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Posted at 7:00 AM ET, 12/ 7/2010

Losing weight is (mostly) great

By Jennifer LaRue Huget

When I set out to lose 10 pounds before I turned 50, I figured doing so would be an all-around happy experience.

Now that I'm 50 and about 14 pounds lighter, I've found that, yes, losing weight was a good thing to do. But as I write about in this week's "Eat, Drink and Be Healthy" column, it hasn't been as purely positive as I anticipated. From flaps of extra skin to being forced to face things I was using food to hide from, there have been plenty of downsides to my downsizing.

A quick Google search suggests I'm not alone: People who've lost weight complain about all kinds of things, from constantly feeling cold to having to replace whole wardrobes on a limited budget to having nobody notice that they've lost weight.

On top of those anecdotal reports, a study published in September showed that losing weight can release toxins that had been stored in fat into the bloodstream. Who needs that?

Of course, all in all I'm thrilled to have shed my unwanted poundage, and I feel better now than I did in my 20s. None of the downsides is such that it makes me wish I hadn't undertaken this effort. But, oh, all that extra skin!

How about you folks? Have you lost weight, only to discover that it hasn't been the joyous event you thought it would be? Please share your thoughts in the comments section, and do join me and my adviser, Pam Peeke, for a live chat about my Me Minus 10 project today at 1 p.m.

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  | December 7, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Me Minus 10, Nutrition and Fitness, Obesity, Women's Health  
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Sorry to be negative, but I don't consider a loss of 14 poungs to be a "weight loss journey." Any whining about a little loose skin from that loss? Please.

Yes, people who have lost weight can feel cold from the loss of body fat, and people do need to replace wardrobes, but people who have lost significant amounts of weight will have it noticed by other people.

In the past few years I have lost 90 pounds but regained 10. I would like to lose the 10 again but if I do not I am fine with with it.

Yes, I skin baggy and I had to replace my wardrobe not once but about 3 times over the course of my weight loss, but those negatives to not in any way make me unhappy.

I can get off the toilet, off my bed, or out of the car without a struggle. I no longer leak pee with I walk or need medication for high blood pressure. I do not have fungal infections in my skin folds or break chairs when I sit on them.

Losing the weight changed my life and is the best thing I ever did for myself. The minor negatives are so worth it.

Posted by: MsAlley1 | December 7, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

To be very honest 14 lbs is not much.
If you're going to lose weight you have to think about that extra flab. Sitting there and complaining about it is not going to get you toned. You have to work at it, and belive me I used to weigh 250 lbs in my youth.
I believe in walking and exercising.
Also, don't look at the scale look at your dimentions. 133lbs of flab is not the same as 133lbs of muscle.
So quit complaining about the downside,because you only did 1/10 of the battle.
You have to exercise and tone up.

Posted by: Cholmes82448 | December 7, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations on meeting your weight loss goal!

Several years after the birth of my daughter, I finally found the time to exercise and lose about 30 lbs (over a couple years; I was in no hurry). And overall I'm happy with the result, but I admit, each 10 lb increment wasn't as big of a deal as I'd hoped it would be, appearance-wise.

What I find a lot more inspiring than focusing on minimizing my weight is the effort to maximize my health. I love getting stronger, faster, healthier, feeling better. I love the feeling that I'm nourishing my body by giving it (mostly) healthy food. I feel great and enjoy the 4 hours or so a week I spend at the gym, lifting weights, going to Zumba, doing intervals in the elliptical.

What's made the biggest difference to the appearance of my body hasn't been losing weight, but putting on muscle. I don't know if you lift "heavy" weights (weights that you can only lift 12 or so times maximum or less), but if you don't, you might like to try it. Strength training has given me a more balanced shape, and I'm guessing that it's filled out some of what would have been loose skin with useful muscle.

While I weigh about 10 lbs more than I did pre-pregnancy, I wear the same pant size and am a lot stronger. Somehow, a number on the scale doesn't seem that important anymore.

Posted by: _wm_ | December 7, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

The first 15 are the hardest. congrats! I walk with hiking poles. Be sure to get the bouncy ones with rubber tips.
Year before last I broke my shoulder and this year I lost 30 pounds. My arms looked like I was 100 and getting older. Actually put some weights ( large nuts from the hardware store) on the poles to increase my strength.
Dr. Covert Bailey has some interesting work on building muscle verses losing weight. I want muscle,skinny doesn't cut it any more.

Posted by: idapachinsky | December 7, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations on the weight loss. The comments about it not being enough of a weight loss are bogus. All the health professionals say a 10% loss is very beneficial. It's also a clothing size. I, having much more to lose would welcome a 14lb loss. This forum is to boost each other up on our journey, not be negative. You feel good and are happy about the loss which is enough!

Posted by: mpie1 | December 9, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

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