A woman who went from a size 18 to a size six has shared some of the surprising things “no one tells you” about losing weight.
Meg Stier, an actor and motivational speaker living in New York City who goes by the username @megmackenzies on TikTok, revealed some of the things she wishes she’d known “before [she] lost a bunch of weight,” such as that she would be cold “literally all the time,” in a video posted to the platform on Sunday.
In the candid clip, Stier began: “[These are] things no one tells you when you go from a size 18 to a size six. And to be clear, there was nothing wrong with me when I was a size 18, and there’s nothing wrong with me at a size six.”
Stier then reflected on the changes, many of which were negative, that she’s experienced as a result of her weight loss, with the TikToker revealing that, in addition to constantly being cold, she’s realised that “losing weight didn’t solve all of [her] problems,” there are days where she liked her body more when she was “bigger,” and that there’s a “lot of skin”.
“I’m literally cold all the time. I’m just cold, always,” Stier said, before telling viewers: “Some days, I liked my body a lot more when I was bigger.”
According to Stier, she’s also found that “people treat you differently” when you lose weight, and “skinny privilege is a thing”.
“People started to respect me a lot more when I lost weight, which is just disgusting,” she continued, before moving on to some of the physical changes. “There’s a lot of skin. There’s a lot of skin,” she said.
Stier said she’s also found that her weight loss has become “the main topic of conversation” everywhere she goes. “Instead of my successful career, my education, or anything else about me,” she said.
The TikToker concluded the video with a final surprising change to her body, with Stier expressing her surprise to find that her feet got “smaller” after losing weight.
“My feet got smaller. I’m almost an entire shoe size smaller than I was,” she said, before adding: “Make it make sense.”
In the caption of the TikTok, which has since been viewed more than 2.8m times, Stier acknowledged that her weight loss has been a “learning curve”.
The video has resonated with viewers, with many praising Stier for talking candidly about the topic, while others shared their own similar experiences with weight loss.
“Size 18 to two here. You forgot jewellery, rings and watches had to be resized. But yes to everything else!!” one person wrote, while another said: “Everyone thinks it’s so weird when I say my feet shrunk when I lost weight!! Always cold here too!”
“I have literally experienced ALL of this! I went from a 22 to a two. So. Much. Skin.” someone else wrote.
Many viewers also revealed they can relate to Stier’s experience with “skinny privilege,” with one person writing: “Girl same. I went from a size 20 to a size four. I RELATE. The skinny privilege blew my mind.”
Another person wrote: “It is fascinating how I was ignored in stores when I was heavy but greeted enthusiastically when thin.”
In a follow-up video, Stier opened up more about the concept of “skinny privilege,” with the TikToker sharing examples of the ways she is treated now as a size six versus when she was a size 18.
After clarifying that the video was not an “attack on skinny people,” Stier said that “skinny privilege” has meant that “people look me in the eye when they talk to me,” and that she can buy clothes in her size at any store.
According to Stier, she’s also noticed a change in how people react when she speaks. “When I speak, people tend to listen more,” she said, before adding: “Well, I’m a woman, so men still talk over me, but, in general, people listen to me more than when I was larger.”
Stier also revealed that she began to experience success in her career “the moment [she] lost weight,” despite not becoming “more talented, smarter or better at [her] job”. “I just looked different,” she said.
The TikToker said she is no longer “judged” by what food she orders in a restaurant, or when she eats in public, and can go to the gym without others giving her a “‘good for her, she’s trying’ face”.
“People considered me unmotivated, unhealthy and generally just lazy because I was bigger,” Stier said, before adding: “Those are three words that no one would ever use to describe me now and my lifestyle really hasn’t changed that much.”
In the video, Stier then acknowledged that there is a “serious bias against fat people” that is “hard to fully grasp” unless you’ve “lived on both sides of the spectrum”.
“Skinny privilege is a thing and even I find myself taking advantage of it. We need to change the way we view people because fat doesn’t mean bad and skinny doesn’t mean good,” she said. “People are just people. Their actions and their intentions are what make them good or bad, not the way they look.”
Speaking to The Independent about her decision to make the initial TikTok, and whether she expected the viral response, Stier revealed that she has created the video “so many times over the last few months but never posted it because [she] didn’t want to be judged”.
However, Stier was ultimately encouraged to share the video after seeing the number of people on TikTok “struggling with body acceptance and weight loss”.
“After seeing so many people on TikTok struggling with body acceptance and weight loss I figured it would be worth sharing!” she explained.
In regards to the viral reaction to the video, Stier said she was “most shocked” by the number of people the TikTok resonated with. “What I am most shocked about is how many people are saying ‘YES! ME TOO!’ It’s a conversation that has been needed for a long time and I’m grateful the online community has been so positive in letting me join that conversation,” she said.
As for what she hopes viewers take away from the video, Stier said she wants to impart a “sense of community and honesty”.
“It’s SCARY to talk about your own body on the internet. We spend so much time being told not to post things that don’t show us in a positive way (Photoshop, bad angles, no makeup etc.) But I want to encourage people to share the good and the uncomfortable,” she said. “Making these conversations more normal is how we stop the negativity that is constantly being thrown at people for the way they look or the number on the scale.”