Things That I Forgot Were There

When we lived in Florida I taught my weight loss class to a wonderful group of ladies. One of them, who I’ll call Samantha,  lost weight during the class, but more importantly, used the tools she had learned to continue on her journey. She ended up losing 80 pounds and looked fabulous. A funny thing happened with her husband. He also got motivated and lost a large amount of weight. (That’s not the funny part!) Several months later, I ran into Samantha at the store, and she shared a very funny story with me.

Her husband was worried about a lump he felt on his chest, so made an appointment to see his doctor. The doctor came into the exam room, exchanged pleasantries, and asked her husband to lie down and show him where he felt the lump. He laid down, and pointed out the problem. The doctor felt it, and said, “Is this what you are feeling – right here?” He nodded. The doctor said, “Congratulations Jay – you are now feeling your sternum!” Jay left relieved he wasn’t dying, embarrassed he hadn’t felt his sternum in so long he forget where it was, and thrilled at his weight loss.


There are lots of good things that happen when we lose weight. The number on the scale drops and that’s happy. We wear smaller sizes, and that’s happy too. But in addition to those obvious things, there are many other little physical things that I noticed as I lost weight. Here are the first 10 that popped into my head. (I probably could have written 100 – maybe I will someday!)

»I did have collarbones, wrist bones. and knee bones after all!

»I no longer hung over chair seats.

»My calves fit into boots again.

»Tying my shoes and shaving my legs was easy.

»My kids could hug me all the way around!.

»I lost my double chin.

»I took up less physical space in rooms.

»My former pants size (28) was now my waist size.

»I looked taller.

»I felt younger.

In blog-land, and in my weight loss classes, we often love to focus on sizes, scale numbers and health issues. Those are all wonderful benefits of losing weight, but I found great joy in discovering and experiencing some of the other unexpected physical things that happened as I moved from obesity back to fitness. As you lose weight, make sure you take the time to appreciate those little changes as they occur. How do you feel when you sit in the car, and notice that you thighs aren’t hanging off the seat anymore, or that the seat belt doesn’t extend near as far as it used to? These little signs of progress helped keep me motivated, and were a lot of fun to discover. Hopefully you won’t have to pay the doctor to tell you the bone you are feeling is your sternum!

Care to share any progress signs you’ve noticed along your journey? I’d love to hear them! Diane


41 thoughts on “Things That I Forgot Were There

  1. Lisa Mary says:

    I totally had a similar experience! I thought I felt a lump at the top of my stomach. Same thing – went to the doctor and he then informed me that it was actually scare tissue from an operation I’d had as a teenager – but because of my extra “padding” – I’d never been able to feel it before!
    One of the other things I have noticed in getting smaller is that my shoulders are so much narrower than they have ever been. I always thought I was so broad shouldered – but it was just my large arms making me look and feel like a sumo wrestler. My journey continues – I still have more of a double chin than I would like, although my face has changed and so many people make comments. But my fingers are smaller (I had to get my engagament ring resized, and it’s almost time to do it again!), even my feet are shrinking! Everyhting isn’t perfect – in reality, I’m human, it’s never going to be – but it’s these subtle rewards that keep us going and we should celebrate them all 🙂

    • Diane Carbonell says:

      That is amazing that you had almost the same experience! I’m glad it was just scar tissue and nothing major. Our journey really never ends in a lot of ways Lisa Mary – I’m always thinking about ways to eat healthier, or coming up with ways to motivate myself to exercise differently or with more intensity.

      Congratulations on all your success!

  2. E. Jane says:

    I do miss feeling my hip bones as I used to years ago–very well defined. They now are felt under some padding, but I know it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s good for us to understand that we can make changes instead of feeling hopeless. Empowerment is the key, and sometimes others make us feel empowered, but lasting empowerment comes from within. You have found that, Diane.

    • Diane Carbonell says:

      Empowerment is the key. I don’t know if I always feel it, to be honest, but I try to remind myself everyday that the only person standing between me and anything I’m trying to achieve is me. I’m my own worst enemy and my own best friend!

  3. caryesings says:

    First, I have to reveal I hate even a finished basement so you can imagine how I feel about going into my unfinished 3 foot crawlspace under the house. Yet when we had to deal with a plumbing issue there last year I couldn’t help reveling in the fact that I COULD get in and out of that space comfortably. Not only was I smaller, but had so much more flexibility at age 52 that I was doing things I couldn’t have done at age 32!

    • Diane Carbonell says:

      Congratulations on being brave enough to go into that crawlspace and double congratulations on being in better shape now than you were 20 years ago. That is so inspiring!

  4. Mairi Brown says:

    Other people noticed the first thing that changed – my face. Apparently that’s the first place I lost weight and it was so noticable that people in my office started commenting on it. The next thing I noticed was my ribs, which I hadn’t seen in quite a while. My scale is moving very slowly but I’ve been taking Zumba a couple of times a week and my body is starting to get tighter – which keeps me motivated. I also have a skirt I try on periodically to measure my progress.

