When Do People Start Noticing?

I know that I look at myself in the mirror more than anyone else looks at me. And I think the way I look at myself is more critical than others would criticize. I don’t consider myself overly-narcissistic (only a little narcissistic 🙂 ), but I often wonder if other people are noticing my weight loss. Several times over the last few weeks, I’ve asked myself, “When do people start noticing?” Thirty pounds? Forty pounds?”

Two weeks ago when I went to Portland, I was traveling with my friend Chris, who I hadn’t seen since Christmas time. He was teasing me for my packed lunch of 2 ounces of lunch meat, string cheese, yogurt, and other bypass-friendly items. We talked a lot about my surgery, but I was curious if he could SEE a difference. I stood in front of him I flat out asked him “Can you tell a difference in my body yet?”, he said “Not really, I just look at you and know it’s you.” At that point I’d lost 30 pounds, and was hoping he would give some kind of raving compliment, but he didn’t. And it isn’t his fault that he didn’t see it. But it felt like a little bit of a let down.

But then again, there are people who seem to notice every little change in my body and give me lots of verbal encouragement. My coworker Nick has this crazy gift of guessing how much weight I’ve lost…”So Nicole, you’ve lost about 35 pounds now, right?” And he’s ALWAYS right, it’s uncanny.

With how active I am in social media, I usually have at least one event per week that I attend. This week I went to Social Commerce Exchange, and saw a few friends I haven’t seen since before surgery. One walked into the room, and I stood up from my chair, and he said “Wow, Nicole, you look gooood!” Getting these types of compliments really make me smile, and give me some validation for all the hard work I’ve put into my weight loss. It also helps alleviate some of the social anxiety I have developed in the last few years as my weight spiraled out of control.

I think one of the things that makes it hard for others to notice the weight loss is my lack of muscle tone. I’m losing weight, but I’ve also lost my muscles, especially in my abdomen. If I wear tight clothes that hold me in a bit, you can see my loss much better. But since I spent so much time in bed over the last 6 weeks, and have only walked for exercise, I’m getting anxious to get my muscles toned. I’m going to start some weight training next week…my arms are in desperate need to lose some jiggle.

city creek center SLCI went to City Creek Center, the new mall in Salt Lake City, twice this week to walk, window shop, and wander. I’ve found that it’s much easier for me to get in a good walk when there are interesting surroundings, which is why treadmills typically are not my favorite way to get in a walk. As I was about to walk across Main Street, a sweet girl came up to me and asked, “Are you Nicole? I read your blog, and I just want to tell you that you look amazing!” She was someone who is an online acquaintance, and we talked a little bit. She said she loves to read my posts, but doesn’t usually comment. I was happy that she stopped me to talk, because I otherwise wouldn’t have known that she read my blog.

I weighed in this weekend, and I’m at 333.1. I’ve finally hit the 40 pound mark! This is a big step for me because I’ve tried to lose weight in so many ways, but the weight loss typically putters out around 25-35 pounds. I’ve never been able to lose more than 40 (except when I lost 50 pounds and I got rid of an ex-husband at the same time). I told myself that I would celebrate my 40 pound mark with a new pair of jeans. I love getting new clothes, but I’ve kept my purchases to a minimum because I’m changing sizes so rapidly.

Tonight I had a little extra time, so I went over to Lane Bryant to try on some jeans. I bought a pair of 26s a few weeks ago, but they’re already looking too baggy on me. LB has a line called T3 jeans that help tighten your tummy. I tried on several pairs of 24s and 22s…and the 22s fit! I totally jumped a size in jeans! They’re a bit too tight in the calves, but hopefully the jeans will stretch or my calves will shrink.

40 pounds feels like such an exciting accomplishment, I can only imagine how the other milestones will feel!


  1. So I recognized you from the event on Thursday but I was too shy to come up and say hi to you or your daughter – which, btw, was very cool she came to the event! Hope she had fun! Next time I see you I will try to be better and say hi. So cool the girl at the mall recognized you and reads your blog. Keep up the great work with weight loss, Im trying to do the same thing right now and its not easy!

  2. I totally get where you are coming from on the people noticing thing. I’m down 35-ish lbs (had surgery Jan 18th) and I went out last week to meet up with a friend and had sort of the same reaction… only I didn’t ASK for it. I walked into the cafe where we were meeting and I didn’t even have my butt in the chair when my friend said “Oh your face has gotten thinner, I don’t see any difference in the rest of you at all though”.

    Gee thanks! Yes I’ve lost 30 lbs off my CHIN thanks for noticing! haha

    We really want people to notice, after all we’ve gone through it’s hard to wait for the really WOW-FACTOR kind of results. We’ll get there though!!

  3. I know it’s weird to say, but that’s how it is with my husband. I can always tell, even though I see him every day. But until he really starts LOOKING like a thinner guy (not just a little “deflated”) people don’t notice. He has to lose like 50-100lbs for people to start saying something! A tip? Wear all your old clothes. People REALLY notice when you wear clothes that are too loose!

  4. nice blog, glad I wandered over here. I’m quite a bit overweight and so I anticipate it will be awhile before people start noticing when I start losing weight.

  5. Michelle says:

    Congrats on the 40 lbs AND the new jeans! What a great feeling! And yes, I get the “I can really see it in your face” comments all the time. And even worse…I have people asking me ALL the time if I did something different with my hair!! Really? LOL My hair?! Oh, well. The time will come that we will WOW them all! Keep up the great work!

  6. Having gone through a lot of weight loss in the past (let’s not talk to the subsequent weight gain; we’ve all been there), I think people fall into a couple of different categories. There are those who truly won’t notice, because they never noticed your body in the past. They may know that you’re a larger person, but not an issue for them. Same reason a lot of people simply don’t notice things like hair cuts.

    And then there are those who might notice you look a little different, but they can’t quite figure out how. Maybe they think your eyes look bigger, or your smile looks brighter. They may not realize what they’re seeing is a result of your weight loss… so they won’t hone into that.

    Then there are those who might notice, but they don’t want to say anything, at least not yet. Part of the challenge for people is they don’t know how to say something without worrying about insulting the way you used to look before. “Oh you’re looking so fantastic NOW” implies, “You really looked crappy before” and some people don’t want to hurt your feelings that way.

    I’d say wait until you’re down about 60 pounds, and I think most people WILL actually notice. If nothing else, they’ll notice that you’re just looking good. Your curves might not be so “bumpy,” things might not stick out nearly as far as they used to… so they might not necessarily realize how profound the weight loss is, but they might notice that you’re simply “looking marvelous.”

    When you’re halfway past your goal weight (100+) and you have the energy to start exercising, I suspect that’s when you’ll start getting people openly marveling at the way you look. Exercise starts changing your physical appearance a lot, including your face. Not necessarily that your face will look thinner, but it will make it look more well-defined. THEN people will really start noticing. That’s my bet!

  7. PS: For what it’s worth, I can tell the difference from looking at your photos. ^_^

  8. Congratulations Nicole! I do have to say that some people are just plain unobservant (I can say this because I am one of them)! It’s not that we don’t notice the difference, but more that we can’t clearly remember the way someone looked before. Oh yes, us head-in-the-clouds types are always in trouble for not noticing people’s weight-loss, new hair color, awkward demeanor etc. It can make social situations more difficult that’s for sure. Hopefully, the next time I see you, you will have lost so much I can’t HELP but notice! 😛

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