- Jennifer Still
- After losing 120 pounds, there are some things I had expected to change that actually didn’t end up changing.
- Shopping for clothing at a US size 10/12 isn’t much different for me than shopping while at a US size 24.
- It’s oftentimes still hard to motivate myself to exercise.
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When I embarked on a journey to lose over 120 pounds a little over a year ago, I had no idea of all the changes my body – and my life as a whole – was about to undergo.
While many things changed drastically, a few things I expected to totally transform actually didn’t. It’s worth noting that everyone’s experience with their body is different, especially when it comes to weight. These are all from my personal experience and yours may vary.
Losing 120 pounds didn’t change my feelings about shopping for clothes
- Lucy Nicholson/Reuters
Admittedly, it is pretty great to have way more options when it comes to clothing styles since I went from a US size 24 to a US size 10/12. Although 68% of women in the US wear a size 14 and above, finding clothes in that size range or high is notoriously tough.
But that doesn’t mean that finding things that I like and that are actually flattering on me is any easier than it was before.
I think most women have a bit of a love/hate relationship with dressing rooms, but I was surprised to learn that this didn’t miraculously change for me once I dropped the pounds. Finding clothes that fit me, express my style, and that I enjoy wearing is still no easy task.
My relationship with food is still, somewhat, the same
Of course, this isn’t entirely true. I did have to change my relationship to food quite a bit in order to succeed in losing weight in the first place, but all of my dysfunctional impulses around and towards food are still firmly intact – I’m just in better control of them.
That being said, I still struggle with occasional binge behaviors or thinking about food in terms of “good” or “bad” but I’m only human. When it happens, I pick myself up and start over again rather than feeling like I’ll never overcome it. I realize now that these issues will likely always be a part of my life so I need to make peace with them.
My desire to work out hasn’t increased drastically
- Skydive Erick/Flickr
I always feel good about working out after I actually do it, but being 120 pounds lighter and way fitter hasn’t suddenly made me some exercise machine who wakes up every morning raring to go. I feel that way sometimes, especially if I have a challenging spin class scheduled or I’m working toward a mileage goal for running, but there are still plenty of mornings I wake up dreading getting on my workout gear and heading to the gym.
I always feel better when it’s done, but that doesn’t mean getting there is any easier.
The way people treat me hasn’t changed much
Like many obese people, I used to feel regularly judged by everyone from my doctor to the other people at the gym to the waiter at the restaurant I was eating dinner at. It seemed like everyone was thinking that I was fat, gross, eating the wrong things, etc. In likelihood, most of the people I imagined having these thoughts likely weren’t thinking of me at all but it certainly felt like they were.
In reality, people still treat me (mostly) the same these days as they did when I was 120 pounds heavier. Sure, there are a few fewer stares when I’m shopping, but I’ve started to feel as though many of the ways I imagined I was being treated weren’t partially a projection of my own dissatisfaction with my weight.
It’s worth noting that this is simply my own experience. Fatphobia is a very real issue that can affect peoples’ mental and physical health and safety – I just don’t think I’ve experienced it first-hand as much as I thought I had.
My need to ‘diet’ still exists
- Alexander Spatari/Getty
I’ll admit that there was a part of me that felt like when I reached my goal weight, I’d be able to loosen up a bit when it came to being so strict with my diet. I knew that I was embarking on a lifestyle change rather than a temporary fix, but as I edge closer to my goal weight, I’m understanding more and more that “loosening up,” when combined with my tendency to binge, is a slippery slope.
That’s not to say that I don’t have the occasional treat – I do for sure, but I realize that I’ll have to keep a close eye on what I’m eating and how if I want to be successful in maintaining my loss, which I have every intention of doing. My health depends on it.