10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Lost Weight

Jamie Staley, NASM-CPT, Pn1

Is your weight a struggle for you right now? Have you tried all sorts of things, but nothing seems to stick and actually work long-term?

I get it and I’ve been there too.

That picture on the left is just over four-years-old. There’s so much that I’ve learned since then. As the years go by, there are things I wish I would have known then that maybe would have saved me from some struggles.

Since I don’t have a time machine (I would be out of 2020 if I did!), I will tell you these things instead. Hopefully they provide you with some perspective, some encouragement, and an honest viewpoint of what losing weight, and keeping it off, entails.

[If you want to read my entire story of weight loss, click here.]

#1: It is a slow process.

When I experienced some relatively fast success early on, I became discouraged when the pounds started to come off more slowly. I later learned that this is very normal. When you have more weight to lose, even the smallest changes make a huge difference.

Your metabolism isn’t broken. Make sure you are doing what you need to do and keep going. Patience is a virtue.

#2: There will be setbacks.

I honestly expected every area of my health would magically be perfect the moment I started losing weight. But being obese for any amount of time comes with consequences that aren’t always resolved super quickly.

For me, these included elevated blood sugar levels found six-months into my journey and knee surgery a year later.

#3: There is a lot to learn.

I knew next to nothing about weight-loss when I started. Do not let this stop you. I found success, even with limited knowledge. I know not everyone enjoys learning about health and fitness topics, but I did and continuing to add to my knowledge over time has helped immensely. (If you don’t have the desire to learn a ton on your own, hire a coach.)

#4: You don’t have to reach your “perfect body” to be happy.

Anytime I saw improvement with my body, I was happy. Even losing the first ten pounds felt like winning an olympic medal. As time goes by, we tend to get harder on ourselves.

Always find the small wins. Keep track of your progress in a few different ways: body measurements, weight-lifting progress, etc.

I am not at my “ideal bodyweight,” but to be fair, I don’t really have one number in mind anymore. I have an idea of a range where I might feel pretty good, but my goals have evolved too consistency with nutrition and training instead. And I’m pretty happy, even though I’m not there yet because I’m still better than I was.

#5: Losing weight will not fix everything.

Life is not perfect when you lose weight. Cravings, body image issues, nutrition slips, missed workouts, lack of motivation, etc. all still happen to the best of us.

Not to be all Miley Cyrus on you, but it really is about the climb.

#6: Goals will change.

When I first started, I wanted to lose weight and not feel like crap all the time. That was about it. I HATED working out and even walking my one mile per day was the worst.

Now, walking is a rest day activity and I love working out (most days). I’ve gained exercise skills that I never even wanted four years ago. Your goals will change with time and that’s ok. Your initial goal should just be doing a little bit more than you are doing now. Baby steps.

#7: Daily life is about to get much easier.

There are so many daily things that are hard when you are obese and de-conditioned. Putting on shoes, getting in and out of the car, lifting a bag of dog food, raking leaves, shopping for clothes, walking, getting on and off the floor, going on vacation, getting in and out of a kayak, healing from an injury, fitting in the bathtub, flying in an airplane, swimming, hiking, biking, and grocery shopping. Just to name a few.

Most people don’t think about daily life getting easier, but I’m here to tell you to be appreciative of the little things too!

#8: You will actually be comfortable in your own body again.

I didn’t realize how uncomfortable being overweight was. It came on gradually so I didn’t really notice. But as the pounds started to come off, I remember laying on the couch and actually just laying there and being comfortable. This may not sound like a big deal, but when you are overweight, you can’t escape your own body. My skin felt tight and walking on dry land felt like walking through a pool.

Comfort is coming.

#9: Your confidence is about to grow in every area of your life.

Losing weight, improving cardiovascular endurance, and improving strength can lead to improved confidence in so many ways. You feel much more prepared for everything. Improved self-confidence impacts every area of your life.

Again, this doesn’t mean you will always feel amazing. But in my experience, I felt more confident overall.

#10: Your entire life is about to change for the better.

This will look different for everyone. My path of eventually becoming a trainer and transitioning my life to the gym does not have to be your blueprint. Maybe you will find a passion for hiking or biking, start volunteering with a new organization, make new friends at the gym, coach your child’s sports team, take a vacation that you always put off, play with your grandkids on the floor, go back to school, or make a career change.

Life seems bigger when you can do more of it offers.

Next Steps

If trying to lose weight on your own feels too intimidating and confusing, I can help! I am a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and have experience with a wide array of clients.

I will coach you through an individualized plan to meet your goals and help you gain strength and confidence, while cutting through the confusion. I’ll give you the accountability, real information, motivation, and guidance to make lasting change.

In-person or online coaching available! Send me an email at jsfncoaching@gmail.com and let’s chat about your goals!

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