Hello from San Antonio! I’m here for just a day to emcee a Recipe Refresh Challenge for HumanaVitality. To be honest, I have no idea what to expect. It’s tomorrow night and I’m just going to go with the flow.

I’m super excited about this experience but that’s not what I want to blog about tonight. There’s been something nagging at me for a few days and it’s time to get it out of my head.

My weight has changed pretty significantly over the past 20 years (135lbs-225lbs.) I’ve been everything from a baggy size 4 to a snug 18. Right now I’m about a 6, sometimes an 8, and I’ve come to realize the number on the scale is pretty insignificant for someone as active as I am (now.)

A few days ago I was reminiscing with The Husband and I realized something. Regardless of my weight or size he has treated me the same way. He really has. Then I started to think about my mom, my step dad, my in-laws — they, too, have been with me thick or thin. Our relationship didn’t change one iota after I lost weight. I also pretty much have the same friends and they don’t give a crap what size my jeans are or what number the scale says.

Even I treated myself the same regardless of what I weighed. Before and after I lost the weight I was overly critical of my body, self-conscious, and preoccupied with the scale. Losing weight wasn’t the cure for my inner mean girl thoughts.

This may seem like a pretty insignificant observation but I know from experience, when you are obsessed with losing weight you simply assume life will be better if you were thin or when you become thin.

But I don’t think that’s true and I’d argue most people will not successfully lose and maintain a weight loss until they realize this as well.

Listen, I’m not going to lie and saying being thinner doesn’t have its advantages, but when I look back at my life, my weight and body size have been pretty insignificant. I really made a mountain out of a molehill and by doing so created a cycle that just continuously had me gaining more and more weight.

So this week’s question, well questions, are for my fellow weight-loss maintainers or even those that have lost and regained.

How is your life different now that you lost the weight? Is the difference really due to the weight loss or something else? Did losing weight make you happy or did you learn how to get happy and then lose the weight?

I’m really curious if my thought process mirrors anyone else’s, especially those who have also been able to maintain a weight loss.

 
  • Nat

    Thanks for your posts! I found that I definitely had to be happy before I lost the weight. For years I had been trying to get into a good gym routine, eat healthier, etc etc… but did not manage to stick with it or see any results. Then last year I finally finished my part-time studying (which had been a really long process that I just wanted to get done) and work was going well, relationships were all good and I was feeling happy about life! I had some extra time on my hands and I started using it to go to gym – I haven’t looked back since! Once my fitness improved, I became more aware of what I was putting into my body. I lost the weight slowly over time and now people are coming up to me all the time and saying how healthy I am looking and that is a great feeling! It encourages me to keep going. But it is true that my interactions with those closest to me have not changed hugely after losing weight… I just feel better about myself now and have pride in what I have achieved. And I hope I’m inspiring others to also make healthier choices.

    • RoniNoone

      I think it’s easier to stick with things when the goal isn’t solely to lose weight but to have an outlet and enjoy life. Thank you for you sharing your thoughts!

  • anonymous

    Well, on the one hand, I am the same person whether I am fat or thin (in the last fifteen years I have been as high as 215 and as low as 120, and maintain around 140), and the people who love me have loved me through it all. On the other hand, when I am thinner I think it is the outer reflection of an inner peace, which is not something I always feel in life, but when I do, all things (weight included) seem to fall into place. When I feel that peace, it usually means I am taking better care of myself. I have more confidence and I radiate happiness and find myself more successful in all endeavors. While I agree I am the same person, and those who know me may say I haven’t really changed at my core (my values, beliefs, hopes, dreams), they would say I am “different” in some profound ways. I think my more positive attitude when I am thinner changes how many I come in contact with treat me. I am more outgoing and friendly and fun to be around when I feel good about myself. Being more social affords me more interesting opportunities in life, certainly more than when I feel heavy and unsure and I hibernate by myself. So while I think focusing on weight as the sole answer to a happy life is a mistake (because, yes, we have to find an inner happiness and peace that doesn’t revolve around scales and mirrors), I can’t say that life isn’t fundamentally better when I’m thinner. For me, food is like alcohol. If I’m unhappy I tend to drink more. Drinking just masks other issues, it anesthetizes me from the world. But when I’m healthy and fit and feeling good about myself, I don’t need any drugs, food or otherwise, to navigate my way through life. I find other coping mechanisms, healthy ones. So I don’t think I could agree that my weight fluctuations haven’t been significant. Not because the size of my body defines me, but it does tend to announce to everyone (myself as well as everyone else) where I am in my head. And being thinner puts me in a far better, happier, successful place.

