I have a confession.
It is a confession that keeps me up at night, wondering what people may think of me. It is one that I choose to keep to myself, because I am deathly afraid of what people may think. It is one that has taught me many, many things. Some of those, I would've never known.
Here it is: I used to be the "fat girl".
As much as I wish it would disappear from my life as fast as an ex-boyfriend, it never leaves. For some reason, it will always be a part of me. Honestly, that is the part I hate the most.
Here are a a few hard truths that I learned once I dropped 50 pounds.
1. Literally no one really cares about your size
I'll be honest. Before I lost weight, I thought everyone was looking at me. I believed they were always watching me, seeing what I ate and how often. I spent too much time caring. I somehow made myself think that others had too much time on their hands and they could care about me. But really, I know that literally no one cares about your size. So, if you're thinking about losing weight because you're afraid of what others say, don't.
Like everyone else, we are always so caught up in our own minds. We are a machine full of too many emotions and a mind that seems to always think about ourselves. Turns out, everyone else is the same way.
We are all too busy worrying about ourselves to even judge anyone.
2. Losing weight doesn't feel or look pretty
Before I lost weight, I had always believed that being "skinny" would make me "pretty". Or, at least in society's eyes. However, my opinion began to shift once those pounds began dropping. My clothes swallowed my body, making my stomach look droopy and my legs look like huge inch worms that never stretched out. You see, losing weight is a process. One that isn't pretty, as t.v. likes to notate.
On top of that, you will probably lose a ton of hair. I remember getting out of the shower one night, the mirror streaked by stream. I remember picking up a bush, wiping the mirror and noticing that my hair was falling out by the handfuls. I was scared. Over time, my once thick, long hair became thin and stringy. Which didn't help my confidence in any way.
Who knew that getting dressed would become an emotional roller coaster? Who knew that staring into the mirror, staring my my imperfections would become my favorite self deprecating past time? To this day, I still don't see a "skinny" person.
3. Losing weight isn't a magic trick
Throughout high school, I always thought that the "skinny" girls were the happiest. They always had the boyfriends and secrete admirers and friends. They laughed. They loved life. Or, so I thought.
"When I am skinny," I thought. "I will be happy".
To this day, I still don't know why I thought that.
You see, those girls that were "skinny and happy" probably had grown to love life through trials and tough love. The fact that they were smaller than I was probably had nothing to do with their smile.
So, when I lost the weight, you can see why I was confused. I didn't wake up magically happy. I didn't gain a boyfriend. I was still Hannah.
Turns out, I make my own happiness, not bones or chubby bellies.
4. It is so easy to fall into unhealthy habits
I ate 700 calories a day for about a year. No lie, this isn't healthy. But I was so obsessed with the idea of being "skinny".
Whenever I went out and saw someone I hadn't seen since the weight loss, I was addicted to their compliments. They would say, "oh Hannah! You look so skinny. How'd you do it?" I would simply tell them that I was counting calories and say nothing else. I was embarrassed to spill the details, but I loved the compliments too much to stop.
I knew that I needed to watch my weight and make sure I didn't gain any. I thought they were watching and waiting for me to relapse. I couldn't even stand the thought. So, I dieted harder.
Today, I rarely fall into those unhealthy habits. But, without a doubt, it is so easy to become too obsessed.
And no one tells you that.
I remember this specific day so clearly. It was one day after I had managed to summon up up enough (fake) confidence to post a "before" picture on my Facebook.
One of my new friends stopped me that next day, looking me in the eyes. I knew they had something to say, but the millisecond wait made me nervous.
There was something in her eyes that caught me off guard. It was a cocktail of confusion and admirment. "I would've never guessed," she simply stated.
I was confused. I remember giving her a look that said "what the heck are you talking about??"
Then, she answered my look, "your picture on Facebook. Your weight loss. I would've never guessed".
I stopped. "Really?"
And this was the moment that I realized that the weight will always be a part of me. Sometimes, it isn't that bad. It can teach me things. It gives me a story to tell others.
So, friend. Please take care of yourself. Your body deserves all the best.
love, the former fat girl