Here’s the thing – as a formerly overweight guy, I got plenty of advice from friends and family about how to lose weight, how to go on a diet, working out, and getting fit.
I was borderline overweight not so long ago. I was diabetic, I had hypertension, and I had the testosterone levels of a 50-year-old guy. I knew I had to make some drastic changes in my lifestyle, and everyone in my inner circle was very supportive of my goals. I was the only heavy guy in my family, and everyone close to me knew quite a bit about getting fit. I did my workouts, I chose a diet plan, and after a couple of years, I got fit and healthy. I thought that was it, but it wasn’t.
My life changed, and I wasn’t prepared for it. I’ve been overweight all my life, and being fit was new to me. I talked to other formerly overweight guys and discovered that I wasn’t alone with my struggles. Here are some of the problems that only formerly heavy guys will understand:
You never know what to wear
Thin guys will never understand the struggle that overweight guys have when choosing their wardrobe. I can’t even begin to tell you how limited our options are when choosing what to wear. We have to shop at places that offer plus-size shirts and pants, and most “good” brands don’t make shirts bigger than 2XL. On top of that, we have to wear our clothes loose. You’ll never see an overweight dude wear fitted clothing. Being fit gave me the option to wear clothes that actually fit my body, and not choose something a size bigger than usual.
When I got my size down to XL, I discovered that I was still wearing a size bigger than what I should be wearing. Large-sized clothes fit me now, and I wasn’t comfortable with fitted clothing. For the first few years, I wore loose clothes, and I wasn’t aware that I could choose something that fit me better. Even when you slim down a few sizes, you still retain the same body image.
You get cold easily
Being heavy has its benefits. You don’t get cold easily – you have a layer of insulation that most guys don’t have, but when you shed all that fat, you can’t help but feel colder than usual. It’s not unsurprisingly frigid where I live, but from time to time, I feel like the air around me is too cold. I needed warmer clothing to adjust, and it took some time before I got used to it.
Even today, I still can’t get myself to fully adapt to the new life without the “insulation” I’ve had all my life. I get too cold easily. I get too warm easily. Most days, I just throw in a jacket or a sweater, and I just remove it when I feel too warm.
You lose your alcohol tolerance
Being lightweight carries a new meaning when you’re formerly overweight. Back when I was still overweight, I could go all night drinking with my buddies. My alcohol tolerance was pretty good, but when I lost all that weight, I discovered that I can’t handle alcohol as well as I used to. I get drunk easily. Figuring out my limit was new for me. I’ve never had a situation where I drank too much, but after changing my lifestyle, I had to count how many beers and shots I drink to prevent making a fool of myself.
Everything moves faster
When I was overweight, I moved slower than most guys. It’s rare to find an overweight guy that moves fast. Being fit made me feel lighter, and the change made me feel that things are moving a lot faster than they were.
Most fit guys don’t realize how strong overweight dudes are. Imagine carrying an extra fridge on your back your entire life, and losing all that extra weight. Overweight guys develop muscles to support their body weight, and that muscle is retained as they lose weight. Being strong and light helped me feel more confident, but it’s something that took time to get used to.
You become more obsessed with your weight
Now that I’ve cut 70lbs, there’s a drive within me that makes me extra cautious about my lifestyle. One of the worst things I’m concerned about is losing all of my progress and gaining all of the weight I just lost.
I’m now more attentive to what I eat, I’m more disciplined with my workouts, I even try to walk if it’s possible. I felt like I would do anything just to keep myself from gaining all that weight back again, and it only made me even fitter and stronger as the years went by.
We’ve all heard the challenge to walk in someone’s shoes to understand what they are going through, but it hits different when you’ve been there before. I now have a whole new level of respect for anyone who has the mental fortitude and discipline to transform their body. It’s a lot of work and sacrifice, but at the end of the day, it’s all worth it.