Image: Sarah Bassett (supplied).
Every New Year’s Eve I used to say to myself, ‘This will be the year I finally get my health in check’.
Strangely enough, 2015 was my year; I managed to make some lifestyle changes I actually stuck to. For years I had planned my health kick in my head, but I never had the willpower to do it.
Now, nearly 20 kilos lighter, I’ve compiled a list of the things I never expected to happen after losing weight.
1. You won’t notice it.
Remember when you were a kid and your relatives gushed about how much you’d grown, but you don’t feel any taller? Losing weight is the same. Because it’s a gradual process and you look at your body every day, you don’t notice the weight coming off — despite what the scales say.
2. Kiss your wardrobe goodbye.
The many years you spent collecting, purchasing and perfecting your wardrobe will have been in vain, as you begin to realise your old clothes no longer fit. Although this is a sign of progress, it still hurts to let go of your favourite pair of jeans you spent so long wearing in.
3. It’s cold. All the time.
While losing extra body fat is generally good for your health, it means losing some of your body’s insulation. This is nothing an extra layer can’t fix, but be prepared to feel the cold.
4. You will be asked if you developed an eating disorder.
Despite your hours spent sweating it out at the gym and meal prepping on a Sunday, some people assume you must have just stopped eating altogether. I became particularly defensive with this one, because anyone who has met me knows I love my food. (Post continues after gallery.)
5. You have to learn to dress for a different body shape.
If you spent the formative years of your life learning how to dress for your bigger body, it may come as a shock when you realise those styles don’t always work on your thinner frame.
6. Weight-related compliments are always awkward.
When you change physically, it’s hard for people not to notice. Most people want to congratulate you on your hard work, but the conversations usually end up like this:
Friend: "Wow! You’ve lost so much weight since I saw you last. You’re looking really good! Not that you didn’t look good before or anything, it’s just now you’re looking better. Well not better, I always though you were really pretty even when you were big… But you weren’t even that big, really; it’s just I saw a photo the other day and could tell you’d lost weight..." *awkward eye contact*
These comments are always meant with love, and are most definitely appreciated, but talking about weight is still awkward. (Post continues after video.)
7. All of your body image issues don’t magically disappear with your weight.
Many people, myself included, think that once you drop a bunch of weight you will love every inch of your new body. Unfortunately, all the body image issues we've gradually picked up from watching the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, flipping through magazines and looking at photoshopped advertisements will stick.
8. You will be proud of yourself.
Despite these pitfalls, there's no greater feeling than actually achieving the goals you set yourself through hard work and dedication. You will surprise yourself along the way and learn to love your body (which you can, and should definitely do, at any weight). Stay healthy, ladies.
Do you have anything you would add to this list?
You can read more from Sarah — and her health journey — on her blog, Sarah in Shape.