You did it. You committed to lose weight and now you’re no longer the fattest person in the room. OK, maybe you only dropped 10 pounds but hey, people are starting to notice, and it feels damn good. Mostly.
Whenever someone loses a noticeable amount of weight, it’s not just a physical transformation that happens, but a mental transformation as well. Regardless of how long it takes for people to reach their goal weight, there are significant things that occur along the way that impact their body image and confidence. For all the positive reinforcement you get, you’ll also notice some pretty odd reactions from people you’re close to.
Sound familiar? Here are five things you may be surprised by after you lose the weight.
5 Things That May Surprise You After You Lose Weight
1. You shed friends along with pounds.
What Happens: Believe it or not, it’s common for you to lose some friends along with pounds. That’s because as you see the payoff from the lifestyle changes you’ve made, you may feel disconnected with friends who still eat and drink things you no longer do. You’re evolving, and when that happens, it’s common to notice jealousy, and digs. You may even experience exclusion from dinners out because friends may presume you don’t want to indulge and they’re doing you a favour.
What You Can Do: Have faith that your true friends will love you at any size. You’re likely to find that it will be hard for you to tolerate any gossip, negativity or activities that are counterproductive to your journey. The last thing you need are people who bring you down when you are doing something positive for your well being. Look out for yourself. At times, that may mean distancing from certain people and that’s okay.
2. Loose skin becomes the new thing you notice.
What Happens: Once you reach your goal weight, you may love how you look in clothes but naked in or a bathing suit is a whole other story. That’s when you may freak out about all this loose skin that appears, especially if your weight loss is significant. Even when weight training is part of the regimen, loose skin does happen.
What You Can Do: Loose skin can gather at the stomach, under arms, breasts, buttocks, inner thighs, face and neck. The more significant the weight loss is, say 50 pounds and above, the more likely a plastic surgeon may be needed to explore body lifts that specifically address loose skin after weight loss.
3. You have more energy, are excited about life and can do more!
What Happens: As you change your diet, add daily exercise to your new lifestyle and see the weight melt off, you gain energy. You don’t feel the need to hit the snooze button anymore. That flight of stairs that was once an obstacle is much easier. Simple things like putting on shoes, picking up toys and pushing a vacuum are done with ease. You may wake up energized for that 7 am power walk or you may be inspired by that beautiful new dress you get to wear to work, another dress size dropped. Yay!
What You Can Do: Use newfound energy to your advantage. Your brain is forming new neuropathways as your perception about your body starts to change. As you take notice of what your body can do, let yourself gain more confidence and let your body guide you to do more. Enjoy feeling energizes both physically and mentally.
4. Shopping gets interesting.
What Happens: It is common to get overwhelmed with options now that you can shop the way you always dreamed of. Perhaps your new strong, shapely legs have inspired you to wear dresses again for the first time in years. Or after always covering your arms, you may opt for sleeveless tops. Either way, trying new looks outside of your comfort zone can be daunting.
What You Can Do: Shop on your own or with someone you really trust. It’s important that shopping is made to be fun by approaching it as a style experiment. Don’t expect everything to look perfect just because you are a much smaller size. Some things will work, others won’t. Look for clothes that feel good. When you smile in the mirror, that’s a sign you’re on track.
5. You inspire others.
What Happens: When you lose a noticeable amount of weight, other people want to know how you did it and how you are keeping the weight off. Your immediate family may also adapt to your dietary changes and experience weight loss by association. When your kids see you wake up every morning to exercise, they see that anything worth having requires commitment. Your significant other may be inspired to also lose weight.
What You Can Do: Don’t hide your weight loss journey. Do it right out in the open where people can see your effort and the results. When you take care of yourself and are in a positive mindset, it has a positive impact on everyone you interact with. When the mind and body are aligned, you love the way you look and feel, you’re happy, and that makes you someone others can look up to.