    • RoniNoone

      I totally get this! But as you said,

      ” I think it is the outer reflection of an inner peace”

      THAT’S what I’m getting at. That you can’t just work on the outside without healing the inside first. Know what I mean?

  • Karen

    Gosh, I wish I could agree with you. I gained happiness by losing weight and in turn being able to get out and enjoy more of what I could not enjoy heavier, like hikes, rock wall climbing, SUP, kayaking etc. Although, I did loose alot of friends due to my new found love of the outdoors. We do not live in an active state at all, which means it’s very hard to find friends that love to do what I do for fun now.
    I will say that I agree with you with the way my husband has treated me through thick and thin. He loved me then and still loves me today. We have found that we also like to be together in our new found activities and that is a big plus for me.
    Either way, I would not change how I live now, thinner and healthier is much more rewarding with or without friends that do what I do for fun.

    • RoniNoone

      And this is why I asked because I’m sure some would not agree but I wonder if your pursuit for happiness made the weight loss possible.

  • Patty

    Just as you describe a dieting cycle from hell I think there is a healthy living (diet/exercise) cycle of happiness. I have experienced both and the cycle of happiness is sooo much better!

    • RoniNoone

      Never thought of that but YES!!!

    • anonymous

      definitely!!!

  • Imacrazymomof4

    I didn’t have a weight issue until I started having kids. Gained 40+ lbs and lost 30, gaining 40+ only to lose 25…and so on 4 times. I don’t think anyone treated me any different…it was a me thing. I felt like a marshmallow, a slug. I was having fat dreams. I was not happy with how I looked, how my clothes fit, how I felt. I wanted my old self back! When I got off my butt and started moving, started feeding my body better the positive cycle started. Healthier choices followed, I quit having fat dreams, I had more energy, I wanted to do more…I was happier because I was living better, more abundantly, more involved…a better example for my kids. Maybe it was because I never had a weight or body issue before I had kids and put on extra weight, but I definitely know I am happier. I am motivated to stay healthy and strive for more. I am NOT a happy person when my clothes are snug, when I am eating with reckless abandon, when I am not active, when I have fat dreams. Fat dreams suck.

    • RoniNoone

      “I was happier because I was living better, more abundantly, more involved.”

      Ditto!!

  • Karen Jaffe

    I have been at this weight loss thing for about 30 years. I lost 30 pounds after the birth of my son in 1985 and then regained the weight 20 years later when I entered menopause. No one treated me any differently when I gained the weight. In fact, since I had changed jobs, very few people knew me when I was thin and the only one who was obsessed with my weight was me. In the three years I tried all I knew to re-lose the weight, I was increasingly frustrated and felt uncomfortable in my own skin. My husband once said to me, “I wish you could be happy with yourself.” Finally, in 2010, I was able to unlock the key to losing and maintaining in my 50′s. I feel at peace with myself now. My life was already awesome, but now I can wear clothes that make me feel good about myself and I feel more confident in social situations. As I’ve gotten older, I think the weight issue is even more important, not just for confidence but for health. In addition, I have become a role model for others my age proving that a healthy weight is possible. My renewed confidence enabled me to apply for and get the best job I’ve ever had in my life! So to answer your question, happiness has to come from within – it has nothing to do with weight. Through my weight loss journey and my recovery from compulsive overeating and binge eating I have become the person I want to be – confident, successful and more at peace with my body.

  • Brandi

    I would have to say my experience is pretty similar to yours. There is very little “different” in my life aside from the sizes of clothes I’ve been able to purchase. I treat myself the same (good and bad), my now husband treats me the same, my parents treat me the same and my friends all treat me the same. And while a part of me CAN shop for more clothing choices, I still don’t shop that much because I still don’t enjoy it!
    I think most of life is all about perspective :)

  • http://www.metabolicmayhem.net/ Ben Teal

    I’m much happier after losing my 100+ pounds, but not because I lost weight per se, but because losing the weight allowed me to get back to being more active and taking on new challenges (see, mudder, tough and race, spartan). It all eventually snowballs into more energy and confidence, which leads to more success, which leads to more happiness. I can run and play with my kids, and I have more options with my own spare time.

