Growing up, I was always the “big girl.” Hell, don’t let me fool you — I’m still the big girl — but after college, I started purging things that were making me unhappy from my life. All I had left was the extra weight I carried around… or so I thought. Around Christmas, I started working my ass off, figuratively and literally, and I’m still not done. I thought my life would change once I dropped some weight, but I lost 70 lbs in six months and, much to my dismay, none of my problems disappeared.
- Everyone thinks they’re a doctor now. I lost the weight safely, under close supervision of my doctor who gave me explicit instructions on what to do. That didn’t stop everyone I’ve come in contact with from telling me what they think is in my best interest. They’d tell me I wasn’t eating enough or I was eating too much, like it was any of their business what I was consuming. I started to resent my closest friends and family for inputting their WebMD prognoses. Sorry, Aunt Sally, I don’t care that your boss’ wife lost 100 lbs eating nothing but carrot soup — I’m going to listen to the man whose mortgage I’ve been paying through co-pays.
- It’s expensive as hell. I thought since I’d be eating less, I’d be saving a ton of money in the long run. How wrong I was. What I should’ve realized is that healthy food is much more expensive than the crap I had been eating before. Sure, I saved money by skipping the drive-thru on my lunch break, but my grocery bill almost doubled. I have to pay for each of my doctor’s visits and my monthly gym membership, not to mention the new wardrobe that comes along with losing 70 lbs.
- My emotions have gone haywire. I’ve always been an emotional eater, and breaking that habit was hell. There were so many times where I wanted to sit down with a spoon and a half gallon of ice cream and go to town, but if I did, I know I’d be even more of a wreck and the vicious cycle would just repeat itself over and over. I’ve since learned to substitute emotional eating for emotional exercising or just going to bed.
- I’ve essentially swapped addictions. Don’t get me wrong, swapping a pint of ice cream for a half an hour on the elliptical is never going to be a bad thing, but I’m still ignoring the problems that are sending me into these emotional frenzies. Physically, I’m getting into better shape every single day, but I’m still in the same emotional state as I was 70 lbs ago.
- I’ve learned who my true friends are. It sucks, but some people just love to see you fail. Most of my family and friends have been nothing but supportive through the whole process. Others, not so much. That breaks my heart because I honestly cared about these people and now they want nothing to do with me. I don’t understand how anyone could demean a friend for trying to better themselves, but they did. I think it’s probably a manifestation of their own insecurities. They’re afraid I’ll look better than them and they won’t have that to feel good about themselves. Oh well, I hope I do look better than them.
- The new-found attention is terrifying. I don’t get a ton of attention from people out and about. I keep to myself and stick to my little group of pre-approved friends. Since losing the weight, I’ve found more people, guys in particular, are trying to talk to me. Guys will try to chit chat at the gym or people from my past will slide into the DMs on Twitter. At first this was kind of nice, but now it’s getting old. My mom always said if they wouldn’t give me any attention when I was big, I shouldn’t let them now that I’m getting smaller. I agree with that. I guess I just have to work on my RBF.
- Very few of my problems actually went away. I started losing weight because I thought that was the worst thing in my life. I know if I didn’t do something, I’d be at risk for heart disease and diabetes, so losing weight HAS alleviated a lot of my health problems, but everything else is still there. I still have money issues. I’m still a socially awkward idiot. I still have things I hate about my body. Sure, my stomach doesn’t stick out as far as it used to, but my boobs are vanishing before my eyes and my arms look like partially-deflated balloon animals. I foolishly thought losing weight would make my life perfect and it simply didn’t.
- I will literally never get enough. This might be one of those “first-world problems” I so commonly face, but I’ll never be satisfied with my weight loss. I’ve been getting upset because I’ve “only” lost 70 lbs. Instead of focusing on the 70 I’ve already lost, I’m caught up on the 40 more I want to lose. Once I hit my goal weight, I’m not going to be satisfied until I’m looking toned and fit. Once I’m toned and fit, I’ll be focused on making gains. I’m never going to stop chasing that feeling I get when I step on the scale and see that I’m down another 3 lbs or when I get off the elliptical drenched in sweat with jelly legs. I know my body will eventually find a weight it is comfortable at and I will stop losing and I know that once I hit my “ultimate goal,” my problems will still be there. I’ll just look damn good while dealing with them.