April 30, 2023

Weight Loss: A "100 Things" Update

One of the most popular posts on my blog is a list of 100 things that changed when I lost 100 pounds. I wrote it waaaay back in 2010, before I even started Runs for Cookies. I was 28 years old and very naïve. I worried too much about what people thought of me, I cared too much about my appearance, and I was too much of a perfectionist about my diet.

I cringe when I read it now. It's tempting to change some of it (especially when I saw I used the now-politically-incorrect term "Indian-style" when referring to sitting cross-legged) but like I said--I was naïve. I'm sure in another 13 years, I'm going to look at this post and cringe just as hard.

We live, we learn, and we cringe. That's life.

Age 28 vs. 41. There are a million differences in these photos, which will probably become clear after reading this post. Some visible, some not.

Anyway, I laughed at a lot of the things on my list because they are just so NOT important. And things have changed so much since then! Here is a revised (light-hearted) list, 13 years later...

Then: "I used to feel ashamed buying candy and junk food. [After losing the weight], I feel just as entitled as everyone else to buy junk food." 

Now: I make most of my food choices based on reasons other than weight loss. Namely, vegan food (for ethical reasons) and nutritious food (for health reasons). And Ben & Jerry's non-dairy P.B. & Cookies ice cream (for mental health).

Then: "[After losing the weight], I eat my daily dessert whenever I feel like having something sweet."

Now: I've finally gotten a grasp on the purpose of avoiding sugar. I never used to worry about it because it didn't make a difference in my weight loss, as long as I was counting calories. I've since discovered that sugar makes me crave more sugar. I don't think there is anything wrong with having dessert, but I know that if I choose to eat dessert, I'm going to crave sweets like crazy until I give in--over and over. And this reason alone has stopped me from eating sweets numerous times. I just don't want to deal with cravings and the argument in my head about whether I should eat something or not.

Then: "I went from a size 24 to a size 8 in 10 months."

Now: I don't care one bit about the size on the label of my clothes. I used to want the smallest number possible, whether it looked okay or not. Now, I have clothes in multiple sizes and I don't even think about what size they are when I'm choosing what to wear. I pick my clothes based on comfort, because who am I trying to impress? And does anyone care AT ALL about the number on my clothes? I think not.

Then: Even after losing the weight, I was too embarrassed to post "fat photos" of myself--unless it was a before and after comparison.

Now: I stopped cringing at old fat photos of me. I've even posted them on my blog several times without scrutinizing my body, looking for all of the flaws. Yes, I used to look like that. So what? I am SO glad that I have those photos from back then. I actually wish I had more--there were a lot of photos I deleted after I saw how fat I looked or I avoided the camera completely. And now I don't have photos of some great family memories because of my insecurities. I don't avoid the camera and I don't try to fool myself--I can see when I've gained weight and I still post pictures anyway. I look how I look--take it or leave it.

This was in 2009. I wore this scarf to hide my huge double chin, hahaha.

Then: [After losing the weight] "I only sweat when I exercise!"

Now: I'm not embarrassed to sweat. This sounds kind of silly, but when I was 253 pounds, I was SO embarrassed if I was sweating for any reason at all (because, you know, skinny people don't sweat). When I lost the weight, I was happy that I didn't really sweat unless I was exercising. It was like I thought sweating was shameful. That's ridiculous! Last night, I was sweating just because two of the cats were on my lap and their bodies are like a warming blanket. I have no problem announcing that I'm sweating like a beast for whatever the reason may be.

Then: [Before losing the weight] "I used to wake up sore and achy from the added stress that the weight put on my body. Now I wake up feeling refreshed!"

Now: I wake up sore and achy from being old. HAHAHA

Then: [After losing the weight] "I can wear cute underwear and sexy lingerie now!"

Now: I am right back to wearing granny panties most of the time because hey--they're comfortable! I don't care if panty lines are visible through my stretchy black pants.

Then: I avoided restaurant food because it's so high in calories.

