"I slimmed way down last year just before moving to a new city, so almost immediately I was surrounded by people who never knew I had been as large as I used to be.
Wow, TOTALLY new world. I half-expected the additional attention from men, but I think what surprised me more was actually the way women treated me. Suddenly, the women who wanted to be friends with me were usually very 'conventionally attractive' themselves. People also started justifying what they ate around me. I'd be eating a salad or something and another woman would say, 'ugh, I feel so bad about eating this (burger, pizza, whatever).' It was weird to realize people assumed I would be judging what they were eating.
Also, this is a small thing (and ridiculous), but the amount of 'likes' my Facebook posts got skyrocketed. I went from getting maybe three likes per post to around 45-75 every time I post a photo I'm in.
Plenty of other stuff changed too, but that's the short answer."
"The compliments from family & friends are wonderful. Strangers really see me now. I felt absolutely invisible before but now most people are warm, inviting, kind.
Some people that used to look so tiny to me now look just average sized. That was a fantastic realization to have.
Everything was daunting in the beginning. I neglected myself in so many ways that nothing felt achievable. Why pay for a decent haircut if I can't even look in the mirror? Now I check myself out a lot, just to make sure I'm still smaller. I actually have grooming & styling routines when before I'd leave the house with wet hair & no makeup.
My twin sister was much lighter than me for years. I was ashamed to eat donuts around her when she knew I was desperate to lose weight. It's weird being on the other side of that. Now people get sheepish with me & I want to tell them that I do not care or judge anyone the way I judged myself.
I'm so proud of myself but it feels like a narcissistic endeavor too. I want to feel good about it & I do but it's strange going from paying no attention to your body to working so hard at shaping it.
It was absolutely the best thing I've ever done that was just for me."
"Other than the constant have you lost weight questions, I've found that I can now go shopping for clothes that I think look good instead of clothes that I hope will actually fit me.
Pain. I didn't realize how many minor joint pains I had all over my body when I was bigger but I know now that a lot of what I thought was just normal pains were actually pain caused by the excess weight.
Knowing I'm not always the biggest person in the room now is nice.
I'm a guy so there have been certain... umm, increases in some areas as the weight loss has occurred, no complaints there!
Social anxiety, you'd think weight loss would = less social anxiety but in some cases, likely as I'm still adapting it's actually increased my social anxiety as I used to be able to say it was because I was self-conscious that I was socially anxious, I don't have that excuse anymore.
Roller coasters. 10 years ago I went to a theme park when I was at my biggest (around 350). I had to do the walk of shame on a few roller coasters when they couldn't get the safety bars down, having 200 people in line stare at you as you walk off is NOT a good time!. This summer I went to a theme park and rode ALL the roller coasters, it was awesome!!
Loose skin, there's a fair bit though it's not completely horrible, I expect there to be more as I get closer to my goal weight, some of it will stretch back up but I know I'll always have a wrinkly stomach are and flappy arms, price I must pay for 23 years of bad eating habits.
The constant battle of keeping the weight off and getting to my goal I've been able to lose the weight because I was ready after having tried since I was a teen. I know I'll be able to reach my goal and won't fall back to where I started because I'm ready to lose the weight, I can't explain what ready means, you just know when you are. Even when I reach my goal I'll have to keep an eye out on what I eat for the rest of my life, I have a bad metabolism and I'm getting older so weight loss will just get harder."
"I'm going to be the minority here and say my loss has been worse for me in the long run.
Collectively as a family, my mom, dad, brother, and I have lost close to 600 pounds between us. We all used to be big but happy and could bond over the occasional Chik-Fil-A visits.
But now? No. My brother turned out fine, he's doing great and is living with his girlfriend 800 miles away. He's fine, the least problematic.
My dad just likes the routine. He gets up at 4 AM to run, bikes after work, and generally, keeps to himself about his weight loss. I'm fine with him too.
My mom (our biggest loser) went a whole different direction. She actually got super fit. I was happy for her at first, but then she got crazy. Four exercise classes a day. Swapping all the food (even my secret junk food stash!) for almonds. Counting calories for everything (never failing to tell me how many calories I'm eating), and boasting about how little she eats. Her two default topics are now yoga poses she likes and exercise tips.
