Found my fat vest

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.

fiddler on the roof vest

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:

SANY2031 SANY2036

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 – 33 lbs of butterQuite 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?

12 comments:

K8 said...

Ashley! The picture of you in the vest from before should be the picture you show your members! Even tho I saw you with the vest on, on Saturday... these pictures really show the difference! You are Awesome Awesome Awesome!

I have many pictures of me from my trip that I went on the week before I joined. I've decided to get rid of all my "fat pants" because the pictures are enough for me. I can't wait to actually get to goal and make a before and after photo montage!

K8 said...

Oh yeah.. I asked my car boy boyfriend, if he had an tires or big pieces of metal that weigh 64 lbs. It took him a minute before he asked... why do you need something that weighs 64lbs?! Unfortunately he didn't have anything, and I'm wondering if I would even be able to lift something that heavy!

A.Leo said...

Wow, what a difference in the way the vest fits!

I think the thing that makes me notice my 31 pound weight loss the most is pictures. It's been hard for me to notice along the way (the past year) because I look at myself everyday in the mirror and a change is so gradual, but it takes pictures from before I started my weight-loss journey to really make me see the change.

TJ said...

Great post! I cant believe how big that vest is on you now! wow! I am having a hard time seeing the new me. I am not at goal yet-about 25 more pounds, but I still see my old self when I look in the mirror. (I am down 62 pounds) Once in a while I look at my arm or leg and see that it is smaller but I struggle with it. Great idea to pick up the potato bags at the grocery store! Id love to stack up the butter, but Im not sure I can get away with making a display at the butter section! lol :)

Every Gym's Nightmare said...

crazy! its nuts when you think of it in sticks of butter, lol

karmagirl said...

Wow Ashley! The comparison of those two vest pictures is amazing! What an amazing visual!! :)

Linz said...

Fantastic post!!!

LOVE LOVE LOVE the vest photos!

Tundramunkie said...

AWESOME POST, Ashley!

Love the vest pics, both before AND after. you are a real cutie, Ashley! But I disagree with K8 about showing it to your members. You look too happy, haha.

While I've gained almost everything back, I think your questions are great. you shoul put them in a poll on the 20s board!

My key indicator has been the fit of clothing (how high skirts sit on my waist, etc), and a special pair of pants I would try on once a month before my trip to the Philippines. When I started I couldn't even pull them up over my hips, and by the last month I could zip them up and everything.

Having "goal clothes" or going back and getting into a pair of old jeans for a weekend of grunge work can really make you go "whoa! I'm melting away!" haha.

Hope you have a great day, today, sweetie. Big hugs.

Hannah said...

Congratulations, that is so awesome!! :)

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen) said...

I don't know why this made me laugh but it did. I suppose it's the idea of a vest in general. Anywho- what I really wanted to say is this. You looked gorge 33 pounds ago and you look gorge now. The thing that I don't get is why when we are bigger, we wear our clothes tighter. I think that, for the most part, if we all just wore clothes that were the right size for our body, whatever size that may be, we would feel just a little better. Again- this is not to say that we mustn't still strive to look and feel our best, but, for example, should I continue to try and squeeze my bottom into size 25 Crohn's jeans that now give me a muffin top, or just wear my 28s and be able to eat while I wear I them. You know what I'm saying?

Anyway Ash- I love that you are inspiring and my weren't you a bust, voluptuous little lady!

Amanda <3 said...

Hey Ashley!

Your post rocks! Such an amazing transformation! I actually just posted yesterday my before and after pics thus far on my blog. I still have a hard time taking it in that Im 24lbs lighter! When I put my pictures side by side, I was a bit shocked to see the difference! The other thing I do to compare, or to feel the weight is to look and pick up my son who is 24lbs :) Have a great day & a good ride to work today! :)

Diana said...

That's a big difference. :) I found your blog through Sweet Cheeky Designs and I'm so glad I did. I joined WW last March (2008) and had lost 96 lbs since then. Horrible summer, but I'm back on track. lol I'm definitely going to be frequenting your blog. :)