Ryan and I have both lost weight in the past couple of years. We are really happy with our progress, and definitely feel like it was the right choice to make. We in no way regret our choices. However, I have been a little bit surprised that there were a few downsides that we didn’t completely anticipate. If you’re planning to work on losing weight, here are a few things we’ve dealt with that you may want to be prepared for.
Many of these come back to talking about your weight loss. Once people notice that you have lost weight, it’s common to get asked how you’ve been doing it. We did not set out to talk to people about our food changes, but because the change was visible it was unavoidable unless we were willing to lie to people, which we weren’t. So if you go in thinking “I just won’t talk about my diet!”, know that will be hard to do once your weight loss if very obvious.
1. Comments about your diet or meal plan. Food is a really sensitive topic for MANY people. I believe that regardless of what path you chose, someone out there will try to tell you that they think you should eat differently because there isn’t a consensus about what the healthiest way to eat really is.
2. Comments at social events. We both primarily eat a low calorie meal plan. However, when we do go off the plan it’s often for the sake of social events. We don’t want to stand out by bringing a salad for ourselves to a child’s birthday party, for example. So we will eat pizza, cake, chips, whatever it available. Or at a BBQ we will have a burger with everyone else. However, if you do the same thing, there will be people in your life who primarily see you at social events, who will think you regularly are eating that way. It is not unusual to get comments like “I thought you counted calories? How many calories are in that piece of pizza?”
3. Comments about being too thin. I was just barely past the maximum “normal weight” for my height according to my BMI when I started trying to lose weight. Now I have a BMI of about 22, which is not considered underweight. I could lose 15+ pounds before my BMI would have me in the underweight category. However, I’ve had a few friends or family members start to pick on me for being too thin. or me this hasn’t hurt my feelings, but I have friends who get similar comments and are upset by it.
4. Changes in clothes. Once you change sizes, it can be expensive to replace your wardrobe. If you plan to lose quite a bit, you may have to buy new clothes multiple times if you aren’t willing to wear baggy/oversized clothing.
5. Entertaining is a bit harder. We buy low-calorie versions of many staples, such as 0 calorie butter spray instead of butter, and low-carb wraps instead of tortillas. We also buy turkey or chicken instead of red meat, low-fat versions of cheese, etc. My 14-year-old sister came over once when we were due to get groceries anyway, but she had a hard time finding a meal for herself because what we did have to choose from all involved some sort of “weird” ingredient. Since that happened, I have tried to at least keep peanut butter and jelly on hand for when kids come over and get hungry they can make toast or a sandwich at least.
Have you lost weight and experienced downsides? Share them in the comments below.