So many things to learn to lose weight, and so little time to learn it, am I right? I have spent the last year learning, experimenting, and failing. Yes, failing. This journey we have undertaken will not be without its flaws, but each failure will help us learn and grow. I want to share 7 more things no one told me about weight loss. I learned every one on my own, and I want to share them with you. If you haven’t read the first installment of this list, you can go back and read it here.
1. You Will Wear Leggings
Ah, leggings. The pants that aren’t really pants. They are stretchy and comfy and don’t carry the same stigma as hose or sweat pants. They are about to become your best friend. As your weight loss progresses, your pants will lose their ability to not fall off your butt. That’s a great thing! Celebrate it. You can buy new pants every time you go down a size, but I prefer to not buy enough new stuff to cover all the days pf the week. That would get expensive as your journey continues. We are going to lose enough weight that rebuying your wardrobe will stress your wallet. Just break out the leggings and keep on changing your life without the expense of new clothes several times.
2. You Will Need Those Leggings Before You See a Visible Change in Your Body
When I first started this journey, I thought it would take a long time to change clothing sizes. It took fifteen pounds. I couldn’t see that change thanks to how high my weight was, but I could feel it in my clothes. Shirts that fit a month before became almost baggy. My pants were barely hanging in there without a belt. I went and looked in the mirror, expecting to see a difference in my body. Nope. Nothing. It wasn’t until I lost another 5 pounds that my face started looking thinner and my calves had a tiny bit of definition.
3. Not Everyone Will Notice
There are some people that even after you lose 100 pounds won’t say a word. It isn’t always clear whether they are just oblivious or are just not saying anything. We are built to want recognition for our good work so it can be a hit to your confidence if they don’t say anything. This is another good place to remember not only all the things you’ve noticed, but also the good things everyone else has said.
4. Not Everyone Will Be Happy For You
Jealously is a green-eyed beast, and that beast can overtake people you won’t expect. It could be your best friend, your coworker, or even your neighbor. It takes two different forms too. One is the person who has obvious distain for everything you are doing to better your life. The second, more common one, is the secret saboteur. This is the person that offers you cookies or makes veiled comments about your eating habits. They are the more dangerous of the two types since they are more likely to talk you in to “just one cookie” or “just one slice of pizza”. They are also more likely to bring the birthday cake to your office birthday party even though you’ve requested a fruit or veggie tray.
5. Exercise Can Cause a Weight Loss Stall-Out
Have you ever spent a lot of time lifting weights or doing other activities that build muscle? As you put on muscle, your weight will most likely stall as far as the scale goes. In college I spent some time with a physical trainer. I only lost two pounds, but I also lost inches and increased my endurance and stamina. Even now, if I spend a little time working out, my weight loss slows down. This is where NSV (non-scale victories) come in to play. The scale can be a useful tool, but it is not the last word in improving your health and your life. Celebrating other small moments that prove your changes are making a difference (needing to wear leggings or buy new pants are big ones) can help you step away from the scale not feeling like it kicked you just by not moving.
6. You Will Try Several Different Methods
People are more interested in variety than in the repetitive. Our generation has the added need for instant gratification. Thanks, Google and Amazon. Once we have the initial rush of a quick weight loss and things slow down, we start looking for the next rush. I bet you’ve tried every quick weight loss plan out there, am I right? So have I. I have tried no bread, Weight Watchers, just tracking calories, fat burning exercise programs, and no processed sugar. I’ve also tried intermittent fasting, not eating anything after 7 pm, diet pills, weight loss shakes, and just eating smaller portions. All have their varied successes and failures. Trying different plans can help you whittle down what works with your time, personality, and tastes. Cutting portion sizes and drinking water before every meal have been much more successful for me than other plans. You will find the one or combo of more than one that works best for you as you experiment.
The other thing that I do want to talk about is yo-yo dieting. We’ve all done that too I’m sure. Yo-Yo dieting isn’t the same as trying different plans for changing your habits. Yo-Yo diets are the ultimate instant gratification version of dieting. Like a lot of other instant gratification experiences, the novelty quickly fades, you give up on the all juice diet or the diet pills, and you are right back where you started. A lot of times you end up worse off than before as your body starts hoarding the calories again in case another “famine” (i.e. yo-yo diet) comes along.
7. It Will Never Be Easy
You are starting out on a lifelong journey. Every journey has
There are so many things to thing about when managing weight loss. I like to say that there are a lot of moving parts. You will feel overwhelmed at times, but you can totally do this! The key to making it is to just not stop. I love this Rodney Atkins song that reminds us to just keep going and you might just make it out before the devil even knows you are there. That is an image that sticks, and one I come back to in the dark moments where a donut is calling my name and the scale isn’t moving and dammit, I just do not want to go to the gym again. Please keep going. I’m here to help you get through to that other side.