9 Things I Wish Someone Told me About Losing Weight
At my heaviest weight – I was classified as obese. For over 10 years, I had a terrible relationship with food, yo-yo dieting and struggling with my weight. I eventually quit diets and went on to lose 20-25kg. You can guess it changed my life in many ways…
I’ve written about some of the things I did to help me shift the weight like quitting diets, focusing on health not weight and learning to love exercise, but today I wanted to share some of the things I wish someone had told me about what happens after you’ve lost weight.
1. You’ll still have cellulite.
Skinny or fat, old or young – cellulite affects most women (and some men). You can lunge and squat till you can’t walk but it doesn’t mean cellulite will go away. Most models have cellulite too but they photoshop them out, along with their pores, wrinkles, stretch marks etc and anything else the beauty world deems as ‘imperfect’ and not ok. That’s one of the reasons why I have a strict no photoshop policy. Cellulite is normal. Cellulite is ok!
Kim Kardashian photoshops out cellulite.
2. You don’t suddenly learn to accept or love yourself
I used to think, “When I am thin, I’ll be confident/loveable/good enough”. Unfortunately, not. Losing weight doesn’t make your inner insecurities go away. They stay exactly the same. So instead, first learnt to accept yourself with all your imperfections… and then can you start to change your behaviour. When you do it this way, you’re changing your lifestyle for the right reasons and you’re more likely to succeed.
Rather than trying to get rid your imperfections, learn to love yourself in spite of your flaws.
3. It takes time. Lots of time.
It takes way more time to lose weight than you think. I learnt the hard way that the key to weight loss is patience. It took me more over 4 years to lose 20-25kg (not 12 or 18 weeks). However long you think weight loss will take – multiply it by 10, and then add some. Be patient, focus on health – not weight, and the results will follow with slow but sustainable lifestyle changes.
4. Fitspo isn’t inspirational
It’s hard to believe but staring at skinny models to try and motivate you to lose weight doesn’t actually work. In fact, it backfires in your face. It makes you believe that you must look like those models in order to be healthy. When you don’t look like them (and you’ll never like them because thanks to photoshop/make-up/lighting/filters etc… they don’t even look like them!) you’ll feel like a failure and be more likely to quit. It can lead to an unhealthy relationship with exercise like I had. You’ll be more likely to go to extreme measures and either train your butt off all the time or do nothing at all.
5. You don’t need to count almonds…
Just take a handful of almonds! Don’t count them. In fact, you don’t need to count anything including macros, points and calories. It’s soul sucking and makes healthy eating painful. You can only count for so long before you feel deprived. You don’t want to spend the rest of your life counting shit… you just want to be able to eat and enjoy and be happy. Instead of counting almonds or calories, count how many serves of fruit and vegetables you get each day. Count the things you should be grateful for. Way more effective.
6. It doesn’t mean you’re healthier
People can lose weight in many ways like starving themselves, abusing substances, going through depression etc…. Just because someone loses weight, doesn’t mean they are healthy. When I had my eating disorder, I would lose weight by eating nothing but carrots for two weeks. Please don’t assume because someone loses weight they are healthier. And definitely don’t encourage it by mistake…
7. People will comment and treat you differently
But it’s not always a good thing. You’ll start to realise that people who ignored you before you lost weight are just superficial. People who will make comments like “OMG, you’re so skinny” are probably jealous, not happy for you. People will treat you differently but the grass isn’t greener on the other side. Trust me.
8. You’ll probably never feel skinny enough
Even at your skinniest weight, you’ll still find flaws with your body and believe you should still lose more weight. I’ve never, ever felt thin enough. I looked back at my wedding photos recently (remember – I’ve lost 20-25kg since 2011) and I still judged my body, thinking perhaps I would have looked better if I weighed less.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my body but no one is immune to the warped beauty standards. I’ve now let it go but that was one of my first reactions! Losing weight doesn’t make you accept your body. You need to accept your body first otherwise you’ll keep chasing goal posts that you can never reach…
Our wedding in March, 2016. Photo by Studio Something.
9. You will be the same person
At the end of the day, regardless of what you look like – you will still be the same person with the same strengths and weaknesses. Your social problems won’t go away, you won’t suddenly have more genuine friends, you won’t earn more or be happier… When you look in the mirror, the person staring back at you might look different but it’s the same person. Rather than trying to get rid your imperfections, learn to love yourself in spite of your flaws.
My Take Home Message
Your weight is just a number on a scale or clothing size. It doesn’t define who you are. It won’t change you. It won’t fix your problems or poor self-esteem. Losing weight won’t instantly make you happy.
There are many reasons to focus on being healthy and vibrant but losing weight just to be skinny won’t give you the satisfaction you might think it will.
Don’t focus on losing weight rather focus on being the healthiest, strongest, happiest and most contented person you can be. That’s a much better recipe for success…
If you’re sick of hating your body and always trying to lose weight, then let’s do something about it. Stop binge eating, learn to listen to your body, give up diets with Keep It Real Online program to help you stop binge and emotional eating forever.