Image is something I struggled with all through my weight loss and continue to struggle with. I tried to break it down into three stages below.
One of my reasons for not losing weight was my skin. I never really wanted to know what I had already done to my body. I worried that my skin would not snap back and I’d be left with a lot of loose skin and a sack of who I once was. And truthfully…..it was worth staying fat not to know. While I know it doesn’t make any sense, I was worried about what I would look like after I lost the weight and if I’d be any more attractive than I was before. These were all silly thoughts. What’s important is how healthy you are, not what you’ll look like in the end. But at the beginning of my journey, I was seriously worried about what I would look like at the end.
During my weight loss I constantly didn’t know what I looked like. I would see pictures of myself and not believe that it was me. I would hold up a pair of pants I’d worn the day before and think “There’s no way these fit my body.” And yet. They would. Sometimes I’d wake up in the morning and think I was still fat. My skin did not shrink back as quickly as I was hoping for so sometimes laying in bed, I felt the same size as I was before. Shopping was really hard as I was always dropping sizes and had no idea how to shop in ‘regular’ stores anymore. I was just starting to work out and up my fitness level. So while people knew I was losing weight, I still seemed a little overweight to the general public. Colorado girls are skinny and fit, generally, so I was somewhere in the middle. It felt good to look ‘normal’ to most people.
Now that I’ve met my fitness and weight goals my image stays pretty constant. I sort of know what clothes will fit me and what I look like. I still am shocked at what I look like in photos. In someways I feel the same and in others I feel totally different. But, I didn’t turn out how I thought I would. Even though I have loose skin almost everywhere, I thought it would be worse. My skin continues to shrink in some places, while in others, it’s a lost cause. I hope to have skin surgery someday in the future. In some ways my self consciousness about my weight transferred to my skin. In other ways I don’t care at all. I’ll never have a six pack but I’m happy with how I look overall. The important thing is that now I’m healthy. When people see me in the general public with clothes on, I look like a fit, thin and healthy person and that’s what I always wanted.
Another Tip To Stay on Track:
Surround yourself with weight loss!
This does not mean you may only speak to healthy people or people losing weight. For some of you it might mean an inspirational quote on the fridge. Others might want to find a friend to lose weight with. My life quickly turned to thinking, talking, or breathing health and fitness about six months in. I loved to watch The Biggest Loser and Extreme Weight Loss and think, “I can do that!”. I have pictures of my old self around the house as well as new. I bought a goal dress several times throughout my process. I read about fitness, recipes and dieting. Get as much information as you can! I’m sure my friends are sick of talking weight loss and fitness but they love me just the same. If you can find a buddy to lose weight with, it could be helpful. However, if they fall off the wagon, that doesn’t mean you can too!