Dealing with the psychological effects of weightloss



  • Dre8604
    Dre8604 Posts: 61 Member
    Bump.... Very interesting stories!
  • ProgressNotPerfection32
    ProgressNotPerfection32 Posts: 1,155 Member
    I feel your pain. I admit, I am MORE insecure after losing 60 pounds (25% of my original body weight) than I was at 235 (my heaviest). I guess I was stuffing all the bad feelings from my first marriage and my awful ex husband then got divorced and pregnant with my son and just kept stuffing everything down and eating my misery. I finally found the love of my life after years and years of dating men who treated me like crap, and decided I needed to get healthy, even though my weight didn't bier him. Now my constant worry is that even though I'm thinner, I have lots of loose skin and still have a bulging belly from 2 kids on top of losing my boobs and butt. So I feel so much more unattractive. I never dreamed I would feel so insecure after so much weight loss.
  • lacroyx
    lacroyx Posts: 5,754 Member
    I'm still a work in progress. I'm a bit more outgoing now than I was when I was heavier. I don't hesitate, i.e. fearing I won't fit, when it comes to booths at restaurants anymore. I've gotten rid of almost all my fat clothes except for 1 pair of jeans and shirt. That was a hard one for me. I wanted to keep them just incase. I'm also not used to the attention from the opposite sex. I have a hard time telling when someone of the opposite sex is flirting with me or they are just being friendly. I always assume they are not flirting with me and just being friendly because sometimes in my mind I still think I am 500 lbs. and I think that there's no way a woman would want to flirt with a big guy like myself.
  • junejadesky
    junejadesky Posts: 524 Member
    I am a chunky monkey now but yrs ago I lost all the weight. Here was my experience...

    When I lost people made a huge deal. People in general treated me better and acted like I was important. Guys I knew gave me much more attention and eye contact which kind of annoyed me ( What, I'm more interesting and important now?!) Women were the WORST. They seemed to be friendlier and respected me more which was stupid. More people wanted to be my friend. While out running errands I got looks and cashiers struck up friendly convos. It was a weird feeling to be looked at. When I was overweight I could totally opt out of any situation. It was like I now was part of the world and I had to be present in every situation whether I wanted to or not. It is a scary/ nice feeling but take time to get used to.

    I know that part of it was that I dressed better because I felt better so I can't sit here and bash everyone. But there is truth to this!! Overall I don't think i carried myself much differently. I have always been fairly outgoing. My bro lost 60lbs in one summer and when he went back to school he was flooded with attention by people who never spoke to him. It annoyed him but laughed it off and embraced how good he felt about himself. Unlike me he kept it off. I guess you have to try to be open and enjoy yourself and life. Don't be afraid to be happy and embrace yourself!

    Thanks! Good to hear your experience - and also how you and your brother dealt with it. I am getting the same, people want to talk with me more now, which I find annoying for 2 reasons, 1) why now all of a sudden and 2) they are speaking Dutch, which is a totally random language without rules so I still have to master it...anyways, great to hear your story - and good luck with your journey!

    So I went though some of the same things this gal is talking about. However I want you to think of something else..... when we shed the "fat wall" as I call mine we ourselves become more outgoing and people respond to that. Maybe that cashier at the store pays more attention to you because with your new found confidence you are looking them in the eye rather than just keeping your head down.....

    We are putting out different energy and thinking differently about ourselves, so what we are sending out is what we are going to receive! Enjoy your new confidence which includes the ability to connect with people in ways you were not able to in the past.

    "The mind is everything; what you think you become" (Buddha)
  • 12skipafew99100
    12skipafew99100 Posts: 1,669 Member
    I have lost 60 lbs before and so I know what KtAnne is talking about. People do treat you differently. It is very real.

    Podgeford, enjoy your new body, but don't try not to get cocky like some do...I can come back on faster than you can imagine! lol Enjoy the attention, be proud of yourself and do things only as you feel comfortable doing them. If you are wanting to keep people away from you, you will probably want to examine in depth the reasons for that and heal your past hurts.

    What I am afraid of now, especially if I go for weight loss surgery (which is my goal), is being able to feel bones and veins and things that I never felt before. Just yesterday, I discovered a vein in my hand (I've just lost 43 lbs) and pushed on it and it moved. I was grossed right out! I've also noticed that when laying in bed on my side now, I can feel my knees clacking together because the fat is melting away on them! YUCK! How do skinny people do it? I'm used to having cushioning!! I don't want to not be able to handle things if I DO lose the weight!

    Try a pillow between your knees while you sleep. But seriously, I hear it is very painful to be very thin. Even sitting in a chair your skin is pinched between bone and the chair. Ewwww. I have never experienced this personally but I heard about it when I watched a show about an anorexic girl.
  • moxiecowgirl
    moxiecowgirl Posts: 291 Member
    I am so glad you posted this topic! I'm struggling with this a little, myself. I was told when I started out that there would come a time when my body and my head might not necessarily match, but I blew that off as things that people who aren't in touch with themselves might experience. Me, I'm very self-aware, and I got, really...stop laughing!

