Anyone who has struggled with weight issues knows the cardinal rule about dressing. Wear loose-fitting clothing, and never, never tuck your shirt in. Above all else, camouflage your shape. We tell ourselves that no one wants to see the rolls, the lumps, the puffiness. If we hide our imperfections from
ourselves others, then it is easy to pretend they aren’t there!
When I began this weight-loss journey, I made a promise to myself that I would be honest with myself. One of the ways I do that is to track everything I eat – even the bad stuff. Weight Watchers has an amazing online tool that lets me enter the food and the portion size, and it calculates how many “points” I have eaten. I have a set number of points each day, with a cushion of a fixed number per week, and if I go over my daily total, I know that I have to cut back the next day or deal with a gain when I weigh in. Since the beginning of the year, there have only been 3 weigh-ins that were higher than the week before. This was not one of those weeks! I lost 2 more pounds this week, so my total is now over 35 pounds! I have three more weigh-ins before my reunion, and am hoping to lose at least 7 more by the time I go.
Clothes are definitely fitting differently – I have had to get rid of lots of things that were just too big, but I am able to wear things that have been sitting in drawers or hanging in the closet for years. Shirts aren’t pulling across my bust and belly and pants are hanging longer around my ankles because they aren’t being filled out as much up top. Jeans that I couldn’t zip up a couple of months ago need a belt to keep them up and blazers that felt like straight-jackets can now be buttoned with room to spare.
When I look at myself in the mirror, though, I don’t always see as much progress as I feel in my clothes. Especially when I look before getting dressed. I still see too much of me. I see my gall bladder scar and realize my belly will never get flat because I have scar tissue underneath the incision. I see my 47 year old breasts and realize they will never be perky. And I see the extra skin under my arms and know that I still don’t feel comfortable going sleeveless.
Even though my partner tells me I look good, and friends have told me I look good, I don’t always see it for myself. As Julia Roberts said in Pretty Woman, “The bad stuff is easier to believe”.
So why is today a Red-Letter Day? Because when I got dressed this morning, I tucked my t-shirt into my jeans. I looked at myself in the mirror and realized I looked good that way. My neck has really slimmed down, so with the v-neck of the shirt, it looked longer than usual. I could see my waist and my pants weren’t too tight. For the first time in a long time, I felt good about how I looked. I felt pretty.
I added a belt (that now fits again), and went to work with my head held high. I am looking forward to doing it again tomorrow!