Weightloss doesn't always lead to happiness.

ninerbuff Posts: 48,175 Member
I've heard lots of people say "If I only lost this weight, I know I would be happy!"

Doesn't always work for everyone though. I had an assessment with a gentleman today who had gastric bypass. In a year's time he lost 140lbs (from 380lbs). His thought was that if he lost the weight, life would be so much easier.
Today he told me he's depressed, he tired all the time, he can't stand that he can't eat what he likes and has literally no strength due to the fast weight loss catabolizing his muscle. When I held his arm, I basically almost felt nothing but loose skin and bone. He said even though he was 380lbs, at least he could still work in his muffler shop, lift things and ride his motorcycle. He doesn't do any of that now.
My work is cut out for me as I will do what I can to get some muscle and strength back on him and see if I can encourage higher calorie intake for him.

Point is that if one thinks that being leaner and smaller is all it's gonna take to make one happy, that always isn't the case. For some, it comes at a price especially when trying to lose weight TOO FAST.

A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
IDEA Fitness member
Kickboxing Certified Instructor
Been in fitness industry for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition


  • Alatariel75
    Alatariel75 Posts: 17,939 Member
    :flowerforyou: :drinker:

    Absolutely! What's the point of being "skinny" if you feel horrible, tired, hungry, resentful and still don't like how you look because now you're flabby and have no muscle tone?
  • Quarkles
    Quarkles Posts: 69 Member
    I dunno, if I had to live off of the tiny amount of food that people with gastric bypass are supposed to eat, I'd be pretty miserable too.
    However, I've found that exercising more has definitely helped with my depression, and hopefully it will keep it away.
  • Ready2Rock206
    Ready2Rock206 Posts: 9,488 Member
    I read an interesting article along this line the other day. Gal hated her body big, lost the weight and had a bunch of loose skin, was still miserable and hating her body. Losing weight doesn't fix the mental aspects of liking yourself or whatever other issues one may have. Compound that with what OP described and yeah - that's a disaster all the way around....
  • shaynepoole
    shaynepoole Posts: 493 Member
    Each person is different, but one thing I do agree with... losing weight does not lead to instant happiness... It's kind of like some people think that once they lose weight, all of their problems will magically disappear - and I want to mother bear them all and tell them that it doesn't quite work that way... not that everyone will listen though... and a little piece of me aches when I hear people say "I want to lose weight and be happy" - but what can you do, really?
  • This is such an amazing little entry and reminder. You're totally right. 'Feeling' healthy is what should grant happiness, not the number of the scale. Poor guy. I empathize. :c
  • Aaron_K123
    Aaron_K123 Posts: 7,122 Member
    People equate lower numbers on the scale with better health which can cause so many problems. See it all the times on the forums, scale-obsessed people eating 1200 or fewer calories a day.
  • Madame_Goldbricker
    Madame_Goldbricker Posts: 1,625 Member
    So is he only considering working out now? Did he just lose the weight purely through the calorie deficit caused by the gastric band?

    I don't know that much about the procedure but when its a choice between it or someone running a high risk of weight related death. I can totally get why they'd do it.

    However I would have assumed they would be clearly made aware of the repercussions i.e rapid weight loss possibly leading to excess loose skin, severe loss of muscle, stomach complaints, fatigue, and other related issues. Are they not advised to incorporate strength training/cardio/nutritional supplements and undergo psychological support?

    Genuine questions btw as I really wouldn't know.
  • GreatDepression
    GreatDepression Posts: 347 Member
    Thanks for sharing this story. It's a real issue that many of us face in our weight loss journey yet don't open to share because it goes against the groove.
  • MagdaSea
    MagdaSea Posts: 78 Member
    I think that this is something which occurs when uninformed people manage to lose weight. They don't anticipate the motivational lows for one. Just because I'm fairly in shape doesn't mean there aren't days I can't bring myself to go to the gym or I'm unhappy with what I'm seeing in the mirror.
  • Iwishyouwell
    Iwishyouwell Posts: 1,888 Member
    While this can be the case, absolutely, I don't think using the example of someone who got weight loss surgery and just went from morbidly obese to still obese is the best example to uphold here as a cautionary tale.
  • SezxyStef
    SezxyStef Posts: 15,268 Member
    No it does not.