    • Marina

      Agree with you Ben. I am also much happier now after losing 50 pounds. No doubt about. I enjoy my life much more.

  • karen

    While I agree with you on some of the things you wrote – some do not apply to me. First let me say that I am not thin – but I am making changes in my life working to be a healthier – and hopefully thinner – me. My husband too has been with me through thick and thin – and has never complained or criticized. But I can honestly say that my attitude towards myself has changed drastically. Even when I was skinny I had poor body issues – I was never happy with the way I looked or felt good about myself. And when I gained weight – and I have been everywhere from a size 4 to a size 20 – I really stopped caring about the way I looked. I wore baggy clothes and tried to hide my size 20 body – hello – does not work. I have finally learned to accept myself at whatever weight I am at and to take care of myself and my appearance at any weight. While I may not be happy at the weight I am at now, I am working on it. But I know I have come to the realization that just because I may lose weight that this alone is not going to cure all of my issues. I am working on my self esteem and body issues outside the realm of losing weight. While I may not have the body I did at age 20 – I like myself much more at 50 than I did back then. I have learned to like myself and value the person I am. Any weight loss is just a cherry on top.

  • A. Sauce

    What a great question! I was always a heavy kid with solid friendships…maybe not a million friends, but a few solid wonderful friendships. In college, I had great friendships, even at 240 pounds. At nearly 400 pounds, my friendships were also solid, but I wasn’t making new friends nearly as often as I would have liked. I have always been someone keenly aware that a few very meaningful friendships are way more awesome than a hundred friends you don’t know that well.

    Also, at nearly 400 pounds, I was happy with staying in my job as an Administrative Assistant forever. I was not confident in potentially going for the job of my supervisor once she retired.

    I lost about 130 pounds and much has changed in those realms. First, I realized I was the only one holding me back from going for that promotion. Everyone had absolute trust that I could do the job. I went for it. I got it. And now I am absolutely flourishing in the new leadership role. I will say that I think my colleagues respect me more now. I don’t know if it’s because I am more assertive, or because I have done something amazing in choosing to change my life for the better and they see that as a sign of “woah, this chick rocks!”

    Second, I am now always looking for ways to meet new people and make new friends

    The weight loss was, yes, a loss of weight. But, moreover, it was a gain of confidence and pride and my relationships with everyone reflect that.

  • Jessica W

    I’m currently in the middle of what I consider to be my “Most Successful” battle with weight loss. Since August 4, I’ve lost 18 lbs, and scads of inches. I’ve been a Roni-groupie ;) since 2006. lol Right now, I’m at the weight I was when I got married (185) and was following Weight Watchers, via Weight Watchen. Marriage, babies and life eventually led me to the “on again off again’ cycle and when I started eating clean and exercising in August, I was at 204.4.
    How is my life different? My mornings are WAY less stressful since more than one outfit FITS! lol I feel more energy and less inclined to just hold the couch down. My job performance has improved and that’s HUGE, since I’m a part time firefighter/paramedic. I guess I feel less stressed about perfection this time. Happy seems to be walking hand-in-hand with me. Since this has been more of a lifestyle overhaul than “diet’, I have high hopes for maintenance! My husband, like yours, has been through thick and thin with me without complaint or criticism. My family as well. I think we are our own worst critics!

  • Brenda

    Five years ago I weighed 252lbs the lowest I have been since then is 164 and I am currently 173. I have to say that losing this weight makes me feel a sense of accomplishment. I am proud that I am a better role model for my children. I enjoy shopping a bit more. But in my life the people who love me, have loved me at any size. In high school I was 145 my husband loved me then and still at 252. He will say that aside from my size, I have more confidence now and with that comes happiness. I still have the inner mean girl that I battle and body image but I think it takes time for your brain to catch up with the changes your body has made.

  • Erin

    I don’t think the loosing weight made me happier, but doing something that I never thought I could do…that is a pretty satisfying feeling! And shopping for cute little clothes and liking how they look, well, that’s pretty fun.

  • Martha Glantz

    Every time I have lost the weight has been different. When I was younger I really did expect (hope?) that losing the weight would change my life in some way. Those unrealistic expectations coupled with the mind set of going “on” a diet got me “off” my diet and the weight crept on. Yes, I was happy that I was wearing a smaller size. But I felt that what I had to do to maintain that weight was punitive. Poor me who had to watch what she eats, track her food and exercise.

