Ten pounds ago, I was told that I looked good and that I shouldn’t lose any more weight. I was still considered “Over-weight” on the BMI scale at this time. Today, I was told that I looked good and that I shouldn’t lose anymore. I am barely “Normal” on the BMI, today. Definitely on the high-end of “normal”. I wonder why people say, “don’t lose anymore”. Especially when a person is not at ALL in serious risk of being considered underweight. Is it said in light of how much the person weighed before, that now they almost look too thin? Or does it come from a true concern for the person’s health/well-being? Besides comments like, “don’t lose anymore”, I also have heard that “I’m fading away to nothing” and been called “skinny”. These comments perplex me. I believe what they are meaning to say is that they recognize my weight loss accomplishments. I have a hard time identifying with “skinny”.
Historically, this is the stage where my weight loss becomes challenging. I have struggled with weight for years. I have gained and lost weight before. Keeping it off has been the difficult part. One of the challenges for me in maintaining my weight has been psychological. I am royally confused when people go out of their way to say that I’m “skinny”. New comments/labels given re: weight loss can challenge a person’s previous identity.
In addition to the things people say, I feel uncomfortable in my new skin. I’m not used to looking in the mirror and seeing my face looking much smaller. (This next point isn’t meant to be braggy at all… ’cause believe me I don’t think that I’m all that). After loosing a bunch of weight, I started to notice men noticing me more often. This may be an ego boost for some, yet, it can have the opposite effect for me. Being noticed more makes me want to hide…under my previous weight.
I am glad to have reached my weight loss goal as health was my ultimate destination. Now that I’m here, I have to face new challenges to weight loss such as: being told I’m skinny and need not lose any more (when I still healthily could), getting used to how I look now, and feeling more visible. I believe that the psychological challenges with weight loss are very real and need to be examined for any chance of keeping the weight off. Here’s to self-awareness and finding a way to feel comfortable in my new skin.