The weight loss journey is filled with happy moments, like stepping off the scale and seeing that magical number for the first time in years. But there are also many ugly truths about the weight loss journey people don’t often talk about. Here are 5 ugly truths about losing weight people don’t talk about and the silver lining.
1. Your Relationship will be Tested
Getting in shape makes you look better and feel sexier, but it may not strengthen your relationship with your significant other. While your boyfriend or girlfriend may like your new look, he or she could also feel jealous or even threatened by the attention you receive. A study from North Carolina State University in 2013 found while losing 60 lbs or more in 2 years or less often improved a couple’s relationship, the dieter’s partner would occasionally feel jealous or threatened. The reason why your partner may feel this way is because they may fear there is a shift in balance in the relationship caused by your new body confidence.
There’s a saying in the fitness world that goes “Couples who workout together, stay together.” Going on a journey, whether it is a vacation or a weight loss journey, can create a stronger bond between couples when they do it together. Additionally, success rates are much higher when your significant other is supportive in your weight loss process.
Keep in mind your relationship with your friends may also changes as well.
2. Friends (and even family) may try to sabotage your progress.
Once you start losing some weight, people, usually our friends and family, may feel threatened by your progress or subconsciously sabotage your progress .
“Why aren’t you more?”
“Don’t you like my cooking?”
“I made this just for you.”
“You are so skinny now… it’s okay to have another piece of cake.”
We have all heard those words before.
During your weight loss journey, the people closest to us may try to sabotage your progress. They may try to get you to eat more or tease you. Often times, they may do it out of love or even habit. Imagine going to your parents’ house and Mom made your favorite dessert. When you tell her no, Mom gets her feelings hurt and says, “But I made this especially for you.”
Or, you are at lunch with your co-workers and they may tell you to “splurge a little… it’s only one meal.” “Take a bite,” or “Just have another drink with us” can set you back tremendously in your weight loss journey.
Here are a few ways to handle this. If someone make a special meal or treat just for you, say, “I really appreciate how you go out of your way to make such a special meal for me. You have always been so supportive and welcoming when I come over. Thank you again for always making me feel special by making my favorite foods when I come over. I’m making an effort to eat healthier for my health and I am counting on your support as well.”
Or tell them ahead of time you are coming over for a meal and offer to bring a something healthy over. If you are going out to dinner, suggest a restaurant with healthy options. If your friends try to peer pressure you, try this approach “I am making an effort to eat healthier. You guys have always been such a great circle of support for me in the past, encouraging me when I am feeling down. I am really going to need your support in my efforts to eat healthier. Thanks again for always being there for me. ”
When you communicate in a way that puts their reputation on the line, they will want to live up to it and not disappoint you.
If your friend and family continue to try to peer pressure you, then try spending time with them around non-meal time. Go on walk together at the park. Hang out and talk over afternoon tea. Go window shopping and get some steps in at the same time. Look for alternatives to going out for lunch or drinks. When they see how great you look and feel, they may even ask you for advice!
3. Food Guilt is Real
During the weight loss journey, there will be times when you cheat. I am extremely guilty of this. My moment of weakness often involves Domino’s pizza and that damn cookie brownie. Cheat meals are a healthy way to balance out the junk food cravings with a relatively healthy lifestyle.
There will be days when a cheat meal turns into a cheat day or even a cheat week. Instead of beating yourself up and feeling ashamed and “worthless”, realize you are human and to learn to forgive yourself.
When I am having a bad day, I tend to emotional eat, usually involving pizza and red wine. Then the food guilt kicks in and I start the to shame myself for not having more self control. I’m telling you, that food guilt is real.
Learn to be compassionate to yourself and love yourself. Love everything including the love handles, the tubby (but cute) belly and everything in between. The first step to healing your body, as well as your mind, is to be kind to YOU, extra pounds and all.
4. Loose skin after Weight Loss
When a person holds on to extra weight, the skin expands to make room for the growth. An example is when a woman is pregnant. If you have been holding extra weight for years, the skin has been stretched out for a long time and may have difficulty retracting fully. Additionally as we age, the skin loses elasticity and collagen, which also contributes to looser skin. So what can you do about it? Start by eating more foods with antioxidants and add in a collagen supplement to support healthy skin. Firming creams may have a temporary effect. For people who have alot of extra skin, medical skin treatments such as radio frequency or body contouring may give you longer lasting results. Surgically removing the excess skin is the last resort.
5. You will learn there are no short cuts … It is a life style change.
Everyone wants a quick fix, but you will have an “ah ha” moment during your weight loss journey where you realize there are no quick fixes. It is truly a lifestyle change, and even when you hit your ideal weight, you have to work at it in order to maintain it. The good news is, when you do make the lifestyle change, not only do you look better, you also feel better too. The benefits of eating clean and healthy changes all aspects of your life. You will have more energy to do the things you love to do. You feel stronger, lighter and ready to take on the world. Your skin, hair and nails will look amazing because you are taking care of your body by eating real foods that are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants. The best part is, it’s really easy once you learn how to make healthy food choices.
The Silver Lining – You will Start Enjoying Your Workouts.
Seriously. When you first start your weight loss journey, you are carrying extra weight which is harder on you joints. If you haven’t been active, your endurance is also limited, and your lungs may burn more than someone who is at a healthier weight. Once you begin working out consistently, your body will adapt, lean muscles will develop, and endurance will improve. What was physically challenging will be come easy. You will feel light, be stronger, and begin to enjoy the physical challenge. As you pass each milestone, such as being able to do real pushups, you will have a more confidence in yourself, have a closer relationship with your body and feel amazing. The post workout endorphins will also give you a feeling of happiness and a sense of accomplishment.