April Jeppson: There are negative effects of losing weight?

Published 10:12 pm Thursday, October 11, 2018

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

April Jeppson


I’ve lost 35 pounds. I’ve been talking about it for the last two weeks if you missed it. (Hint, hint, go back and read those.) Everyone knows the benefits of losing weight and getting healthy. You’ll feel better, have more energy and your clothes will fit better. Rarely do we talk about the bummers. Well I’ve learned a few things on this journey about myself, about food, about people — things that I didn’t expect to learn. Things very few people actually talk about. Here are some of the negative side effects of my weight loss.

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It sucks when all your clothes are too big. Yeah, yeah I’ve heard it before: “Must be rough to have an excuse to go shopping.” But it is rough! You know why? First off, money. No one has enough cash sitting around to replace their entire wardrobe. Secondly, I love patterns and colors, and it has taken me years to find some of my favorite tops and dresses. I procure clothing the way some people find and collect art. When I discover a piece of clothing that fits me perfectly, I buy it. Then I buy two more in different colors. Well, guess what. None of it fits! That dress (that’s been in my closet for years) that was so close to finally hugging my curves the way it was designed — it fit for two months, and now it hangs on me like a flour sack. Ugh!

This also leads me to remind that just because something fits, doesn’t mean you have to buy it. Learn from me. I was so excited to go into a department store and have a pair of boots zip easily up my legs, that I bought them. I used to have to go online and search “wide calf boots,” so the excitement of finding shoes and clothes locally that actually fit… well that excitement took over. My closet has at least half a dozen items in it that I bought out of shock. So here’s your heads up. As you find clothes that fit, I promise those won’t be the last pants or boots that you’ll ever find. Hold out for what you love and what genuinely looks good on you.

I love the winter and sweaters and my air conditioning. However, nowadays I always have an extra sweater packed because I’m cold all the time. I used to make fun of my cold friends. They can testify to this. Since the temperature has dropped this week, I can count on one hand how many times I’ve felt truly warm. I love playing the “let’s see how long we can wait before we turn the heat on in the house” game. You know, we all play it. However, I didn’t want to win this year. I gave up like three weeks ago. Seriously, it’s hot cocoa season already, right?

I’ve learned that when you lose weight quickly, it takes a while for your skin to figure out what’s going on. Oh skin, I’m terribly sorry I stretched you out, but if you could just hurry and tighten back up, that’d be great. I mean, seriously. My face is smaller, but I see wrinkles in places that just a year ago, I had none. I’ll probably never be able to do a plank without some serious tummy sagging. I’m OK with that. I’m actually OK with most of my lose skin. I mean, I’ve seen enough “Biggest Loser” episodes to not really be surprised by it. The surprise was that I didn’t lose 200 pounds; I lost less than 40 pounds, and my skin is already looking empty in spots.

People can be weird. I’m not sure if they are treating me different, or if I’m acting different because I feel different. For instance, there is this professional woman I see in passing but who never actually spoke to before. I was slightly intimidated by not only her success in life, but also her style and general awesomeness. Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m awesome, but she was like tier two awesome. Anyway, recently we talked and it was great, and then she invited me to an event. I couldn’t help but think that I’ve known her for years, and now all of a sudden she wants to hang out. Did I look more socially acceptable now? Was I finally cool enough to hang in her clique? Or maybe I just now had the confidence to look her in the eye and say hello.

Cause here’s the thing. I’ve struggled with being bigger my whole life. There will always be a part of me that is still an insecure, chubby 9-year-old looking to fit in. So when “cool” people talk to me or look at me, I’m second guessing their intentions. I know that most of this is internal, and I’m working on it. I wasn’t fully aware of the negative self talk I deal with constantly. Or the way that I truly see myself. Shedding some of the weight has opened up some wounds and flaws that I think I was covering with comfort food — a story for another day. Just note that if you were using food as a coping mechanism, eventually all that suppressed garbage is going to come up, and you’re going to have to deal with it.

I’ve learned so many other things, too many to expound on in this little column. Sunday marks eight months, and I’m just finishing up week five at the gym. Some people see a post online of me working out and assume that’s how I’ve lost the weight. Nope. The gym is just another step in this journey to better health. That’s my goal. That’s always been my goal. If I get the privilege of experiencing old age, I want to know that I treated my body the best I knew how. Perhaps I wrote this whole series just to remind myself to keep going. That it took dang near six months of effort before I really started to see the results on the scale that I wanted. Maybe I’m writing this to give me a level of accountability — I mean I can’t relapse and dive into a box of donuts if the town is watching, can I? Or maybe I’m just being honest, so if there is someone out there struggling or going through something similar, they can know that they aren’t alone. I’m not sure why I wrote this, but what I do know is that I’m freezing, so I’m going to grab a sweater and make myself a hot cocoa.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams.