Thinking Thin: The Truth About Weight Loss

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I would respond to compliments from my friends about how good I looked by showing them my loose skin. This is a far cry from what my imagined body would be, back when I was pounds. I wrestled with feeling like this is what I deserved — to be trapped in a body that reminds me every day of what I did to myself.

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It starts out as awkward at first, then becomes rewarding and then can sometimes be downright irritating. When I was heavy, being the center of attention or topic of conversation was uncomfortable. The last thing I ever wanted to do was call attention to myself, especially not my weight.

No one brought it up back then either. Being overweight is like being the elephant in the room no pun intended. No one mentions it and no one asks about it. Could you imagine? Losing weight, on the other hand, is a different story. Everyone wants to discuss it, ask you about it, congratulate you for it. For someone who did everything in her power to shy away from conversations about herself, this was really uncomfortable. It pretty much sucked at first. To me, every comment and conversation was basically an affirmation to how out of control I had let my weight get.

I was really, really heavy before. I get it. Thanks for pointing that out. Even though it was meant to be congratulatory, the attention was really unpleasant. It was a foreign concept to me. No one ever randomly came up to me and told me how good I looked when I was almost pounds. So when it started happening, I never knew how to respond. After a while of having hundreds of the same conversation, it started to feel good. Really good. After I got used to the attention, it became a motivating factor in continuing to lose weight and get healthy. It felt good. People treated me differently, acknowledged my presence when I came into a room and wanted to know what I had to say.

Extreme weight loss turns you into a little mini celebrity. People threw compliments at me constantly and, at the time, I ate it up. I was always complimented on other aspects of me. My personality, my intelligence, my creativity, my humor. Not that I, or you, need permission to feel beautiful at any size.

That both encouraged me to keep going and gave my previously low self-esteem the boost it needed. After a certain point, it gets really old when your weight loss becomes the only thing people want to talk to you about. It will start to seem like all you do is talk about your weight loss.

It sort of becomes part of your identity and it will always get brought up by those who know you. At work, at family functions and everywhere else. Even the most well meaning people give some crappy advice and even the most supportive people have some less than helpful things to say. Some of my personal favorites? In a nutshell, I learned that these comments from people I love are hard to stomach and are taken much more personally and literally than they should be. I was planning on just staying 30 pounds away from a healthy weight actually. Thank you. This one just annoys me.

I remember. I lived that way for my entire life. Being the biggest person in every room, not being able to find clothes in regular stores that fit me, having a hard time getting in and out of the car, my weight affecting every aspect of my everyday life. Weight loss is a complicated beast sometimes. There will be gains, losses and stalls. Things like genetics, other health issues, sleep, environment, menstrual cycle and stress can all stall your weight loss progress.

I just kept reminding myself that I was doing everything I could and giving my body the things it needed. Eventually my body caught up with my efforts. Most people will be outwardly supportive until it inconveniences them or goes against what they want from you. Those ways are usually incredibly small, but there are certain people who WILL take offense to them. A specific example of this is from when I was only about 4 months into my weight loss journey.

It was my good friends birthday and to celebrate, all of my friends were going out to dinner and the bar.

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In fact, I knew that restaurant would be a very slippery slope when it came to being able to have enough will power to refrain from eating and drinking all of my old favorites. Because I was so new to this, I made the decision not to go. I also offered up an alternative, suggesting her and I get together to go do an activity together instead.

She saw this as a personal dig at her for not making special arrangements for me on her birthday. I would never ask her or anyone to do that, which is why I offered up a different idea that would actually give her and I more quality time together. She was defensive and told me I should be able to go out for one night without being so serious about eating healthy.

One night used to turn into days and weeks of binge eating before I got back on track. I ended up doing what was best for me, even though she was offended by it. Holiday food is another one where certain people will take offense to your refusal to indulge. I call them Food Pushers. Well, no. This was a hard lesson to learn but I did.. That, in turn, made them feel like I was putting down what they ate. When people tell me this, it comes off as undermining my time and schedule. I can see right through it, because I used to use it myself. I had to make time.

I had to decide to make it a priority. We make time for what we think is important and we make our choices based on that. Neither of which I can do. If I, previous Excuse Queen title holder, can do it, I really think anyone is capable. Not on purpose and not in a mean way. Really, not in a mean way at all. I never say anything, because when I was pounds, those people who were always talking about their dietary choices drove me craaaazy.

I always wondered back then why everyone who was gluten free seemed to feel the need to tell everyone else that they were, too. Now, well, now I kind of understand. I sometimes feel the need to defend my choice to people before they even say anything. Guess what?

Losing weight gives you a different outlook on life than you may have previously had. This was especially true for me when I think about how much I was just settling for in my life when I was overweight.

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I allowed things to happen to me instead of reaching for more and striving for better. Knowing you spent a great deal of time settling for less than you deserved somewhere or many places in your life kind of sucks. I got used to giving more than I got, thinking this was the best I could do, and not asking for what I wanted. All of this, unknown to me at the time, further perpetuated my binging, low self-esteem and weight gain. This was hard to learn because on first thought, it feels like such a waste of time. With all of the changes in my body that have happened, clothes that I once pictured myself being able to wear are still a no-go.