    Fast forward a year and nearly 110 pounds. Yeah, I'm having issues. It's not so much the new attention, although I've noticed that as well, but I'm a people person, so I don't mind it. It's more adjusting to the idea that I don't take up much space any more. I've always been that larger than life, brash, brassy girl with the big voice. Well, guess what? When you lose weight, even your voice gets smaller. It's been part of my identity for so long to be the big, invincible, funny girl who physically dominates a room. Now that I'm smaller, I've discovered I actually have a very tiny frame, and people have started saying things like "you're so little and cute", and talking to me like a pet. Guys try to protect me. It messes with my head big time. I'm trying to combat it by keeping up with the strength training and making sure I do big, bad-*kitten* kinds of things, but I can't deny the physical shift. It is what it is, but I sure hope it starts feeling a bit more like home soon!

    **ETA that I still have a little over 80 lbs left to go before I am at goal. I can't imagine how absolutely tiny I'm going to feel when I get there, if I'm already feeling little now!
  • katz6910
    katz6910 Posts: 156 Member
    As sad as it is for me to admit I too hid behind behind my weight for the longest time. I wouldn't go out unless it was for a very very good reason (taking the kids to the dr etc) If I was forced to go out I would try and be as invisible as possible and not do anything that would gather any negative attention. I wouldn't eat if we went to a fair and if we took the kids out to eat we would sit in the car and have a drive through as I couldn't bare people to see the "fatty" eating if we went inside.

    Now 90lb lost later I can see how silly it all was. We went to the fair saturday/yesterday and I tried lots of different things and people even mentioned the change in me from previous years. I realise not how much of a hold the weight had on my life. I'm actually living now. I'm not afraid to go out or to be seen. I walk down the street with my head held high, I dont care so much anymore if people look at me or whisper when I go past (I'm still overweight) because I know I'm doing something positive about it and I'm so much healthier than I was. I worried that I'd swap my fear of negative responses for a fear of positive responses but it's nice now when someone tells me how much healthier I look. Just take it day by day and remember that the goal you're heading for is to be healthier and fitter for you :smile:

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  • Peazwithin
    Peazwithin Posts: 41 Member
    I totally feel you. I put weight on to 'cope' with things I could not cope with. Food was my friend and weight gain was the result of my terrible dependant relationship with food. Both friends and strangers could see the weight gain on my journey. Some could talk to me about it as they were comfortable, some could not as they were uncomfortable with it. It was the same way with taking the weight off. Those that were comfortable with me heavy were not comfortable with my loss. My close friends and family were happy with me making a healthy change, but that did not mean I got a 'pass' on them offering their opinions on how I lost my weight. I did what what was best (a weight loss surgery) and right for me (walking 3-5 miles per day, every day). I was prepared for them, my reactions to them. I was not prepared for what faced me in the mirror. All at once, but at the same, time everyone seemed to notice my weight loss and I noticed my weight loss. I saw myself. I did not recognize me. I had to consciously make a decision to 'like' the new me. I treated myself to a new hair color and glasses (If I am not going to see the old me in the mirror, why shock myself?) So I gave me something new to look at. I also told this new person that she is very brave. Gave myself daily affirmations and goals. I enpowered the new person that was staring me in the mirror. I gave her the power I had given away to food and hiding behind fat in the first place. Weightloss is a journey and a process. I hope a few of my decisions on coping help in some small way. I am still trying to get used to feeling my ribs and hips when I sleep as I had a fluffy cushiony body too! But when you walk 3 to 5 miles a day, ya tend to sleep like a baby, so the thoughts don't linger very long. Much success to you on your journey!
  • aumint
    aumint Posts: 19
    I can completely relate with you. As odd as it sounds, it is really difficult to deal with the psychological stresses that come along with weight loss. A few years ago I lost about 100 pounds (in about a 14 month span), and I was so excited at first that I figured out a way of eating and exercising that worked for me, but as time went on I started to feel less comfortable in my body. Sometimes it would seem like the weight loss had happened overnight and I wouldn't recognize the person in the mirror. Other times I would have a bad week and focus only on the flaws and feel discouraged that despite how far I had come, I wasn't where I wanted to be. Another thing that really drove me crazy was how often my body changed. When you lose a lot of weight you lose it from various places, and usually at different times. It's like your body is re-molding itself, and no matter what I felt so awkward because nothing ever fit right. Even though it has been a few years since I lost that significant amount of weight and I have managed to keep it off, I still feel awkward and self-conscious. I also have come to admit that I have a body image complex, and it really developed with the more weight I lost.

    At the same time though, I have become much more out-going and sociable. I make friends more easily now, and I don't think anymore that they are going to judge me for the way I look. That is something that gradually happened without me noticing. It's like I finally decided to let out the person that was stuck inside of me for so long. This all happened after I moved out of state though. To a place where no one knew the "fat" me, they just knew me. When I visit back home, I am overly aware that everyone knew me before I lost weight, and the wall goes back up. Where it's nice for people to recognize where you came from and how far you have gone, it's a constant reminder that is usually something I don't want to be reminded of.

    It all takes time, and it's all kind of a strange up and down roller coaster, but you will make it through. :)
  • ST99000722
    ST99000722 Posts: 204 Member
    Interesting post. Definitely experienced the feeling of people suddenly seeming more friendly. It's an odd one.