Chapter 81: What does it feel like to lose a lot of weight?

I found this article on Quora by Anonymous writer and just loved it!

No one will notice you’re losing weight at first. You won’t even notice it. The numbers will slowly go down on the scale, but you’ll be so focused on what you’re eating it will take some time to see the changes brought about by steady weight loss. You’ll wear the same clothes as long as possible. You’ll just add a belt.

You’ll buy some clothes that start to fit, but you’ll have to buy them at thrift shops because you don’t have that much extra money and you’re starting to view “size” as temporary. When you get them home, you’ll sit and look at the clothes for a long time before you’re brave enough to try them on again. You’ll be surprised when they still fit like they did in the store.

You’ll keep your old clothes in a closet somewhere. You really don’t believe you’ll be able to keep the weight off.

People will start to comment on your weight loss. They’ll ask what your secret is. You’ll think about your obsession with food, counting every calorie, the day you climbed into the shower and turned the water on cold because the sugar cravings were so bad. You’ll think about how much money you’ve spent and how afraid you are.  Eventually you’ll stop explaining and just smile and say “Diet and exercise” because that’s a thin person response. Then people will stop asking questions.

You’ll keep losing weight and food will be your obsession. Every calorie will be documented. You might binge a couple of times. Even if you don’t, you’ll want to.

Eventually you’ll reach a weight where you’re comfortable. You’ll find yourself staring into every reflective surface trying to identify with the girl in the glass.  She looks kind of pretty and you don’t really remember feeling pretty.

Everyone will refer to you as “The girl who lost all that weight.” Some will call you “That fat girl that lost all that weight.” You’ll realize that you’ll never actually be a “thin girl”.

You’ll start to wear heels more and they won’t hurt like they used to. You might actually like how they make your legs look.

You’ll go shopping at a Real Store and you won’t have any idea what size you are, so you’ll feel like an idiot taking four sizes into the dressing room. If you order online, you’ll return half of what you order.  Salespeople will look at you weirdly. Why would anyone need to order three sizes? You can’t explain that you really didn’t know what size you were. You still don’t.

Everyone will comment on how well you’ve kept the weight off. You’ll get the impression that they really aren’t all that pleased with your success. You start to feel like everyone is silently watching for you to fail and you’ll start to find hidden meanings in everything they say. You’ll lose a few friends. It might be you; it might be them. You’ll never know for sure.

Thin people will start to talk to you more, but you won’t trust them. They’ll tell you about the gym they go to, exercise classes you should try, shopping deals, cute clothes and make-up tips. They’ll tell you how proud they are of your weight loss. They’ll tell you who else in the office is on a diet. You’ll be invited to comment on co-worker’s failures and judge every bite of lunch anyone dares to eat with an audience. You’ll find thin people very hard to be friends with.

You’ll start applying for other jobs. After the first interview, you’ll realize that you might have just been judged on what you said and appearance might not be a deciding factor. You wonder if the pity would have made a difference and then realize you might not have been brave enough to try before.

You’ll get a new job. Suddenly not everyone around you will know you lost weight. You’ll breathe a sigh of relief when you aren’t the previously fat girl anymore. Then you’ll realize that you don’t really know who you are without the identifiers. You’ll spend a couple of months wondering how you used to define yourself before you were fat. Then you’ll spend another couple of months figuring out how you will define yourself in the future.

Men will start to pay more attention to you. The first time a man’s eyes sweep down your figure and he smiles at you, the power will hit your veins like heroin. You’ve read about women who are insulted by men objectifying them, but you think those women must have always been thin and used to the attention. You’d gotten used to looking at the floor and being invisible.

You’ll start to put more care into your appearance and smile at men more. You’ll remember that you used to be able to flirt. They’ll respond with startling willingness to impress you and you’ll wonder if they would have talked to you when you were fat. It will haunt the first relationship you try.

Men and women you work with will treat you like you’re less intelligent. You’ll wonder if it is possible to be both thin and smart or if one factor will always be controlling. Sometimes you’ll miss being valued for your mind, but you won’t want the weight back.

You won’t be able to start conversations with other women by complimenting their outfits if they are even a little overweight. They’ll mutter “thanks” and then look at the floor. When you were overweight as well, they would take the time to tell you where they got the piece you were admiring and it always felt genuine. Thin people don’t comment on fat people’s clothes, but you didn’t know that.

You’ll still be terrified to eat “normally”. Other people will share diet tips and pills they’re trying. You’ll wonder if there is such a thing as “normal eating”. Maybe everyone is just pathologically obsessed with it and you’d slipped too deep into your own obsession to notice you had company.

You’ll still have all those big clothes in a closet somewhere. You tell yourself that you’ll get rid of them in a year. Some days you’ll almost believe it.

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