Weight loss. I would venture to say that the majority of people reading this think that it’s a thing into which they’ve put thought. But there are some things NO ONE ever talks about. At least I never heard anyone talk about them: the negative aspects of major weight loss (50 lbs or more).
- Acclamation to Perception. Most fat people have been beat over the head with a fat-free-low-sodium-high-fiber-healthy-people-are-skinny stick their whole fat lives that they should feel bad about being fat. Some of us have been lucky enough to fight the terrorism by – *shock face* – accepting our bodies as beautiful works of art or whatever. The latter group (of which I am thankful to be a part) learned how to be sexy, fashionable, talented, etc. not in spite of our fatness, but because of it. We developed an attitude of, “See me? Well, okay, you kinda can’t miss me…anyway, I’m here, I’m fat, get used to it.” (Everyone loves an overused cliche.) But you know what happens when you lose weight? You’re not as fat. You’re also not skinny (yet, for some). You’re in this in-between land of, “Well, I’m not fat-hot anymore, but I’m not skinny-hot either.” You’re pretty much tepid. And we all know how awesome tepid water is. It may be ideal for hydration, but not taste. So we’re good-for-you-hot. That sounds SO sexy…
- Missing the Fat. Yup. You got it. There are odd advantages to fatness: the belly fat that holds your napkin on your lap, the extra cushioning around your bones, lying on your side and using your stomach as a resting shelf for your top arm. Lose a bunch of weigh, those things go away. My napkins are constantly falling off my lap, certain bones feel too “there” when I’m sleeping (and I have a good mattress), almost every night I fall over because my arm’s weight can’t balance as well…it’s like tripping, but lying down. And with your arm.
- Unnecessary Compliments. I’ve kvetched about this before, but who doesn’t like excessive kvetching? People like to compliment you, to encourage you, to make you feel valued. But for me (and I’d venture to say for other tepid-weighted people) it feels like, “You used to be such a cow, but now you’re looking more socially acceptable. Good for you for being more aesthetically pleasing!” I realize that it’s not meant in that way. It’s just how it feels.
- Shape Shifting. You grow a sense of what styles look best on you, what cuts of jeans are most comfortable, etc. But as you lose weight, you may be losing it evenly, or your body may do its own form of experimentation. In the past year I’ve purchased 6 pairs of jeans, all the same size, based on varying the cut. One cut will fit for a time, then one day not so much. The size doesn’t change as often as the cut of the same size (although it seems I may need to switch cuts and size down…again…). To some people this wouldn’t seem like a problem. To me…I just want 3 pairs of comfortable jeans that I can wear any day, preferably in different washes. I don’t want to keep needing new jeans before they’re worn out. It seems incredibly un-frugal, and I’m nothing if not frugal.
- Fat Days. When I was fat (ter), I never had “fat” days. I never had a huge meal and felt momentarily fatter afterwards. I was always fat. That was it. But now my clothes fit differently depending on the day of the month or the meal I just ate. There are actually times when I change my outfit depending on where I’m going for dinner. Sushi = skinny clothes. Pizza = yoga pants. Ice cream = t-shirt, no pants, and a pillow.
There are probably more that I either haven’t thought of or just haven’t yet encountered. On the whole, it’s been great to sit in movie theatres without feeling the arms cut into my sides, to have a looser seatbelt, to feel less judged by random strangers…and by people I know, who would NEVER admit they were judging me (and that’s okay). It feels great to look forward to going to the gym, and then feeling invigorated afterwards. It feels great to eat healthier.
But sometimes I miss being a true-blue fat person. Mostly when I’m bending over to pick up my napkin…again.