    This time has been a completely different experience and my reasons for deciding to change my eating habits (note – not “go on a diet”) were driven by health. At 61 1/2 I just didn’t feel good about the fact that I was hauling around so much extra weight (about 220 lbs) and had difficulty getting up off the floor and climbing stairs. I wasn’t all that unhappy with how I looked, but was unhappy with how I felt.

    I decided to make the changes and used a hypnotist to give me that extra shot of commitment to eating healthy. And it worked. Initially I just wanted to get to about 175 lbs which was the middle of the overweight category as I believed that would benefit my health. When I got there I kept up the eating and moving more and the weight came off. In Feb ’13 I had a heart attack which really ticked me off! Hey! I was eating healthy, moving every day and my weight was about 172. Why me? But that was a wake up call to remind me that eating healthy and moving every day is not something I do to look good it is something I do to stay healthy and alive.

    I’ve been maintaining a weight that is well in the “normal” category and I feel fantastic! Have energy and love the way my body moves. I also love the way I look. Tracking my food and exercise is just something that I do that works for me. Eating this way isn’t a punishment; it is what I want to do to stay healthy NOW. This is a blessing.

    • Ellen

      Martha, our stories are very similar. I agree it’s all about being healthy. I didn’t realize that I didn’t feel as good as I should. After losing 75 pounds and my third time at WW lifetime, I feel great. And nothing tastes as good as feeling great and being healthy.

  • Dukebdc

    Though I’ve been fortunate to have a smaller weight loss hill to conquer, I did have an a-ha moment when I lost 15 pounds 5-6 years ago. I only had a few work-appropriate outfits I felt good in, and often squeezed myself in old, smaller clothes as “motiviation” to get it together and lose weight. But one weekend I went shopping with my best friend, and when I tried on some clothes that actually fit, I got this surge of confidence that I could look good with or without a few extra pounds. I could be comfortable AND put together, and somehow, that led me to stop obsessing daily over my weight, and get busy living. And only then could I actually lose the weight and feel better.

  • Carla Chapman

    I came to realize it wasn’t about the food. Ever. Just like it wasn’t about the alcohol. Food and alcohol was but a symptom of the greater issue. I could try to diet all I wanted, but until I found self acceptance, I couldn’t keep it off. My high was 200 and I’ve been down to 131. I’m around 148 now.

    I have changed since I lost the original weight. My first marriage broke up (lost a GOOD 200lbs there!) I remarried a few years later and had another baby, started my own business, etc. I’ve never attributed it directly to the weight loss, but to realizing I am worth it. When I was heavy I told myself no one would want a single overweight mom, so I stayed where I was. What a lie that was!!

  • Lynne

    At my highest 213 (234 pregnant), at my lowest – 126 as a
    high school girl with bulimia… Over the last 15 years I have been 180+.
    I am exactly one month from finishing a year on my current weight loss scheme and at a size 6. It has been such a positive experience this time – freeing is how I describe it. My weight has been an obsession ALWAYS. I believe that I could have been a completely different person if I had a different relationship with food or a quicker metabolism. I am treated differently now that I am thin; at the gym, on the race course, in the grocery store. I KNOW THAT! My family including my kids and
    husband love me for the person I am, but the weight loss is definitely noticed. My kids are proud of me. My daughter said recently “I never thought you were so fat until I see pictures from last year!”
    I am proud of me too! I was always disappointed when my diet went south. I would always let the number on the scale dictate my mood for the day. I wish that weren’t the case! I still have an inner mean girl, I still have moments of feeling fat or doubting that I will ever be able to maintain this loss. I still have to work on the idea that this NEW ME is the REAL ME…

    I was a fat kid/teen. I know that my mother used to pity me–
    shopping for a bathing suit, wanting to fit into current styles, but not
    finding anything for a busty, fat 14 year old. I know that kids did not want to
    be my friend because I was fat. I was a good athlete, but always picked last. When I adopted an unhealthy eating style and got thin – boys noticed me (which was very shocking to me), I was accepted by my peers and I thrived as an athlete. I saw how it was on both sides. Appearance matters. I am happy that you have always been accepted for you. I wish that were the case for everyone.

