Awhile back, I mentioned that I was going to take progress pictures every 4 months to give me some feedback on my weight loss aside from my ever-loosening clothing. I figured this was a "safer" method than the scale, which I fear will be a very bad influence on my motivation. That sense about the scale has only been intensified as I've started to read more blogs by people losing weight. The obsession they have with weighing themselves and the emotional roller coasters they ride with its numbers prove to me that the scale is "bad".
I've discovered that, for me, the pictures weren't a lot better. I had my husband take a second set of pictures to compare and I wouldn't even look at them until he gave me feedback. Unfortunately, we weren't careful about noting positioning when the first pictures were taken and I stood closer to the camera the second time which made it hard to do size comparison. The best my husband could offer because he said that the picture didn't really do a good job of revealing what he could see with his own eyes was that "things don't hang down as low." Sigh.
One can imagine how disheartening it is to earmark their journey with progress that can be measured in flab that is receding a bit. While this is not surprising since at my size the distribution of a weight loss of as high as 40-60 pounds over my entire body wouldn't mean a serious loss in any particular area, it was still depressing. Watching for signs of any sort, whether it be numbers on the scale or figure alterations in photos just depresses me. Even when I succeed (and I am so very much succeeding), I feel like I'm failing because I don't look "better" so much as less bad.
So, I've decided to scrap the photo progress idea and stop watching in any concrete way. I'll stick with watching my clothes and my disposition relative to my environment. I noticed lately that, when I sit in the only chair we have with handles, I don't fit tightly (though there aren't gaps, it's no longer a difficult and uncomfortable squeeze) and I can actually put my elbows on the arm rest. In the past, my upper flab tire was between me and that part of the chair as it squished out over the top of the handles. I've also noticed that my overall width has noticeably decreased and my stretchy pants that used to fit snugly are getting baggy in the thigh area. When stretch pants start to bag a bit, it's a good sign.
My mantra now is "focus on behavior and the weight loss will come." I don't want to focus on the weight loss because it's like the old adage about a watched pot never boiling. Looking and looking is just going to exhaust and frustrate me. I have to view controlling my food intake as a behavior with an inevitable result rather than one in which the desired result might not happen. If you eat less than your body burns in a day, you will lose weight. It is inevitable. Therefore, checking to see that the inevitable is actually occurring is as pointless as watching the kettle as it heats up.