While it’s true that losing a few extra pounds has many health benefits (stronger bones, lower diabetes & stroke risk, not to mention a longer life!), on the flipside there are many challenges along the way that we don’t always hear about.
Your perception of your body won’t change overnight. A dramatic transformation should feel great — but what about when it doesn’t? “I still have trouble seeing what I’ve done these past two years,” Kristin Griffin, who lost 83 pounds, told HuffPost in 2014. “The weight loss was the easy part; realizing and seeing the new me has been a daily battle.”
There will likely be excess skin. If you’ve lost a certain amount of weight, you’re likely to be faced with a very-real physical reminder of its disappearance: sagging, stretch-marked skin. Unfortunately, there aren’t really any lifestyle measures to be taken to prevent excess skin. “How loose your skin gets after losing weight depends on several factors: how much weight you’ve lost, how old you were when you lost the weight, how many times you’ve lost and gained the weight back, and how quickly you lost it (the faster you lose it, the less time your skin has to tighten naturally),” Women’s Health magazine reported.
Some relationships might change. Maybe your favorite new boot camp conflicts with your old favorite TV show that you always watched religiously with a friend, over snacks. Maybe your wife feels like your new veggie-heavy dinners are silently nagging her to make changes. As your habits become healthier, you might find you have less (or more!) in common with certain people around you.
Your new wardrobe might cost a pretty penny. Once you’ve reached your goal weight, you’ll probably find yourself in need of a few new things to wear. The more dramatic your transformation, the more likely it is you’ll even need some interim clothes. You may find you are shopping for new clothes at multiple stops along your weight-loss journey.
Others may think they’re being supportive. Those that notice you’re going through some changes may be perfectly supportive, compassionate and encouraging, but some may not. From unsolicited advice to guilt-inducing food pushing, not all of their attention will be welcome. In fact, even the simple “You look great!” can feel straight up awkward. For starters, being told how wonderful you currently look might make you question what those commenters thought of you previously. In some cases, focusing solely on the physical may be triggering to some people with difficult relationships to eating, weight loss or exercise. And in other instances, it might just seem rude.