50 Things That Have Changed From Losing 100 lbs.

Right after “How did you do it?” the question I get asked the most upon someone learning that I have lost 100 lbs is some variant of “How has weight loss changed your life?”  I always give some lame, cliche answer about how great I feel and how happy I am for my health… blah blah blah.  All of that is true, but it doesn’t come close to telling the whole story of the day to day changes that come with weight loss.  This blog post comes closer.  Here it comes.  The good, the bad, the feeling uglies….  all of it I could think of!  In no particular order…


My movement habits have changed entirely.  I choose the stairs nine times out of ten.  I count my steps and am conscious of gaining or losing steps. In fact, I joke with one of the volunteers who transports patients at work some days that he is stealing all my steps!


Logging my food and workouts is an automatic part of my life.  Sometimes, I won’t eat some type of food solely because it would be a pain to log in MyFitnessPal accurately.


Choosing restaurants has become increasingly difficult.  A common conversation in my household is this:

“Do you want to eat somewhere?”
“Sure.  Where do you want to go?”
“Ummm.  I don’t know.”
“Well how many calories do you have left?”
“It looks like between 600 and 800.”
“Hmmm.  Well I still have 12 billion calories left…”  (This is an exaggeration, but seriously!  He gets like double the calorie allowance!  No fair!)


I have no idea what size I am.  Ever.  I don’t even consider shopping online because I have to try everything on.  I went to buy new underwear yesterday because I realized that pretty much all my underoos are huge and I had no idea what I would fit into, and I ended up just buying two different sizes, because it is not like you can try them on.


Wolf Whistle Catcall Looks From MenMen look at me.  It’s flattering, but it makes me uncomfortable all the same because I’m not used to it and I’m married.  I’ve started just gesturing with my left hand as much as humanly possible and hoping they get the hint:  I have a big, scary husband at home who will beat them up if their glance lingers.


I have a different relationship with food.  It’s hard to say whether it is better or worse at times, but it is definitely different.  On the whole, I have a ton more respect and reverence for food, which I feel like is a great thing, but every now and then I have extreme, unhealthy thoughts.  Now, I am more aware of them and their implications, so I can make smart decisions, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t there.  Orthorexia can be a very real thing.


I don’t dread sitting in chairs with arms on them.  I remember when I was student teaching, I went to a showchoir competition and came home with giant bruises on the outsides of both thighs from squeezing myself painfully into the auditorium seats.  That wouldn’t happen today.


I am more comfortable at movies and theatre productions, therefore I feel like I enjoy these things more.


Blankets Still Cold Winter Bundled Up

I am cold, nay FREEZING, all the fucking time.  I gave in and purchased a Snuggie and use it pretty much all the time.  I also steal my husband’s Snuggie I made for him.  Sometimes, I wear a sweatshirt and do the Snuggie Double Down (trademark pending) where I wear one Snuggie over the other.  When the now-husband turned on the air conditioner one time, it almost caused a pre-marital divorce.


My boobs are a constant source of disappointment.  They have deflated like balloons and it takes some serious optical trickery to make them look halfway decent.


I have more energy and in general feel more motivated in multiple areas of life.


I have begun incorporating more good habits into my life because I am acutely aware of the power good habits hold to change my life.  For instance, now I load the dishwasher as the dishes get dirty instead of letting them pile up in the sink.


When I am in the bathtub, I don’t make a dam that keeps all the water to one side of the tub.  Anyone who has been bigger knows what I mean.


Winning Rocking CelebratingMy body can do things it couldn’t do before.  I remember working out with my friend Andrew during one of my in vain attempts at weight loss in college and I felt like I was literally going to die after seven minutes on the elliptical.  After getting off, I could barely even walk.  I can now do 45 minutes on the elliptical and then go on to do the rest of my workout.


I feel like people take me more seriously.


I own more sports bras than real bras.  I have my optical trickery bras, which I only use for occasions that call for them, and then like twenty sports bras, half of which are shoved into my gym bag… just in case.


I am much more aware of the foods that I eat.  Off the top of my head, I can estimate my calorie intake based on almost a year of consistent counting.  My estimates are shockingly accurate.  So as I am planning supper I can think to myself “Okay, my bread… 45 calories a slice, so 90…  Then let’s put on 1 serving of Turkey, which is 50, so we’re at 140.  I need my cheese…  A slice of Sargento Thin slices is 45, so we’re at 185.  Oh!  And I need something on the bread!  Let’s go with The Laughing Cow cheese for 35.  No wait.  I bet that whipped cream cheese would be better, so I’ll splurge at 40.  So there’s my 205 calorie sandwich.  212 if I grill it with PAM on the outside.”

