When I dropped more than 150lb of the 307lb I was carrying, I was undeniably healthier. I quit smoking, cut back on drinking, and today, I’m a certified personal trainer. Unlike most folks who lose a bunch of weight, I’ve maintained my weight loss for over a decade. What's my secret? Hypnosis? Nope. Paleo? Nope. Cocaine? Wouldn't you like that. I've worked my ass off (both literally and figuratively) for these results, and I couldn't have done it without accepting myself, not just as a thin person, but as the person I was before I lost my weight.
It's easy to look at dramatic before-and-after weight-loss photos and imagine that the people in them would never dream about going back to the obese versions of themselves. The truth, as is usually the case, is more complicated -- there are some things I actually miss about weighing more than 300lb. These are just a few of them.
People don't see me in the same unthreatening light My personality didn't change when I lost weight, but how people felt about it changed -- a lot. Fat Me reliably got laughs, but Fit Me is a lot more likely to be seen as "too intense" or "overconfident," especially by strangers. I miss being myself, speaking my mind, and letting the jokes fly without wondering who I might rub the wrong way.
When someone was interested in me, I knew it was genuine
When I was fat, I took for granted that the folks who were into me were actually into me. All of me. As I lost weight, more and more people seemed attracted to me for my looks alone. At first, I lapped up the attention like water in the desert. Once I finally settled into my new, thin body, I missed knowing to my core that the person holding my hand was holding all of me, and not just the part they could see.
I could drink more and tolerate pain better
In some ways, being fat made me tougher and more resilient. The extra bulk meant I rarely got cold, had a high threshold for certain kinds of pain, and held my liquor like a pro. Now that I'm thin I shiver when the temperature drops, beg for mercy when I so much as see a tattoo gun, and catch a buzz from a thimbleful of liquor. Thankfully, I’m mentally and emotionally tougher than I once was -- a girl's gotta compensate somehow, y'know?
Other people left me alone
As a kid, I was relentlessly judged, bullied, and often beaten up for being big. As I got older, folks continued to judge me for my weight, but they rarely said -- or did -- anything about it. Weirdly, people seem to judge me to my face a lot more since I lost my weight. Rarely does a day pass without someone commenting on anything from my boots ("You’d look nicer in heels") and my body ("Wow, you really are big-boned, huh?"), to the way I talk ("Cursing is such a turnoff") and what color I wear ("Black? Again?"). For the most part it doesn't bother me. Sometimes it makes me mad enough to spit. ("Ugh! Spitting is SO unladylike!")
Do I really wish I could go back to weighing more than 300lb? No, probably not. But I still consider myself extremely lucky, because my perspective was developed in the context of being a fat woman. Now I'm able to bring that perspective to my work, where I can help others accept themselves, no matter what they weigh or how far they are from their goals.
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