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What Will Happen When I Lose Weight?

So you are embarking on a weight loss journey? Good on you. If you are currently overweight or obese this is probably the best possible thing you can do for yourself. We all understand the health benefits of losing weight, and we all understand the idea that we will look better and have a greater choice of clothing when we lose weight, but is there anything else that we should be aware of when we take the step to lose weight? Yes there is and some of them can be quite unexpected.

Clothing – shape, size and the journey down

If you are currently overweight and accustomed to buying clothes which do the most to hide your weight rather than buying clothes which you like, then the thought of losing weight and being able to buy what you like is quite exciting. This is one of the best aspects of losing weight, apart from the health benefits. But there are a few traps along the way for the unwary.

If you have a lot of weight to lose, you are going to start dropping through multiple clothes sizes. A loss of about 6 kilos equates roughly to a reduction of one dress size. So if you have greater than 12 kilos to lose, you are going to drop at least 2 dress sizes. A 20 kilo loss will drop you just over 3 dress sizes. This can be tricky to manage on the way down, especially if you are in the workforce. After a drop of just a few kilos, clothes will feel and start to look looser. Once you have lost about 6 kilos, clothes will start to look like what they are – one size too big! This can draw attention to your loss (something you may or may not desire at this point) and make you look and feel sloppy! So be prepared for this.

There are many things you can do to help. Firstly, the most obvious solution to this is to buy clothes at each size on the way down but this is not affordable for everyone and can become very time consuming. Shopping at charity or second hand shops or on eBay can make this approach much more affordable and help you get through. If you are buying on the way down, get smart about what you are buying. Buy pants with belt loops and rediscover belts! A lot of overweight people don’t wear belts so a decent belt may be a good investment to allow extended life from pants. In addition, choose tops which can be worn out over pants to hide bunching on the waist band. Choose skirts or dresses with fuller, more flowing skirts which can accommodate a wider range of sizes than well fitting, slimline skirts. Accessorize well with scarves and jewellery – this can distract the eye from clothes which don’t fit as well as they should.

Instead of buying clothes on the way down, you could consider making alterations to your clothes if you can sew, but of course this won’t help you with larger losses. Borrowing clothes is also a good alternative. Many of us who have battled with weight over the years have multiple sizes in the wardrobe! Asking friends or even fellow members at weight loss class about borrowing or swapping clothes may be a great idea. And of course, don’t forget to have a rummage at the back of your own wardrobe for clothes that you could fit into years ago, which may just still be in fashion enough to get away with.

Remember to avoid the temptation to buy something you like several sizes smaller than what you are unless you are certain the style will still suit you when you are smaller. Many people get caught out doing this when they find that the new, 20 kilo lighter version of themselves has a different body shape. The jeans that are flattering on you in a size 16 may do nothing for you in a size 12.

This all may sound like a hassle and it is a little but remember, each time you can no longer wear something in your wardrobe, you are looking more fabulous! And don’t forget, the frustration is only temporary. Once you get to and maintain your goal weight, your wardrobe will stabilise and you can just enjoy buying the clothes you like and you want to buy, rather than the ones you have to buy!

Consider treating yourself to a session with a wardrobe planner or a professional shopper once you have reached your goal weight as your major reward. These people are often attached to your local shopping mall and it is often not as expensive as you would think. You may save yourself a lot of time and money in avoiding buying mistakes as you get used to your new body and it is an opportunity to develop a coordinated wardrobe from scratch!

Shoes

Don’t be surprised if your shoes start to feel strange. Believe it or not, your weight loss can affect your shoe size.

Jewellery

As you lose weight, your jewellery will become looser. You may need to have links removed from your watch band. Bracelets and rings can slip off if you are not paying attention, particularly in cold or wet conditions. If you don’t want to stop wearing rings, consider moving them to another, bigger finger if you can. Talk to a reputable jeweler about resizing if you need to but try to wait a decent length of time after reaching goal to ensure your weight has stabilized. A reputable jeweler may also be able to advise on temporary resizing options for the way down if you have a significant amount of weight to lose.

Friends and Others

The reactions of people around you can often be one of the most surprising and difficult to manage elements of weight loss. First and foremost, people are going to notice! Some will be polite and tactful and say something like “You are looking so healthy”. Others are going to come straight out with “Have you lost weight? What are you doing to lose it?” Some could ask how much you’ve lost. None of this is a problem, as long as you are prepared for it and know what you are comfortable saying. Give it some thought and work out how much information you are comfortable sharing and even come up with some quick standard responses so you don’t feel thrown off guard when it happens.

Most people are very supportive and will be pleased for you that you are making this change in your life. However it does happen sometimes that your success may give rise to jealously in colleagues, acquaintances or worse yet, friends. People may start to tell you that you have lost enough weight and that you don’t want to get too “skinny”. Some of these people may be well meaning, in which case you can point to your sensible weight loss goal and your sensible time frame and reassure them. Others may be just jealous or unconsciously sabotaging you. An uncomfortable situation which may arise is friends trying to get you to eat bad food. It seems unbelievable but many weight loss classes talk of friends who say things like “come on it’s just a piece of cake, you’ve lost so much weight” or “come on treat yourself to another slice of pizza, you deserve it”. It can be similar to the peer pressure to drink alcohol on a night out. Often these friends don’t even realize how unsupportive they are being. If friends are genuine, then it may help just to explain how you feel and that you need their support. With people who are deliberately trying to derail you, you may need to take a stronger line. Your job is to remember what you are working towards and stay on track. How you choose to handle reactions like this depends on the nature of your relationship with the person behaving this way and you may choose to handle different people in different ways. Again, it comes down to recognizing the comments for what they are and being prepared for how you want to handle them.

Hopefully you won’t experience any negative reactions, but if you do, then you will be prepared for it and have a better chance of handling it in a way that is thoughtful and appropriate. A great idea at the start of any weight loss program is to pick one or two very close and supportive people to share your journey. They don’t need to be losing weight with you, although this is always a fabulous help with motivation. They don’t even need to live in the same city as long as you can email or phone each other. Having a little personal cheer squad can make all the difference, particularly if you do end up with a few dysfunctional green eyed monsters around you!

Motivation

If you have a lot to lose and your weight loss journey is going to take a long time, then you should be prepared for your level of motivation to fluctuate over the course of your journey. Motivation is vitally important for success so it is worth spending some time researching some motivational tips to have up your sleeve for those times when your motivation may wane. Remember this is normal but you should do everything you can to get yourself back up and firing on all cylinders. Remember, you want this and you are the one who needs to make it happen. Click here for some motivational tips.

More energy and more time

A really fun aspect of losing weight is the increased energy and vitality that comes with it, especially if you have incorporated regular exercise into your weight loss regime. Embrace this extra energy to get more out of life. People who are happy and confident and have hobbies are less likely to fall back into bad habits that can lead to putting weight back on. Use the momentum of your weight loss success to find ways to meet new people or develop a new interest, try a new sport or do some traveling. The world is your oyster!

None of these issues raised above should stop you from losing weight. And none of this is designed to make you think twice about pursuing your goal. Being prepared for the journey ahead gives you a greater chance of success. Remember you are in control of your own life. Losing weight is a wonderful gift to give yourself if you are overweight or obese. Embrace it whole heartedly and get yourself to your goal.


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