Let’s look at the facts — 35 percent of adults are obese and 69 percent are overweight (including the obese), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Americans struggle with losing weight — and for those that have lost it, the struggle lies in keeping it off.
Research finds that of those who lose weight only about one in six individuals are able to maintain that weight loss over a long period of time. Fat cells may shrink, but they never fully go away. This, coupled with the emotional aspect of having a new body, make it extremely challenging to avoid gaining the weight back. And, dare we say, some women actually miss their former bodies.
Kelly Coffey, personal trainer and blogger at Strong Coffey, has maintained a more than 100-pound weight loss for over 10 years. She stresses that being thin is just that — it’s being thin. Being thin does not bring you happiness, it does not bring you peace, it does not bring you success. It brings you one thing and one thing only — thinness (she shares more in the video below).
Coffey reflects on the body she once had and recognizes what was beautiful about it to show her clients that every body is beautiful, no matter what the shape or size.
As far as what she misses about her former body, Coffey states, “I miss the natural, physical strength being overweight gave me. When you’re big, and always moving under resistance, you’re stronger than an average-sized person who’s not working against the same forces. Part of why I started lifting weights 10 years ago was to compensate for all the strength I’d lost in my weight loss.”
“I also sometimes miss the comfort of being in a cushioned, soft body — especially when I’m lying in bed at night, having a hard time getting to sleep. I toss and turn and become hyper-aware of my hip bones and my knee joints pressing against each other and it makes me a little nuts. I’m pretty sure my awareness is because those were sensations I never experienced until my mid-20s. I sleep with four pillows, all wedged in different places, to make up for the lack of softness,” she shares.
Alicia Shepherd, blogger of The Evolution of Mom, wrote a piece that went viral titled, “Sometimes… I Miss Being Fat.” Being overweight her entire life and dieting since the age of 5, Shepherd went through gastric bypass surgery.
“I knew who I was as a big girl. I was smart, funny and had a big personality. I was invisible to most people, which frankly is a comfortable way to walk through life. Men pay you little attention and women aren’t intimidated by you when you’re overweight. There’s something to be said for blending into the background of life,” Shepherd shares.
“However, I will tell you, I would never go back. Though it’s a bumpy road and there is nothing easy about maintaining my health, I would never trade my health for the anonymity that obesity offered,” she says.
What other women are saying
“I am cold more often. I used to get hot very quick. Once I dropped the weight, I constantly have the heat on. I miss the warmth of the body fat.” — Tanisha (lost 150 pounds)
“There is one thing I miss… I used to burn a lot more calories by lugging around that extra weight! Usually, I could eat to my heart’s content and not gain weight. Now, I must keep a food and calorie journal to keep the weight off.” — Susan (author of The Live Food Factor and maintaining a 35-pound weight loss)
So, it’s more about being healthy than it is about being thin. It’s about finding something — anything — you love about your body. Set goals other than seeing the number on the scale go down. Make healthy decisions every day and work on your inner self so you can accept your outer self — whatever your size may be.