    • Diane Carbonell says:

      Congratulations on seeing those changes. People often commented on my facial changes too. I had one lady tell me that I shouldn’t lose anymore weight because I would start to look old. She said that a fat face looked younger than a slim face. That may be true, but I’d still rather have the smaller body that goes with the smaller face (even if there are more wrinkles!)

  5. Leah says:

    Just last night my husband had his hand on my side and kind of pushed and I remarked, “Yea…those are ribs! I have ribs! ” We got a good chuckle out of it. 😀

  6. KCLAnderson (Karen) says:

    I’ll never forget the time I woke up in the middle of the night (sleeping on my side, with my knees bent) and my knee bones hurt because there wasn’t as much padding between them. And then there was the time I realized my “cupid’s bathtubs” were gone. I bet you don’t know what “cupid’s bathubs” are… 🙂

  7. Lisa says:

    I was SHOCKED when I first saw my collarbone and ribs. It was such a cool feeling too…it was like discovering a new body every day!

  8. Taryl says:

    I’ve definitely had some unexpected bones poking out, though I haven’t yet been freaked out by them. Afters many years of being obese it is surprisingly easy to forget what’s under the padding!

  9. Sarah says:

    When I lost weight a couple of unexpected things happened. I went down two shoe sizes. I lost some ring sizes – my wedding ring no longer fit.

    I also loved the fact my thighs no longer rubbed together when I walked which meant I could wear skirts with no tights in the summer – something previous chafing had stopped me doing!

    • Diane Carbonell says:

      I don’t know how you were, but when I began gaining weight those kinds of things bothered me. Like when I had to stop wearing my wedding ring, and couldn’t even find tights that fit me. I too loved seeing those things change back in the right direction. Congratulations to you!

  10. julie says:

    My butt became much less comfortable for sitting. But, it’s much easier to get in/out of the car, in/out of bed, walk up stairs, all that good useful stuff.

  11. Elizabeth says:

    What a cute story about your friend 🙂 I have experienced many of the items you listed in your post. The other day I noticed that my young son’s arms could easily fit around me during a hug. It was a great feeling. I did a post about amusement parks a few weeks ago because those rides and belts were scary for an extremely overweight person. I had no fear of any ride this year! I wasn’t worried about a bar or belt one 🙂 Also, I remeber being concerned about a “lump” too, it was my rib cage 😉

    • Diane Carbonell says:

      I love that too! My daughter, who was about 7 or 8 at the time I was losing weight, hugged me one day and exclaimed, “I can fit my arms all the way around now. My arms must have grown!” I thought to myself, “Your arms didn’t grow – my hips shrunk.”

      I am so glad that you were able to freely enjoy the amusement park this year – isn’t that wonderful feeling?

  12. Joy says:

    I love the story about your friend 🙂 I have noticed a few things during the course of my weightloss one being my collarbones, being able to sit in a movie chair without squeezing in it and I remember one night one I was lying down and my boyfriend reached over to cuddle and he said ” I can feel your hipbone ” lol I have also notice when I was wearing a tank top the other day which has a low back I could see my shoulderblades.. I can’t wait to see what else I can see or do when the rest of the weight is off!

    • Diane Carbonell says:

      Honestly, this was one of the things about losing weight that I will never forget. It was almost like I had a new exciting discovery every week or so. They kept me motivated even more than seeing the number on the scale drop! Congratulations on how well you have done – that is so great.

  13. Stephanie says:

    What great stories from everyone! I am still amazed every time I see my ribs. 🙂 I honestly can’t remember every seeing them before, even when I was young!

  14. blackhuff says:

    That is such a funny story but yet so true.
    I discovered that I have hip bones. Yes, never in my life have I ever seen my hip bones till now. I can’t get enough of them. I’m always looking at them and touching them. So cool 🙂

  15. Anna says:

    Many years ago I lost a lot of weight and got down to 125 pounds. I remember it being very uncomfortable lying on the floor, especially on my side! It’s like it hurt my bones! They were used to having a lot of padding between them and the floor. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep the weight off that time so I never knew if that feeling would go away. Did you experience that, and if so, did you get used to it or did it go away?

  16. Valerie says:

    Hi Diane.

    I just discovered your blog via goggling “weight loss blogs”. Yours came up under “Top Ten Weight Loss Bloggers to Follow!” so kudos to you! Your before and after pics are amazing and very motivating. I am still so early on my own personal journey, but have already experienced getting to see my collar bones and having compliments thrown my way such as, “here comes skinny Valerie” love it…especially since I still have about another 40 pounds to lose (I’ve lost 30 to date!). Can’t “weight” to follow you on this healthy living journey!

    • Diane Carbonell says:

      Wonderful job Valerie! Congratulations on losing 30 pound – that is awesome. We have a great group of people here who share honestly and are in all different places of their own personal journey. I’m looking forward to checking out your blog.

  17. Renee says:

    It was funny when a former co-worker, said that she could see the bones in my neck. Don’t you think you loss to much weight. At that point I had lost 35 pounds and still had 20 more to go.
    My husband was giving me a massage about a month ago, he made a comment that he could feel the bone in my lower back that I didn’t have any padding.

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