Pants that fit in the legs and butt have to be bought up a size because of the loose skin on my stomach. Tank tops and short sleeves are avoided at all costs. My friendships, familial relationships and romantic relationships have all changed in a lot of different ways. Some good changes and some not so good, but all of them have strengthened me as a person and served to teach me how to strengthen my other relationships as well.

Same with my romantic relationships. But both are a direct result of my weight loss and how I value myself now. What do you think? Have you had any of these similar experiences or lessons within your own life? By using this form you agree with this site's privacy policy. Whole30 Certified Coach.

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Former pound chip eatin' couch potato. Current Paleo goddess. Just kidding. No, but I have found my passion for health, cooking and finally living like I mean it, all while dropping over pounds naturally.

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Read More Find me on Facebook , Pinterest , and Instagram. I can relate every to aspect. Food pushers, holiday food, explaining why, comments and just saying no are the hardest parts! You have explained it all so well. Reading this will help continue on with my journey. Well said, Bailey! I want to say thank you for sharing these experiences because it has truly taken me through a time-warp of experiences I have struggled through my whole life. I know very well I am not at my healthiest, and I know I am not done.

I know what he was saying was totally meant with good intentions and full of love, and it did make me feel great for a split second. Anyway, I could go on and on, on how much this post struck a cord with me. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment and sharing your experiences with me. I did the Whole30 in January of this year and have not looked back since then.

Thank you so much for sharing your honesty, being vulnerable with the world and constantly encouraging those of us who are in the boat with you. And thank you so much for that kind compliment. I cried when I read number 8. It is how I was living. I am stronger and am taking back my choices. I no longer feel like being a pleaser and excepting less. Thank you for sharing. Love that your blog is up and running. Love this The food pusher is one I encounter at work.

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Getting back on track after indulging is hard. Thanks so much for this article. Like everyone else who commented already, I SO can relate to every one of these and did find myself silently agreeing with you after each line! You have a friend and a sister in me! I love your blogs. I start this on April 2nd. This blog is so true with anything. Thanks, Sherry! You are so right.

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  7. I cried. I love you. I relate on every level with you and am so thankful to see such a real perspective. Thank you for being you and doing what you do. Reading your comment seriously just makes me so grateful to have someone like you to not only read what I wrote, but to take the time to let me know you relate.. Thank YOU for being my people. Hugs, Bailey. This is an amazing and real and I am so grateful to be seeing so much of myself here. Thank you Bailey for this wonderful post which is still inspiring people like me months and years later.

    Bailey, did you ever experience temporary hair loss when you were losing weight? Hey Heather! First, congrats!! Secondly, yes — I sure did! Our body gets a bit stressed out when losing weight suddenly happens after not happening at all prior. I absolutely love what you wrote and I definitely needed to hear it today. Thank you for sharing! I have experienced the same things and I find it comforting to know I am not alone!

    2. Eat less sugar

    Oh, thank you so much Christina! I appreciate your kind words. Thank you for sharing your journey! Things you mentioned are so real! You have a beautiful soul that shines through in your pictures no matter your weight! She doesn't address many factors involved in weight loss and gain, like genetics, access to healthy food, mobility, and more. Williamson repeatedly refers to weight gain, and anything that causes it, as "abuse" to your own body.

    She also presents her theory that many people implicitly women gain weight in response to sexual trauma because they want to "hide behind a wall of weight. While there are links between disordered eating and trauma , sexual or otherwise, Williamson's theory seems to suggest that being fat is always indicative of some deeper flaw or dysfunction. Williamson also demands that you "undress in front of a mirror, take a good look at yourself.

    There you will see the scars of war" as proof that you need to lose weight Research shows, however, that fat-shaming not only doesn't lead to weight loss, but it also may lead to weight gain. Called "thinspiration" or "thinspo" for short, this behavior has been linked to eating disorders and can be damaging for people's ability to cultivate a healthy and realistic body image.

    Williamson offers a classic co-opting of the Native American tradition of smudging. Smudging has been recently called out in popular culture as a form of appropriation, especially when it's commercialized. It is a repository of twisted, distorted thoughts and feelings that didn't have anywhere else to go," Williamson writes. In science, body fat is "loose connective tissue" that stores energy, and cushions and insulates the body. While weight-loss surgeries can be effective for some people, they involve surgeons not purely visualization , and come with risks.

    Several chapters of the book focus on cultivating healthy eating habits similar to practices of mindful eating , which is grounded in strong research and an understanding of the human body. Focus on "love and gratitude that food nourishes and sustains you," Williamson writes, and create a ritual of enjoying your food to create positive habits. She takes a similar view of exercise, recommending that "10 minutes of exercise you enjoy is better than an hour of exercise you hate," and emphasizing the importance of listening to your body.

    Williamson also advises the reader not to think less about food, or losing weight, but rather to focus more on something positive. Research has shown that reframing thought patterns to focus on positive results, not the negative behavior you're trying to avoid, can boost success in everything from weight loss to mathematical ability. Gabby Landsverk. Facebook Icon The letter F. Link icon An image of a chain link.

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