    • RoniNoone

      I don’t think it is the case for everyone BUT how many of those people, myself included would have been accepted if we were confident regardless of our weight. I was made fun of as kid, my Dad pointed out my body flaws and I internalized all that. There are lots of people that don’t. They are like this is me.. deal!

      I admire that about confident people and I think the realization I’m having is me getting to that place now after weight loss. I was just curious if other people who also lost weight look back and realize it as well.

  • Casey

    I’ve been maintaining in the 150-155ish range for almost 5 years now after a 75lb loss! I’m much happier but i don’t necessarily think it’s due to the weight alone… It has to do with keeping my body healthy and all the benefits that come with that. I can’t imagine life without clean eats and crossfit!
    I still have a bad habit of being overly critical of the scale…which is ridiculous since i’ve been able to maintain for so long. A pound or 2 difference doesn’t deserve the attention most of us give it.
    Also, i’ve been counting calories for YEARS and recently decided to call it quits! i KNOW what 2 freaking tablespoons of almond butter looks like for crying out loud.
    i KNOW that i eat well during the week but on saturdays and sundays i almost ALWAYS enjoy myself and eat 2500-3000 cals. It DOESN’T Matter. I’m not going to wake up and be 220lb again.
    Life will go on… and i’m Happy =)

  • Bonnie Wilson

    Yes… And no…the loss never changed who I was at the core of me. But my weight was the by product of other issues. I had issues trusting who I was, my own abilities at anything, I was my worst nightmeare with beings self-critical, and to be honest, my worthiness at life. I was the master of self sabotage. Are those problems still there? No doubt they are but I am more aware of it and I am more able to realize what I am doing and be more proactive in terms of taking care of myself and addressing them, then letting them linger and keeping me down…

  • sherijung

    I don’t know if losing weight made me happy, but it sure made me feel powerful enough to face my life and whatever comes. You are right, people generally don’t treat me any differently now, but I am deeply changed. I feel more ME, not my weight or my appearance, that part of me is no longer so much of an issue in my daily life, I think I was standing behind it somewhat (that, and being a mom of younger children). I’m now more fully myself and not so much trying to be what others expect of me. Some of it is growing older and maturing, but most of it is taking control of the physical part of my life and re-making it into something that can sustain me for the next few decades. Now I know that I can be spiritually revived by going outside for a long run, instead of eating a bunch of crap food in front of the TV (which never worked anyway).

    But to actually answer the question, I think the act of behaving differently (consistently and over a long period of time) that was required to lose the weight, and seeing the huge changes that resulted from that is what changed me and made me more satisfied with myself and my life (I really don’t want to call it being happy, do I?) The change in behavior and the results became a kind of feedback loop, so I don’t think one caused the other, or preceded the other.

  • Emily

    I am up a few pounds right now, so I am getting a reminder of the disadvantages of the weight- for me, I am just physically more comfortable when I am a healthier weight. Even a 10 lb difference makes moving my body through a normal day feel different. Sitting in a car, walking around, how my heart rate feels- it all feels better when I am at a healthier weight. Part of that is probably the clothing factor (many things are more snug on me right now, but I am way too cheap to buy new stuff when I am trying to make this weight a temporary thing), but things like rising blood pressure (which has started happening to me, even w/only a 10 lb gain) just make me feel icky. I want to get back to where I physically felt more comfortable.

  • Victoria

    You’re a size 6 or size 8? Why are you being so
    Hard on yourself?

    • RoniNoone

      How am I being hard on myself? I’m right where I want to be.

  • Jeri Lyn

    Hi Roni!!
    I actually think i’m quite a bit happier since I lost weight, my highest was 200, my lowest 125 & i’m currently maintaining @ 131-133. I’m happier because of who I am now, I am so much more confident & doing things I never even imagined when I was heavier, I mean I’ve ran 7 full marathons, HOLY COW, how is this person??????
    Now the people in my life, my hubby has been with me from my highest to my lowest & has pretty much always treated me the same, but I think he too likes me a little better now because of my confidence & happiness. Let’s face it, I was 200lbs because I wasn’t happy! My friends & co-workers a lot of them treat me quite differently, which I guess in unfortunate (a few close ones are the same), but honestly some of my heavier friends & co-workers just don’t “get me” anymore & some of the thinner friends & co-workers treat me better. I guess those probably aren’t true friends, which i’m aware of, but it is “how it is”.
    I’m also treating myself better. I eat better, I work out on a regular basis & feel more confident to let people into or out of my life as “I” see fit.
    As I mentioned earlier, i’m “mostly” the same person, but SO much more confident & happy. I finally feel like I’ve released the “real” me from her prison inside & she likes the way the sun feels on her face!!
    Thanks for the inspirational post!!!!

