1. You may not realize what you look like
“untitled” by Danielle Henry, via Flickr Creative Commons is licensed under CC BY 2.0
I went from a size 10 to a size 0-2. But when I still look in the mirror, I see a size 10. It’s amazing the tricks your mind can play on you. I’ve known other women that have had this issue as well. It’s a challenge for them to see what they really look like, which can cause a danger of going overboard (see #12).
2. Your health costs probably won’t change short term
“Health” by Pictures of Money, via Flickr Creative Commons is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Long-term studies have shown that regular exercise and reduced belly fat can significantly reduce your chances of a wide variety of ailments. But, in the short term, your health costs probably won’t go down and may, in fact, go up. Gym memberships, your new diet (see #6) and and increased tendency to go for regular check-ups can add up.
Also, the more athletics you do, the more likely you will gain a lot of sports injuries, which, trust me, are costly.
3. It’ll get really hard to find clothes
“Men Shopping for Clothing Accessories” by epSos .de, via Flickr Creative Commons is licensed under CC BY 2.0
I can no longer find clothes in regular stores. Unless, of course, you want to wear teenage-looking clothes, then, by all means, hit up the juniors department. Stores stock-up what they can sell and they don’t sell many small sizes. So, it can be very frustrating to find the sizes you need when you become fit.
It’ll also get harder to find clothes that are the smaller sizes that actually fit your arms and legs. Most clothing designers assume that if you have a small waist, you’re going to have thin arms and legs, not muscular ones.
4. Store clerks won’t like you
“Store Clerk In Blue” by Phil Warren, via Flickr Creative Commons is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Overweight people complain about customer service bias, and I can see that. The truth is, fit people have the same issue. I can’t tell you how many dirty looks I’ve gotten when I’ve asked a store clerk for help finding a small size. They don’t have any tolerance for a skinny person complaining about having clothing issues.
5. Alcohol looks a lot less enticing
I bet this is over 400 calories and your entire sugar intake for the day. “Colorful Drink at 32 Degrees Bar at Urban Crust” by Nan Palmero, via Flickr Creative Commons is licensed under CC BY 2.0
When losing weight, you have to limit or give up alcohol. It’s not uncommon for fit people to stop drinking or, at the very least, significantly reduce their alcohol intake, even when they have hit their goal. First, because their tolerance has dropped, but second and most common, they look at alcohol and think in their heads, “It’s not worth the calories/macros.”
6. Your grocery bill will be really high
“Farmer’s Market Bounty” by ilovebutter, via Flickr Creative Commons is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Healthy food is expensive, you can eat a lot more of it for the same amount of calories, and if you are working out more, you’re going to need to eat a lot more. This is the trifecta for an insanely high grocery bill.
See How much I spend on groceries
7. But your restaurant budget will go down
SO DISGUSTING! “KFC Double Down “Sandwich”” by Michael Saechang, via Flickr Creative Commons is licensed under CC BY 2.0
As you continue to learn about nutrition and how “unhealthy” foods make you feel, you’re going to be eating out at restaurants a lot less. You’ll find yourself saying to your friends and family “Why don’t you come over and I’ll cook?” or “How about I meet up with you all after your dinner out?”
8. It will affect who you date
“Date Night” by Amy Truter, via Flickr Creative Commons is licensed under CC BY 2.0
This one is not about appearance, it’s about lifestyle. If you are busting your butt at the gym most days and eating really healthy, you’re most likely not going to be compatible with a junk-eating couch potato. Instead, you’re going to find yourself gravitating to someone with a similar philosophy on a healthy lifestyle.
Sadly, I’ve also heard of this impacting marriages, where one spouse decides to make healthy changes/wants to be more active and the other refuses to do so.
9. It will affect where you live
An apartment may look a lot more enticing when you see there is a gym around the corner. “Gym.” by A National Acrobat, via Flickr Creative Commons is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Figuring out what the nearest gym options are, what the nearest activities are, and where the nearest parks are will become a major factor in determining where you live.
10. Your body will become something that is analyzed
For some reason, it’s very socially acceptable for people to comment on fit people’s bodies (think about how much talk their is about Michelle Obama’s arms). Most of these are positive, but not always, as the above example shows.
You might also find that you do this to yourself. I find that I regularly talk about my body, my diet, my weight, etc. Somethings this is a good thing, but sometimes these aren’t topics you should discuss. It depends on your audience and if you are obsessing or not (see #12).
11. People will explain to you why they can’t do it
“Can’t do this” by Quinn Dombrowski, via Flickr Creative Commons is licensed under CC BY 2.0
This one is the most awkward for me because I never know what to say. I’m a very non-judgmental person and I definitely understand that I don’t know everyone’s full circumstances and there may be legitimate reasons why they can’t, but I don’t always agree that someone’s reasoning for not taking care of their health is legitimate. I had a coworker once tell me that she could never look like me because she’s “always been a bigger girl” and that I was naturally thin. I’m actually not naturally thin, but I figured it was best to keep my mouth shut.
Another rendition of this is statements like, “I wish I could look like you” and “I could look like you, but I like (insert junk food) too much.” There is no good answer to any of these statements; if you try to tell them they could, they will get mad, and if you agree with them, you may insult them. I just try to change the subject.
12. It’s easy to go overboard
“Body Image. The subjective concept of one’s physical appearance based on self-observation and the reactions of others.” by Charlotte Astrid, via Flickr Creative Commons is licensed under CC BY 2.0
The fitness industry makes money on self-improvement, so they have a vested interest in you always feeling inadequate and needing to improve something. I had a trainer recently say “maintaining is not a goal” in response to me telling him that was my goal. I disagree; if I can stay at this same fitness level as I continue to move into my later 30’s, I’ll consider that a win.
Fitness is also an easy problem to fix, which can set-off a vicious cycle of needed self-improvement. It’s not uncommon for someone to have another problem in their life and vent it out by doing more in the fitness realm (example: men tend to get in shape during a divorce to raise their self-confidence). This can be healthy, but it can also lead to obsession when you realize that it’s one part of your life you can easily control.
What would you add to this list?
Read Full Post »