It's not uncommon to experience lifestyle limitations when you're overweight. You might struggle to find flattering clothes to wear to the gym, much less to go out to dinner. Spending nice, summer mornings tending to your garden? Not possible if your knees won't allow you to get down to the beds and back up again. Tying your shoes can be a chore. How does it feel when you want to play with your grandkids, but all you can do is sit in a lawn chair and watch them run around the backyard for hours for fear of getting winded? And forget about biking to the park—even a half a mile feels nearly impossible.
All of that can be disheartening when you know the main reason you can't do what you want to do is your weight. Although weight loss isn't the magical answer to all of your problems, it does help make some things easier, from walking and breathing to playing and shopping.
We asked our members what activities they can do now that they couldn't do before they lost weight and discovered a range of inspiring epiphanies that just might be the push you need to get started down the right path.
1. "I climbed on my woodshed roof yesterday, no ladder, just using the walls and fence. I tried last summer and wasn't even close. I guess all those burpees and pushups have made a difference." HEYFRIENDS
2. "I can get up and down off the floor with ease. When I decided to change my life (the way I ate and moved), a big part was that we had house rabbits and when I got down on the floor with them it was hard to get up. At age 61, I realized it was only going to get harder. The more important thing, though, is that I can now move with ease and I love it!" MARTHA324
3. "Weight loss has helped offset much of what the aging process inflicts. If I hadn't been overweight and had been in better physical condition, maybe the diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, etc. would not exist. [Weight loss has] certainly slowed the progress of some of these limitations. Thanks to diet and exercise, my blood pressure is largely under control, diabetes medications and arthritis pain have greatly [been reduced and] eye problems have slowed their progress.
"I can now run short spurts as opposed to not having run at all for years. I can throw my foot up on a counter to tie my shoes. I can stay awake longer and work longer when needed. I have more discretionary income since my grocery bill is lower, and I probably save on medical bills, as well. I can see life in a more positive light. I'm sure there are so many more things I'm missing, but weight loss and improved fitness have made so many things possible." NITEMAN3D
4. "I can run, I can climb 400 stairs without huffing and puffing, I can do proper push-ups, I can lift and carry surprisingly heavy objects [for a] long [time]. I can bike uphill from the river to our house without stopping, [whereas] in pre-SparkPeople times I had to get off and push the bike at the steepest parts. Nothing extraordinary, but all this feels very good." KRISZTA11
5. "Run. I could not, or at least did not run when I was 212 pounds. Now at 133 I run half marathons. [I have] stamina to play with my grandkids. Housework is easier [and] done faster, leaving more time for living!" SLENDERELLA61
6. "Fit into pants that didn't fit before Christmas!" LHOFFMAN2
7. "Anything without having constant knee pain! And, thanks to the 200 Squats Challenge and now the Skinny Jeans Challenge, I'm able to go up stairs (sometimes at a fast pace) without getting too out of breath or having my legs burn." LADYNIGHTSTORM
8. "Climb mountains, then write about the great adventures!" JSTETSER
9. "Fit in booths and chairs without fearing they will break! And, [I can] enter a room and not look to see if I'm the largest person in the room. Both have been such a positive [result from] losing weight." SKINNYERIN5
10. "It was years before I could climb stairs without being breathless and I can do that now." GRANDMATHOMPSON
11. "Cut back my blood pressure medications from 40 mg to 10 mg so far and [am] looking forward to a discussion next month with my doctor about discontinuing!" LADYSTARWIND
12. "I climbed the hill leading to my son's home and didn't get the least bit breathless. On top of that, climbing the stairs in his townhouse also proved to be much easier. Before, I had to stop and rest." MARCIE18
13. "[I can] walk two miles nonstop, keep my gym appointments and walk all day at Disney!" KATHY_GOOD1
14. "I can get in size 14 jeans, I was in a 52—check out my picture on my profile!" MSANN59
15. "Complete a half Ironman triathlon!" SKEMERICH
16. "Put on pantyhose without falling out of the chair." KICKINGIT@56
17. "I can stand at the sink and wash dishes without my back killing me. When I joined SparkPeople nine years ago at 214 pounds, my back hurt so much I had to sit on a stool to wash dishes. At 160 pounds, I'm not at my goal, but I do wear a size 12 pants and I don't have red marks from the elastic cutting into my stomach. I still want to get to my goal." JIBBIE49
18. "Buy clothes in any store, and even better, I have to choose between the clothing items that I look good in versus trying to find one thing that fits! I was a 16/18 (at one point, larger) and now I am a 9/10. It is amazing!" NICCIE77
19. "I started working out with a personal trainer at work a couple of years ago. When I first started, I was huffing and puffing getting up the stairs to the fitness center. I can now take the stairs and not feel like my lungs are burning. Today, I was doing tactical lunges. I've been training to do a 5,000-meter row on a rowing machine (my best time right now is 24 minutes, 24 seconds). During the summer of last year, I was walking roughly two miles in about 32 minutes." PHOUSE99
20. "I can eat 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day and feel satisfied." MKRANJCE
21. "Balance on one leg to put on my tights [and] pull off skinny jeans; climb five flights of stairs without resting; and carry a packed carry-on [suitcase] up two flights of stairs without feeling winded." DANI_1987
22. "Wear a sports bra comfortably." MARCIE18
23. "Stay for the whole Zumba class!" 3N1GMA
24. "Jump rope. For years at work [at a] public school I would explain to my kiddos how to jump rope, but I couldn't demonstrate [it]. This week I found that I can. This is a huge thing for me. I'm very proud of it and [eventually] I want to incorporate jump rope into my regular fitness routine." MOMMO77
25. "Breathe." LOVESWEETS2
26. "I can keep up with projects with [my] hubby, get down in the flower/veggie beds, bend over and [I keep] getting stronger." KEEPITSIMPLE_
27. "I can do crow pose in yoga, and I moved up from a level one trapeze to a level two!" CARILOUIE
What surprising revelation or everyday accomplishment did you experience after weight loss?
Answers have been edited for clarity.
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