Like a lot of women, I could I thought if I could drop some pounds and a few dress sizes and keep the weight off, I’d start to gain the confidence I’d been searching for. I began exercising and eating healthily and achieved my goal, but I found the attention it brought on with such a drastic change affected me more than I thought it would—and not in a good way.
I lost my boobs.
So to be fair, I have never really had boobs to begin with, but whenever I gained weight, I could almost fill out an A-cup. Of course, the second my weight decreased, the full A-cup went first. It couldn’t be my stomach or my thighs, so I just settled in with the fact that my flat chest was there to stay if I wanted to be thinner. It didn’t help my confidence but it was probably the easiest thing to accept when the pounds started dropping.
I had a lot of excess skin.
My most substantial weight loss was 80 lbs and though I didn’t think it was super drastic as it was happening, I wasn’t prepared for the way that my skin just sort of hung there after I’d shed most of the weight. I felt very self-conscious wearing anything that showed off my arms or stomach. I thought weight loss would bring me the ability to wear some tighter things, but I continually still opted for baggy clothes to hide my skin.
I had to scrap most of my wardrobe.
Where some baggy clothes worked, some simply looked ridiculous. I went down several sizes overall and unless it was a sweater, it had to go. I had to purchase all new pants, t-shirts, even bras, and underwear. And because this all happened over about a year’s time, some newly bought items only lasted during my transition period and then I had to buy them again when I finally got to my current weight. Now one of the reasons I want to stay where I am is so I don’t feel like I’ve wasted any more of my money on clothes.
I began to get noticed a lot more.
I lost the weight for my own benefit but it brought a lot of attention with it. I don’t like being in the spotlight, so that alone made me uncomfortable. I started seeing guys at work or in my social circle that suddenly took an interest and I could only think it had to be because I was skinnier. Even some women who’d previously treated me like crap were all of a sudden really friendly with me. It actually hurt to think that my weight loss was even part of people wanting to be my friend.
Not all of the attention I received was good.
I couldn’t believe how many times people “joked” about how I had an eating disorder. Even if I’d truly lost weight the healthy way, it stung so bad when someone said they never saw me eat or asked if they could check me in somewhere. Telling people I didn’t appreciate the comments didn’t work either. In fact, I think some took it as confirmation that they were right. I didn’t push the subject but it made me really uncomfortable about something that shouldn’t have been an issue in the first place.
Some of my friendships became awkward.
Because I’d been adhering to a new diet, going out to dinner with friends was sometimes more difficult than enjoyable. If I didn’t want to share the mozzarella sticks, some thought they shouldn’t bother ordering it. It was as if my eating habits dictated the entire night out and I didn’t need that kind of pressure. Just because I chose to order a salad and declined the bread basket doesn’t mean I’m judging those that eat differently. This was my choice and my choice alone but I felt as if it wasn’t.
I became a little obsessive about my eating.
I don’t attribute this to the jokes about eating disorders and in no way am I discounting anyone that suffers from one, but I started obsessing over ensuring that I didn’t gain any of the weight I’d lost back. When I first started eating healthier, I still indulged from time to time, but as the weight came off I found myself doing that less and less. I would talk myself out of treats, knowing very well that sometimes you just have to have the decadent stuff and it’s okay! I was able to move past it eventually but sometimes it still lingers in the back of my mind.
I thought it would change how I felt inside but I was wrong.
This was a smack in the face if there ever was one. Even though now I know it’s impossible, I sincerely thought I would just automatically feel more confident once I’d become thinner. All of the same insecurities were still there, they just had a lighter frame to hide under now. I had to work from within myself to get the confidence. The weight loss did end up being something I’m proud of myself for accomplishing, but what truly made me feel good about myself was looking within.
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