MSNBC.com is running another one of those cautionary stories about weight loss: Life won’t be perfect when you drop the pounds!

“In a culture obsessed with BMIs, the tears and triumphs of “The Biggest Loser,” and the latest-greatest surefire way to lose weight and keep it off, Larsen’s take on her new lean physique sounds like heresy. But weight loss chat rooms, forums and blogs are filled with people who are wondering why their newfound svelte selves and stellar metabolic profiles are leaving them ever-so-slightly disappointed.”

Seriously? Like, really?

I remember reading articles like this in magazines when I weighed 300 pounds. Newly skinny Minnies bemoaning that weight loss didn’t solve all of their problems. I remember thinking, well, duh. When I decided to lose weight, I kinda figured I’d still have to pay bills, and I had enough thin friends to know that men could be jerks  to women of all sizes. So I didn’t expect losing weight to solve everything, because my fatness wasn’t the cause of everything.

I wrote last week about reactions you could expect from family and friends when you lose weight. Well, these are the things that are just as good as I expected them to be, post weight loss:

  • You can buy clothes just about anywhere. No more plus-size racks, no more specialty stores (or, as my mom likes to call it, Fashion Bug Fat). You do not have to go online to find cool clothes. If you need a pair of pants at the last minute, it’s OK — clothes shopping is no longer the weeks-long endeavor it once was.
  • People are a lot nicer to you. In my post last week, I mentioned that family and friends may be jealous. On the flip side, you will be amazed at how differently strangers respond to you. Sales clerks will want to help you; middle-aged men will try to talk to you; and other women will compliment your shoes, necklace, whatever. It’s not that people were downright rude to me as a fat person, but they responded better to the thinner version. I worked as a newspaper reporter the whole time I was losing weight, and I cannot tell you how much weight loss helped my reporting. The thinner I got, the more people were willing to talk to me. I always think of one of my favorite Joan Rivers quotes, and even though she was talking about plastic surgery, it is absolutely applicable to weight loss: “One: When you look better, you are totally treated differently. Two: People want to be around attractive people; I don’t care what you say. And three: Most important, it’s about feeling good about yourself. That’s what plastic surgery is all about.” — Allure magazine, July 2005
  • It’s easier to move around. I didn’t have any joint troubles, but I can tell you that I move faster and better as a lighter person. In fact, almost everything is easier when your skeleton isn’t lugging around 300 pounds.
  • Similarly, it’s easier to wear cute shoes. High heels just don’t hurt as much when there is less of you balanced precariously in a pair of pointy-toed stilettos.
  • I sweat less. When I weighed 300 pounds I was always dripping in sweat. Now I am always cold. Which do I prefer? Well, I can always put more clothes on or turn up the heat. But when you’re too hot, well … you can only do so much.
  • Health benefits. I didn’t have any trouble before I lost weight, but I have excellent blood pressure (92 over 64 when I gave blood a few weeks ago) and my resting heart rate is lower. I feel stronger overall — for 300 pounds, I was quite weak.

I don’t understand the disappointment in one’s life post weight loss. If you’re losing weight, know that it is one of the best things you can ever do for yourself, not to mention your loved ones; you’re almost certainly extending the quality and length of your life. You will live skinnily — and happily — ever after!

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