    I am watching a couple people now who have had weight loss surgery...they are not happy.

    they are weak, lethargic as well.

    One of them has been obese her entire life and not that I have seen her without clothes I can surmise what I would see...her weight loss has been drastic as well.

    The funny thing about happiness is this...only you can make yourself happy...external factors can aid in that but in reality weight loss, money, partner etc does not make you happy. That is an internal thing.

    Good luck with your client I do hope he gets feeling better...and I hope others read this and take it as a warning against these drastic measures...
  • Iwishyouwell
    Iwishyouwell Posts: 1,888 Member

    The funny thing about happiness is this...only you can make yourself happy...external factors can aid in that but in reality weight loss, money, partner etc does not make you happy. That is an internal thing.

    So true.

    But those aids, if well employed, sure can help. I know that being slimmer has definitely had a profoundly positive effect on my life, and continues to the lower I go. But you have to allow the changes to affect you positively, or they won't do much to aid you in an overall greater sense of well being.
  • misscem94
    misscem94 Posts: 114 Member
    I agree. I know of someone who lost five stone, but wasn't happy, thus putting most of it back on. Somebody else has lost 6 stone, but still thinks she's ugly and fat.
  • JeniSue28
    JeniSue28 Posts: 1,395 Member
    Loosing weight won't make one happy. Nothing can make you happy but yourself. If you don't like yourself and how you look you aren't going to be comfortable and won't be happy. It's all about excepting and liking yourself for who you are. Just like until you decided you are loosing the weight for yourself you won't loose it, long term.
  • dpdora13
    dpdora13 Posts: 14 Member
    Good day
    Probably people with gastric by pass face many problems, but I still insist that "nothing tastes better than being thin". The problem according my opinion is that in the proccess of a gastric by pass the patient is not the decisive person. The weight loss is a result of a surgery and not a result of a strong decision. The person that decides and perform a weight loss, earns self confidence except weight loss. He fells again strong and determined. By forcing somebody to loss weight the problem of underestimate yourself still exists and probably became bigger. Also we must count on the negatives that the patient cannot react as in the past, i.e. eating comfort food, so he fells an empty space in the stomach and in the head. I agree that in some cases of health problems gastic by pass in a life solution, but it needs very very careful preparations with doctors and phycologists.
  • The exercise will release endorphins that will lift your mood as well as build muscle. But I seriously recommend the guy get back on the bike as soon as he can, Maybe get something smaller. A good ride on a bike is one of the best ways to clear the mind that I know.
  • gypsy_spirit
    gypsy_spirit Posts: 2,107 Member
    For me losing weight slowly is helping my brain catch up with the changes. Even losing it slowly is a guarantee that you will be happy when you are at your goal. I've always been a happy person, regardless of my weight. I think it has a lot to do with your general attitude about life.

    There is no doubt that physically I feel much better, but happiness is a separate entity.
  • jensiegel39
    jensiegel39 Posts: 163 Member
    I agree. Nothing leads to instant happiness. However, as someone else said, the endorphins I gain through exercise every day improve my mood significantly. I suffer from depression (or used to) and I find that although sometimes I have a low mood or feel irritated, exercise really helps. I also find it quite meditative. I also feel better about myself. Proud of myself. But no, I'm not ecstatic or anything all the time.
  • jensiegel39
    jensiegel39 Posts: 163 Member
    I agree about the bike riding. It's my favorite exercise. I find it so peaceful and feel great that I'm able to clear my mind, spend some time alone, and get a good workout in. In fact, I'm off for a morning ride right now!
  • amwbox
    amwbox Posts: 576 Member
    To be clear...when losing 3 figures worth of weight. fast or slow, there is going to be excess skin. Contrary to myth, skin does not magically resorb itself. How could it?