Over the past two years I’ve lost a noticeable amount of weight. Along the way I made a few unexpected discoveries that I thought I’d share.
1) Fat cold is much warmer than thin cold.
I never realized just how much insulation my layer of fat provided. I thought I had what were normal temperature fluctuations when I was heavier. Sometimes I was hot and sometimes I was cold. But I never experienced cold like I do now. It’s like I’ve spent my life wrapped in a parka and now I only have a windbreaker.
It’s kind of a miracle that all skinny people haven’t frozen to death.
2) When someone notices your weight loss but doesn’t feel comfortable mentioning it, they compliment your hair.
I have gotten a lot more compliments on my hair since I’ve shed some pounds even though I haven’t changed my hair style. Some people will play coy with a “you look different. Did you change your hair?” And others will just say they like my hair.
They all know my hair is the same. I know my hair is the same. They might as well just say, “hey, you’re not fat anymore!” At least that’s honest.
3) It’s embarrassing when people don’t recognize you.
My mother and I ran into an old family friend one Saturday morning. She smiled in my direction as she stood chatting with my mom, but didn’t speak to me directly.
After a few minutes she asked my mother, “How is Heather?”
My mother pointed at me and said, “She’s standing right here.”
The woman was flabbergasted, my mother was amused and I was mortified.
This keeps happening and my mother struggles to understand why I find the situation so embarrassing. “You do look different,” she tells me and I reply, “but I’m still me!”
After giving it some thought I’ve decided that it’s embarrassing because, while I never identified myself by my weight, it’s obvious that other people did.
I don’t like that a thinner Heather is unrecognizable because in their minds Heather = fat.
4) Weight Watchers and Nutra System ads on TV still make me uncomfortable.
I don’t know why but I still cringe at those “I lost 100 pounds on Weight Watchers” advertisements. It’s probably related to the reasons that not being recognized upsets me but I haven’t spent as much time thinking about it.
I fast forward over the ads instead.
5) People think you’re crazy when you don’t know how skinny-sized clothing works.
A few weeks ago I went into a Levi’s store and became so confused by all the styles, sizes and lengths that I had to ask the sale woman how the jeans worked.
Most women learn how to shop for themselves when they are teenagers. So when you ask someone to explain jeans to you at age 45, they think you either have been recently paroled or are insane.
Luckily when you tell sales women that you’ve lost a bunch of weight they forgive your ignorance and go into super helpful makeover mode.
6) Even skinny people get insulted.
The other day an old man said to me, “Now that you’ve lost all that weight, you must get better gas mileage on your car. And your tires will last longer too.”
It’s almost reassuring to know that even though my body has changed drastically, there are still stupid people who say insensitive things.
(And no, I didn’t lose enough weight to get better gas mileage.)