So, I haven’t posted a blog in quite a while. Mostly because life has been crazy busy. Second, I just haven’t been cooking as much lately. With both kids gone, it seems like my husband and I work a bit longer into the evenings and there’s no mad rush to put a meal on the table, which means no food pictures. Also, we took a mini vacation to Florida which involved lots of eating but very little cooking.
Anyway, I put on a pair of shoes this morning as I was getting ready for work. These were shoes that I haven’t worn in about 2 years. And as I walked around the office this morning, I realized that they are about a half size too big. This isn’t the first time I’ve made this discovery with a pair of shoes. My feet shrunk. In October 2015, I set out on a journey to lose 35 lbs. That was nearly 2 years ago, and my total weight loss is nearly 60 lbs. I almost doubled my goal! I wrote an article (a lengthy article) about my journey, but I haven’t felt ready to publish it quite yet. It’s still a sort of private and personal journey that on one hand, I want to share, and on the other I feel like I just don’t have the courage to open up to the world about it. The scariest thing I’ve done so far is posting a before-after photo on my Instagram feed. The whole “a picture is worth a thousand words” thing may ring true, but in this case, there is so much more story to tell. One of these days I will, and hopefully when I do it will help to encourage at least one other person to continue her weight loss journey.
But what I DO want to share with you today is a list of the most SURPRISING things about losing a significant amount of weight. Because, while I anticipated having to buy new pants, and there were other things that I simply did not expect, nor was I prepared for.
- It’s not just new pants I needed I guess I thought that a top was a top, and the size of it didn’t matter so much. I fully expected that, when I reached my goal, I would need to go out and get new pants and skirts. I started out at a size 12, and when I hit the 35 lbs. mark, I was down to somewhere between a size 6 – 8. For a while, I just continued to wear the same blouses, but one day I looked in the mirror and realized that the white button down shirt I had on was so big, I looked like a kid in dad’s clothes. All of my tops were larges and extra larges, so I went down to mediums, and I have to say that the difference was surprising to me. I’m now between a size 0-2 and most of my tops are smalls or extra smalls. I had no idea that my weight loss would change my body that significantly.
- You look thinner when you wear clothes that fit I walked around in baggy clothes for a bit, because I was somewhat superstitious about buying new clothes. What if I regained the weight? It would be a waste of money, then. But once I purchased new, smaller clothes that fit properly, people took notice. Suddenly folks were asking me how much I lost, and congratulating me on my accomplishment. And, I felt better!
- There were multiple stages My weight loss was very slow. I averaged just a pound per week. So it wasn’t until I was 6 months in that I started purchasing new clothing. However, I continued to lose weight over the next 9 months and had to purchase another new wardrobe, because my new “skinny” clothes were now too big. I guess I thought I’d lose weight, then go shopping and that was that. I wasn’t prepared for replacing my wardrobe twice because I didn’t realize what a long, drawn out process it was going to be.
- My feet shrunk This is probably the single most shocking thing about losing all this weight. Most of my shoes were now too big, and the ones that used to be tight and uncomfortable now fit perfectly. I had no idea that I would lose weight in my FEET because I had no idea that my feet were fat! I can laugh about, of course, but it is still so weird to think about. I did NOT replace my entire shoe collection, however I did have to buy a few new pairs. One day I stuffed some tissues down into the toes of a pair of black pumps so they fit because I was on my way to an interview and didn’t have time to stop and shop for a new pair.
- And while you’re at it, you’ll need all new underwear, bras and p.j.’s Again, I didn’t consider needing to do this, but I did. Losing weight is an expensive adventure (but so totally worth it). The girls shrunk from a 36D to a 34C, and I finally replaced my underwear because I was wearing a dress at work and they were literally falling down. That was all I needed to send me to Victoria’s Secret my lunch hour.
- What about the jewels, dahling? My rings are all loose, and my bracelets are much bigger than they used to be. I had to remove one link from my watch. And, I’ve had to learn to be careful and take my rings off if I go swimming or I’m cleaning, because if I lost one of those puppies, Mr. Goodaker would not be pleased.
- I look older?! Yeah, so there’s a down side to losing weight. All that extra fat that filled out my face was suddenly gone, and I was left with (gasp!) wrinkles and (this is just the worst) sagging turkey-neck! It never occurred to me that once the fat disappeared, those wrinkles would become more prominent. And really, it makes sense. Ladies pay good money to be injected with “fillers” and here I was, losing all my natural filler. I can deal with the wrinkles, but this neck thing drives me nuts. My husband insists he doesn’t notice it, but I don’t believe him and if I have a little extra money laying around, one of these days I may need to go see that lady that I hear on the radio all the time, Dr. Elizabeth at Atlanta Face and Body. It sounds like she can fix my turkey neck (and my wrinkles).
- Varicose veins, are you serious?! I’m sure just like the wrinkles and sagging skin under my chin, this is mostly due to aging (I am halfway to 96, after all). But I’m pretty sure that losing that extra fat tissue on my legs allowed these babies to be more prominent. Fantastic. Now I’ll need a loan to afford both skin tightening and vein treatment.
- Thinning hair sucks I honestly don’t know if this is related to the weight loss, or what, but my hair is just crap right now. It has gotten so thin and it breaks easily. I am taking vitamins and hoping that it will help but I think I’m going to have to get used to it. I’ve tried those shampoos that claim to thicken your hair, or make it grow faster and I’m here to tell you, none of that crap works. I have found that the Living Proof line of Full products does indeed give my hair more body and fullness. I use the Full Shampoo, Full Conditioner, Full Root Lift, and Full Thickening Cream – all available at every girls’ favorite store, Ulta.
- Bye-Bye Gallbladder So, apparently losing a bunch of weight can trigger gallbladder problems, especially if you have any of the other risk factors like being a woman (check!), over forty (check!), overweight or recently lost weight (check!), family history (check!), and on hormones or birth control (check!). It’s ironic that I was doing something to be healthier (losing weight) and I ended up having to have surgery.
So there you have it, ten things I never anticipated while losing weight. In the end, I’m happy to sport my turkey neck and varicose veins as a trade-off because I’ve never felt better (and I’m halfway to 96!).