Big: you should probably lose weight
Medium: you could stand to lose some weight
Small: you should consider losing weightThe joke was that, no matter what size you are, if you are a woman, you should probably lose weight. Since Mr. Barry was, in part, lampooning the fitness industry, this type of humor was all too apropos.
This situation came to mind for me as I've found lately that I cannot "see" myself at all anymore. Initially, it was easy to see bodily changes, but it is getting harder and harder to tell the difference. To me, I've gone from, "so huge I can't look at myself" to "so huge I can't stand to look at myself" to "so huge that it hurts to look at myself." My body image isn't changing at all in any positive way in my estimation. Today, I was thinking that I'm looking like Humpty Dumpty, with an egg shape sitting on legs. I can't even see where I'm losing any weight anymore.
To this end, I find myself looking to the scale for affirmation (though not acting on the impulse most of the time) that progress is being made. I'm not looking at it to validate me, but rather to verify that things are going as they should. While I firmly subscribe to the idea that actions are the true measure of success as they naturally breed success, I'd be trying to fool myself (and everyone else) if I tried to say that the results weren't what I really want. After all, without visible weight loss and changes in appearance, I will never escape the prejudice and abuse that I receive for being fat, and that is a strong motivator for me. It is second only to health improvement in my reasons for losing weight.
The truth is that I knew the day when I'd have to start actually weighing myself regularly would come. Somewhere in a past post, I mentioned that I expected that when I got under 250 lbs., I may have to resort to the scale to ensure my continued progress because I figured a slowdown would occur at a certain point. That is, I knew that my basal metabolic rate (BMR) would start to drop such that I would have to continually tweak my behaviors to make sure my weight loss pace continued as I want it to. Mainly, I need to know when the slowdown occurs so I can add activity in or reduce calories a little more.
To give some idea of what I mean in a more concrete manner, at my starting weight of around 380 lbs., my BMR was about 2400 calories. My BMR at 300 lbs. was around 2050 calories per day. At my current weight of 240 lbs., it is now about 1790. When I reach 200, it will further drop to about 1600 calories. While I don't expect to keep at my current loss rate of between 2 and 2.5 lbs. per week, my plan was to lose an average of a pound a week after I reach 200 provided that I have a year ahead of me before making a big change in my life (which requires me to find a new job) to accomplish it. If I don't reach 200 with a year in front of me to lose the last 50 lbs., I'll have to make further changes to speed things up a bit.
All of those silly calculations aside, I'm finding that my inability to tell that I'm actually losing weight anymore is factoring into this as well. I try to derive as much gratification as possible from the success that comes from carrying out the day in a manner which is conducive to my goals, but that can't be all of it. Even I have to have some external indicators that progress that is physical and not psychological is going on. Much as I try hard not to focus on it excessively, I do need at least a little bit of it.
My situation is not helped by the fact that I have bought exactly two new pieces of clothing (two bras) since the start of all of this so I can't really see a different body easily. I'm throwing out the oldest, biggest things which are too absurd-looking to wear now, and altering the (formerly) tightest ones to be smaller as well as borrowing T-shirts from my husband's wardrobe to tide me over. I still refuse to spend money on clothes that are of an interim size.
I've decided that at this stage, I will rather reluctantly start regular weighing once a month. I've decided to start as of October 1 with this and see how it goes. If the number starts to have any sort of emotional impact on me though, that idea is going right out the window. I will not get on the scale roller coaster ride and allow it to manipulate my emotions. That being said, I do need some sort of measurement (and frankly, I'm too lazy to dig out a tape measure and do it the other way) to "prove" that progress is being made since the non-scale victories have become rather difficult to see now that I've realized that I have a form of body image blindness.