You would think that losing weight will simply result in the need for a new wardrobe… But in reality, many of our patients report changes in other areas of their lives too! Sometimes these are positive changes, and sometimes they are a bit odd or even a tad frightening. You might experience a few of these things yourself. Try to stay focused on the healthy goals you’ve set for yourself, but definitely talk to us at your next appointment if anything is bothering you.
Strange comments from friends and family. Hopefully, you are met with love and support as you pursue your weight loss plan. But sometimes when people lose weight, they hear some surprising comments from friends and family members, such as “aren’t you thin enough yet” or “can’t you eat normally tonight”. Rest assured that these comments are not a true reflection of you! Your weight is between you and your doctor, and as long as you’re healthy that is what matters. And your eating plan is probably more “normal” and healthy than it has been in a long time! When you change, the people you love might have their own insecurities triggered. These comments reflect their fears. Try not to internalize them.
You still see yourself as the same size. For some people, being “overweight” becomes a part of their self image, and in Western culture that generally does not contribute to a positive self esteem. So even as you drop the pounds, you might find yourself still thinking those negative thoughts about yourself. Taking periodic photos, or trying on your old (now too-large) clothing might help to remind you of your progress. We want you to love yourself at any size, but do acknowledge your hard work and dedication! You deserve to pat yourself on the back for that.
Loose skin. Sometimes people are surprised that they don’t simply “shrink” as they lose weight! Skin can take longer to shrink than fat cells, so in the meantime you observe quite a bit of looseness. Your skin will catch up, depending upon age, genetics, and other factors. Exercise can help tone muscles and reduce the appearance of loose skin, too. But in some cases, some people do choose to undergo cosmetic surgery. It’s a very personal choice.
Receiving lots of attention. You would think receiving compliments always feels good, but some people have mixed or even negative feelings about them. Some feel uncomfortable with excess attention from the opposite sex, and some feel a bit defensive toward their “old selves”. In a strange way, it can hurt a bit to realize you get many more compliments than the “old you” used to receive. Try to remember that people mean well, and many of these people don’t even know about the “old you”! But if you’re excessively uncomfortable with the attention, talking to a therapist can help you sort through your feelings and find ways to set boundaries with others.
Feeling underwhelmed. Occasionally, people attach other hopes and dreams to their goal of weight loss. They hope that when they lose weight, they’ll meet the perfect romantic partner. Or, their new lifestyle will help them land their dream job. Unfortunately, sometimes those other goals require more time. It’s definitely true that living a healthy lifestyle and cultivating a positive self image can help you in every area of your life… But everything might not fall together instantly. Focus on your strength and dedication, and remember that you can now direct those strengths to other areas of your life if you feel they need a change.
Remember that we’re here for you, every step of the way along your weight loss journey. Give us a call, and we can offer advice on medical weight loss, exercise, and more.