Having a comment chat the other day with Tony from One Regular Guy… blog (have a read it’s good for anyone not just guys and not just people trying to lose weight) we mentioned some of the downsides of weight loss. Now not wanting to put anyone off losing weight at all, because we agreed there is no downside which compares to the upside of having a waist line reduced by inches, but there are a few things that you might want to get to grips with so you’re not so shocked when/if they happen.
It also keeps us grounded in the knowledge that for every good thing there could be a bad thing just waiting to smack us in the face… total unequivocal happiness and satisfaction may not be as easy to come by as we think and losing weight is not going to take all of our stresses away.
The first one we mentioned was temperature control. Remember when we were huge and we lolled around all summer sweating, wishing we had the nerve to wear barely anything, wishing we had the nerve to strip off and dive in a lake or pool (high five to those who just did it anyway), remember those days when we lay under a ceiling fan or hid out in air conditioned rooms as our fat added layers to insulate our bodies which on the upside also kept us warm in the winter? Well when that weight has gone, when the insulation is no more, summer is so much easier, having fewer creases and rolls is more comfortable (less places for sweat to gather) and less chunkiness rubbing on chunkiness causing sores and chaffing. Gosh I have been lucky that my legs were never really very big but even so I’ve had the odd summer where my inner thighs have blistered and bled from friction, and not of the fun gained type either, just walking.
So summer is easier BUT winter is a beast. You will feel sooooooo cold on your first winter and maybe beyond as your body really is shocked by the exposure no longer padded and insulated by all of that fat. If you struggle to lose weight in the winter (I used to) count your lucky stars here because you’re delaying the pain of freezing temperatures. We had a mild winter here this year but even so my heating bill was higher than last year all because I was totally freezing all of the time!
Another thing I’ve noticed is that sitting on a hard chair or bench is sooooo painful. I feel like I’m sitting on metal bars. It took me a while to even figure what it was, I thought the discomfort came from strained butt muscles but eventually realised I had so much less padding on my posterior now and sitting down for a skinny bum is really not comfortable, how do people cope? I’ve yet to find it comfortable and wonder if I ever will. So if you have stubborn bum fat, don’t worry, leave it there, when it’s gone you will know about it.
Saggy skin is another thing, I’ve not got any yet apart from tops of my arms but that’s not even bad. This section kind of covers more than that though, when you lose weight you can become hyper critical of your body in a whole new way. I have to remind myself when I look int he mirror at my naked self or in my underwear just what I was seeing in that mirror a year ago. It becomes too easy to obsess with body parts, to look at your floppy arms or podgy belly or dimpled thighs or reduced bust or whatever it is and hate it. It’s really bad to start hating your new body, it is. You have to remind yourself where it’s come from, how hard you have worked, how much better your feel and how a saggy bum or a few stretchmarks or boobs that only have a clevage in a bra are really not the end of the world.
It is hard to achieve perfection and what is perfection anyway? Who has a perfect body? Even if you can name someone who in your opinion does have a perfect body if you tell them that they’ll say “Oh no, my bum is too big… my boobs are too small… I have awful feet”. We have to get away from looking at our bodies on the outside and thinking of how they are thriving on the inside. It can be a really really bad downside of losing weight when you start to obsess with things about your body you can not change, OK so some you can change with diet exercise, even surgery but don’t let anything detract from the amazing accomplishment you have made to shed weight in the first place, don’t forget how much better your body is functioning on the inside. Don’t depress yourself because you’ll wind up eating again and risk getting fat again and you’re not going to be happy if everything you’ve done was reversed and we know how fast it can be reversed. When I look at myself in the mirror I suck in and posture and say “Hell yeah, you’re looking amazing, look at those slim ankles, look at that glowing skin, look at that thick shiny hair, look at those gorgeous pearly teeth, look at your slender sophisticated hands, look at the you that was hiding under all of that fat” and I slap my still slightly wobbly bum and turn that to the mirror.
Another downside is people’s comments about your size. This is a real downside. It’s like when you’re pregnant and people feel they have a right to say “Aren’t you massive?” or to touch you without asking first. It happens when you’ve lost weight. It’s like you trade the insults and jokes about your weight from people you didn’t know for constant comments from people you do know. People suddenly feel they have a right to ask a lady her weight, her dress size, how much she’s lost, when she’s going to stop and to comment with things like “you need to stop now, you’ve lost enough now, you’re looking ill, you don’t look like you anymore” and let’s just forget the ones who say behind your back “she’ll put it back on in a year she always does”… those ones need a swift jab in the eyes.