I'm the littlest loser. I didn't do it for actual loss (I was healthy, to begin with), I did it because I was living in Mexico by myself and did it to establish a routine, get a little better at exercising. I've had an eating disorder, and it's been a long battle to convince myself to enjoy eating and not be concerned about body image.
Mom went nuts when she saw me. 'You're so thin now! Oh my gosh! It's so great!' And she keeps inviting me to her numerous exercise classes. I kept denying her because I want this to be my achievement. Her friends keep joking that I'm following in my mom's footsteps on the way to 'true' health. I wasn't actively trying to lose.
She became more hostile. Snapping at me over tiny things, yelling at me that I'm eating too much. Because of my previous struggles with my weight, this is both horribly insulting and depressing. I was so happy to be getting in shape for me, as my own thing.
She just snapped the other day and yelled 'You're just jealous of my weight loss! You are jealous that I can wear your clothes!'
I'm not jealous, I'm sad. My mom seems happy with her weight loss, but so self-conscious that even looking at her wrong can make her defensive. I feel like the parent now, because I have to remind her to eat more. Honestly, I worry she'll develop a disorder like I did.
I miss our occasional Chik-Fil-A trips. I miss having ways to bond with my mom that don't involve a yoga mat or kale chips. I liked our family better before. I should have stayed in Mexico."
"I have pretty disordered eating from extreme restriction to binging since I was 13, so I've been both under (My lightest 58kgs at 17) and over weight (heaviest 85kg, my weight right now). I've fluctuated between both extremes. For reference, I'm 5'7 and a woman.
The most dramatic difference has obviously been my self-image and how people treat me.
Funnily enough, at my lightest, I hated my body the most and often was unable to go outside because I was so ashamed of people seeing me. I felt huge and was obsessed with losing more. I was constantly seeking reassurance about my body and I was kinda promiscuous.
Heaviest? I still worry about my body, but it doesn't consume my life, I actually go outside and do things! I feel so out of control with my eating though, and can get hit with waves of shame sometimes. I find it very hard to eat or buy food in public, I'm anxious that someone would see me and snicker because, 'Haha look at the big girl eating, haha those people are so gross!!!!' Also, I haven't been intimate with anyone in 8 months, not because people don't want to but I don't want to at this weight, so there's that.
I honestly can't decide which is better. I'm working towards a middle ground to balance mental health and physical health, but it's bloody difficult.
Other people were so nice to me when I was at my smallest! A lot of people complimented my weight loss, they didn't mention (or care?) that I was obviously starving myself. People generally looked at me more, I was hit on far more often, it was easier to hook up at parties etc.
Now? It's not like people are outwardly mean but I obviously have less value to others. Way less attention, harder to hook up, constant fear of catfishing people (or even seeing people I haven't for a while). I kinda feel like I fulfill the big girl stereotype now (think Rebel Wilson), instead of screwed up party girl I was considered before (uh, Courtney Love?).
Despite my weight, I'm pretty rad (although obviously, I have an eating disorder). It sucks that people perceive me differently based on the size of my thighs. It sucks that my self-worth is connected to my body."
"I am 6'3 and I went from about 300+ to 211 at my lightest.
-I look forward to working out and have a lot more energy
-A lot more aggressive romantic interest from both males and females.
-When I eat bad food in public or just eat way too much I do not feel as judged.
-Orthorexia is a problem. I battle episodes of depression that occur when I eat poorly and put way too much thought into my diet and calorie counting. I do not use My Fitness Pal any longer due to people voicing their concerns over my obsessive use. I still have poor self-control/portion control when it comes to food so that makes things harder as well.
The biggest for me was that although I have always gotten along well with women, the dynamic shifted significantly once I lost weight. When I was very heavy, there was a mutual acceptance of the friend zone between myself and my female cohorts. Both parties knew and accepted that nothing romantic would ever happen between us. This lead to me getting away with a lot of inappropriate behavior that falls under 'gay best friend' territory, such as a lot of touching (i.e. hugs, etc.) that might be uncomfortable if there was any perception of other intent. I lost the weight at college, so when I came back to the same summer job the next year with the same females, the dynamic all of a sudden changed. The mutual acceptance of the friend zone disappeared as both parties realized that the potential for attraction to develop was actually there. I also went from looking very young and harmless with a big goofy round face and soft body to having a very large and very hard body which greatly increased my intimidation factor. All of that put together made for a couple of months of awkward encounters until I could figure out how to interact with women again socially."