    • RoniNoone

      Ahh but THIS…

      “I think he too likes me a little better now because of my confidence & happiness. ”

      Ditto with my husband but if you were as confident as you are now then would he care. I think that’s my point. It’s the confidence not the weight but for some of the us the weight is so deeply attached to our confidence.

    • Jeri Lyn

      You are correct, if the confidence/happiness had been the same @ 200lbs, he probably wouldn’t have cared, but I could’ve never been this confident & comfortable with myself @ 200lbs, because I guess I knew I wasn’t “meant” to be 200lbs. I was 200lbs because I wasn’t confident & I wasn’t happy.
      I’m definitely still “scared” of a lot of things/situations, but I’ve done & agreed to things that I never thought possible. Taking up running @ 36 years old & I almost forgot, I JUMPED OUT OF A FREAKIN’ AIRPLANE!!!!!!!!!!! OH MY GOSH!!!!

    • RoniNoone

      I’m totally with you on that.. all of it, even though I never jumped out of an airplane. lol

      One day!! :)

  • Jessica Vaughn

    I am in the middle of what I truly feel is my final journey and lifestyle change. I started at 280 in February and this morning weighed in at 202. My husband, family and friends have always treated me the same and have expressed how proud they are of me. The significant change is within myself. I have always had low self-esteem even in my skinnier days. But I have noticed this journey has made me a stronger person inside and out. I feel my confidence boosting every time I look in the mirror. I think I can attribute this to not only the weight loss, but the fact I have decided to make this change in myself for me and not for anyone else. In my previous weight loss ventures, I never looked at the mental side of losing weight. It was always about the physical changes and it took I dont know how many attempts to realize that fixing the inside is just as important as fixing the outside. Plus I have to say it is a great feeling to pull clothes out of my closet and try them on and they are too large versus too small. Now that’s a problem I can deal with on a daily basis!

  • Amelia Winslow

    What a great post & great question for us to ponder, Roni. I lost weight in my early 20′s and have been fairly stable, about 15-20 lbs lighter ever since. The thing I notice is that I am generally happier in my own skin, because I can do and wear all the things I want to. I don’t feel like I have a perfect body, and of course could dwell on what I want to change, but being this size feels comfortable and healthy, and I’ve realized those are the ways I want to feel.

  • Lou

    My life is different from lossing 167 lbs. and keeping it off for 5 plus years now in that I am 1. living, when I thought I would be dead by now. 2. Can do more physical things than even when I was 18, go figure. 3. My health is now health and not being sick or in pain. 4. I have found out who my true friends are and who my false one were.

    Losing weight didn’t make me feel any different about who I am. I change everyday regardless of my weight. I evolve everyday no matter what the scale says. Life goes on and will always continue to gone until it doesn’t. I figured this out in my late teens after losing 70 lbs and get to 202 lbs. I finished my first diet of many to follow. I sadly came to the conclusion that no matter what I weigh I am who I am, will be and continue to be and that will never be any different or related to my weight or the reflection in the mirror.

  • KCLAnderson (Karen)

    Losing weight does not make me happy…my thoughts make me happy :-) And when I think thoughts that make me happy (and myriad other “feel good” emotions), I take better care of myself.

