Friday, April 26, 2013

The Ugly Truth About Weight Loss

Yesterday, I had an especially difficult day eating only 1800 calories and it prompted me to write this post. I remember being super overweight and seeing "Before" and "After" photos of people and just thinking it looked so glamorous. Weight loss seemed fun and exciting and freeing and I am not saying that all those things aren't true. But the truth is, if you want to get from this
To this

It is very, very hard.

I was discussing with my friend yesterday how sick I am of everyone telling me how difficult marriage is (because I am a little frustrated that I am not meeting the right guy at the moment and apparently people's advice is "but marriage is hard.") I love what my friend said yesterday when she acknowledged understanding why I wanted this because she said "Yes, Marriage is hard, but it's the 'worth it' kind of hard."

This is the same thing I would say about weight loss. It's very hard, but it's definitely the 'worth it' kind of hard. Nevertheless it is very hard. If you decide to embark on this journey, I just think you should know some of the realistic things involved.

1. Some days all you want is a king-sized candy bar, there is not emotion attached to it, your sugar cravings are just out of control. When you say no to yourself on this candy bar, you will be moody and frustrated and have trouble being rational. This was me yesterday.

2. Your body might betray you. You might have the perfect week where you worked out every day and eat clean and have good calories and you might gain 2 lbs with no explanation for it. This is frustrating and will make you want to quit. To keep going after a week like this takes an act of God.

3. Real, lasting weight loss takes time. I am two years in and I have still not hit my goal weight. I still look at my legs and think they look like "fat girl" legs.

4. Cheat days happen, but it is actually like taking 50 steps back on your journey. Depending on how wacked out your body is by your previous dieting attempts, your body will gain weight on the cheat days. My body reacts VIOLENTLY to cheat days. The last cheat day I had put 8lbs on me overnight. Most people say "that's just water weight." My body acts like its real weight and it takes a good week or two to get my body back where it was.

5. Weight training is hard, but necessary. I find weight training to be the hardest because I don't actually see any results right away. But from what I understand, weight training during weight loss will get your body right where you want it once you hit your goal weight.

6. People do treat you differently. You would think this would be a good thing. But there is some resentment towards the way people treated you when you were super overweight that you don't see until people treat you differently.

7. You become a different person. This is also a good thing. But I would have never told you 100lbs ago that I wasn't happy or I wasn't fulfilling my dreams because I thought I was. But you definitely see a change in how you think and live after weight loss. This can be hard to wrap your head around.

8. It never ends. I like that I won't be losing weight forever. But I do know that I have to be vigilant about how I eat forever. That's the nature of having an eating disorder and an unhealthy relationship with food. You won't be able to be permanently successful at weight loss unless you are able to wrap your head around this concept.

9. You will experience emotions you haven't experienced for a long time. This is likely because you have been masking those emotions with food. I have dealt with depression, sadness, emotional outbursts, anger, etc. since I started this journey.

10. Finding what works for you is a process. I just had to completely give up dairy products because I knew it was hindering my fitness. I have been bouncing between walking and running because I haven't figured out which I (and my body) like better. I still haven't found a weight training routine I am in love with. I still don't like salad but know I need to get some more greens in my diet.

That completes some of the down and dirty truths about weight loss. If you read my "100lbs of changes" post then you know that these 10 items are a small price to pay for what you get in the end. Nevertheless, it is important to know what you are in for.

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