Here is a sad and unexpected result from exercise and weight loss: the jealousy of others you hang out with, and the lustful looks from guys who think your hot. Change can be very confronting for others.
Ten years ago, I was almost 60 pounds more than I am now.
I had cut my hair short, added a few highlights and really had this frumpy vibe going on. I had two kids at the time, ages 6 and 2. I was trying to be taken seriously as a good mommy and had let myself go. I was eating a ridiculous amount of sugar. I cared way too much about what other women thought of me. I formed new friendships with the moms from school and they frequently revolved around food. I hated the way I looked, but I fit in. After seeing the pictures from a trip to Disney with my family, I wondered how I let it happen. I knew I was wearing a size 14 and at five feet tall, it looked like I was wearing an even bigger size. I had a double chin and knew if I didn’t stop this weight train, I’d be even bigger.
I lost 50 pounds in six months. I changed how I ate and worked out like crazy. It was great and I felt pretty… except for a few ugly things. First of all, one of the moms joked that if I lost any more weight, no one would want to hang out with me. I already felt that. There was a judgment thing going on and of course jealousy could have been behind it. Also, people don’t like when we change. It bugs them out. It makes them confront certain parts of themselves they think they can’t change. Many times when a woman would see I lost weight, she would tell me how they should lose weight or give me excuses why they haven’t. I never knew what to say. I’d offer tips, but the conversation never really seemed to be about weight in the end.
The other side effect I was not ready for was that creepy guy stared at me randomly, making me feel uncomfortable and naked. I had gone from one person people saw, an overweight woman, to the cute young thing. I had also started growing my hair longer and dressing younger, and so I looked more my age. It was bizarre. This kind of attention was a double-edged sword. Seeing younger guys glance my way, checking me out at the gym was very flattering and motivating to keep me going on the Stairmaster. But getting out of the car at the convenience store and feeling someone’s eyes on me in a negative, disgusting, weird way felt awful. I didn’t know how to act. I could see why someone would want to hide their body. I didn’t want to have to wear baggy clothes out of fear and change who I was because of others. I was still trying to figure out who I was and wouldn’t know her for quite a few more years. I actually felt like guys took me more seriously when I was overweight and treated me like a ditz when I was thinner. The whole thing was a mind trip. Read the rest of this entry »