Women often live by the saying, "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." In all honesty, our culture definitely idolizes the notion of getting skinny fast. According to Statistic Brain, weight loss is the number 1 New Year's resolution, which only serves to highlight how obsessed our society is with looking good in order to feel good. Women often define their self worth by their bodies, and go to extremes in order to acquire the supermodel look. While extreme weight loss may be the answer to your medical and self-esteem problems, it is essential that you understand the risks associated with dropping a lot of weight in a brief amount of time. It's not all sunshine and rainbows, ladies. Of course we want you to look and feel your best, and take pride in your body, but make sure you are going about weight loss in a safe way.
>> Read more: Positive Self Body Image
Any weight loss over 50 pounds in a short amount of time is bound to leave some not-so-pretty effects. Especially if you have been a certain weight for most of your adulthood, drastic weight loss is going to take its toll on your body. There are several physical effects that frequently accompany extreme weight loss. Many women report stretch marks, loose skin, stretched navel, and sagging breasts. Looking in the mirror after you've dropped 50 to 60 pounds, only to discovered a flap of skin hanging dejectedly over your midriff is the very last thing you want! People who have undergone severe weight loss are often forced to undergo plastic surgery in order to remedy the sagging skin and stretch marks. Hardly anyone in magazines finds it necessary to mention their visit to the cosmetic surgeon in the midst of their fairy-tale success stories!
In addition to the physical effects of dropping a significant amount of weight, there are a good deal of emotional effects that may impact you as well. Many people who have reported drastic weight loss often admit that they struggle with becoming accustomed to their new bodies. When they bend over to retrieve something they may feel as if there is still some amount of stomach fat there. They then face a mental battle over whether they have lost enough weight, or whether they will ever grow comfortable in their own skin. They often feel as if they need to keep going and lose even more weight.
Weight loss can be an emotional roller coaster. While you are dieting and working out, you may ricochet between extreme pride and frustration. Stepping on that scale may be the highlight of your day one week, and rock bottom the next. After you've achieved your goal weight and are working towards maintenance, new challenges can arise According to New York Magazine, "...continuing to work hard to maintain a new body that feels alien is a task even more complicated than achieving that body in the first place." Newly thin people often struggle with adjusting to their new look. Even when they stare at themselves in a mirror, they have trouble regarding themselves as a "skinny person." Any anxiety you may feel with your body is exacerbated by a sense of shame at not feeling absolute pride at a moment you expected to be victorious.
>> Read more: 5 Ways to Look in the Mirror and Love Who is Staring Back
We want you to be able to take pride in your "after" photos. As you shed those pounds, you should be able to look in the mirror and feel overwhelming pride at what you have accomplished. There are a few essential steps you can take to ensure that you avoid many of the pitfalls of extreme weight loss. Try not to lose all of the weight by a specific date. True transformation may take a couple of years to accomplish, but that time will allow your body to adjust to your new lifestyle. Instead of saying "I want to lose 100 pounds," begin with more manageable goals. Something like losing 10 pounds every 12 weeks is a realistic goal that will allow your body to adjust to your dietary and fitness altercations. Remember that 90 percent of people who undergo rapid weight loss will probably regain most, if not all, that weight. Weight maintenance and sticking to a healthy lifestyle are essential elements to dieting. Enjoy the journey, because if you take the time to savor those little accomplishments, that final reveal will feel way more satisfactory. Overall, remember that your weight loss is all about you. Find the motivation to keep going within yourself, rather than the pictures of models and actresses in magazines. Hold yourself to your own standards!
For more information on extreme weight loss, check out these sources:
New York Magazine, Julia Kozerski, Fit Day, Livestrong, National Center for Biotechnology Information