At this point in my wellness journey, I’ve lost about 50 lbs. Yep, 50! I never thought I would reach this milestone so soon. I’ve lost weight before, but this time seems different. There’s much I didn’t know. Here are some things that I learned that no one shared with me about losing weight.
You’re going to feel awkward
New clothes become too big, older clothes are still a little too tight, it’s been such an awkward stage. What makes it even more awkward is that people will always comment on your appearance. Although I’m proud of the progress that I’ve made this far, some days I don’t necessarily feel more confident of myself. So when someone wants to give me a compliment on how “slim” or “skinny” I am on a day I don’t feel that, it just feels weird.
I appreciate the love and support I’m receiving, but I think I prefer mentioning my size or shape to someone else before they mention it. Even if no one says anything, just putting on clothes that I haven’t worn in a while or doing something as simple as crossing my legs and feeling comfortable, will make me feel awkward.
You’re progressing even when you don’t see it
When I look at myself in the mirror, I don’t see the same Raysean that the world sees. I still see the person I was before I gained weight. I honestly can’t tell the difference unless I’m looking at recent photos or put on older clothes. It feels surreal. Body dysmorphia is real. It doesn’t matter how much weight I lose, I don’t think I’ll be able to see the “real” version of myself.
Before I do my monthly weigh-in, I get anxious because I start all the negative self-talk. I try to convince myself that I probably gained weight because I didn’t push myself as hard as the month before. Or I didn’t deserve to make much progress because I allowed myself to relax on days I could be more active. However, every time I step off the scale, I’m amazed that I exceed my expectations. I tell myself, “even if I just lose one pound, I’ll take it because it’s progress.” It’s not about the numbers, it’s about doing the right thing consistently.
Being balanced is better than perfection
Making lifestyle changes is difficult. You literally have to rewire your brain to do things that are in your best interest, but make you uncomfortable. There are many times a week I fall short of my own expectations. But it’s okay. You don’t have to stick to a set routine or plan to make progress. You can make your own rules. I focus on living a balanced life instead of trying to maintain the idea that I can create or maintain a “perfect routine.”
Some days I want to be a little greedy so I eat more sugar than I probably should. So I try to balance that with eating a smaller meal that day or walking for a little while longer. I don’t try too hard to keep track of my calories or anything. I try to find foods with high nutrition and eat the recommended amount. I try to walk for at least 30 minutes a day. Even on days that I really want to, I still can’t do this perfectly. So instead of getting negative and trying to punish me, I give myself grace and focus on balancing it out in some way.
You’re going to want to quit (and it’s okay)
I remind myself that this journey is a marathon, not a sprint. I get tired, feel discouraged and sometimes, just don’t want to put in the work. Instead of giving up completely, I take breaks. “Maybe I’ll feel better if I skip my lunch walk.” or, “I think I should focus on my other responsibilities so I don’t get burnt out.” is what I tell myself. I took it one step at a time to see what I could add to my daily routine to be the healthiest version of myself every day.
I started with adding a 15-minute morning stretch and eating a healthy breakfast at home in the morning. Then, I added walking. After a month or so, I challenged myself to get more steps each day. Later, I added push-ups before bed. After a while, this became a lot to juggle. If I had one bad day, or if the weather wouldn’t let me go outside, I was thrown off completely. So I had to readjust. I now know that I have to continue readjusting and take things day-by-day and week-by-week. I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’m more confident than ever that I’ll get there.
What are some things you wish someone would’ve told you?