Nobody cares about anything else anymore, all they want to know is how much you lost and how, some of them want you to write them a diet plan, some want you to cook for them, some to come and steal your trainer sessions, you become weight loss guru and they either put you on a pedestal or they can’t cope with the threat of the new you and abandon you like trash. I think this is why I’ve kind of migrated towards relationships with my friends who are also trying to change their lives, either through weight loss or anything else, learning new skills, retraining, finding new jobs, exercising more.. these friends get me and don’t talk to me all the time about losing weight. We mention it but it’s not ALL we talk about and it’s not the first thing we talk about when we see one another. It’s at the point now where I dread seeing anyone I know who hasn’t seen me in a while I just know the first thing they’ll say is “Haven’t you lost weight? Oh gosh I didn’t recognise you” and I’ll have to retort with “Well you did otherwise you’d not have screamed my name across the supermarket so that everyone in here turned to look at me”. You just wish that once in a while someone you know would see you and say “How are you and the kids doing?” just like the old days when they didn’t say “Hi, aren’t you fatter than last time I saw you?” or “So I see you’re still massive then”
The other downside is that guys think you’re hot, everywhere you go guys are chasing you down, throwing flowers at your feet, sending facebook requests – you are in demand. Well not quite, for some maybe but you do notice that single guys you’ve maybe known a while suddenly see a photo of you someone tagged on FB (I hate that) and next thing you get a message asking if you’re doing anything Saturday and you have to send back a message saying “Yes I’m on a date with my beautiful boyfriend who had the foresight to ask me out before I cross trained my way off the fat bench”.
The other problem closely related to this is your girlfriends suddenly see you as hot too and they panic whenever you are around their men folk. You are no longer the safe fat mate who they can take anywhere or who they can leave alone with their man or who they take along just to make themselves feel thinner. What do they call it? The DUFF… dull ugly fat friend… seriously slim people see us fat people like that and whats worse we didn’t even realise it until we lost weight, we thought they were really our friends. This isn’t some juvenile only thing, this happens with middle aged women too, there are bitches alive and kicking out there at all ages. I really hate this one though, it’s like your friends, people you called FRIEND think that because you’ve lost 150 pounds you want to destroy their marriage or suddenly you find their whimpy boring idiot husband remotely attractive. Harsh? You bet I am! This is so upsetting when it happens. It suddenly becomes your fault that their husband says to them that you look good even when you’re miles away, or he says that maybe they should think about getting in shape again.
That is not your fault and don’t you dare feel guilty about it if it happens to you because that shit is not your fault. If your friend stops inviting you over or wants to kill you because their husband who they insisted you add on facebook while you were fat happens to like a picture of you now you’re not… even if it’s a picture you didn’t put there, it is her fault, his fault, anyone’s fault but yours. Sadly to some of your friends you will become the biggest flirty ho bag ever to walk the Earth because you lost some weight and got in shape and even if you have a lovely man in your life, that doesn’t exclude you from your expulsion from friendship groups. Sometimes I wish Nick would just hurry up and propose so that these idiots see us as more official and stop worrying. But then I don’t see why he should be rushed into something he’s clearly waiting for a very special time for (pft) by people who hate me because I’ve lost some weight. Oh yeah, because I also forget that as soon as you lose weight, another downside, you suddenly lose all of your morals and become a marriage wrecker and your years of friendship mean nothing and yes, you really can not keep your pants up for more than ten minutes. Upside of this, Christmas list shrinks and birthday calendar frees up some slots and when the wedding does come… Nick reads this so I’m told so excuse me a second while I get needy with the hints… ring, diamonds, ring, proposal, waiting, only joking when I said I wouldn’t do it again.
Honestly we went to a former colleague’s house for dinner a few nights ago and we both could feel the tension. Every time her husband, who I’ve known longer than I’ve known her, laughed at something I said we could feel the draft from her kicking him under the table. It’s not even flattering, years ago the bitch in me would have played on it and had him eating strawberries out of my cleavage but now I’m mature I can’t be bothered and my dresses are more expensive. I just find it very sad and very disappointing that my friend pool is diminishing at a time when it should be expanding as I become more social. But then it’s not diminishing because I have better quality friends now, I know who the real ones are and I also have met lots of lovely new ones through my activities so that’s not such a bad thing, we don’t need negative people in our lives do we?
On that note I shall say keep on going or start going if you are losing or wanting to lose weight. The downsides are few compared to the masses of positive effects, the longer life being the best one, the non irritable bowel, the lack of heartburn, the unswollen liver, nice clear wee, solid sleep, energy, flexibility, mental alertness, even my memory has improved, better hair, better skin, better nails, better teeth, reduced blood pressure, reduced water retention, reduced risk of diabetes reduced risk of heart disease and cancer, increased libido, cheaper clothes, being able to get out of the bath, being able to do a home pedi, knowing if you’re ready for a bikini wax without using your selfie camera… OK so that last one was TMI but don’t not lose weight because of the downsides just prepare yourself to deal with them, some of them can really piss you off.