Losing weight can be one of the hardest but most rewarding tasks in life. Once you succeed, you feel like a totally new person, and in some cases you are.
Here, Reddit users who have successfully lost a lot of weight share the unintended side effects of weight loss that they never expected.
I was tired all the time at 215 lbs and doing anything worthwhile required more effort and willpower than it should have. There never seemed to be enough time in the day for sleep and no matter how long I did rest, waking up was a chore.
Now at 155lbs, I wake up on my own without an alarm ready to attack the day, no coffee required. I sleep better and it makes such a positive difference in my mood.
When people had no choice but to sit next to me in public transit, I always tried my best to squish and make myself as small as humanly possible as to not inconvenience them with my largeness as much as possible.
It took me a while before I got out of the habit of squishing as much of me as I could against the window of a bus or an airplane until I realized I didn’t have to do that anymore.
Before I would wear black baggy jeans and black sweatshirts to hide as much of myself as possible (even during the summer). It is so much nicer being able to choose clothes based on current styles and how they look rather than just how much of my body they can hide. I didn’t realize how nice and freeing it is to be able to wear a fitted T-shirt and shorts and in colours other than black during the summer! Whether its T-shirts or jackets or jeans or even baggy sweatshirts, everything looks so much better when your waist tapers down from your shoulders.
The mental “fat person” never goes away. I always think I’m bigger than I am. No amount of people saying how great I look seem to change what my brain thinks.
I look at other people and automatically think, “God, I wish I was that small!” then realize I am. It’s a weird feeling.
TurboVeggie & orfoxxsake
Eating in public is not humiliating anymore. There is such a sweet, sweet bliss to being able to eat fast food or at a buffet and not constantly telling myself that people are staring and judging my choices and thinking, “Look at that fatso eating that cheeseburger – you should try eating a salad sometime” etc…
When I was heavier, I tried my best to minimize physical contact whenever possible, not only because I didn’t want people to be able to feel how big I was, but also I didn’t feel comfortable with people touching me at all. I didn’t feel comfortable in the body I was in and people thinking it was okay to poke my belly definitely didn’t help.
After losing weight, a lot of that went away. I’m still ticklish but now that I’m a lot more comfortable with my body, I am much more comfortable with others touching me although girls hugging my waist from behind definitely took some getting used to.
The first time I tried to swim after losing about 30-40 pounds… I was surprised to discover I didn’t float any more! I just sank into the pool like a rock. It was terrifying.
I lost 80 pounds in 6 months went from having fertility issues (PCOS) to developing hyper fertility. Apparently my body started releasing too many eggs a month which would result in recurrent miscarriages. I never expected losing weight would cause an issue like that.
Girls are much more likely to start up conversations with me and female friends of mine are much more likely to engage in physical contact via hugs, piggyback rides, shoulder taps etc….
I’d start being told ‘oh one night won’t hurt, live a little!’
‘You’re losing too much, too fast! You’re just gonna end up putting it back on.’
‘Trying to impress the boys are we?’
‘Oh she can’t have that, SHES ON A DIET!’ When I was offered some birthday cake…
I didn’t realize that me losing weight would be such a problem for someone else!
Everyone should be confident regardless of their size but for me it took losing weight to get it back. There are so many more daily insecurities that you have to face when you are heavier than if you are not whether it is what to wear on a hot day, or even just facing people looking at you and worrying about what they are thinking.
It begins to become a thing and the shape of your face changes giving you the ability to still look good with a wider variety of hairstyles. It still amazes me day after day how different my face looks 60 pounds down, not only do I look more masculine/older, I look like a completely different person!
I lost fat in my ear canal so now my Eustachian tube stays open from time to time and there’s lots of autophony. It’s like being on an airplane, popping your ears, but it goes back to needing to pop a split second later. For hours on end.
It’s really annoying, especially when you can’t figure out how loud you’re talking because your voice is booming inside your own head. Not to mention listening to yourself breath for hours on end.
copper_boom & AlohaAkbar
If I don’t drink enough water on a given day I feel like death.Have no idea how I survived all those years barely drinking a glass or two a day.
I used to drink so little that I had leg cramps in my sleep due to dehydration, and I still almost never felt thirsty. Now I have to drink at least a half gallon throughout the day, or else I’ll feel like a raisin by the end of it.
mbasi & Bartisgod
Because of this I am a better father. I physically play with my kids instead of watching them after I dropped 40lbs.
I lost about 100lbs from a peak weight of about 325lbs. The biggest thing is the skin, it stays loose. I am much better off in that area than some people I have known, but it still can be frustrating at times.
I get fuller faster. Makes sense, you lose weight, your stomach shrinks, holds less food, therefore it takes less to make you full. A weird side effect of that is that stopping weight loss is sort of an issue for me now.
I hit my goal and suddenly I have to eat more in order to maintain weight. I’m not eating as much as I once did certainly, but actually upping my calorie intake after months of conditioning myself to eat less is hard. The result of which is, I weighed myself the other day and found I was 3kg down from what I’d intended. Not the worst thing in the world (and basically a free pass to eat more…), but it’s weird that post weight loss, that would be the hardest thing to balance.
People are always surprised when they find out that I only recently lost all this weight. They always assume that I’ve been relatively lean all my life.
Seeking medical care while overweight was a nightmare. I had to fight with every doctor to prove that any ailment I ever had wouldn’t just be magically solved by losing weight (sorry, dropping 100lbs did nothing for my eczema).
Seeking medical care at a normal weight, my concerns are instantly taken seriously and addressed in an appropriate manner.
People no longer treat me like I’m invisible. When I was heavier people generally avoided eye contact with me and would always try to avoid sitting next to be on public transit.
I grew up obese and would regularly skip periods for several months at a time. When my period did come, it was extremely painful with massive cramps and bloating. After I lost the first 25lbs my period started arriving like clockwork. I wasn’t used to it being so frequent so I had several accidents. But on the plus side it’s not as intense anymore and severe cramps are rare.
I used to comfortably lean against things (tables, walls, counters etc.) but the inch or so of fat that was covering my tailbone is gone. So now it just feels like I’m grinding my tailbone into a hard surface whenever I try.
Dropped from nearly 90 kg (199 lbs) to 65 kg (145 lbs) a few years ago. If you look significantly different in your biometric passport photo and how you look today, you tend to get stopped at airport security.
Though I usually get a “congrats” from the border guards when I explain that I lost a quarter of my body weight since the photo was taken.
Obsessing with what you eat when you workout. Beating yourself up when you screw up. I lost 56-ish pounds and some days I feel like Im back at 241. Sometimes I dont even believe the scale says 182lbs.
Some comments have been edited for clarity.