20 Mar

When I was big, my self-esteem was at rock bottom, I was though very good at putting on a front to hide this. Now I’m smaller and fitter I still often struggle with this.

I’ve had to get used to looking very different, I also have the ‘scars’ of obesity, many who have been very overweight, especially for a prolonged amount of time will understand this, the loose and damaged skin is the most obvious thing that remains.  It does affect you, when you’re wearing your fabulous new smaller clothes it’s not obvious, however in summer, when swimming, or in relationships it’s on show and can need a lot of mental strength to deal with.  You may of course be lucky and have springy skin but in the majority when you lose a substantial amount of weight in your 40s you won’t magically spring back to the body you had in your 20s.

Don’t get me wrong I love my smaller body, my health is better, the awful things about being obese are no longer here but it’s hard when people do look or it affects a new relationship, all of which have happened more than once.

Lifting weights has helped, by building muscle mass into the space left by the demise of fat it does help. I also took the decision not to lose a lot more weight as it will make the situation worse, I’m now at a healthy weight and I’ve concentrated on improving my fitness levels rather than focus on what the scales say.

What happens when you lose a lot of weight isn’t talked about a lot, we should deal with it more, I have come across people who haven’t been able to deal with either the physical or emotional effects and have returned to obesity. You do have to deal with it all, there is help out there, it is important not to think that life will be the same once you’ve lost the weight, to be able to maintain it, you need to do as much work with your head as you do with your body to be successful.

To end on a very positive note I wouldn’t want to go back, I like to look on my ‘scars’ like any other, it shows what has happened in my life, everything that has happened in my life is important and has made me the woman I am today. I can’t make them disappear and hopefully those people who really matter will not be bothered and will accept them because they are part of me.

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