10 things I know after 10 years of weight loss and strength training: Part one
There are high highs and weird lows to significant body change. Here's what I've learned.
In my early 20s I lost around 70 pounds. Now I’m 34 and am still that much lighter. That means I’ve stumbled into overachievement: “Successful long-term weight loss” has been defined as losing 10% of initial body weight and maintaining that loss for just one year; I lost around 30% and have kept it off for nearly 10.
I don’t advocate weight loss but I have experienced it. For better or worse, it informs how I interact with the world and my body. I’ve written before about why my body changed how it did: I didn’t go on yet another short-term crash diet, I used therapy to get to the root of my binge eating disorder; after college I set my life up in an entirely new way that made exercise and cooking for myself easy and pleasurable; and I fell face-first in love with strength training.
I recognize innumerable benefits from these changes. To be crystal-clear: It’s the life changes I made that brought me those benefits, not just the weight loss. (I’ll cover here how just losing weight on the scale wasn’t actually what I did — I lost body fat and gained muscle.) But my significant body change also brought on strange new realities and realizations no one ever told me about. It also taught me what changes are likely more sustainable and positive for most of us than others.
Here are the first five of 10 major things I wish I knew 10 years ago about safe, sane, sustainable body change:
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