Whether you have 20 pounds or 200 pounds to lose, starting your weight loss journey can be hard.
Even after the "what if" and "what do I do," we all have a vision or what our body and lives will look like when we reach that goal.
Losing weight and making better health choices is something we must do if we want to live a long and prosperous life. The huge impact that being at a reasonable weight and staying active will let you live longer and feel better.
The 8 things I'm going to go over in this article is not to keep you from wanting to lose weight. In fact, I'm telling you this so you are not blindsided by them when you reach your fitness goals.
So let's jump right in.
#1 - You'll Still Live in Your Old Body
Growing up heavier tends to be a bully magnet. You've incorporated being heavy into your self-image.
Unless you can reprogram yourself and get a realistic image of yourself, you'll continue to think of yourself as the big person.
You know, the skipping going out because you don't know if you'll fit in the chairs, you feel you don't have clothes that fit, and you really just aren't feeling it.
Develop Your New Image
While you are losing weight, clothes will start fitting looser - but will still feel too small.
Keep one of your larger pieces of clothes as you start buying smaller sizes. Put it on and look in the mirror how much bigger and unfitting this piece of clothing is.
Keep plenty of progress pics as you go. If you're like me and you don't like taking pictures, simply line up a shot in the mirror and look away while taking it. Going back through them will show you how you've changed.
Unless you develop your new image, you will still have those "fat tendencies" that you no longer need to have.
Take the time to appreciate how much work you've put into your new body. Don't sabotage your weight loss.
#2 - You'll Have Some Excess Skin
If you need to lose a significant amount of exercise, I'm sure you've heard about having loose excess skin.
As you lose the weight, the skin that has been stretched tight with fat will become loose.
Your genes, age, how long you were overweight, and how much weight you lost all play into how your skin will recover.
Reduce Excess Skin
Lifting weights and getting lean will both help with your excess skin.
Eventually, you may choose to talk to a plastic surgeon about removing the skin. This is something that you can tackle once you've hit your weight loss goals.
#3 - You're Going to Receive Comments From Friends and Family
It sucks to say, but there are some friends that keep you around because you're fatter than them.
With that being said, not everyone is going to be supportive of you losing weight. In fact - there may be some that try to sabotage your weight loss attempts.
The snarky "oh you don't eat that now?" and the "you're getting too skinny" remarks will start coming at you from people you'd never expect.
The trick is to simply respond with "Thank you for your concern, but I've spoken to my doctor."
Don't take it personally, you are simply making them feel bad about themselves because they are too lazy to put in the work.
#4 - You're Going to Start Getting Attention From Strangers
Getting attention from the opposite sex is a benefit of losing weight... Or is it?
Often with women who lose weight, there are other emotions wrapped up with being overweight. Oftentimes there could be a history of sexual abuse or other protection mechanisms that you'll need to see a professional to work out.
If you start feeling vulnerable or fearing a relationship, I invite you to find a therapist. They will help you crush the fears and help you live a happy life in your healthy body.
#5 - You'll See That Life Isn't All That Different Now
We all know that losing weight and getting into shape is good for us.
A study took 1,979 overweight and obese adults and watched them over four years. They discovered a reduction in health risks, but not with any psychological benefits.
When you are actively losing weight, that next level, that next period of weight loss is like a honeymoon period. Once you hit maintenance, there's not really any more regular feedback. No more "wins."
Take a look back at why you started - was it to propose to your partner? What about adding another decade to your life? Your deepest motivations lead you to lose weight, and that's great.
You may feel like you're missing something in your life. If you do happen to feel like this, talking to a therapist to help you explore your mind will help greatly.
#6 - You May Feel That It's "Not Real"
It's common for many individuals to lose a decent amount of weight and then later regaining it.
If you feel your current results "aren't real" and that this won't last - listen to what your self-talk says. Even if you have to pretend the weight loss is real, how would you act differently?
You have all of the skills and tools you need to lose weight. Your mind is a powerful tool or a powerful enemy - however you use it.
#7 - You Could Cause Conflict with Your Partner
According to a study in the journal Health Communication, shedding pounds after a wedding or out of the blue can cause your partner to feel insecure and threatened.
Sit down with your partner if you think they are having these feelings. Find out what their concerns are and talk together about addressing those concerns.
If you think you need to, go to see a couple's therapist and work it out.
#8 - You're Still Going to Have to Work Hard
Losing weight can be hard - you have to change your lifestyle, make a conscious decision to eat better, and you have to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Maintaining the weight loss is a completely different challenge. By now, you've adopted weight loss habits, so keep them up.
Identify your critical pieces of your weight maintenance program so you can accurately assess and address your weight if it starts trending upward.
Wrapping It Up
Losing weight without understanding the psychological part of it can set you up for failure.
While there's nothing here that you should use as an excuse to not lose weight, I feel it will benefit you to know the nitty-gritty about weight loss.
There's going to be people that feel insecure around you, you're going to have some loose skin that you can address later, and you are going to have to remain grounded in the "why" you started your weight loss journey.