What Losing a Few Pounds Did (and Didn't) Do For Me

Disclaimer: Before I get into this article, I feel I should note that I only had roughly 30 pounds to lose. I am currently only halfway to my goal, but in no way is this article an attempt to compare my weight loss journey to those of others who may have a much harder journey ahead of them.

People decide to lose weight for many reasons. Some chose to lose a few pounds to fit into that brand new outfit, others hit the gym for health reasons, and some just want to improve their overall fitness level. Whatever the reason may be, everyone seems to have a different trick up their sleeve to accomplish the same goal. However people accomplish losing weight, they all hope to gain something in the end. Here's what shedding a few pounds did and didn't do for me. 

What it Did Do

1. Improve My Overall Fitness Level

While attempting to lose weight, I consistently went to the gym five days a week, focusing both on cardio and full-body exercises. Reaching a new max on the leg press every other week, or being able to stay on the stair climber for an additional few minutes gave me an adrenaline rush. As the pounds started to shed off, I found that exercise no longer seemed like a chore, but became an integral part of my daily life. I went from taking the elevator to get to the second floor of Buckman to being eager to jump-start my morning and head to the gym!

2. Instilled Some Confidence

Losing weight requires a careful measure of your calories in versus calories out (excluding those with medical problems that may prevent them from losing weight). While eating in a caloric deficit, I had to constantly weigh my food and track my macronutrients to make sure I was still eating a healthy amount of food while yielding results. This required a lot of careful planning and willpower. Because of this, embarking on this journey instilled more confidence in myself to set goals and achieve them. 

 

What it Did NOT Do

1. Help My Social Life

Growing up, I had always been more of a loner. I mostly attributed this to being on the 'chubbier' side of my peers. However, losing a few pounds helped me to realize that no matter how much I lost or how much I attempted to change my appearance, I had to do it for myself and no one else. My lack of compatability with others was due to clashes in personality and not with the number on the scale (although it is easy to use this as a scapegoat). If you're looking to lose weight for a "revenge body" or for the approval of others, stop immediately. No group of people or individual is worth your health (or sanity).

2. Magically Turn Me Into a Clean Eater

Like I stated earlier, losing weight is a matter of calories in versus calories out. That being said, when I first started, I would eat crazy amounts of junk food so long as I fell underneath my allotted calories for the day. While doing this, I felt sluggish, tired, and struggled to get through my workouts. It was only when I switched to eating a balanced diet consisting of lean proteins, veggies, and whole grains did I begin to feel more energized and healthier!

Whatever your reason is for losing weight, make sure you're doing it in a safe manner. The CDC has an amazing guide for healthy and gradual weight loss on their website that was beneficial for me when first starting out. Healthy and steady weight loss takes time! The CDC reccommends losing no more than 1-2 lbs per week for the average person. If you or anyone you know begins to develop an unhealthy relationship with food and or weight loss, here is a list of various eating disorder hotlines that you can call to seek help.