“Here’s what they don’t tell you when you lose 98 pounds in weight. …

They don’t tell you vain you will become. They won’t alert you to the fact, in advance, that you won’t know how to cope with looking in the mirror and seeing something you actually like, without succumbing to self-obsession, and fixating on the bits that refuse to become perfect, no matter how many miles you run or how little dairy you eat. They don’t tell you that you will replace an addiction to food with an addiction to losing weight.”

Louise Kean, “The Perfect Fit”

I picked up “The Perfect Fit” on a whim at Barnes & Noble a few weekends ago. It was on the bargain rack for $4.98. I did not expect the story to really hit home on such a personal level, but it has. I have been reading Kendra Through the Looking Glass, another weight loss blog. Kendra, the blogger, has lost 30 pounds so far, after starting at 296 pounds. She is keeping track of all the small changes she sees in her body, something I wish I’d done.

There’s so much more to weight loss than a smaller pants size. Only someone who has been obese would understand the importance of and delight at seeing your collarbones and cheekbones. I remember my big, gaudy cocktail rings becoming looser and walking right out of my favorite pair of shoes because they’d gotten too big. For some reason, I do remember that it was February of ’09, after almost six months on metformin, that I woke up one day and what little cleavage I had was gone. Perhaps the cruelest irony of my obesity is that I was the only 300-pound woman to never fill out a C cup.

While I would never wish to be that heavy again, I do miss seeing results on such a regular basis. I am nearing the end of a long-term weight loss (it was five years in May!) and am confident that I’ve changed my lifestyle. But weight loss most definitely occurs in stages, and the end is nowhere near as satisfying as the beginning.

Do not misunderstand. I would chose my post weight loss body over my 300 pound body any day, no question, but sometimes I am still surprised that I lost 120 pounds and don’t look like Heidi Klum.  Six years ago, in May 2004, I bought the first swimsuit I tried on and was pleased with how it looked, even at 300 pounds. At the beginning of last month, I visited four different stores and tried on at least 12 to 15 swimsuits. I finally settled on one that I question every time I put on.

It has taken me a good six months to realize that, God willing, I won’t experience weight loss like I did in the beginning or after the metformin straightened me out ever again. It’s leveling off, and that’s OK. In fact, it’s good — if I were still experiencing regular drops like that, I’d probably be hospitalized within a month. My body still has room to change, but it’s less drastic. That’s how it works. I just miss seeing weekly results. Watching my body change and morph through a 120-pound weight loss has been an amazing experience that I would not trade for anything.

If you’ve lost weight, what was your favorite change in you body? I still catch myself fingering my collarbones.