  • Jodi

    Before I had kids I maintained a 32 lb. loss for about 2 years. The weight I had put on was partially a result of a stressful job & move, but also a magnification of being terribly insecure with my body. I have never been really overweight, but I always thought I was. I constantly compare myself to others, and have done so from a very young age.
    After the move & job change, I started eating healthy, counting calories, & exercising religiously. I went from a 12 to a 4 & felt great both inside & out. A couple of moves & a couple of kids later, I tried hard to maintain an 8. The DH & all close to me have always accepted me, which is a great blessing, but I still struggle with self-acceptance. Since my first big weight loss, I have continued to make exercise a regular part of my life. Now that we are not moving (hopefully) anymore, I have made many friends who take the same classes at the same gym, & all are in the same baby/weight loss cycle. It is hard not to compare. It takes me constantly reminding myself that we are all different body types & different people, period. I don’t need to lose 20 lbs. before getting pregnant again, like “so & so.” And I don’t need to post vacation bikini photos on FB after losing the baby weight like “so & so.” And I don’t need to constantly talk about food/exercise/the newest plan with friends.
    Now I am pregnant with our 3rd baby, & am physically unable to do the type of classes I used to do. It is so freeing to be in the pool or walking on the track while my mom friends are sweating in spinning or weight training class! I am getting heavier (& that’s a good thing) while my friends are doing what they do. There is a time for everything, & I have decided that the time to be happy is now! Forget what everybody else is & does! I have to finish growing this human being inside of me, & then I will have to figure out how to manage my family life & healthy living, with everything else. I am already adopting the #WYCWYC mindset & am encouraged to live the life that is uniquely mine! Thanks Roni! Agreed. Be happy first!

  • Anastacia Mosher- Arnold

    My life has changed and hasn’t in the same sense. It has changed in the sense that I am a lot happier. I wake up more positive and more energized. I have been in a better mood overall because I feel better about myself. My boyfriend has always treated me the same whether I was overweight or not but our relationship is better when I am more healthy. I am not so down all the time which makes me nicer to be around. He has always loved me and called me beautiful no matter what.

  • Stephanie

    I had lost 30ish pounds over an 18mth period and even though I wasnt at my “goal” weight, I was VERY happy with my new body sitting at 147lbs. I had confidence I never had before, my marriage (and sex life) were better, I did things I never thought I would do like the warrior dash and a 5K. I found a different kind of happiness after losing the weight. I felt good about the outside as much as I did about my inside for the first time. I always knew I was a good person/wife/mother/friend, but after weight loss I just felt different. Fast forward a few months and I got pregnant with daughter #2. I was worried about gaining the weight back, but didnt stress about it. I gained 42 lbs over my pregnancy and still was not as heavy as I was when I got pregnant with daughter #1 so I was feeling pretty good. This was until the initial 20 or so pounds had stopped melting off and it was getting harder to lose the weight. I am still in the “weight loss” phase now and I find my confidence is not where it was. I am not always as happy with myself because I know i could work harder/better, etc, etc. BUT I am also aware that to everyone else around me I am in great shape for having a 3 MONTH old baby. I just want to magically be back to where I was a year ago. Do I feel like my close friends and family treat me different?? No! But I do find that when I am asked what my secret was when I initially lost weight and when I told them hard work, good eating habits and alot of working out, people looked at me different. For the first time in my life I knew the truth about losing weight because I actually DID it! It was HARD WORK! No magic pill, powders, etc. Some people call me skinny in a mocking way, which I am far from, but I realized it was only because they didnt have confidence in themselves. Now that I am back on the weight loss track, I know what it will take instead of hoping for magic. I just gotta stick to it and the weight will come off, and in turn, my confidence will creep back.

  • Megan

    I can say that my weight loss changed my life drastically. I was terribly bullied when I was in high school. When you go from 215 to 140 its hard to continue to call a person fat a$$ or big bear, was I friends with these people, of course not but it felt so good to walk into school not being afraid of what name I would be called. However, I don’t think that weight loss is the key of happiness. I still carry my own demons in regards to my body image. I still see that 215 girl on many days possibly from being mentally beaten down on almost a daily basis. I thought that losing weight would make me happy but it didn’t but I think it opened the door up to allow me to step into my own to find what makes me happy.

  • Kevin@LoseCheekFat

    i think you are losing the point that it is not the matter how actually people treat you before or after your lose your weight.
    the fact is what matter is that you take care of your health. the way you live and living a healthier life it is.
    Of course no one treats you any different before and after, but how you felt about your self ?

    http://www.losecheekfatsite.com

  • Raee

    Q: I was on a weight-loss program together with my buddy. Within a week she lost a few pounds but I didn’t. At the end of the program, she lost a whooping 8 kg and I gain 2 kg. We went through the same ordeal but how did she managed to lose fats and I gain instead?

    A: The scenario you mentioned above is actually quite common. That is partly the reason why some weight-loss programs got it’s bad reputation. The problem here doesn’t lie with you nor the program. It lies on your body. Different bodies have different nutrients composition. Some bodies have adequate nutrients while others are lacking. It is these nutrients that determine whether you will lose fats or not.

