So this morning I was having a conversation about weight loss with a friend about how weird it is that you can’t really talk about weight loss but then I realized… fuck… I have a blog, I can talk about whatever the hell I want. So here I am.
So let’s talk about how weird it is to lose weight.
This past year I’ve lost over 50 lbs… I’m not sure of the exact number because I’m not sure what my heaviest was, but probably something between 50-60 lbs gone so far. (I could tell y’all about it but honestly it seems like the kind of thing only a handful of people would really care to hear about anyway.) And guys, the whole experience has been TRIPPY. So let’s talk about it.
Weird Thing About Weight Loss #1: You’re not allowed to talk about it.
I’ll set the stage: It’s first thing in the morning, you stumble to the bathroom with your eyes only about 20% open, turn on the shower, absentmindedly hop on the scale and see some new victory. (I’m ALL ABOUT non-scale victories btw… but that’s for a different post.)
You’re pumped! You’re moving in the right direction! You went to that Mac and Cheese Festival last weekend and didn’t magically balloon back to your previous weight because of it! (Shut up, I know that’s not how science works, but it is how my brain works.) You want to REJOICE!
But who do you tell?
You can’t bring all this excitement to any of your fat friends… they don’t want to hear you bragging about how you’re doing what they can’t seem to accomplish. You can’t text this pic to your skinny friends either, because this victory is still WAY bigger than they’ve ever been sans pregnancy and they genuinely think that’s it’s pretty easy to be skinny because they’ve just always done it without trying.
So… maybe you have, like, two other friends that are either currently losing weight with some amount of success or have lost a fair amount in the past couple years so they’ll still get it. Maybe. Maybe you have, like two, of those people. Maybe not.
But it’s weird because weight loss is SO FUCKING HARD. Borderline impossible at times. So you spend HUGE amounts of mental, emotional, and physical energy dealing with this thing you’re trying to accomplish EVERY SINGLE DAY and you just keep it to yourself.
Weird Things About Weight Loss #2: People start being nicer to you and it makes you mad.
People are nicer to attractive people, there is an insane amount of evidence on this. And EVERYONE does it, I’m not trying to talk about those assholes out there who do this… we all do it, millions of years of evolution have melted it into our brains that we need to put forth the most effort when dealing with people we view as potentially resource allies or mates. It’s natural. I get that.
However, if you’re lose a substantial amount of weight in a relatively short period of time you notice really clearly when you cross that line.
And, to be clear, I never really felt like people were being actively UNkind to me when I was fatter… they just go out of their way to be kind to me now. Go hang out at any store and watch people walk in… some people the person behind the counter is going to look up, nod at, maybe say good morning, and go back to their work. Some people the person behind the counter is going to look up, straighten their posture, smile big, and a “good morning” that is more genuine than rote. It’s real. I’m not blaming the kid behind the counter, but fuck all if that isn’t a real thing that happens.
But let’s get back to the weird part… the weird part (at least for me) was how mad it makes me sometimes. I walk in somewhere, and I get the big happy “oh, I see that you’re hot, welcome to the store!” welcome and I just. get. pissed.
IT’S A REALLY WEIRD FEELING TO GET ANGRY AT A STRANGER BECAUSE THEY’RE BEING TOO NICE TO YOU. (Especially when you don’t actually blame them or think that you’re any better.)
So yeah, I don’t have any big insights on that one… but it’s weird, and it’s happening.
(P.S. “The line” was Size 12 for me. “<Size 12 Jenna” is totally worthy of all the extra smiles everyone has to give out. “>Size 12 Jenna” is meh, no thank you, apparently.)
(P.S.S. “The line” is also the point at which guys start yelling inappropriate and uncomfortable things at you on the street. So losing weight definitely isn’t all thumbs up. Like, dude, I’m just trying to walk to 7 Eleven to get a coffee and to get low-key offended by the gal behind the counter when she’s too nice to me… I don’t need to hear you extol the virtues of your dick out the window of your mom’s 1986 Impala at 10:15 in the AM. I just don’t.)
Weird Thing About Losing Weight #3: Your body doesn’t become magic, just smaller.
When I was really fat I had this idea of what my “skinny body” would look like if I ever got there. That idea was based IN NO WAY on what my body looked like when I was skinny before, what it has ever looked like, or what it will ever be capable of looking like in any world. I basically just pasted my head on Minnie Driver’s body in my own imagination and was like… well, curly dark hair and all… so that’s exactly what I’ll look like.
I’m not really sure why this size 10 dress from Target hasn’t magically made me four inches taller and not saggy yet… but I’ll let you know if the magic happens anytime soon.
Weird Thing About Losing Weight #4: People keep expecting me to be beyond happy now.
When I see people I haven’t seen in a long time they’ll comment on how good I look, and if the conversation really keeps going they often want to ask how much better I feel now and how much happier I am.
And I feel like that’s just such a weird question to ask.
Because I am really happy now. And I do feel really good now. But I felt really good and was really happy before too. I know my story isn’t completely average because I was losing in different ways and with a different mindset then a lot of people just because of the issues with food I’ve had in the past.
But I wasn’t healthy when I was skinny before. And I didn’t feel good. And I treated my body like shit.
And when I was bigger it was (partly) because I was trying to fix some of that stuff, so at my heaviest I was also, in a lot of ways, far healthier than I had ever been before in my life. And also infinitely happier because I was finally giving my body the love, nourishment, and care that it deserved.
I’m happy now. My body feels really good now.
But I was really happy when I was fat. And my body felt really good when I was fat too.
Anyway, there are a million more weird things about this whole process but I should probably go be productive instead of word vomiting on the internet again. I’m sure I’ll write more about all this in the future, but I’d love to hear if anyone else who has lost or gained weight had things they found particularly weird during that journey.