What Can You Do Now That You Couldn't Do Before Weight Loss?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
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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CHERYLSCOTT54 1/15/2021
I could make a list; and I love the energy I have now. I have to chase a toddler around the house. And I am glad I can; and she loves it when her great grandmother gets on the floor and play with her. Report
CECELW 1/11/2021
my husband kept encouraging. He is happy for me Report
RETIREDSUE 1/11/2021
Do a 5 K walk for charity, walk uphill easily, walk at a good pace anytime, bend over easily and get down on the floor and back up easily. Much easier shopping for clothes and wearing flattering styles and my tall boots now do up easily. I have a heavier calf even at my lower weight but it's now all muscle. I couldn't begin to wear the boots comfortably five years ago. There are others I'm sure but being functionally fit as I age is definitely a huge plus. Report
MUGABI123 1/11/2021
Lot's of things....walking around the lock was hard, now i can go for 4+ miles! Report
JUSTJ2014 1/11/2021
Getting better at walking Report
Great article. Report
NEPTUNE1939 1/11/2021
ty Report
RO2BENT 1/11/2021
Gotta do the hard work Report
MUSICNUT 8/3/2020
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
K_BRADLEY1 7/1/2020
I can walk up the three flights of stairs to my apartment without felling winded and having to stop. I can do the full lockup at my job in 15 minutes vs the 30 it used to take bacause I would have to stop to rest. I can do one FLL lap backwards on the lazy riverAGAINST the current. I can make healthy choices and still fit occasional treats in to my eating plan. I can keep doing this and feel proud of myself. Thank you sparkpeople and all the amazing members. I love the support and encouragement we give to each other. This has helped me change my mindset which has helped me make changes in other parts of my health. Report
RYCGIRL 3/4/2020
thx Report
RYCGIRL 3/4/2020
thx Report
RYCGIRL 3/4/2020
thx Report
RYCGIRL 3/4/2020
thx Report
good info Report
I love this!! Not only has it sparked me to make my own list of what I can do now that I couldn’t do before but it has sparked me to set some non scale goals. What I want to do that I can’t do now. Trying to get away from daily weigh ins. Report
Very motivating. Thank you for sharing. Report
thanks for sharing Report
I went roller skating. I haven't done that for over 30 years. I can shovel my driveway without any chest pains. Report
I can run a 5K, I can lift weights, I can "do" without huffing and puffing. Report
Great blog, thanks for sharing. Report
I'm a walker/hiker, and I was having a horrible time getting up hills. My doctor thought it might have been the result of having pneumonia so many times and prescribed an inhaler. I also faced the music, asked a Spark Coach what was going on because I was following the program, and she told me to limit my calories to 1500/day. I have done that. I lost over 20 pounds. I can climb hills. Report
I can run faster, and farther than I could before. It is nice to fit in cuter clothes too. Report
I can lift my end of the 2 story ladder to put it away--it hangs in the garage! Report
I was trying to think of one thing, then my mind flooded with too many amazing changes to name. Overall I would say the quality of my life that’s come from the ability to jump in, enjoy it, to live it...is suuuuuuch a blessing. Report
I would like to wear belts again. Report
fantastic Report
Good info. Report
I can wear a certain pair of beloved shoes again. My feet used to swell terribly and now they are back to normal. I never would have thought feet would change so much. Report
Get into some of my old clothes that I though ti'd never get into, SparkFriend, Also, on a savings note, I was thinking about a breast reduction, however, strength training and toning has changed that for me. Report
I can exercise dance or walk for more than an hour!! I never get tired of dancing! And I can cross my legs. Report
This was uplifting to read. Makes me think about my own improvements and makes the vision of what I will become even more real. One of my healthiest improvements is no more heartburn. Report
Sleep is much better! Report
great goals Report
1. I can shop for smaller size clothes.
2. I can lift higher amount of weight.
3. I can keep up with my grandson.
4. I can walk with my tall husband and not fall behind him
5. I can discover new exercise and do them. Report
1. I can shop for smaller size clothes.
2. I can lift higher amount of weight.
3. I can keep up with my grandson.
4. I can walk with my tall husband and not fall behind him
5. I can discover new exercise and do them. Report
This is a great blog. I have to make my own list. I have lost 117 pounds since 2007. Report
Great blog. Report
I can fit clothes that I thought, I had grown out of due to my weight gain. I save them as I am determined to get back to the size I used to be. Report
Very inspirational goals Report
Keep my horse trotting in the indoor arena for a full hour (he takes a lot of leg to keep him moving when we're indoors.)

Canter around the arena as many times as I please without feeling winded.

Maintain two-point for at least one trip around the arena without having to balance on his neck (finally!)

And, I THINK I can fit into my tall boots again (haven't tried yet, but I'll find out this Sunday when we get dressed up for a charity ride.) Report
Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.
- Aristotle Report
I recently purchased a pair of white jeans (I have wanted white jeans for a long time now). I bought them in a size 24! The last time I bought some pants I had to buy a size 28. I'm not to the size I want to be but I NEVER thought I would EVER be back in a size 24. I am so happy with my white size 24 jeans! Report
I recently purchased a pair of white jeans (I have wanted white jeans for a long time now). I bought them in a size 24! The last time I bought some pants I had to buy a size 28. I'm not to the size I want to be but I NEVER thought I would EVER be back in a size 24. I am so happy with my white size 24 jeans! Report
I can do some of these now. Report
At age 65 I joined my first sports team - I now regularly compete and have won 6 medals. Report
I can use the seatbelt in an airplane without the humiliation of having to ask for a seatbelt extension and I can use the tray table at my seat in the fully down position. When I took a trip with my grandson in 2012 I had to use his tray table for food and drinks because my stomach and thighs would not let me put my own tray all the way down. Report
I no longer am pre-diabetic. I am able to climb stairs with less pain. I can walk 2-3 miles every day and enjoy it. Report
I can sit with my legs crossed at the knee. Report