Weight Loss is Bittersweet: I Hardly Recognize Myself

Walt - Aug 15th SelfieBack in May I made the decision to better my life and begin losing weight. It was an easy choice, anyone can say they want to lose weight, but sticking with it was difficult. Some days I would come home from the gym, sore and tired, and barely be able to drag myself out of bed the following morning. Other days all I wanted to do was gorge on food.

I was determined to make a change and I stuck with it. Through all the bumps in the road, the aches, the pains, and sometimes ravenous hunger, I was determined to become a healthier person for myself and for my family.

Little by little the weight began to come off. Two pounds one week, three pounds the next. Sticking to healthier food choices was hard, exercise turned out to be the easy part. The first time I tallied up my weight loss I was shocked. I had to triple check the math to make sure my 17.4 pound loss was accurate.

I kept moving forward and I ground my way to a 25 pound loss. It was an incredible achievement for me and I was so proud of myself. I looked better, I felt better, and my confidence began to rise. After that milestone things began to stall. Weeks would go by where I saw little to no loss.

Despite the scale not moving, I could feel my body changing. My clothes began to fit a bit better and I could see some more definition in various muscles. I felt stronger. Since that stall I’ve been focusing on increasing strength instead of the number on the scale.

Thats why when I got on the scale earlier this week I was baffled. I went from 239 pounds (at my lightest – I was fluctuating up 1-2 pounds since then) down to 236 pounds. That may not seem like much but I forgot to weigh in first thing and I was standing on the scale immediately after showering.

Thinking that perhaps it was a fluke, I stepped off the scale then back on again. Sure enough, the number was consistent. The very next day I got back on the scale, this time before my shower, and weighed in at 232.8 pounds.

To be fair, the loss isn’t from diet and exercise alone. Well, not the correct diet anyway. I’ve been dealing with some personal issues this week that have been weighing on my mind a great deal. Exercise has been the only way for me to escape my own mind and find a bit of peacefulness. The massive loss can probably be attributed to a couple of skipped meals and losing myself in exercise.

The biggest shock in all of this came this afternoon. I put my arm around my wife and snapped a photo of us together. When I looked at that picture, I hardly recognized myself. I mean, I don’t think I look bad (just the opposite) but seeing myself this way, for the first time, is just… weird.

Out of curiosity, I went back through my weigh-in logs since I started using MyFitnessPal. My lowest recorded weight was 232.2 pounds on November 17, 2013. I’m just 7.8 pounds away from my goal weight of 225 pounds and, to be honest, I don’t know how that makes me feel.

My goal weight is just a stepping stone. It was an achievable goal that would keep me motivated and it has done that very well. Once I reach 225 I’ll probably set my sights on 215, then maybe 199. The point is that coming up on this first goal is kind of bittersweet.

I’m thrilled that I’m making progress and I’m proud of my achievements. I’m eager to continue pushing forward and making this change in my life permanent. On the other hand, I don’t recognize the face that stares back at me in the mirror. I feel like I’m leaving that part of my life behind and it wasn’t all bad.

Perhaps I’m just being melodramatic. Change is often difficult for me to adjust to and this is just another bump in the road. I won’t allow it to slow me down but I can’t ignore it either.

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