When you lose weight, there are some accomplishments that you can look forward to that aren’t determined by the number on the scale.
These can include such happy moments like-
- Feeling confident enough to wear a cute bikini or, for those of you like me, whose skin hisses at the sun- a cute one piece instead of hiding away in a baggy t-shirt and board shirts.
- Gaining more energy. When I first started there were some days I didn’t have the energy just to get through the day, let alone exercise as well. And then suddenly I had so much energy I was waking up before my alarm.
- Being able to run for longer. In my case, I went from not running at all to completing a half marathon.
- Wearing shorts.
- Wearing sleeveless shirts and dresses.
- Wearing shorts AND sleeveless shirts together so that you’re actually comfortable in summer weather whaaat.
- Getting sick less often.
These are all great things and these are the non-scale victories that I often hear about. However, I feel like there are some non-scale victories that you DON’T hear about. And it’s my solemn duty to share these with you.
Just kidding, it’s not my duty. I just felt like talking about it and hopefully someone listens.
- Using a normal towel. As a teenager, I would often request that my mother bought these ginormous towels that I could use to wrap around my large frame. The towels were nearly as long as I am (which isn’t really that long) and were about as twice as wide. But when I stayed at friend’s houses or hotels and had to use their showers and towels, I would be faced with using what felt like a hand towel to dry down my armpits, jowls, legs and cheeks. I don’t know how people managed to wrap more than a pinky finger in those towels but apparently they managed. I dreaded that. If I used a friend’s pool and didn’t bring my own towel, I couldn’t lounge around in the towel like my friends. I would have to awkwardly drip dry. So when I went to a hotel and realised that I could use their normal towel instead of my circus tent, it was a taste of what I’ve always missed out on. I don’t have to worry about not being able to wrap a towel around my body because the towel will fit.
- Not being able to use your belly as a perch to rest your arm on. This is probably a situation that mainly happens to pregnant women but it also happens to us fat girls who are a bit less fat now.
One day, you’ll try to rest your arm on your belly and your arm will drop because there’s nothing for it to rest on. It’s like walking down stairs and you think there’s one more stair than there actually is. Your foot plunges down because you believe there’s less of a drop than there actually is but your body ends up confused and stumbling because you’ve betrayed it.
- You can make jokes about how much you love food or how hangry you get and people won’t give you a look that says “Yeah, we already knew that, you fat bitch”. It’s totally acceptable for me as an AUS size 10-12 to say that I want to bathe in Nutella and nobody will say anything about diabetes but that wasn’t the case earlier in my life.
- Being able to use a change room and not get changed in a cramped toilet cubicle. If you have ever used the change rooms at Cottesloe Beach then you’ll know my fear. The showers are completely open and there is nowhere to hide in their changing area. If you want to wash the sand out of your vagina but keep your bathing suit on, then you’re quite limited. You need to take your bathers off but if you’d rather die than do that in public, there’s not a whole lot that you can do. Otherwise you get changed in the toilet stall (hoping and praying that you don’t rest your clothes in piss) and ignore the sand in your butt crack until you arrive safely home. To your own bathroom. Where the only person who will judge you is yourself.I grew up never using the girl’s change room to get changed. I would come to school in my sports uniform and stay in it all day if I had a sports class.
There was one occasion when I tried to use the change rooms. I told myself I had to get over my fears. That nobody cared what I looked like and we were all there to get changed as quickly as possible. So I made a compromise and managed to change my top. I was already wearing a sports bra, gym shorts and sneakers so I just had to whip my school shirt off and pop my sports shirt on. When I heard other girls giggling, I ignored it. When I noticed that they were taking photos of me, I swallowed the lump in my throat and silently begged myself not to cry or let my cheeks flush red. I went straight back to getting changed in the toilet cubicles. If that happened now, I would wrestle the photographer, pin them to the ground and shove the phone into their intestine. And I’d do it naked.
If you’ve seen me in a change room recently (maybe recognised my bum) then you’ll see that I’m completely different from that high school girl.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be as confident as the old grannies who manage to hold entire conversations while blow drying their pubes but I get quickly dressed and undressed. You can look at my body and think it’s gross. I’m not asking for your opinion though. If you’re seeing me in a gym or beach changing room then I’m getting changed after some kind of exercise whether that be cardio or swimming. I’m there to look after my health, same as everyone else in that change room.
And I’ll tell you a secret, if you’ve noticed me in the gym change rooms then you’ve probably noticed that I always use the same locker. It might be a little bit of I’ve gotten stuck in a routine but I initially chose that spot for a reason. I chose that spot specifically because it had the least visibility out of the change room and made me feel more comfortable.
- Men will pay more attention to you. I feel like that’s a non-scale victory that people (especially straight women who lose a large amount of weight) will notice but don’t really talk about. I went from being the token DUFF that men ignored to having men asking for my phone number. And me being a slightly suspicious person as well as someone who is always afraid of being murdered, I would ask what their ulterior motives were. Like, were they asking me out on a dare, were they getting paid to ask for my number? Oh, they just want to have sex with me? That doesn’t make any sense at all.
It’s a weird trade off. Everyone likes feeling attractive but it hurts to feel like you used to be worth less because you weighed more.
I’m sure there are other non-scale victories that people rarely talk about but these are the first few that came to mind.