Will getting "skinny" make me happy?

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Are skinny and happy synonymous? As someone who has been all over the scale, I can honestly say, no, they aren’t. Being skinny and being happy are not necessarily the same thing. I might even go as far as to say that they can be quite opposite. Truth be told; I had to work a lot harder at happiness at 150 lbs then I ever did at 230 lbs. Believe it or not, that’s actually the norm for many people.

I don’t want to suggest that losing weight isn’t beneficial, because it certainly can be, for many reasons. But today I want to focus on the often overlooked things that come along with significant weight loss. You know, the kind of weight loss, where people say “Oh my God, I didn’t even recognize you! or “Honey, you lost a whole person!” Losing 50, 80, 100 lbs, or even more, is a huge change that affects all aspects of life, and has the power to upset the balance of your life. Before you start on any kind of epic journey, you need to be sure you're ready!

First off, your relationships are going to change: partners, family, friends. The biggest change will probably be with your significant other. They may feel insecure, wondering if you’re suddenly ‘out of their league.' They might be a little more territorial, insecure and/or suspicious. On the other hand, it might be you that struggles in the relationship: it’s easy to feel isolated if you’re making better health choices, but your partner is still engaging in the bad habits that led to your weight gain in the first place. Hopefully friends will be proud of your accomplishments, but no-one is perfect…they may also feel jealous, comparing themselves to you. On top of that, as you change your lifestyle and your body, you might be harder on yourself, self-obsessed and/or emotional, or it may even be a combination of all of the above. These changes don’t mean that your relationships will fall apart, but they will add some new hurdles to your life, that people often don’t anticipate.

You may feel isolated, or become so focused on your weight loss that you start to feel like it defines you.  Everywhere you turn there will be comments about the weight you’ve lost, how great you look, and can you please, please share your secret. When this happens, it’s easy to start feeling like your weight is all you ever talk about and all anyone else cares about, rather than the person you actually are inside.

This next confession is usually a shocker, but is often true: as you lose weight, you may become even more self conscious than before. Seriously. It’s likely to happen, largely because of all the extra attention coming your way. When I was at my skinniest, I don’t even know how many times I would change my clothes before heading out, knowing that everyone will be looking, judging, and commenting.

In summary, while there are definitely multiple benefits to achieving a healthy weight, if you’re planning a significant weight loss, make sure you keep an eye on the big picture. And if you are struggling, know that you’re not alone, you’re not crazy, and everything will be ok. The journey is not as simple as just losing some weight and moving on with your life. It’s oh, so much more. ♥️