Warning: This article contains the words "fat", "obese", and "overweight". This article discusses people's experiences, both positive and negative, with losing weight. The views expressed in this article are those of the individual people and do not necessarily represent the views of Knowable.
For some people, losing weight is the key to happiness, success, love, romance, pregnancy... The list goes on and on. But is any of this true? Does losing weight actually have that big of an impact on your day-to-day life?
People on Reddit who have undergone a magnificent weight change were asked: "what was the most surprising/unexpected change after losing weight?" These are some of the most insightful answers.
This may be too far for people to read, but the thing I've most noticed is people got mean. I notice most people say that everyone treated them better, and I wonder if that's a result of most of them being dudes. I'm a lass and I now weigh 110lbs after losing 70, and I'm small framed so it was a noticeable 70.
Yeah, people got nicer and friendlier too! I definitely got hit on more. Being able to just buy clothes without worrying about the fit was great and sales people definitely got nicer. I gained a ton of confidence from it.
But friends, family and especially older women got snide about it. People would make fun of my diet; if I ate a salad I was anorexic, if I ate a Big Mac it was scoffs and 'man SOMEONE'S lucky'. If I go clothes shopping with any of my friends I get 'well you're basically a coat rack, you can pull off anything'. Boys think it's acceptable to pick me up because I am presumably so skinny I must be weightless. My own sister and mum, who WEIGH LESS than me are always commenting on how I need to eat more and am I sure I'm not sick. Everyone in my wife's family is overweight and is just constantly making comments about how I must judge them. Hell recently my wife and I started discussing pregnancy and her mum mentioned there's no way I could get pregnant because I must be malnourished and if I did I'd snap in half.
I actually feel uncomfortable in tight clothes and swimwear in public now for completely opposite reasons. People are constantly pointing out my lack of curves, or any joint bone that's visible. I've gotten more negative comments about my body now than I ever did when I was overweight.
Two things I didn't expect: better skin and hair.
My skin complexion cleaned up (I used to have these spots on my triceps and shoulders that disappeared) and my hair was healthier and not as limp.
I lost 140 lbs. The biggest surprise was finding it that I wasn't fat because I was lazy. I've been overweight for most of my life and it always felt like a moral failing- I was a lazy person so therefore I was fat.
Having lost the equivalent of a person, I now realize that being that fat makes you "lazy". It hurts to walk, to stand, to live- no wonder all I wanted to do was sit down or sleep! At the end of a day of work, I was exhausted! Imagine going through your life carrying around another person- it doesn't take much to wear a person out.
And it's a vicious circle- you don't want to move because it hurts and so you get fatter and fatter. It was only since I lost all this Weight that I realized that I'm not a "bad" person, not a "lazy" person. Being lazy didn't make me fat- I was lazy because I was fat.
I need a coat in the winter. I never knew what cold was. Live in New England, always wore jeans, no gloves, a baseball hat, and a hoody everywhere. Now it's like, double gloves, long underwear, a heavy jacket, ear muffs. SCARVES!!!
How much better I was treated. I was technically just on the border of overweight and obese. So, I was never debilitatingly overweight. But it was like I was suddenly on the Enterprise and doors were whooshing open for me before I even got to them.
I'm in the middle of my own diet; I started at 111 kg (245 lb) and am now down to 97 kg (214 lb). My current plan is to get down to 90 kg, and if I want to lose more after that, I will.
Now, I'm around 6'1", so I wasn't carrying that max weight too poorly. Nonetheless, I was definitely classified as obese. In fact, it's only just recently that my weight has dropped low enough to be considered only overweight, which is a great thing (also, I'm back down in the double digits of weight - in kg, silly Americans - for the first time in 2+ years).
Do you want to know what's changed already? I have more self esteem and self confidence. I don't get as tired just walking around the city. My food costs are way down because, y'know, dieting. When I first started, I got some resistance from people I know who asserted that whatever weight I had lost would come rushing back when my body adapted to the diet. If you're trying to diet and somebody says this to you, tell them to take their pants of and sit on a rusty metal cactus: it's pure "I-feel-bad-about-myself-so-you-must-too" crap.
And remember this: the hardest part of a diet is starting it. Once you're on it for a few days, it becomes so much easier to stick to it. Count those damn joules/calories, and use something to help you track them and the nutrients that go into your body. A year from now, you'll wish you started today.
Down 107lbs: 286-179. I gained a little over an inch in height. I was 6'0.5" out of high school but as I gained weight and was at my heaviest I was 5'11.75" at the doctors. Now I'm 6'1" even. Apparently my spine was compressed. Very nice to be extra tall and lean.
Lost 60 lbs for my wedding. Everyone is friendlier towards me at work, I have more energy, people on the train don't try to avoid me or stare at me, unless they are smiling and checking me out, and I found my confidence around women has skyrocketed. My clothes fit, I never worry about chaffing, I have to pull up my pants, I can fit into any seat, and above all, I can walk, run, climb, hike, etc miles and miles and not even break a sweat these days.
I blow past people on the sidewalks and get impatient with fat people now. I am one of "them" now. Whenever I see a fat person I want to tell them there's a better way! But I have to keep my mouth shut since, you know, that just be mean.
5'11" late 20s male, and I lost 30lbs (after weighing about 200lb). 70% of people tell me I look amazing and the rest tell me I am too skinny and I should see a doctor. Can't make everyone happy apparently -- however I feel great so that's all that matters.
For me, it was realising that being slim was not the only key to being happy. When you're fat, you think that all your problems will be gone when you will be slim. Guess what? Not.
Sure I'm more confident, but I learned that other issues in life will not just disappeared with the extra pounds.
One beer and I'm drunk.
