As you can probably tell by my blog header, I’ve lost a good amount of weight. From 2004-2009, I lost more than 100 lbs and have kept it off since then, naturally. I’ve blogged about this a little bit before, but today I want to talk about the things that they don’t mention in those weight loss stories you read about. Because even though I lost a whole bunch of weight, I’ve been faced with a whole new set of problems that I never expected as a result.
3. You’ll lose weight in places you’d least expect.
Did you know that you can lose weight in your feet? Yeah. Neither did I.
Back in college (when I was at my heaviest), I was a shoe hound. Full on Carrie-Bradshaw-style, spend-your-rent-on-shoes addicted. Because one indulgence I could depend on when shopping – after getting upset that nothing fit or looked good, of course – was that a cute pair of shoes always fit! But after losing the weight, suddenly all of my shoes were way too big. It pained me to donate the strappy black “date night” sandals that had carried me in and out of a number of bars, restaurants, and parties. I shed a tear when I finally retired the sleek peep toe pumps I rocked while interning with the NJ Devils Marketing Team… But they were all simply too big. All told, I went from a size 10 to a size 8.5!
2. You’ll learn a lot about biology.
Sure. When I was bigger I knew what body parts were what, I just wasn’t pleased with any of them. And I knew that they “recommended” we take in 2,000 calories a day. But what the hell did I know about how many calories were in the chicken parm at the diner? Pfft.
Once I started to lose weight, though, it was like there was a whole world of biology and math that I never knew existed. A lot of it is common sense, but we didn’t talk about food issues and weight when I was growing up, and they didn’t teach this stuff in school! By working at a gym with knowledgeable trainers and group fitness instructors, I discovered what triceps were and how heart rate affects weight loss. By collaborating with a nutritionist, I learned how many calories I should eat on days I work out vs. when I’m not training, and the importance of protein in muscle recovery.
I certainly didn’t become a fountain of fitness knowledge, but I definitely picked up a bunch of healthy tips and tricks that I still call on from time to time, which I think is pretty cool!
1. Your relationships will change.
College was when I was at my heaviest. As I navigated the social waters and made new friends, I often connected with other not-stick-thin gals like me. In each new social circle I joined, there were girls in all shapes and sizes, but there was always someone to bond with over balancing our mutual love of the dining hall buffet with our desire to be thin. But then one night after (I lost most of the weight), I met up with a handful of college friends that I hadn’t seen since before the weight loss. At one point after the gang ordered another round of appetizers, I turned the plate down, saying something about not wanting to go overboard. That’s when one friend replied sarcastically, “Oh please, the skinny bitch needs to watch her weight!” And everyone had a good laugh.
I was shocked: I know she meant it jokingly, but the way she said it made me feel like she viewed me as a traitor for losing weight! I never expected someone’s opinion of me to shift so drastically, especially since I was still so new to the whole weight loss thing. I was trying to figure out what it meant to have this new body while working through some lingering food issues, but these folks didn’t see that. They just saw the weight loss. To the people who didn’t really know me very well, I didn’t look like the same girl – so I wasn’t treated like her anymore.
These are all just my own experiences – I’m sure that others in similar situations have their own discoveries too, but that’s what fascinates me. The changes I’ve gone through by going from a size 22/24 to a size 8/10 in 4 years affected a lot more than my closet, and I’m interested in exploring all of them!