The Pain of Losing Weight

The Pain of Losing Weight

Pictured: having fun plating a potato salad.

I mentioned this in my previous post, and since I'm partially out of it from my second vaccine dose, I figured I could expand on the issues you may face when trying to lose weight.

At the beginning of the year, I made it my goal to drop under 190 pounds, which was 15 or so pounds of weight loss away. I gave myself 6 weeks to achieve this, which was very aggressive, but given my previous experiences and physical activity, I knew it was achievable. I was out for at least an hour of running or biking 5 times a week and was making sure to eat reasonable foods, and after 6 weeks I had achieved my goal. The problem was that every other part of my life suffered.

This is the struggle of losing weight. Your body is screaming for more fuel. Your fat reserves are for emergencies, and it wants you to know that your existence is at risk if you keep things up. You don't sleep normally, you don't move normally, and almost all thought is clouded by the knowledge that you're missing out on calories.

Everyone can prepare for this. You can know it's about to happen, and you can set up your environment to help you deal with it. There were no sweets in my apartment because I knew they would disappear immediately. I had some fruits, but none that I really love so I could avoid binging. Almost everything I had needed to be cooked to be eaten, so every wishful trip to the fridge for a snack came back empty handed.

But my work suffered. I was noticeably less productive in January than the previous months. My social life suffered. I was always tired and sleeping 9-10 hours per night, which isn't conducive to hanging out with friends after work. And my decision making suffered; while I was capable of doing things, I often felt like I couldn't make fully informed or thought-out decisions.

My life was largely run on autopilot: wake up, coffee, work, lunch, work, cardio, dinner, TV, sleep. Any deviation from that caused me to become irritable, and I can only imagine how unhappy I must have seemed. But because I was dedicated to being at a healthier weight, I had to remove my ability to stray from the path.

Many people won't want to live like this, and I can't blame them. My life was not "fun". My life was not "exciting". My life was boring and uninspired. There was little joy in what I was doing.

And, as a result, I've had a serious negative reaction to the experience. I've since gained several of those pounds back and have had a hard time dealing with the amount of food in the house. I've made cookies and tarts and pies. My life has been significantly more fun, and I have the weight to show for it.