Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Progress Report Pep Talk

Sometimes I make myself blog about my progress as a form of giving myself a pep talk. This usually happens when I catch a glimpse of my still huge body in a reflected surface such as the shiny door of my microwave oven, a window I'm passing by when I'm out shopping, or the television screen.

It may not surprise anyone that there are no full length mirrors in my home. Sometimes I wonder if I really should get one so that I can view my body without the distortion that comes from those reflected surfaces. Frankly though, I try simply not to look because what I see makes me unhappy and demoralized, but occasionally, I catch a look without trying to do so.

So, these little progress reports are my way of talking myself out of an oncoming depression at how I appear to be "different", but not "better" at this stage of the game. Taking stock of the things which actually are better helps, even if many of those things are relative and of little consequence on the whole.

Here are the little things which have changed for the better:
  • My tighter pants (which are stretchy pants) have become loose and are starting to gap a bit at the waist. They're also getting too long and will need to be hemmed. My looser pants are becoming what my husband calls "comically" big. I expect these loose pants to be too impossibly big to wear by the end of spring of next year, even with an elastic waist which can hold them up despite the size.
  • Long-sleeved T-shirts that I wear during cool and cold weather times which were uncomfortably tight now fit properly. My upper arms used to fit like sausages in a tight case before in these shirts, and now there is a little play in the fabric of the upper arms.
  • My face looks younger and better by an appreciable amount.
  • I can only wear my wedding ring if I put a sizing band on it or it is prone to slipping off my finger.
  • I don't get nearly as winded climbing stairs or find it as difficult to haul myself up them.
  • Though I still wake up with back pain and stiffness (from lying down overnight) every morning, I can now walk without sitting to rest most of the time for up to about 45 minutes, though occasionally my hips will ache and I'll have to have a brief sit down early on in a walk.
  • I can withstand hunger pangs far more readily than before and it takes more time to develop a low blood sugar headache than when I started. This is a profound change and I believe my body has made an adjustment to less food and is responding less aggressively to less getting less food. It's still not easy to sit around being hungry, but it is "easier" than before.
  • I haven't felt the impulse to binge eat or eat compulsively for about two weeks, though I still eat things which I crave in small portions when I'm not really hungry.
  • My belly button depth has noticeably decreased. I know this is gross to people who have never been morbidly obese, but when you shower or clean yourself, you have to go pretty deep to reach the bottom and I can tell by the finger depth that my belly, big as it still is, is getting smaller. One of these days, I'll not have to go the entire depth of my index finger to reach the bottom, but I'm not there yet.
  • I'm starting to develop a lap again. My belly apron was so big that I didn't have much of a lap, just my knees poking out. I'm seeing more of my thighes while sitting than I have for quite some time.
  • It's becoming easier to type at my computer as my arms rest lower on my body as my stomach gets smaller. I don't have to hold my elbows quite so awkwardly to work around my stomach.
These are the qualitative differences in my life that I've noticed as of late. I still have a very long way to go, but I'm thinking that when I no longer fear squeezing into an airplane seat, I may agree to go to Hawaii for a vacation. My husband has been wanting to go for a long time, and he thinks it'll ultimately be good for me. My sense is that I may be ready to do this some time late in 2010 if things continue at a pace. Ideally, I would like not to go until I weigh around 200 lbs or less.

Though I don't weigh myself at all at present, I probably will start doing so sometime around the middle of next year, though I will likely do so infrequently (on a monthly basis at the most frequent). There will come a time when progress will be harder to measure qualitatively and a quantitative measure might be a motivational tool. At present, I still view it as potentially more damaging than helpful in my particular case.

Happy New Year to my small group of kind readers, and good luck to you all in the coming year!

1 comment:

A Concrete Rose said...

I think that feeling better is actually a greater benefit of losing weight than looking better. Looking better can take a while to see, and those reflective surfaces do tend to seem like the enemy. Keeping yourself motivated by focusing on the positive is something I am always trying to do too. It can be hard, but really what is more awesome than turning back the hands of time by looking and feeling younger? Way to go!