I've lost 190lbs over about 3 years. 415-225. Still working on dropping a bit more.
Everything is better. I don't feel like crap all the time, I don't eat tums constantly, I actually eat a better variety and more interesting foods than I did when I was fat, obviously I do better with women, I actually feel a bit smarter. I no longer feel like I need to sleep 10 hours a day.
There's only two things that are annoying 1) having to buy all new clothes. Wearing clothes that fit right still feels a bit weird because I always wore loose fitting stuff when I was bigger. I also have no good style ideas. and 2) I actually feel the cold in the winter now.
Looking in a mirror in disgust later turns into checking yourself out after losing 80lbs. Checking yourself out gets hard to stop when you're not obese anymore.
That the weight loss (60lbs) did not really help my arthritis at all.
When I was first told I had early-onset, severe degenerative arthritis (at age 33), the doc at the time suggested I lose weight. I wasn't obese at that time, just slightly above average BMI. Fast forward eight years and my weight had skyrocketed to 235 (5'7" female here). Some of that was from taking steroids to help with the pain.
Between quitting steroids and a major diet change (low carb/high fat, it works fantastically and I can't exercise so I had to go strictly with diet changes) I lost the 60. My pain is as bad if not worse, and the degeneration just keeps coming.
The weird thing is when I'm carrying something heavy up the stairs, like 20-30lbs, and how much I struggle with that...and I try to imagine how I carried SIXTY extra pounds up those stairs everyday when it was fat on my body.
Still, losing weight is fantastic. 10/10 would do it again.
People started laughing at my jokes. It taught me how your appearance/status REALLY matters when it comes to people deciding how to react to what you say and do.
I gave up on trying to lose weight, and just started permanently changing my diet to lower my blood pressure. My clothes just started to get really baggy and I thought I just wore them out. I didn't realize I was losing weight until I was down probably 30 lbs.
I just got under 200 lbs for the first time since high school five weeks ago.
I knew the loose skin would happen. I knew people would treat me better. I knew that I would have more energy, and a better sex life...
But the thing that really changed? I'm happier. Even before I realized that pounds were coming off I started noticing that stuff that would have stressed me out beyond compare just didn't effect me. I can't really explain it, but on average I was just suddenly and constantly perky. I'm happy, and I feel more clean. I don't get gross sausage sweats from climbing up stairs, and I'm always smiling.
I just feel good.
I found bones and muscles I didn't know I had (didn't realize my ankle was a tiny bone, instead of this huge fleshy lump).
People talked about fat people around me without first giving me the mildly-apologetic 'I'm going to talk about your type' look, which was quite an eye-opener to hear what people would say when no 'fat people' were around.
Friends used to tell me 'You're not that fat! You look 140!' I was 260 lbs, but I had never been skinny so I had no reason not to believe them, just assuming normal women must have been 100-120 lbs maximum.
I can't even pick up how much weight I've lost and carry it around, I have no idea how I used to walk, but then I noticed I no longer sweat like a pig. I'd have to get to class 5-15 minutes early so I could wipe myself down in the bathroom with wet towels and hope that the shoulder and back stains from my backpack would dry up before anyone noticed. I no longer worry about hugging people; still not a hugger per-se, but it doesn't make me feel like Godzilla or some kind of sweaty hell-pig.
I was surprised by how much new body access I had, made sense that skinny women didn't have problems reaching anything to shave it, I just thought it was something everyone went to a salon for because who could ever reach it?
Everyone seems happier to see me, which is kind of annoying.
Went from 200+ to 129 over 10 years. I'm 5'8".
My shoe size changed; that one is still hard to wrap my head around. Yes, it's defintely colder than I'm used to now that I don't have my blubber coat. Also, seats hurt now that there's no butt cushioning.
It is quite nice to go into a store, see clothing you like, have it fit and look great. It's also nice to look in the mirror and be happy with your figure. People always said I wouldn't be happy just by being thin but it makes me feel so much better about myself; they couldn't be more wrong.
And wow do people treat you differently. It's like you're suddenly OK and in a secret "acceptable" club. I was honestly confused by it when it first started happening.
I lost 100 pounds. The most surprising thing to me was that I don't get mistaken for someone else any more. When you're 300+ pounds, all people see is the fat, so all fat people look alike.
Gay guys hitting on me because I was much skinnier. I was expecting more attention from the ladies, but getting it from the guys as well was a surprise.
I've lost a hundred lbs in the past year or so and and it now hurts to sit for very long. I asked my doctorist about this at one of my checkups and he told me that the loss of 'padding' is what causes the pain and that people who were not previously overweight have muscle groupings there that serve the same function.
So basically until I build this up through a bunch of butt exercises, there's less padding between the sharp knives of my pelvis.
In other words: I'm sitting on butt knives.
I've lost around 10 stone (140 lbs). One thing I've noticed is that people are generally more nice to me. When I'm queuing in a shop, people will stand nearer to me, rather than a couple of feet away as if I'm diseased. People smile at me as I walk by. It's sad as I'm still the same person as before.
I don't know if you'd call each one surprising on their own but in total they combined to a massive quality of life improvement.
I slept better, breathed better, my mood improved, my pain lessened. My knees stopped hurting, I could actually get up from sitting on the floor without rolling on my side and I could just stand, depression went away, anxiety went away, social phobias went away, muscle cramps in my upper back went away, I stopped wearing through the crotches and underarms of all my clothing in short order and lost the chafing that went along with that. I can now withstand bumps without bruising so much, small scratches and mosquito bites didn't bleed for forever, and I catch a cold once every few years instead of twice a year.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was the amount of pain I suddenly WASN'T in just from moving around. That's the best.
Some of this material has been edited for clarity.