Over the past four years, I have lost 168 pounds and change. Yes, I feel better, have more energy, look better, and enjoy my grandchildren more. However there are a few drawbacks that never occurred to me before hand.
Skin. Losing weight, even as slowly as I have, leaves a lot of saggy, ugly, rumply skin. Bat wings for upper arms, skin that sags down from thighs to knees, and it just keeps on going long after I stop moving. Totally gross, totally embarrassing. And wrinkles are much more prominent too. I always had a smooth face, now I have wrinkles that I never had before. The upside is I look a lot thinner, the down side is learning a whole new way to apply makeup – when I bother that is.
Clothes. For years, like most fat women, I tried to hide my weight in baggy clothes, ugly dresses, and lots of jeans and t-shirts. Underwear was pretty much limited to grannie panties, and because I am rather well endowed up top, very boring super strong support white bras. Now, I nearly have a panic attack when I go into a store to buy clothes. I have gone from a size 28-30 in Women’s (that means fat lady clothes in girl code) to a size 14-16. But because I still have the well endowed parts to contend with, I get a larger size top. I don’t like tight clothing, it generally shows every lump and bump, cellulite, and muffin top on a fat lady. But, I find if I get looser clothes, they fall off me, which can be horribly humiliating if it happens in public. Oh, and shoes. Did you know that when you lose a lot of weight your shoe size gets smaller? Neither did I, but I have had to replace a large portion of my shoes lately. I’ve gone from a 8.5 Wide to a size 7 average. How freaky is that?
Temperature. I have long passed menopause, but temperature change really causes me issues. If it is cold, I freeze when the same temperature in my fat lady stage didn’t bother me at all, because I was always too warm. I forget about that and pay for it by shivering constantly. Wind also has an effect on me. I used to relish the cool wind, not so much now. Besides, I actually got pushed hard enough to almost fall the other day. I am so used to being sturdy enough to stand up to anything up to about 40 miles an hour winds. Now I just feel cold and like a wimp. Heat still makes me miserable. I hate hot and humid climates, but I don’t get miserable as fast as I used to, and can actually stand hotter weather than before.
Hair. I have always had rather thin hair. Now, because I am healthier, stronger, and I actually take my meds and vitamins every day, my hair is thicker. So I have had to learn to change my whole regime while washing my hair. It is hard to break a habit of over 30 years. I keep heading for my old shampoo and conditioner when I simply do not need that brand any longer. It is, well, annoying to have a routine totally changed.
Food. I didn’t have surgery to lose weight. I became very, very ill. Even the doctors didn’t think I would pull through. Fooled them. Wasn’t my time yet. Anyway, I used to crave sweets, sodas, carbohydrates, and fatty foods. I could eat a full meal at any restaurant in America. I was always hungry, and I used food as my drug of choice to cope with life. Now, food – eh – whatever. I don’t often eat every day, and I rarely have more than one meal a day. I make it a policy to eat only half of what is on my plate when we go out to dinner. Because half of a serving is a bit more than a serving for one person should be. The standard meal is FAR too much. At least it is using American sized servings.
Attitude and Mood Swings. I have never been so easily angered as I am now. Part of that is hormonal because everything is still out of whack. But a lot of it has to do with my attitude. While I have never been one to be a door mat, I would often allow my feelings about being fat make me want to stay in the background and unnoticed. Today, I am pretty much one of those old ladies who says what she thinks and devil take the hindmost. Whereas, I used to stay quiet, I am now more than willing to debate and do verbal battle with those who oppose my stance on everything from politics to dealing with bratty kids. So, on one hand, I am dealing with moodiness, and on the other I am dealing with trying to shut the hell up and stay out of trouble. Not doing too well on either issue.
The up side to weight loss is better health, the downside is that my entire lifestyle had to change and catch up with my body changes. I sometimes don’t recognize myself in the mirror. I sometimes think that I am fooling no one, and the fat lady still resides in my mirror and every one knows it but me. I sometimes feel overwhelmed with the way everything changed and continues to change as I keep losing weight.
I guess, because I can spot a phony a mile away, and because I don’t suffer fools gladly, that I tend to step back from every compliment. Like most fat ladies, people would compliment me on my eyes, color of my clothes, hair, but never say I was pretty. Now, folks do say I am pretty, but the fat lady hasn’t sung and exited stage right just yet. I really wish she would shut the hell up so I can get on with who I am becoming. Hateful cow.