"For the record, I am still not small, though I am soft in a nice way and not what most people would actually consider big.
However, I have noticed people do treat me differently.
My family is the biggest place I noticed it. My grandparents and aunts and uncles used to make comments about what I would eat and would give me an allowance if I lost weight that they were satisfied with. It was demeaning. I have cousins that are all very thin and even though I have never been like crazy large, I was always bigger than them and was treated differently because no one was intelligent enough to realize that just because I wasn't rail-thin, didn't mean I wasn't still a human being.
Another place I noticed it was with dating.
As I have lost weight, I have had access to better clothing options and as such am more visually appealing. I started doing my makeup because I felt better about myself. I am sure the actual weight loss helped, but the boosts that losing some weight gave me, allowed me the strength to improve in other areas, and it's paid off. I've had many sexual partners and short relationships, and have been in a serious and committed relationship for nearly two years now.
Another place I noticed it was shocking in a bad way, was with 'Body positive' communities. Those type of communities on the internet gave me a lot of hate for losing weight. Communities I had friends in that had once supported me, treated me like a traitor to their cause for wanting to improve myself for myself. They were offended that I would dare to lose weight to conform when that wasn't the case at all. I was high risk for diabetes and would prefer to do what I can to avoid that. I found a lot of hostility in those communities and felt like I was not allowed to talk about my weight loss online because people would get upset with me and bring me down and accuse me of trying to make other people feel bad. It was horrific and I could never condone that behavior at all. I no longer have support from many people I considered friends because I have chosen to alter my appearance and health for factors that are personal to me.
I guess as an average-sized person, most people just treat you better. You don't get rude comments or dehumanizing treatment. Once I went to Victoria's Secret when I was still heavy, they were all over my skinny cousin helping her and fitting her and wouldn't even speak to me. It was humiliating. That doesn't happen anymore. It's nice."
"I fluctuated a lot in size for a while.
When I was in high school I lost about half my body weight and dang did people treat me differently. Girls were more friendly, the jocks were approaching me etc, and whenever I went into town I would have girls latching themselves onto me.
Beforehand, literally, none of this happened. I still had friends who were girls, but the 'popular' ones never talked to me if they didn't need to.
After being this way for a few years, several life events happened all at once that just crippled me (bad leg injury meaning I could hardly walk, exams/work and my best friend passing away) and I slowly stopped exercising and started eating poorly again (I mean like 3500 - 4000 calories a day and I would rarely leave the house - was a tad depressed I guess). Over the span of 6 months, I went from normal to pudgy again.
The same old people who were flocking to me when I was built went back to ignoring me, and girls no longer looked my way / approached me etc. However, at the time I was in a pretty average state I really didn't care about that as I wanted to be left alone, so being visually 'repulsive' was like a sign around my neck saying 'leave me alone'.
I've recently been on a massive health kick for the last 6 months and have made improvements, so not quite where I was initially, but I'm much stronger (been doing it while weight training 5 times a week) and am starting to look a lot better.
Aaaand, of course, the same things are starting to happen, girls who were not necessarily talking to me are now noticing me, whenever I walk down the street, girls look my way etc.
It's nice to be noticed again, but it's funny how not necessarily shallow people's attention is, but how appearance is so closely linked to your weight. To be honest, that's one of the main reasons when I was skinny in the past I didn't really date anyone (got asked why I was single A LOT by people) as the people who were 'actively pursuing me' barely noticed me beforehand, and the people who I did like before losing the weight started acting very different around me as I was seen as 'popular' now."
"I kept it off for 4 years and then it slowly went back on, after I went through a natural disaster and didn't give a care about calories. Back then, I just wanted to enjoy life with friends and family.
Three years later, and half the weight back on and I've just started back on the road to my ideal size.
I had to get used to tight clothes not making me still feel fat. It also got super annoying to be told to eat something because I was 'fading away'. In reality, I was the ideal size for my height. I used to have this spiel I'd go into about the average person walking around is technically overweight and we only think of the largest people as the ones who need to lose weight.
