When I started my weight loss journey I prepared for the worst. At least I thought I did. I had countless pep talks with myself about not letting negative energy from others get to me, or ignoring those who didn’t believe in me. I knew that my change in appearance would bring about a change in those around me but there were a few things I didn’t account for. There is whole side of losing weight that people don’t publicize, and that’s the toll it can take on you emotionally.
My biggest fear was that I would lose friends as I lost the weight. I had heard countless stories about women who started losing weight and the ladies in their life became jealous and turned spiteful. I knew that none of my closest friends would have this reaction but I couldn’t be sure that others I weren’t as close with would be as supportive. At first not very many noticed a difference in my appearance. It took a few months before people really saw the change and I got nothing but positive feedback. People I hadn’t spoken to in years would send me messages of encouragement or congratulate my efforts. With every “like” on a picture or share of a post I felt overjoyed that I wasn’t experiencing the dreaded “hater effect”. I sort of felt invincible, like maybe people just liked me enough that they couldn’t help but be happy for me. For the most part, that was true.
I’m thankful to be surrounded by the amazing people in my life. My family has done everything they can to support me and show me how proud they are of me. This is the same with my work family, my coworkers aren’t just colleagues, they’re my friends and they continue to amaze me with their kindness and generosity. By far my friends have shown so much more love than I could have possibly imagined. They all want to be a part of it whether it’s running a race with me or just cheering along the sidelines. This bubble of bliss they’ve surrounded me with has gotten me through the bad days when all I want to do is give up.
When I started this journey I didn’t have an end goal in mind. I didn’t want to reach a certain weight or be a certain size. We had a competition at work and I just wanted to win. Along the way I realized how much better I felt when I took care of my body and vowed to make it a lifelong change regardless of the contest outcome. I’ve stuck true to that well after our final weigh in. This isn’t a diet, this isn’t a fad, this is my life. I’m dedicated to being the best person I can be both inside and out. I’ve never paid much attention to pounds or dress sizes; I’ve always felt comfortable in my own skin and confident in my body.
This might come as a surprise to some, but I wasn’t unhappy before. I loved myself and have actually started feeling more insecure as the pounds have come off. In a weird way, that extra layer of fat was sort of like my armor and protection from fake people. I suppose subconsciously I always felt like if people liked me just as I was then it was for the person that I was and not for my outward appearance. I never had a shortage of suitors, there was always someone trying to get to know me. I went on more dates then than I have now. Now that my body is slimming down there has been an assortment of men in my life who have suddenly shown interest when there wasn’t before. My mentality on it has and will continue to be “if you didn’t have time for me then, I don’t have time for you now”.
I try not to let it bother me. I assumed that there would be a few of these guys around who chose not to notice me until I fit what their idea of beauty is. I understand I wasn’t and still might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean I should be treated like a charity case. The most unexpected reaction has been a few select men who have approached me with the attitude “oh you must not have gotten any attention when you were bigger so now that you’ve lost weight you should be thankful that I’m showing interest”. This is the most ridiculous, delusional mentality, so preposterous in fact that I hadn’t even considered it in the realm of possibilities. I mean seriously, what makes you think that your condescending and degrading approach would make me swoon for you? I wish I could share some of the messages I’ve received but they’re too vulgar and shameful to even post. Most people worry that the worst part of weight loss is all the money you’ll spend on new clothes, I could never have expected all of the emotional damage I would be subjected to. It’s not something a lot of people talk about, but we need to. There is more to weight loss than just the struggle you feel in the gym and in the kitchen.