- They'll ask you for your secret formula, like you created your weight loss in a lab. This makes sense to me, because if there were a magical way to drop a ton of weight with no effort, I'd be first in line to sign up. The truth is that it did involve some work. I counted calories, watched portions, moved more- you know, all the stuff everybody tells you to do to lose weight. I did do some things a little differently than most in that I didn't eat any diet food and I that I do yoga instead of a ton of cardio, but other than that, I basically stuck to the advice that everybody has been doing since the dawn of time when the first caveman realized he had love handles. (Note: that might not be scientifically accurate- I have more of a liberal arts brain than a science brain).
- They'll immediately assume you secretly had gastric bypass. Um, I blogged about my tummy tuck and posted before and after pictures of my hanging belly. If I had gastric bypass, I'd tell everybody I know. There's no shame in that, and I wouldn't judge anyone for doing that at all. I just happened to not have surgery to lose weight.
- They'll suddenly tell fat jokes around you or say catty things about fat people. It's weird. I have some friends who will suddenly start talking about how someone has gained weight and how terrible they look, or they'll talk about how gross fat people are, etc etc. I may have lost weight, but I didn't join some Mean Girl society (but if Tina Fey was a member, I'd consider it). As someone who has had weight issues since childhood, I'm not going to judge other people for struggling with it. Also, someone's size is none of my frickin business, and I am not one to tell someone that happiness only exists when you're a size 6.
- They'll assume you now are obsessed with dieting, and if you eat "normal" food around them, they'll think you feel off the wagon. Yes, I'm counting calories, but that doesn't mean I have to eat the old 1980s Skinny Platter of a hamburger patty, cottage cheese and canned peaches. I eat whatever I want, just less of it. If you see me eating dessert, it's because I like dessert, not that I need you to stage an intervention.
- They'll tell you how worried they were about your weight. This was a lot of fun my first time around losing a ton of weight. So many people told me how concerned they were for my health when I was heavy. When I gained it back, I'd think about that and feel paranoid that everyone was clucking at me behind my back for shopping at Lane Bryant. Here's the thing- I was healthy when I was fat. Maybe I was just lucky to be healthy when I was fat, but my blood sugar, my blood pressure, and basically every single blood test I ever had was normal when I was 300 pounds. Yes, I definitely feel better now, but I wasn't on the verge of dropping dead when I was fat. I'm happy people love me and want me to live a long and happy life, but as I said above, my size is not really anyone's business.
- They'll tell you that you should become a personal trainer/nutritionist/yoga instructor. I think this is pretty funny. I get that some people who have lost weight start careers in the fitness industry, but it's weird how people think that your weight loss will now be the center of your life. I have no plans to become the next Richard Simmons any time soon. For one thing, I couldn't pull off a perm.
- They'll act like your life is perfect now that you've lost weight. I can't even begin to tell you how many people have said things like, "Are you so much happier now?" Well, I'm proud of myself. I am so estatic that my hip is not jacked up, but I sure do have the same problems I had before the number on the scale got smaller. Weight loss isn't a magic wand that transforms you into a perfect person. If it were, I'd be Sofia Vergara right now.
- They'll tell you stories about their friends and family members or celebrities who have lost large amounts of weight and gained it all back again. Yes, I have been down this path before. I can't live my life acting like I'm always going to fall off a cliff and suddenly find myself morbidly obese at any time. And if I did? It wouldn't be the end of the world. The mistake I made the first go around was getting completely obsessed with dieting. My weight is only a small part of my life, and the sun doesn't rise and set around what number is on the scale.
- They'll ask you if more men find you attractive now. There isn't one body type that all men find attractive. I could meet people who were into me when I was fat and I can meet people who are into me now. This hasn't been a "She's All That" type of transformation where I was a shy wallflower who never kissed a boy before this magic makeover that changed my life forever. Isn't it funny that all of those magic makeover movies basically involve eyebrow shaping and removing the girl's glasses? Not that I'm ragging on them because I will watch that movie any time it's on The Family Channel at 2 PM on a Saturday with the swears bleeped out.
- They'll ask you if you love to shop now that you're thinner. Answer: no. If I could wear paint coveralls (red sparkly paint coveralls, but still) every single day, I would. I have always hated shopping for clothes, and even though it's kind of exciting to see the size on the label go down, I will never get pumped up for an afternoon of clothes shopping.
NOTE: None of these are meant to be an indictment against anyone. I don't want people to mentally rehash our conversations in their heads to see if they might have possibly offended me- all of it makes me laugh and I'm pretty hard to insult. All of these might only apply to my personal climb up and down the scale over the years, as I'm a little bit of a wacko and my experiences are rarely universal.
NOTE #2: I hope my mom noticed how I put a star in the word shit in the title. All of those years of Catholic school finally paid off, huh Mom?