Now: I avoid restaurant food because it's expensive and because home-cooked food just tastes a million times better.

Then: [After losing the weight] "I feel feminine for the first time in my life! Being overweight made me feel like a sexless blob. Now I have the desire to style my hair, wear make-up, and wear cute clothes."

Now: BAHAHA--now, I enjoy doing "handyman" stuff and woodworking. I don't bother painting my nails because it's going to get chipped the second I touch my tools. I usually sweat while working on projects, so I don't bother with my hair or make-up, either. A messy bun, jeans, and a hoodie are pretty much my uniform.

Then: "I even wear cute pajamas now! No more of my husband's t-shirts."

Now: I love wearing Jerry's t-shirts because they're super worn in and comfy.

Then: "Before losing weight, I used to get excited about events like weddings and parties because of the food. [After losing the weight] I enjoy going out so I can socialize."

Now: A typical Saturday night is wearing my pajamas, reading a book or watching a show, and being in bed by 9:00.

Then: [After losing the weight] "My alcohol tolerance is much lower--one to two drinks is my limit before I feel like it's too much."

Now: Well, my tolerance went up quite a bit since then--so much so that I knew it was a problem and I needed to quit drinking altogether. I've been sober since February 2021.

Then: "I used to have a hard time stating my weight because I was so used to saying 'two hundred something pounds'--it took a while to get used to saying 'one hundred something'."

Now: I can pretty much just laugh and say, "Well, am I stressed, overwhelmed, depressed, or hypomanic?" Take your pick!

Then: "My treadmill is no longer a dust collector."

Now: My treadmill is probably the dustiest thing in my house... when I don't have things stored on top of it.

Then: "I've gotten more adventurous since losing the weight. Trying new things, going out more, meeting new people."

Now: Aww, how cute! Now, I like routine and I'm a homebody. And nothing gives me anxiety sweats like meeting new people.

The takeaway here is that I had healthy and unhealthy habits back then, and I have healthy and unhealthy habits now. My priorities are just different and I care far less about what people think of me (especially about how I look). No, I don't aim to look like a slob--I just choose comfort and practicality above all. It has finally sunk in that nobody cares what my weight is, how much or how fast I run, what clothes I wear, or what food I eat. (Well, unless I'm eating too many grapes... God forbid!)

Now, if only I could get on board with "age is just a number". I'm not happy about aging! I need to work on that mentality ;)

[And if you're unsure of what I meant by the million differences in my comparison photos, here it is again: hair (highlights and styled), make-up, nail polish (fingers AND toes!), jewelry, and cute clothes. Heading to a party versus staying at home. Caring how I looked versus caring how comfortable I was. The big similarity is that I was happy in both of these photos.]

I was heading to a Twilight party (a "wedding" in honor of the Breaking Dawn book), which is why the red and black.


  1. I love this post. The biggest thing I wish I could have given my 20 year old self is the confidence I have in myself at 42. I genuinely love myself flaws and all. As you’ve said most people aren’t going around judging the clothes people wear or what they do, and if I meet someone like that then I’m not going to be seeking their friendship.

  2. I so agree, with you both. I am older than both of you, and I didn't really start understanding and loving myself until after I hit 40. I've only started to actually, sustainably lose weight in the last few years, and it's just because I'm enjoying the feeling of moving my body, which I won't be able to do if I don't keep moving it. I do wish sometimes I could go back and help her understand she is lovely the way she is, it just feels good to move.

  3. I love this post! I think it's so important to look back on yourself and reflect! I'm with you on the aging thing though haha. It is SO hard for me to get past my age number. Every year it feels worse. I just wish time would slow down a little!

  4. Oh how I adore this post! So much truth here. Thank you always for your honesty. It resonates so much.

  5. Thank you for this post! Things I was so worried about in my 20s, aren't even on my radar in my mid-50s. But some days it seems I've swapped those out for different thoughts that also don't benefit me. A lifelong learning challenge I suppose.


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