentionally, mess with your brain! Here are some literal thoughts that have gone through my brain when interacting with these folks: “What did they think of me before? What did we talk about before I lost weight? Did they think I was a horrible human before I lost weight? Is my whole self-worth based solely on how much I weigh?” Don’t worry, I realize that all of these thoughts are irrational, but sometimes you can’t help it. Here is a great article about why complimenting weight loss isn’t actually all that great.
C) Those who didn’t know you before so they just see who you are now – then there are the people who don’t know any different. The person you are now is the only version they know. These people can be the best because they don’t have any expectations or judgments. They can also be the worst because you may have to tell them at some point that you lost a lot of weight. They may wonder why you don’t eat the donut…these are the types that I have the hardest time dealing with because I am not really sure what to do. When you are fat, people treat you a certain way (I don’t care who you are…we all treat bigger people differently, be honest with yourself) and as the bigger person, you get used to this treatment – you almost shut yourself off a little bit just to feel protected. But, what happens when that treatment does a 180? Now, how do you relate to people? This one is definitely still a work in progress for me!
7. The fear of being judged – no matter what size you are you will feel like you are being judged. After you lose weight you have set an expectation with everyone that you will keep it off. You were one of the successful ones, now what? If you ever decide to eat the donut at the office one morning…you will feel like everyone is judging you. If you don’t work out for a while…you will feel like everyone is judging you. This is a hard expectation to live up to. This is when you really need to remember that you made the commitment to YOU and no one else. Do you feel good? Do you feel strong? That is all that matters.
8. Buying new clothes – eventually, you will have to buy new clothes. The first time you do it feels great! However, after the third or fourth time, you realize it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Buying new clothes every couple of months gets expensive. Also, when you don’t know what size you actually are shopping gets twice as complicated. You HAVE to try everything on and you HAVE to bring multiple sizes with you to the fitting room. I think the fun part of shopping goes out the window at this point. I feel bad complaining about this part…I know, I know its a good problem to have…but still!
9. The struggle is never truly over – your weight loss isn’t just a temporary thing, or at least we hope it’s not. It’s really a lifestyle change that you will take with you forever. The whole time you are losing weight you are learning what works for you and what doesn’t. These are the lessons you take with you into the future so you continue to succeed. The struggle is never over, you just learn ways to deal with it!
10. Non-scale victories are the best! – they really are the best! Non-scale victories (NSVs) come in all shapes and sizes and give you the extra motivation you need to keep going! Some of my all time favorites were: wearing a two-piece bathing suit, running a 5K, having a hotel towel that actually wrapped around me…and the list goes on and on.
And there are my 10 things people don’t talk about when they lose weight. Is there any you would add? I am sure as soon as I post this I will think of a few more. But, this is the stuff we need to share! Talk about the mental parts, the emotional parts, the crappy parts, the interpersonal parts of weight loss! It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, its hard work and we can all do it!
Also, 100 points to anyone that read the whole way through! Look at that commitment 🙂 Give me a ***high five*** in the comments to let me know you made it to the end!