    Obviously, your buddy body has enough type of nutrients and amount that is needed to boost weight-loss.

    Find out the nutrients that will help in weight loss. Know which nutrients must be present that will go hand-in-hand with your weight-loss programs.

    http://www.nutrisian.com/why-am-i-still-not-losing-weight/
    https://www.facebook.com/Nutrisian

  • Barb

    I’m one of those people trying to break the weight cycle. Mine is a patter of 50! pounds. I can honestly say my life is better -50 pounds but not really because of the -50. It really because of how I view myself during the pattern. I’m not sure how to correct this and I’m not sure why when I’m at my low weight, I don’t stay there because my quality of life IS better.

  • RG

    I’ve been thin, fat, thin, fatter… Was my life happier when I had a bmi of 21? It gave me a certain confidence, but I ate out about once a month, ate pizza once a year, didn’t socialize around food out of fear. I like salads and grilled chicken, but it was a restrictive mindset that fit with my workaholic life. The weight gain since my thinnest years annoys me sometimes, especially whenever I need nice clothes and I look at a closet full of things that won’t fit anytime soon. I still exercise a lot, I still eat my body weight in fruits and vegetables. I wonder if I’ve forgotten what the benefits were, with my new normal of 31. I know that I looked younger, and that gave me more confidence. I don’t know why I’ve developed a more entitled mentality about food, “my life is miserable but at least I can eat a piece of pizza” since the objective fact is that my life isn’t worse than it was at my thin weight. It feels like I’m rebelling at all those years, trying to muscle my way through 70 hour-weeks in unpaid overtime, with people I didn’t like, in a career that just got worse. Being thin was part of that package.

  • Darran Mansfield

    Hey Roni,

    I love this post and its really hit home with me; I’m not yet a maintainer as i still got a little weight to lose, I’ve currently lost 75lbs…I want to lose another 35/40lbs. I’ve done this over 18 months which is pretty good, its starting to slow down a little but i expected that.

    ANYWAY! I digress.

    I thought when I had lost the weight that my confidence with women would skyrocket, and my nerves would be gone forever…wrong!

    Don’t get me wrong that’s not the reason I wanted to lose weight, far from it. I wanted to be more able physically, and I suppose mentally, proving to myself that I could do it.

    I just thought that with the weight gone, it would be an added bonus, and I would simply be able to do what I haven’t been able to, and only now (sure i’m not finished yet but…) am I realising the weight isn’t the issue, its deep than the weight.

    Having a slimmer self is great, I’m loving it, and it has made me more confident, its just upped everything across the board if that makes sense, it hasn’t fixed/cured anything just helped a little. I now know I need to work on myself which I am, it is a slow process but the right one to getting where I want to be in life.

    It’s funny when you want to lose weight you think it will sort everything but really it won’t, you need to look deep down inside yourself to change what you want not just the exterior.

  • Maya

    I’ve lost 50 lbs which, at 5’3 took me from a size 14 to a size 4-6. The weight never bothered me that much, to be honest. I had lots of friends, a wonderful boyfriend, a career I enjoyed, fun hobbies. I was also always ‘bigger’ … About a 10-12 through high school, my weight crept up about 15 more pounds after high school. About 2 years ago my SO was doing some reading and recommended we try a different way of eating (he has lost about 25 lbs himself). The weight melted off, then we started working out (I now swing a 53lb kettle bell 150 times) and we toned up. My friends, family and SO all treat me the same way (although the SO and I do joke about it being nice that we are even more attracted to each other after 10 years together). Everyone has been really happy for me. Even though my weight has been the same for the last year, with the increased exercise my body is still changing. I went from not paying much attention to how I look to loving how I look. I do get treated differently in public. I also look younger (used to look my age, now people routinely think I’m 5 years younger). I do feel differently about myself. I realize if I can lose the weight I had accepted to just be a part of me, I can do other things I wasn’t aware of. Knowing what my body can do (we were recently on holidays and I didn’t have kettle bells to work out with so decided to power sprint up some big hills when I used to hate walking up hills before) inspires me to become even stronger and fitter and makes me feel a little invincible (in a good, not crazy way). I have made the leap from dreaming some things to actually doing them since the weight loss. Also, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy looking better in my 30′s than I have ever before.

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