Content warning: this story mentions eating disorders and body image issues.
A woman has shared the ‘surprise’ discovery she made about her body after shedding an impressive 45kg, sparking a conversation about the unexpected side to weight loss — and gain — online.
In a Reddit post, the user revealed that she is now in the final ‘maintenance’ stage of her weight loss journey after being obese for their ‘entire life’ — and that the change to her armpits, in particular, has left her stunned.
“I’ve lost ~100lbs (45kg) after being obese for my entire life and am in maintenance now, but there are still little things that surprise me,” she wrote.
“I never knew that your armpits were supposed to be actual pits! Shaving is so much harder now because they’re actually concave instead of flat,” she admitted.
The user went on to reveal her amazement at how much easier ‘normal daily tasks’ are; “I never realized how much effort it took to just get through the day 100lbs ago,” she wrote.
She then opened up the floor to her fellow Reddit users, asking them to share their own experiences after going through ‘a significant body change’.
Almost 350 comments have been made so far on the post, with women who have lost or gained weight for a variety of different reasons sharing a real mix of stories — sad, happy, frustrating and funny. Many resonated with the original poster’s armpit revelation while others had their own ‘surprises’ to add.
Here is just a selection of the comments:
“I went from being dangerously underweight to a healthy weight and oh my gosh — the energy is AMAZING. I used to fall asleep multiple times throughout the day and couldn’t drive for long periods of time because I’d start to nod. I also really love being able to lift my own bags in and out of carry-on bins. I used to have to ask for help but now I can help others :)”
“I lost about 80lbs (36), so right there with you with how much harder shaving armpits is now! I think for me the top thing is how much more aware I am of specific feelings in my body. I feel more in tune with the fluctuations and random pains because I don't hurt everywhere now.”
“I lost over 20 lbs (9kg), lost fat and gained muscle and now I can't stop flexing whenever I see my reflection in the mirror.”
“I’m the same way. Went from 106 pounds (48kg) at 5’ 11” to 150 (68kg), and the difference in my energy levels is insane. I look back at pictures of myself from that time and wonder how I carried on feeling cold and tired all the time.”
“Same here! It's nice to be able to stand up and not blackout all the time. I don't get compliments on how I look anymore, which sucks, but I feel healthier and that's the main thing.”
“I lost probably 25kgs over a few years and am now a US size 4. God, clothes shopping is now a joy and everything fits me. I don't have to avoid looking in the mirror in the store because now I fricken love the way I look.”
No butts about it
“I had an ED for years. Still trying to work with the weight (fat and muscle) gain but my gosh, my butt looks good. It's been nice fitting into underwear nicely.”
“Went from super skinny to pretty muscular. Overall I just feel more confident and don’t really have to worry about how clothes or swimsuits will look on me. I think the most surprising thing to me was that I can actually change my body — for the longest time it felt out of my control even though it wasn’t!”
Body and mind
“I was never technically overweight, but I went from the high end of a healthy BMI to the low end. At 5’8” that was 155 (70kg) down to 125 (57kg). I thought that once I hit my goal weight I’d feel comfortable in my own skin. I just kept thinking ‘Once I’m skinny, I’ll feel better about myself.’ Turns out, my body wasn’t the issue at all. I’m certainly happier with my body and overall health now, but I didn’t magically start feeling comfortable in my own skin just because I lost weight.”
“I was obese my whole life and lost 270lbs (122kg). I was most shocked at the fact that my frame is actually not actually that big. It’s still startling to me to see myself and realize I’m an average-sized woman with a naturally athletic build, not naturally large and bulky.”
“How much better I felt after gaining weight. I was obsessed with weight loss for far too long and it destroyed my health and well being, I’ve gained everything back and more just listening to my body and nourishing it. My metabolism has healed after years of working against it. So much appreciation for my body now, it’s so intelligent.”
For confidential support about eating disorders and body image issues, you can free call the Butterfly Foundation National Hotline on 1800 33 4673.
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