In 2010, when I'd lost about 100 pounds, I wrote a post about all of the non-scale victories I noticed since losing the weight. That remains one of my most popular posts, and people always tell me how much they can relate to the "before" side of me.
One hundred pounds is a LOT of weight to lose, and of course the changes were very noticeable from the 253-pound version of me. I got comfortable over these last few years of maintaining 100+ pounds lost, and had started to take a lot of those things for granted. When I gained nearly 30 pounds in 2014, I started to notice some of those things, because they were starting to reverse.
Yes, losing 100+ pounds made a world of difference in how I felt; but surprisingly, going from 160 to 123 has made quite the difference as well. While weighing 160 wasn't nearly as uncomfortable as weighing 253, I definitely didn't feel my best. I'd like to write some of the changes here, so that people who don't have a lot to lose can see that those last pounds really do make a big difference. And, in my opinion, it's worth putting in the effort to do it!
When I was at 160 pounds, I tried to convince myself that losing the extra weight was just cosmetic--according to my medical numbers, I was very healthy! I even wrote a blog post when I discovered I was a size 10, and I convinced myself to embrace the new size. But having lost that extra weight now, I realize that it wasn't just cosmetic. There are a lot of things that improved, and have made life a little easier.
When going from 160 to 133 (and then 123)...
*My running pace improved significantly, even without training. At 160, I was injured, and I stopped running altogether for 6 weeks in August to heal the injury. The next time I ran, I was 14 pounds lighter, and my pace was actually faster than it was before I stopped running. In August of 2015, my pace was 11:00+ minutes per mile; in October 2015, after taking 6 weeks off, my pace was under 10:00 per mile. That was solely due to the weight loss, because I hadn't run at all during those 6 weeks. And just recently, I actually PR'ed my 5K, running a 7:57 pace!
|August 2015 vs. February 2016|
*My clothes started to feel much more comfortable almost immediately. At 160 pounds, I was wearing size 10 (or 8 on a good day). Within a couple of months, I was back in my looser pairs of size 4's, and then when I got to 133, I was able to wear ALL of my jeans again. These last 10 pounds (going from 133 to 123), I've actually dropped another size, and I had to go buy several pairs of size 2 jeans!
|Size 10 (Sept 2014) vs size 2 (Feb 2016)|
*I became much more satisfied with smaller portions of food and drinks. When I was binge eating during 2014 and 2015, and consequently heavier, I never felt satisfied. I felt like I could eat endless amounts of food. But losing these last 30-something pounds has made me get used to smaller portions. I never thought I'd see the day where I only wanted two slices of pizza, but here it is. A third slice would make me feel overly full.
*Likewise, I've become a bit of a lightweight when it comes to alcohol. At 160 pounds, I was able to have several drinks with barely a buzz; but at 123, I feel plenty happy with just one glass of wine. If I'm feeling really crazy, I'll have two ;)
*I have a lot more energy now. I didn't realize it when I was gaining weight, but I started to feel more lethargic and get lazier. I wanted to sit more and move less. Getting back down to a healthy weight has given me motivation to move more. I start to get antsy if I sit too long.
*I have chronic back pain due to arthritis and a couple of bone spurs on my vertebrae, and the weight gain exasperated it greatly. I remember going to the county fair with my family in early August, and we had to leave earlier than we would have liked because my back hurt so badly. Losing the weight didn't eliminate the pain entirely, but it has gotten much more bearable. Some days, I don't even notice it, which is saying a lot! I can actually comfortably sleep on my stomach again; before, my back hurt too much to do that.
*My confidence has soared since losing the extra weight I'd picked up. When I had gained a noticeable amount of weight, I always dreaded running into people I knew, and I hated having my picture taken. People talk about these kinds of things, and considering my weight loss had been so public, I knew people would speculate about what had happened to make me "fall of the wagon". Getting back down to goal weight (and below) has made me feel so much better about myself. I don't dread seeing people or having pictures taken.
*Since my body fat is at an all-time low right now (under 19%!), I'm noticing things about my body that I've never seen before. I can see muscle definition, particularly in my arms, thighs, and even my lower abdomen. I've never had the desire to look muscular, but being able to see the muscle means that there isn't much fat blocking the view ;)
*I don't feel like a "phony" anymore, particularly with the From Fat to Finish Line documentary being released very soon. In the film, I was at my goal weight; and since then, I was dreading the release of the film because I was 27 pounds OVER my goal. I felt, for lack of a better word, like a phony. Now, having lost the extra weight and actually being under my goal weight, I feel proud for the film's release. I'm obviously not trying to hide the fact that I had gained weight, but if people check up on me to see if I've kept the weight off, I am glad to show that I am under my goal.
*When I was noticeably over my goal weight, and received some hurtful comments on my blog about it, I became very self-conscious. I constantly felt so much pressure to lose the weight, but I was having such a hard time actually doing it. The stress and anxiety was a big binge trigger for me, and I felt better when I was eating (only to beat myself up for it later).
For a year or so, I spent SO MUCH TIME thinking about my weight and feeling like I'd let everyone down. I feel like I missed out on a whole year of my life because of stressing over my weight! I wish I hadn't had that reaction, but the fact is, I did. I can't even describe how much better I feel now that I don't have that hanging over my head. I wrote a post called "Get it over with", which explains all of this in detail, and now I have gotten it over with. This new headspace was completely worth dropping the extra weight I'd picked up.
It's kind of amazing how much difference these last 20-30 pounds have made. Obviously, I hope that this is the last time I'll have to lose it; but in some crazy way, the extra pounds made it kind of nice to be reminded of what extra weight does to my mental and physical well-being. I think these last 10 pounds were probably cosmetic, but going from 160 to my goal of 133 made a world of difference! I hope I don't need reminding again ;)