Today’s article could just as easily be titled ‘Perception of Progress: Do not trust your memory!’ I suspect I will have a lot of people who know exactly what I am talking about.
I am in the phase where I feel like I have lost a lot of weight, and that I haven’t lost anything.
Anyone who has ever had a huge belly will know that you can put your hands under it and lift it and see just how fat you are. The same goes for man-boobs. You lift them and bam, they are huge. I will not discuss the obesity of a woman’s chest for two reasons. First, having no first-hand experience having them, I cannot speak to it, and secondly, I expect that this is the one area where many women do not necessarily wish to shrink.
I put my hands under my belly this morning and lifted, and it is truly large. It is easy to get discouraged by the sheer size of my belly. It is hard to remember that three months ago it was that much bigger… and while it is easy to say, ‘I’ve gotten nowhere,’ in truth I know that is it much smaller than it was.
In fact, when Leslie was here a couple of weeks ago, I remember saying that I noticed that my man-boobs were much smaller than they had once been.
With regard to weight loss and the shrinking of our body, perception is not in fact reality. That is why we need to measure ourselves. While I weigh myself on a daily basis, I only measure myself very occasionally, and I mark those numbers down even less frequently. My reasoning is simple: Every time I measure myself, I am disappointed. It disheartens me to see that I have only lost half an inch, or whatever it might be, after a month or two or three. It is interesting that I get excited by a 2kg weight loss over a fortnight, but not over losing 2” around my belly in eight weeks.
After I wrote that last paragraph, I decided to measure myself. I have actually lost about 3” around my belly and a little over 3” around my chest. That is pretty huge, even if I have so far to go. What I have to remember though is that three months ago, my Size-44 pants were all tight, and there wasn’t a single size-42 pair that I could hope to wear. I had shirts that would not even come close to buttoning up, and I had to buy a larger winter jacket because neither my ski jacket nor my spring/fall jacket came close to doing up. Today, some of my size-44 pants are too loose to wear, and the ones that are not are getting there. I am wearing size-42 blue jeans. Most (but certainly not all) of my larger shirts fit or are close to fitting. Both of the jackets that I had set aside are a little tight, but certainly wearable.
Okay, all of that is great, and hugely meaningful. Some of the other things I have to remember though are that it is not strictly about size. As I walked HRF Princess Sophie this morning, I realized how much more comfortable I am walking her, and how much easier it is to bend down to pick up after her. I am not even referring to the fact that earlier in the week I was able to go for a five-kilometer walk, which is huge… but the everyday things that need to get done are easier to do than they were. I am finding it easier to put on my socks and my shoes. I am not having the same difficulties walking. My knees still hurt when I walk up or down stairs, but that is in part due to injuries. I have an easier time getting out of bed, standing up (either from a chair or from the porcelain throne). I still do not find my low couch to be very comfortable, but I have no problem sitting or lying on it, because I can much more easily stand up from it. All of the activities that were (and still might be) more difficult with all of the weight are getting easier. It is a gradual process, but it is progress.
A month or so ago, my doctor asked me what exercise I am doing. I told him that I am walking HRF a couple of times per day. He told me that unless I had a larger and more energetic dog, it was unlikely that the start-stop pace of dog-walking was going to get my cardio going. He was right, but now I can go out for those much longer walks when I want to. I will try to do it more often as the weather gets nicer. I know that in a couple of weeks I will be in Cuba, and I will try to get some good walks in there (no excuses on the weather, other than some might find it to be too hot).
I have a long way to go; in truth, I am probably under one third of the way to the total weight loss I want to achieve. Every journey starts with a single step, and every diet starts with a single day. Today is the ninety-fourth day of my journey, and while there have been bumps and even severe bumps along the way, I am confident that I can continue to lose weight so that in time, hopefully within a year, I can have the slamming body that I always wished I could have.