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Day 129: A Picture's Worth... A Hundred Pounds

Sunday, May 08, 2011

I know. I'm wordy. I've been the despair of more editors than I can count - I once made one cry, because I just could not edit my pieces to fit the space allotted. Ah well.

Back in December, I posted a sort-of one-year blog.

Many of you read it and commented on it - thank you one and all. I post the link here not to draw attention to it but because I'm trying not to be too repetitive (haha) and much of what I said then hasn't changed. I will stand by it.

In February I reached my (technical) third anniversary with Spark, and again, I posted a blog acknowledging it, this time with a couple pix:

And again, many of you read and commented - and again, I am grateful that my fellow Sparklers take the time. I'm putting the link here as that blog also has some relevance to today's.

Today I've reached another milestone. I've lost 100 pounds since re-joining Spark.

Somewhere in 2008 I think I brushed very close to 300 pounds.

When I hit 134 kilograms (about 295 pounds) I stopped getting on the scale. My excuse was it would 'only' weigh up to 140kg and perhaps wasn't accurate at the high end; in reality, there was something about '300 pounds' that was a psychological barrier I did not want to face.

So I don't know exactly what my top weight was. Usually the size clothes I wear can be linked with my weight: that is, if I wear size 20, I probably weigh about 200 pounds.* At the time of my highest weight, I was wearing size 28 pants (and 3X-4X tops) but they were becoming increasingly tight and uncomfortable, to the extent that I had overstretched the elastic waistband and it was no longer very stretchy. So if size 20 = 200, then size 28 = 280, and growing too big for them was probably darned close - too close - to 300.

*That may no longer be true. This morning I am just under 164, but I am pretty much in size 14s, with even some 'loose' 12s. Be that as it may...

In that 3-year-Sparkiversary blog I wrote that I couldn't quite put both legs in one pantsleg of the 28s...

...but that I was keeping the slacks and when I could do that I would take another snapshot. Well, here you go:

Bonus: a photo taken yesterday, of me in my 'new' clothes:

In a blog earlier this week I said I was sorting thru the last of the clothes I had packed away - they were mostly 10s and 12s, the smallest I've been as an adult. Most of them are still that bit too snug. After all, I have a good thirty pounds to go to reach my ultimate goal.

But in the current photo, the jeans are Gloria Vanderbilt size 12 - and I admit, I've always believed them to be closer to a 14, simply 'undersized' on the label. (Oh, what the clothing manufacturers won't stoop to to get us to buy their duds, lol.) The shirt is a soft knit with a lot of 'give,' so I think it too is either closer to a 14 or at the very least a generous 12. Fitting into them at all is such a morale boost, tho, that I couldn't resist.

[As always whenever I've dieted, the top has 'shrunk' faster than the bottom - ain't that always the way? You lose it where you don't necessarily want to, and where you want to trim, it just doesn't budge.]

My intention with these pictures is not to brag - my natural inclination is to hide the 'fat' pictures, never letting them see the light of day, and not let people know I had ever gained as much weight as I did. Probably why there aren't a lot of pictures around from those years.

I've said from the get-go that I believe it's important to celebrate every achievement, no matter how small. Every tiny baby-step - one day of staying within nutrition guidelines, or completing an extra five minutes of fitness, or losing one pound - is worthy of acknowledgement. YOU know you accomplished something, even if no one else notices or comments.

Using these achievements to mark your progress builds self-confidence and self-esteem. It provides a foundation on which to build more. As you climb higher, you have an ever-better vantage point from which you can look back and see your improvement. And those times when you are discouraged - when you fall off the wagon, skip a workout, stall on a plateau - that solid foundation of achievements-to-date can boost your motivation and help encourage you to continue. You can be your own inspiration.

When I came back to Spark (December 2009) I weighed 264, having lost 30-35 pounds during the six or eight months previously. But my efforts were sporadic and inconsistent. Getting serious about health - and as I've said before, the diabetes and hypertension were the biggest issues - made me commit to changing. Working with SP's features, especially the nutrition and fitness trackers, gave me a focus where I could concentrate my efforts and work on consistency.

The articles and information helped me find new methods to trial, and ideas that I could customize to my personal benefit. Most of all, the teams and my fellow Sparklers - full of encouragement, always empathetic, and courageously 'telling it like it is' - gave me the network (safety net!) I needed to continue.

Today, I have reached A - that is, ONE - major milestone.

To be continued...
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