You’ve completed the challenges , you’re happy with your weight loss, and you now fit into all of the clothes you want. But what’s next? Speaking as someone who has lost a lot of weight over the last few years, it’s kind of weird how no one talks about what happens after you’ve “achieved your goal.” You focus so much on hitting that number on the scale or a tape measure that once you get there – it feels a little perplexing.
I thought that once I fit into the smaller yoga pants and weighed the amount I thought I should weigh, that everything would be better. Granted… that’s not completely wrong. When you aren’t obsessing over your weight all of the time, things do feel a bit better. Stressing about eating a chocolate bar wasn’t the end of the world. But it’s not as though life-long body confidence automatically comes with that weight loss. It’s like all of the insecurities that I felt reasonable about having (because I weighed more) came roaring up and I didn’t feel like I had a reason for them anymore. Which felt… confusing.
How can you rationalize feeling uncomfortable about your body image when you actually have lost the weight you wanted to?
A weird question, I know. But it’s almost like once you’ve lost the weight, it can become a daily obsession to make sure you aren’t gaining it back. Even though I am now comfortable with what I weigh – on the days that I eat a pizza or two slices of chocolate cake, I get this tremendous wave of guilt. Simply, it sucks.
It’s so frustrating that you can’t magically snap your fingers and receive the body confidence that you deserve after working so hard. It feels unfair. Every time this happens to me, I glare at my brain and say “Excuse me, what do you think you’re doing? I worked so hard and now you’re telling me I don’t feel good and that I have to lose my weight to feel okay?”
What’s even more weird about this phenomenon is that these insecurities come up in the strangest ways. It might be that you feel awesome about your body but maybe the second your partner comments on another person’s great photo or body, you get insanely jealous. Again, I can speak from personal experience, and tell you that I have 100% been confused why my partner wants to be with me. I also know that comes from the insecurities that come out when you lose weight.
So enough, what do you do about it?
Sadly, there’s no magic pill. There’s just simply no quick fix to loving yourself when you haven’t and maybe didn’t while losing weight. It’s a bit like yoga. It’s a process where you can try small practices every day. Here are some of my tips that I use to not only attack some of my insecurities, but also try to gently love myself a bit more:
- It may feel kooky, but try out a simple affirmation like “I love myself and my body.”
- Sleep naked.
- Look at a photo of you before the weight loss and now.
- Remind yourself that you don’t have to work out, you GET to work out – not everyone has the ability to practice yoga and exercise.
- Treat yourself to things you love and reward yourself for being healthy.
- Talk with your friends about it.
- Dance naked around your house (trust me – it works).
- Find hobbies that make you feel good about yourself and do them.
- Talk to a therapist.
- Ask yourself why you feel insecure and set up an action plan full of self-love activities.
Now I know a lot of these sound silly, but it’s the little things that can get you to really challenge these insecurities. My therapist always tells me when I get these thoughts that when you try to break them down and question them – generally the yucky feeling goes away. Why? Because it’s based on something that isn’t true, and that’s the idea that you don’t deserve happiness or that you don’t deserve to love yourself. And that’s utter nonsense.
What do you think yogis? Have you experienced these insecurities before, during or after losing weight?