According to a weight loss comparison chart that I just looked at, I’ve lost an “an average sized chimpanzee” worth of weight. This fact is obviously great. I’m not denying that and I am so grateful I have had so much success in this endeavor.
That being said there are things I am or have experienced along the way that I didn’t fully anticipate or want. They suck, and I’m going to vent about them.
Your Body Becoming a Topic of Conversation
Many people have told me how great I look, lots of people have pointed out that I’m looking skinny, and a handful of people have commented on what the right amount of weight is to lose. The intentions of most of these people are good. I appreciate them acknowledging my hard work. There are times however that it becomes a little overwhelming to have so many people commenting on my physical appearance.
Prior to this journey I had never given much thought to my weight and I strive to be a person who puts my worth and importance on more internal and meaningful things. It takes effort to not get caught up in the positive reinforcement to keep dropping weight. Last summer my grandma complimented “you look healthy and happy.” I try to hold on to those words, because that was my goal in all of this, no matter what size comes with those adjectives.
Body Dysmorphia is Really Real
With weight and size becoming a topic of conversation and a measure of progress, it becomes so easy to become fixated on all of things that are still areas for improvement on the body. It seems ridiculous but there are times that standing in front of the mirror naked, I don’t feel that I have made much progress. I still see my belly and my lower back fat and so many other things. Deep deep down I know they are significantly smaller and I see how different clothing looks, but with no fabric to flatter my figure I still feel like I’m the same size I was over a year ago.
Had I seen a year ago how my curves fall and how much less fat I carry now, I would have looked at someone like my current self as my goal. Now that I’m at this point I continue to try hard to appreciate it.
Relationship with Food Changes
I have on and off counted calories through this journey. No matter if I am in the stage where I count calories or not, I still look at food and see those calories. I also see how much added sugar is in the treats I would like to eat. Some foods make me feel like I am making healthy choices that will be kind to my waistline and others frankly make me feel guilty for indulging. I find that mentality harmful and have been working towards being kinder to my mental health by breaking that cycle any opportunity I can.
How bad my big baggy clothing was making me feel has hit a breaking point recently. I have spent hundreds of dollars on new wardrobe staples in the past month. It was painful. I try to work with a slightly minimalist wardrobe lately, so this felt foreign to me. More things fit me, more things flatter me. Even making sure to lock down my style and what I love, there are more options for me and rebuilding my closet has blown my normal budget out the window.
Getting Fixated on Numbers
I wanted to be 190 lbs at the end of this journey. I was being really strict and hovering at about 5 lbs above that about a week ago. My scale is currently tucked away and I’m giving my calorie counting app a break. I became obsessed with the numbers.even though that weight was just an arbitrary number for me to strive for. If I’m eating healthy and exercising there is no reason that I need to ever hit that number. If I gain or loose in the next month I am going to strive to be okay with that. It’s how I live my life, not what I look like while I live it. My goal in the beginning was to be healthy and balanced, but a side effect of this journey can be getting caught up in the easiest numbers that prove progress.
I watch YouTube videos about health and weight loss. I research healthy recipes and swaps. I read books and articles about diets. Sometimes I count calories, sometimes I exercise on a regular basis. Normally I enter my weight into an app every Tuesday morning. I visually scan the nutrition facts and ingredients for any food I consume that I can. Weight loss and health can seem like it has become life. It has started to take effort for me to not let this journey consume my entire brain space. At times it does, but I strive to rearrange my mindset and have patience with myself.
I’m a year in and I am just now starting to feel like I have some of this figured out. The learning curve on this is steep. I have had ups and downs on a regular basis. There were times when I probably wasn’t eating enough and times when I was indulging too much. I hit a point where my hair was thinning and times when I felt worn out. I’m finally at a place where I just feel healthy and motivated by wanting to continue to feel that way. The roller coaster to get there was annoying, unpredictable and I’m still healing from the whiplash.
I know this list makes me look ungrateful for how well my body has been adjusting for me with my habit changes. But I do think it is important to acknowledge that myself and potentially others of you will and have developed some of these struggles. The last time I was this light I was in elementary school and a lot shorter. Living in this size body is new to me, in a way it is hard to fully processes. My physical health has greatly improved and mental health needs to be just as important. If you can relate to this list or are preparing to eventually, please remember how strong and capable your body is, and be grateful and love that body at all the sizes it will fluctuate through.