We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what they wish they knew at the beginning of their weight loss journeys.
So if you're in the process of trying to lose weight — or thinking about it — here are some wise words from people who have been there:
1. There is a recipe for weight loss...but it's different for everyone.
2. You don't have to give up anything you don't want to give up.
3. Make sure to distinguish between other people's experiences and legit facts about weight loss.
4. Taking lots of "before" pics will help you see your progress.
5. The scale won't always reflect how much progress you've made.
6. And even if you're not seeing results as soon as you'd like to — other people might be.
7. Don't just go ahead and cut your calories in half.
8. You can eat that fucking dessert after all.
9. And one indulgence won't undo months/weeks of work.
10. Your weight loss journey might be unpredictable and that's OK.
11. Consistency is the best "diet."
12. Know that your hard work just might motivate other people.
"This will make you simultaneously feel proud of yourself to have had that effect, and feel a shit ton of pressure to maintain that level of motivating power."
—Amanda Hagen, Facebook
13. Not everyone will be super supportive of your lifestyle changes. Don't let that get you down.
14. Know that losing weight won't necessarily solve all your problems.
15. Or improve your body image, for that matter.
16. When you stop thinking of exercise as a punishment you realize it's actually great.
17. This whole process will probably take some time.
18. But you definitely don't have to do it alone.
19. Hang in there because it might even become FUN.
20. Full disclosure: Your boobs might get smaller.
21. And, yeah, there might be some loose skin. Or a lot of loose skin.
22. You might learn that weight bias is even worse than you thought.
23. Positive self-talk > negative self-talk, always.
24. Trial and error isn't the same thing as a setback.
"I went though three months of thinking a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle was best for my diet, when really my body didn't like that at all. I would add food and take away food items all the time; it's about finding what foods your body wants and doesn't want."