I hear it all of the time when I’m out and the conversation starts up, “You’re young with a great metabolism,” “You’re blessed with good genes,” “You’re so skinny/fit/etc,” “A person like me can never get a body like that.” If none of those fit the particular variety, insert some form of you don’t understand what it’s like to be overweight/out of shape.
Most of the time my past and my weight isn’t relevant to the conversation, and despite the slight pang of insult I feel I have a tendency to smile and say thank you. Despite the way the comment generally comes out, the person means it as a compliment. Compliments are still hard to accept. That’s something you don’t hear very often, and something nobody tells you. These conversations are usually in passing, or someone sees me out doing something active and will say something as a passerby. If I have the opportunity, I will always say with a warm smile, “Yes, yes you can. It wasn’t long ago that I was 120 pounds heavier.”
I wanted this blog post to be about things nobody tells you or prepares you for when you’re losing weight and after you lose the weight. Just a few things for now…
Losing The Weight
You will change…and people close to you will resent you…
Weight loss isn’t just about the physical change. Once you truly commit to losing the weight you start to go through a profound spiritual awakening. The first part of the process is when you start eliminating the shit from your diet. Eliminating processed, Chemical shit storm, barely constitutes as food junk garbage is essential to your success. Once you’ve kicked it for a while…surprise, surprise you start to feel better.
You’re not a sick mess anymore. You have more energy, so you start feeling better. When you start feeling better you start becoming happier. If you’ve added fitness or a gym to your routine and you make it past that first 32 days and form a habit, you start getting into the groove of your routine. You get better, stronger, faster, fitter, healthier, happier and you’re on a roll- and people will hate it.
Back when you were eating shit and feeling like shit you shared a common interest with others who eat shit and feel like shit. They may not have gotten themselves to the same point you did weight or health wise, but now that you’ve made a lifestyle change, they’ve lost their common interest with you. They start to resent you and you face remarks like “You’re going to the gym? Again??” or “You can have just ONE slice of pizza.” or “You’re losing too much weight, you should eat a burger.” My best advice to you is to just GET RID of all of these people. Stay busy, stay focused and don’t lose sight of your goal. We all know the old adage, “Misery loves company.” Refuse to be a part of misery. You’ll start attracting like people.
When I lost my first 80lbs I was still dating the guy I gained all of my weight with. He started fights with me all of the time over my food choices. He eventually broke up with me saying “I’d changed.” And he was absolutely right. I had changed, I wasn’t even sad, didn’t even cry, told him goodbye and was on my way to a better, healthier life.
I don’t want this part of the process to scare you. Because even though you’ll find people that are a giant rain cloud of negativity in your life, you’ll also find your rainbows. People that jump on board and are ready to take charge and help you on your journey. For me this person was my mom. She was behind me 100% when I made a change in diet, and she and my dad were the first to keep me motivated when I finally decided to commit to the gym. They were and remain an amazing support system for me. Even better, the friends I had to abandon in the beginning, many of them have made their way back into my life. I serve as a point of inspiration for them and I’m incredibly honored to do so. They come to me with questions and ask for advice and I’m happy to help them on their way to a healthier life. The going out to eat gets easier, the gym schedule is just another part of life, like brushing your teeth or taking a shower (hopefully you do those things daily…)
You constantly underestimate yourself
Coming from a life of being overweight, you will constantly underestimate yourself. For me it’s estimating how long and far I can run, or how fast I can run it. I guestimated I’d be able to run a 10 minute mile the other day, I ran it in 8:13. Another way I underestimate myself is when I go clothes shopping. Back from my days of being 280 and size 18 pants I absolute dread shopping for clothes. I maybe do it once a year. When I do though, for some reason I always grab a 10/12 pants size. I was in that range for so long of my weight loss journey that I constantly forget I’m in between a 7-8 and an 8-9 depending on the brand. It’s always a pleasant surprise.
The thing that really becomes an eye opener for you is when you do underestimate yourself..and you completely smash whatever goal you’re going for. It’s a reminder of where you were and where you are now. It also serves as a reminder of where you never want to be again. For some, they can lose a significant amount of weight and gain it right back. I can never be one of those people. The first time I gained my weight, I couldn’t even fathom that I was that overweight. I always thought I was still “okay” and “skinny from the side” (…lol) I didn’t take a lot of pictures and when I look back at pictures my mom saved for me I’m blown away and think “did I really look like that?” It serves as a safe guard. I SEE when I’m starting to gain weight, and the second I do, I know exactly what to do to take it right back off again.
Can’t take a f#$*ing compliment.
I hear this critique all of the time, “Just take the f&^$ing compliment Tai.” It still shocks, surprises and puts me on guard when I’m given a compliment. Particularly ones about beauty. I’ve never truly felt like I was a beauty. Don’t get me wrong, I tell myself I’m beautiful all of the time. A beautiful person, a beautiful soul, a beautiful human being, but as far as being one of those girls that gets approached in a bar or at a coffee shop, that’s never been me, and it still takes getting used to. I always heard “she’s got a cute face, if only she lost some weight.” So when someone approaches me and uses words like “Stunning, Gorgeous, Beautiful, Hot,” or what have you I always raise an incredulous eye brow and wonder when the last time they had an eye exam was.
Not being able to take a compliment has left me with a bit of social awkwardness. Blogging and facebook is difficult for me. I don’t want to post pictures of myself. I always see places for improvement. Where my muscles could use more definition or separation, or if I ate too much salt or splurged on junk food and my abs start to disappear. Whenever I do get a compliment on social media I try my hardest to say thank you and move on from it.
The people that have reached out to me, believed in me, complimented me have given me an incredible boost of self esteem. Changing my life from shit to healthful has taken me from being an extreme introvert who barely left the house to being someone people want to be around, and it’s been difficult to adjust to that. But I am trying and getting better at it every day. All the aforementioned issues were so much worse in the beginning than they are now. It gets easier.
Stay the course…