I was having a discussion with my best friend last night. She and I have been friends since 5 yrs old. She was always the girl that everyone wanted to be, even me. The captain of our cheer team and the lust of every popular guy. Now that we are 29, and she has had 2 kids and life has happened, she has found herself at 220lbs on a 5'2" frame. She was telling me last night that she seriously wants to change. She NEEDS to change (from her mouth). Because we are besties I got extremely candid about the difference between my life after losing weight. You are about to enter TMI ZONE so if you are easily offended
1. When you are heavy, you are limited to ONE to TWO sexual positions and girl on top is NOT one of them! We both expressed how tiring and hard it is to be on top and yet, that is what our men AND us would probably prefer and it just can't happen when you are trying to balance dang near 300 lbs on a set of week quads. It is like being on the worst elliptical ever the way your heart starts racing and I just wasn't willing to die. So I spent a many a night on my back trying to make the most of it. And God forbid he try to put my legs up, OH NO! That just pushed my belly fat into my chest and made it hard to breathe. Losing just 20 lbs makes such a huge difference in this department.
2. Chivalry is suddenly resurrected. You ever hear the saying, "Chilvary is dead"? Well it gets a boost of life support once you get to "normal" weight. And this doesn't pertain to your significant other, it is mostly directed towards strangers. Before I lost weight, men would just allow the door to close in my face if I was walking into a store or business after them. It was almost like I was invisible. I would say hello as I passed and get nothing back in return. Nowadays, I have had strangers (even women) wait to hold my door open. Basically, we are at a safe enough distance apart that I would not expect for you to hold the door open for me. However, time and time again, people not only hold my door, but they give me a smile and ask me how I am doing. Definitely didn't experience that at 272 lbs.
3. You get regular customer service. I don't know if any of you ever experienced this but if I ever entered a clothing store that was not for plus-sized folks, the little teeny-tiny sales associate would run up to me immediately, as if I was lost, and asked if I needed help. The look of concern they gave was really saying, "Do you know where you are at? We don't have anything for you here." I have even had them come flat out and ask me if I was shopping for a gift. And the OUTSTANDING customer service they provided just drew attention to the big girl in the little girl store and made me uncomfortable. Now I can go into a regular store and get ignored like everyone else!
4. Regular menstrual cycles. While it sucks to have your life-line seeping from you each month, it is necessary. When I was at my heaviest, I would have a period every 3 months. While it sounds good, it was nerve wrecking! I was always having pregnancy scares and when my cycle did come, it was like someone hack-sawing into my diaphram. Not cool. Having a period every month means more manageable cramps and no babies.
5. Cleaner panties.
Yeah I said it. No one wants to admit it but the heavier you get, the more discharge you have. It is like the little dark secret but I always felt damp. I never felt completely clean. I changed underwear before bed so I would be fresh. Now, I don't care. My vaginal health is so much better and my panties are a lot less worn.
6. Since we are talking bodily functions and all things inappropriate, we might as well talk about body odor. Breath. Sweat. All of those things are just a little more pronounced when you are heavy. And 99% of us go to great lengths to make sure we are always fresh, clean and smelling good. But no matter how much you bathe, you can't stop the fact that we sweat for no good reason. That sweat sits in parts of our flesh that are not getting air, like under the boobs, the inner thighs, and it creates mildew. I actually was told by my dermatologist that the brown flecks around my bra line was mold. MOLD WAS GROWING ON MY BODY. You can't make this stuff up. You can get yeast infections anywhere people and it happens when you are obese. It happened to me. The good news is that it cleared up once I dropped about 15 pounds.
6. Ladies, you can wear less makeup. Now for some of you , this isn't an issue anyway. But so many of us big girls tried to hide our fat behind MAC Cosmetics and everything else Sephora could sell. We did it to prove to those who weren't heavy that we are not slobs, and that we too care about our appearance. We sure know how to pack it on ladies! I think I may have been the biggest culprit I knew. Once I started watching what I put in my mouth and drinking more water, my skin began to clear up and actually glow. I no longer needed highlighter and full coverage foundation. As my face thinned out, I began to recognize my bone structure. I discovered I looked a lot better with less. The funny thing is that we probably all look better with less whether heavy or not and we just don't realize our natural beauty.
Now losing a ton of weight also comes with some shocking side effects. I assumed that once I lost weight, I would have the body of Gisele Budchken IMMEDIATELY. Not so much.
What I did get was
1. A cheering squad. No, not literally, but if I jump high enough or move my arms fast enough, you will hear all the lose skin clapping against each other and it sounds like a Live studio audience!
2. Ugly feet. When I was heavy and lazy, I had one corn on one toe. I now have blistersm bunions and calluses on every inch of my feet. Before I was sedentary. Now, I have put so many miles on these poor little feet that it looks like I have traveled this entire weight loss journey barefoot! Whether you run, Zumba, or strength train, you will come to realize the importance of high quality, well-fit shoes.
3. Haters. Oh yeah. You thought you had haters before, well you ain't seen nothing yet! People love to steal your shine and baby, now you are sparkling! You went from being the guy or gal that everyone could rely on for a funny joke, or perhaps you were always in the "Friend Zone". Now you pose a threat because you look damn good! So the fair-weather friends give you half-compliments with a smirk on their face. Or you stop being invited to just hangout. Your success is making the insecure uncomfortable. However, your true supporters become even more clear and while your freind base may shrink, it is stronger than ever.
I still have a ways to go on my journey - 32 lbs until maintenance. But when I started this roller coaster ride, I never would have fathomed the way losing weight affected so many other aspects of my life. If you are just beginning or maybe you are losing your spark, just now it is worth it to stick it out. So many other areas of your life will change and it will be worth all the dark moments that you have to traverse to get there.
Good Luck Sparkies!!!