Most people have a pair of “fat” pants. Often these types of pants are used as a prop in before and after pictures, where you see the person who has lost weight smiling while wearing pants to demonstrate that they’re clearly too big for them. I love those pictures and seeing those types of clothing from people because it shows such an incredible difference in their bodies!
I don’t have fat pants. I have a fat vest.
In May 2006, I was in a production of Fiddler on the Roof. The costume designer made me a fitted vest to wear for some of my scenes.
It fit me perfectly and hugged all my curves. This was around the time that I started to feel not so great about my weight. I had recently been asked by a director to lose 15 lbs for a role and I was really starting to question how I was feeling in my own skin. This was right before my trip to Europe which prompted my registration at Weight Watchers.
I was doing some cleaning in our basement this weekend and came across the vest. I tried it on and couldn’t believe the difference 3 years has made:
33 lbs gone and that vest is no longer like a second skin!! It feels great to see how spacious the vest is now.
When we’re losing weight, it often takes time for our minds and personal perceptions to catch up with what is actually happening in our bodies. For me, I didn’t really realize how much weight I had lost until nearly 6 months of being at goal, and even now sometimes I need to remind myself that I’m smaller than I used to be.
I think part of the problem is that we see ourselves in the mirror every day, and we can’t notice the .6 here or the 2.4 there. It creeps up in little ways. Maybe you grab larger sizes when you try on clothing or perhaps you think that you need more space to go past someone the street. I also think that it’s hard for many of us to see ourselves in a different light, because for many of us (myself included), our heavier self is the one we might have known for a long time.
I think that non-scale methods can be great tools in helping us to see the progress that we’ve made. Pictures really do speak 1,000 words. It’s an image of ourselves that is caught in time, and sometimes it can really be instrumental in seeing the changes that have occurred. Taking measurements is another good tactic, because the numbers on the tape measure can’t lie. So while you might not see the 1 or 2 or 6 inches on your body, it can be incredibly motivating to see the inches lost written down on paper and also give you a sense of accomplishment when you add everything up!
Another thing you can do involves taking a field trip. The next time you’re in the grocery store, head to the dairy section. Have a look at a pound of butter. Picture one of those for every pound that you’ve lost – Quite a visual, isn’t it?
Or head over to the produce section and pick up a 10 pound bag of potatoes or the baking section to pick up a 25 lb bag of flour. Try finding an equivalent to your weight loss and carrying it around the store with you for awhile. It can be quite a wake up call when you feel the amount of weight you were carrying on your body.
Whether you’ve lost 10 lbs or 100 lbs, it is important to work towards accepting and acknowledging the changes in your body (as well as your behaviours). It may take some time to reconcile your body image (internal) with your current body (external) but it’s an incredibly important part of the process that you will continue to work out throughout your journey and maintenance. It’s very rewarding to see those changes and feel the difference that losing weight has made.
What has helped you to see the changes in your body as a result of losing weight or toning? Do you have an article of clothing or a picture that reminds you of how far you’ve come? What are some other ways that you remind yourself of your progress?