What to Expect When You Lose 100 Pounds

Authors and Dr. Oz Experts

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You've done it...lost 100 pounds, maybe more. But your journey does not just stop once you've hit your goal. There are a variety of other physical and psychological challenges that you may continue to face once the weight is off. Here are some tips to think about now that you've reached your fabulous goal.

Don't keep "Fat Pants" in the Closet
You may be tempted to keep old clothes in the closet but resist that temptation. There is no way that you ever want to go back to wearing those items so there is no need for having them. In spite of this rule, it may be helpful to keep one item (even an old belt).  When you've reached your goal and are faced with the long road of maintenance, it can be hard to remember where you started.  People stop complimenting you and encouraging you - they get used to the "new" you.  Having an old item to compare or old pictures to use as a reference point can help you remember and reinforce all the hard work that you did.

Stay the Course

Even though you have made a very significant accomplishment, your journey is not over. Instead it just has taken a new direction, one of maintenance. Once the weight is off you cannot go back to old habits! Continue to get a sufficient amount of physical activity. Watch your diet and portion sizes, and enjoy a treat every once in a while. Find some way to keep yourself accountable. If you are a quantitative-type person, you may want to consider still keeping a food/exercise diary and weighing yourself once per week.

If you are a qualitative-type person, consider having an accountability partner that you can call when you are feeling weak or have a bad day. Keep weighing yourself at least once a week. It's easy to let the pounds get away from you if you aren't keeping a close eye on them. If you find that your weight is up a few pounds consistently for more than a week, it's time to up your exercise, keep track of your intake and turn things around.  It's much easier to turn it around after a few pounds than 10 or more.

Extra Skin

Try to be realistic about expectations of your post weight-loss body. Due to the large amount of weight lost, there is a possibility extra skin may not totally bounce back. There are several things you can do to deal with that skin though. Depending on just how much extra skin you have, hiding it with a girdle or various articles of underwear may be a good option. If those just don't cut it, you may want to consider getting the skin surgically removed. You can talk to your physician about this option.

Although you may not have achieved the "ideal" body you hoped for, the enormous health benefits of the weight loss are far more important than tight skin.

Change in Relationships

Try to be understanding of your loved ones as they get used to the new person you have become. For some, your success may be threatening and they may think that you have no room for them in your new life - reassure them that that is not the case. Involve your friends and family in the activities of your new life: go for a walk, make a healthy dinner or go shopping. Let the people in your life know how much you have, and will continue, to appreciate their support. Turn some of the focus of conversation on them to see how their life is going and be open to honest conversation about your feelings.

If you have "food cops" in your life who continually monitor what you eat or when you're going to the gym, identify for them ways that they can be supportive and explain how you need to be in charge of yourself.

Conversely, remember too that you had to be ready to take on this life-changing task, you couldn't be pushed into it until you were ready. Your loved ones may not be ready or willing to be dragged along with your efforts. Be sure that you're setting a good example rather than nagging them over to your way of thinking.

Sometimes, major weight loss can lead to more serious problems in a relationship.  Individuals may not know how to handle the new attention from the opposite sex or significant others may become overly jealous. Support from a third party may be needed to navigate these transitions.

Distorted Self-Image

As you have changed so much (physically and mentally) along your journey to lose 100 pounds, you may need to reacquaint yourself with the new body you have worked so hard for. It may take some time to get to know and love the new you. Our body image is largely formed in adolescence and young adulthood. 

Thus, if you were overweight during that time period, it may take some time to develop a more realistic image. Focus on the things that you like about your body - and make sure that they aren't size dependent. Remember that your arms allow you to hug loved ones (not just have excess skin). Your thighs may not be your ideal size but they allow you to walk those 10,000 steps. Be patient with yourself, and seek support in friends and family, or a healthcare professional if you need it!

Losing the Weight May Not Solve All Your Problems.

It may be a common misconception that weight loss is the answer to any variety of problems going on in a person's life. So now that the weight is gone, ALL of your problems should be gone too, right?

Maybe not. The weight that you once carried may have just been a symptom of a much larger, deeper issue(s) within yourself. Weight loss is not a magical cure that will make all of your problems disappear. This may come as a shock to you once you've finally hit your weight loss goal. Try to be realistic about any of the difficulties (unrelated to weight) you may be facing in your life, and seek extra support from a medical professional, support group, or those close to you.