18.Healthy Shopping Cart

My cupboards and fridge and shopping cart do not even remotely resemble that of the previous me.  Some of the things that have become household staples were foods I had never even heard of last year.  The other day, everything in my lunch bag started with the letter Q:  Quinoa, Quark, and Quest Chips.


I don’t feel the need to “compensate” for my weight with an overabundance of “personality.”  When I was huge, there is a real possibility of becoming invisible, which is not something I wanted.  So instead I developed a very loud personality.  Upon losing weight, and not really needing that defense against invisibility, I have discovered that I am not necessarily that person.  Though most of my friends would still describe me as funny and outgoing, it is far quieter and less demanding of attention than it has been in the past.


My cravings have totally changed.  I wake up craving really fresh, juicy, crisp apples or a brothy Pho or mashed cauliflower with feta.  I thought limiting my consumption of pasta and pizza would feel like the end of the world, but I barely even find them satisfying anymore.  This is not true of all things.  Cupcakes are still the most amazing thing in the whole world, and some days I opt to skip supper entirely to make a single cupcake happen.


September 2014. 243 lbs. 97 lbs lost.


I feel the need to put more effort into my appearance because suddenly it seems like something that actually matters.  When I was bigger, it didn’t really matter because I had a giant thing holding me back from being attractive anyway.



I used to get these random pains in my hips.  Even after my most intense workouts, this pain has gone away.

23.Mountain Dew is gross

I used to drink a ton of Mountain Dew every day.  I had some Mountain Dew a few months ago after many months of abstaining.  It tasted straight-up disgusting.  Like I was drinking a vaguely lemony maple surup.  I am HORRIFIED that I used to drink this literally multiple times daily.


My blood pressure has gone from a level that suggested medication might be necessary to completely within the normal range.  No medication.


I don’t knock as many things over with my ass.  I feel like this used to happen all the time.


I am a good cookI am a more creative cook.  I feel like restrictions breed creativity, and trying to cook in a low-calorie frame of mind certainly requires some creativity.  You know that scene in Forrest Gump where he explains all the kinds of shrimp?  That’s how I feel about cauliflower.  I use it as pizza crust, rice, soup thickener, mashed potato substitute… the list continues to grow.  I felt pretty proud when I made a cheesy beef taco soup with cauliflower as thickener and my husband, vegetable hater extraordinaire, didn’t even notice.


My wardrobe is extremely transient.  I shop solely in thrift stores because right now, I know I will only be wearing things for a few months.  Then it comes time to unload my stuff, attempting to get money for it.  I have a well-developed routine:  Plato’s, try to sell it online, and donate to Saver’s, which at least gets me 20% off the next time I shop there.  Rinse and repeat every few months.  (Also, see my awesome post on dressing for less during your weight loss!)


When shopping for clothing, I very automatically start at the back of the rack (where the higher sizes are kept) and then slowly realize that I am not that size anymore, and start moving toward the front.


Richard Simmons responded to a comment of mine on Facebook and I thought it was super amazing and awesome.


Before going out to eat, I feel an excessive need to plan out what I am going to eat.  I look at the nutrition PDF of wherever I am going and make my decisions from there.  Sometimes, finding out something also comes with a surprise breadstick feels like a curse because, well, I want that damn breadstick, but it throws off all my plans.


Maybe it’s just because I’m not a college student anymore, but I find myself gravitating away from the t-shirt and jeans look.  I look for “cute” tops now.

32.Are you gonna eat that?

Contrary to what other people who lose weight seem to experience, I actually feel more judged for what I eat than I did before.  Maybe it is because I have more than a few pounds to lose still, but it seems like there are eyes on my food.  When I am in the break room at work, eating my lunch, people ask me what it is I am eating, sometimes because it just smells so good, (Thanks, garlic!) and sometimes because they just don’t recognize it.  (“Quark? What’s that?”)  I have no real problem with this, but it makes me aware that people are way more aware of my lunch bag than I am of theirs.  And then, on the days when some monster brings cupcakes to the break room, multiple people ask “Should you be eating that?”  Am I a child?  Calorie budgeting is no different from budgeting for a splurge purchase.  If you decide you can skimp in one area, you can go over in another.


