Unlike some people, who lost their weight by regular exercise, I took the slower, less intense route of diet restriction and portion control. Goodbye, sweets! I'm sure there are plenty of articles about working out, but this is for all those like me, or who hope to one day be in my position.

Over the course of two years, and with the help of a lot of self control and even more patience, I lost a total of 45 lbs. That may not be as much as some others, but at 16 and only 5' tall, every spare pound counted. So, now that you can see I have first hand experience on the subject, here are 5 things no one ever told me about losing weight.

1. It's not all about the weight.
This may seem a little counter-intuitive, but a lot of people that are overweight struggle with self image and acceptance of who they are. While losing weight and even after you have reached your goal, you need to really evaluate if you are happy where you are, or if the weight was only a product of some underlying cause. Plenty of stress inducing situations can be attributed to weight gain, so be sure to address the source of the problem, not just its affects (if there happens to be one at all).

2. Sometimes, I was happier when I was fat.
This really only applies to the lazier side of me, but it still applies. When you are overweight, you don't worry about sizes, or trying to look good. You just exist as you are. You can eat whatever you feel like eating because there is no one telling you to do otherwise. It was definitely a more carefree life, without restrictions. I feel happier more often now, but sometimes I miss not having to try.

3. Losing weight changes your shape, not your structure.
I often would daydream about what it would be like to be thin. I would be able to fit into all the cute clothes department stores aim at teens. But once I lost the weight, it hit me - not everything looks good on me, regardless of whether it's the right size or not. I had to accept that just because I can fit into a small, doesn't mean it's going to flatter me. Everyone should be aware of their body type, and dress accordingly.

4. Skinny doesn't always mean happy.
This one kind of goes hand in hand with number one. Losing weight doesn't mean you are going to snag the guy or girl of your dreams, or clear your skin up (though proper nutrition might help), and it certainly won't magically improve your GPA. Slimming down will definitely help with your self image, but it all comes down to improving YOU. Loving yourself and the body you came in is important, but that doesn't mean weight loss and joy are synonymous. You'll have your bad days, sad times will come and go, but just see how far you've come from where you were, and remind yourself that anything is possible.

5. The weight never truly vanishes.
Last, not least, but certainly the hardest to swallow, this one is the one that hit the hardest. Sure, you may not be carrying the weight around anymore, but the memories will always be there. You may see and old picture on social media and someone might say "wow, look how heavy you used to be". It's going to sting a little, but try not to take it to heart. They probably just think they are being kind. You may find old clothes that you would be swimming in now, and it will remind you of just how normal all of that excess weight seemed at the time. Some of you (me included!) will even have stretch marks as constant, physical reminders of who we were. These do not define us! If anything, all of these memories will only show others (and sometimes when needed, ourselves!) how strong we are, that we were able to overcome all of the challenges in our path and emerge victorious.

If you are just beginning your journey to a healthier you, don't be afraid of all of these things. Every bright side has its clouds and every rose, her thorns. My road to weight loss was long and arduous, but I know that in the end, it was worth it.