I also had to stop going to weight loss forums because people don't know the difference between the words 'lose' and 'loose'."
"I am now 109 with a 6 pack and cut arms.
I noticed a HUGE HUGE difference in how people treat me. I get a lot of looks from 80% of the people I pass by. I'm not bragging, I'm just stating what's happening.
My jawline is more defined and actually shows. My friends even treat me a little differently. Not to the point where it shows they were never 'real' with me. They always compliment me, encourage me to eat more healthy like I have been. They look at me with more respect. I get more matches on tinder, people I interact with, such as co workers and other friends treat me with more subtle respect.
Some girls I used to try to talk to have been hitting me up more often. Literally a week ago I had some chick at a boba place ask me if I was single. She wasn't my kind of girl so I said I wasn't. I'm not trying to sound cocky but the way people have been treating me has been much more different.
My supervisor even took notice of me (not romantically) just as a worker. She gave me a small promotion, which I'm super happy about. She's been my supervisor for 2 years and I've only been this size for 8 months.
I actually got offered a job at H&M 2 weeks ago and got mistaken as a Zumiez worker twice. Mind you, getting a job was nearly impossible for me to back then! Right now I'm going to a music festival with a girl I met on Tinder! Mind you, none of these things happened at all when I was larger.
To be honest, I've been much happier socially, physically and with my self. I don't know how to feel about it, I feel really happy, but a little upset at the same time because I'm being treated differently because of what's on my outside. But hey, beggars can't be choosers so I'm pretty happy. Everywhere I got, I notice more looks at me than I did 56 pounds ago. I'm really not trying to brag. This is just an experience."
"Around 10 years ago, I was suffering from depression and severe anxiety and had allowed myself to get out of control since all I did was lay in bed and sleep and eat. My health was (obviously) suffering and I made a commitment to lose weight. The difference in the way I was treated was absolutely astounding. Night and day. And for the most part, it was not a positive change.
When I was large I was invisible. When I lost the weight, women were judgmental and rude, and men treated me like an object. I ended up having severe trust issues with most people who hadn't been close to me before I lost weight since inevitably most men who were 'friendly' to me eventually started getting aggressive and making passes at me.
Over the years (and after a pregnancy) my weight has fluctuated a bit but I've remained on the 'thin side' and have managed to keep a healthy weight. That said after my daughter was born, I again lost the weight that I had gained during pregnancy and it all happened again. I still suffer from anxiety and have dealt with eating disorders. People were a lot easier to deal with when I was overweight."
"The biggest relief I feel is, that I can talk about food, without it being gluttonous.
I work, study, and have my hobbies with food and in the food industry, so yeah, I want to talk about food: From general recipes and health etc. to discussing food production, food waste etc.
Previously, I would be extremely conscious of the fact, that I was a large person who wouldn't shut up about food. And it's not something that was 'all in my head' - I hear people say these things, both about me, behind my back and to my face, but also about other people, like our lectures, the chef at work etc. For instance, the huge professor giving a lecture on nutrition? The consensus among the students seemed to be to discredit him. Advocating limiting food waste? 'It's just an excuse to eat more!'. Writing a thesis on saturated fats? 'Seems she's a bit too fond of those!' etc.
I was just on a trip to visit potential sites for our internship for my degree, and it was such a relief to be able to say 'Hey, I'm hungry, we better go get lunch now!', or 'I loved that the company gave us a goodie bag of their products! Edible business cards are the best!' or 'I'd love to join the trainee program in the confectionary department' - I do not feel I could say these things before, and I know they would warrant comments - now I'm just a normal girl, who's really into their field."
"It was more of a byproduct of general lifestyle changes than anything else. I stopped drinking soda and started hiking regularly purely as a hobby. Because it wasn't an active goal I didn't really notice while it was happening. Only after looking back at some old pictures did I really notice a difference.
In terms of people treating me differently, there hasn't been much of a difference.
As a southerner in the US, being a large person isn't really out of place, so I was never really treated overtly negative because of my weight.
I did get a lot of questions asking what I did to lose so much weight. I also find that women take more interest in me since I've lost weight, but that could just be a product of the added confidence from losing the weight."