Belts have become an incredibly necessary part of my wardrobe.  Shirt I love that should have been donated 30 lbs ago?  BELT IT!


I have given myself an education on nutrition.  I am shocked by just how completely uninformed and ignorant I was about how my body functioned in relationship to food and movement.  Now I can back up what I say with studies and science.  Whoa…  This must be how my husband feels ALL THE TIME about EVERYTHING!


tea partyI have become a fanatic for tea.  There are so many things I limit, exchange, or choose to give up because they no longer appeal to me while losing weight.  Tea is something I’ve added that I can honestly say makes me really happy.  It doesn’t feel like it is a replacement or a lesser version of something else.  It’s just my quiet moment with my delicious tea.  Also, Teavana, why must you be so expensive?!


I have this weird sensation of physically occupying less space.  Like, I understand that is what weight loss is in the most literal sense.  But because my brain hasn’t really adjusted to my size, I still see a space that I would probably fit into now, but still look for that alternate route to get through where I won’t have to squeeze through that was a necessity when I was bigger.  Sometimes I look at a chair and think “Here we go,” and brace myself to be squished even though I find that I don’t even touch the arms of the chair anymore.  It’s a really strange, indescribable thing to just not even be able to estimate how big you are.  Holding up a piece of clothing to see how large it is to determine whether it will fit me is about as useful as holding up a sizing chart written in Mandarin.


I have become acutely aware how many social get togethers, traditions and celebrations revolve around the consumption of calories.

38.Fatty Facial

My complexion is consistently clearer.


My doctor is proud of me.


doctor malpractice suitAs long as I am on the subject of doctors, when I go to the doctor, every fucking thing that is wrong with me isn’t instantly attributed to me being fat.  It’s really nice to feel like my concerns aren’t being dismissed immediately.


I used to see serving sizes and think to myself “Pshaw.  Yeah.  Like ANYONE actually eats THAT little.”  But now, I am generally satisfied with the listed portion size.  Heck, with pasta, which was my big downfall before, I find myself satisfied with 1 oz pasta instead of the stated two if I add a whole bunch of veggies to the dish.


I had to lie way less when I updated the weight on my driver’s license.  And it is a much whiter lie since I will actually be the weight I stated on it in the not-so-distant future, right?  That’s how that works.

43.collar bone

Holy collar bones.  I am in love with them.


My ring kept falling in the shred bins at work.  I had to get it resized or it was going to get lost.


Though right now I am just in the awkward space between plus sized and not, (either a size 1x or an XL, sometimes just L depending on vanity sizing.) I was able to unsubscribe from all the mailing lists for plus sized clothing because I am at the point where I can stop buying plus sized clothing. Buying non-plus clothing… coming soon to an eventually former fatty near you!


I feel like I actually belong in the gym.


I have discovered new stores that I never even would have set foot into before. I have reasons to go to sporting goods stores and hippie co-ops. It’s crazy.


Adults onlySex is better.  More positions, less jiggle.  Having way more energy also helps.  That’s all the detail I will go into because I think my parents and former professors read my blog sometimes.



At a restaurant in a booth, my belly does not touch the table.


I have learned how to take compliments because I have been getting more of them.  When I was little, people would say “my, what a pretty dress you have on.” And I would smile and shyly say “I know,” which my parents informed me is not the correct response.  A simple “Thank you” never seems to be quite appropriate when someone is gushing about how good I look, so for the first 80 lbs or so, I was actually pretty dismissive and awkward about compliments that came without questions.  I would just say “Oh, but I am not nearly there yet!”  Finally I have formulated a response that I think is actually appropriate, which is “Thank you.  It’s taken a lot of hard work, and I’m not done yet, but I feel really good.”



add comment
Amber (3 years ago)

Congratulations on your successes! I am currently experiencing many of the same things as you. I enjoy reading your blog posts. Keep up the great work! :)

Phuong (3 years ago)

Just read your blog for the first time and I love it! Congrats on your journey so far! P.S. I’m glad “Pho” received a mention on your blog. :)

    Ashley (3 years ago)

    OMG. I just had Pho tonight after I worked out after craving it for like two weeks. I went to the one on Grange and 12th. It. Was. Awesome. You got me hooked! I blame you!

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