Jennifer (noirem) wrote,

Wow, I really did lose a lot of weight!

It will come as no shock to anyone who's ever met me that I've been trying to lose weight, though for most of my life "trying" has been in quotes and, except for a bulimic period in high school (when I got down to a size 10/12), my weight has largely gone up rather than down. I haven't always had access to a scale, but here in the UK I do and I started weighing myself. When I came over in November I was around 204 and had just made it back comfortably into a US size 18 only to learn that in UK sizes are a dress-size smaller and I was magically a (UK) 20 again. By Christmas, with the help of birth control, I was up to 215lbs (15 stone). The problem wasn't even the number on the scale (being over 200 was bad, but being over 210 meant being over 200 wasn't a fluke) or the rack ("the important thing is how clothes fit, not their size") so much as the way I felt: bloated. Everything jiggled. I wouldn't sleep naked because I didn't like the way my blubbery skin felt against my blubbery skin. I wouldn't run on the treadmill because all that fat bouncing up and down was physically uncomfortable. I'd always said I may be fat, but I can still run, jump, dance... and I couldn't. In the last couple of years I'd developed a lot of belly fat, whereas before I'd been wide but not particularly deep.

I decided to concentrate on losing some weight. I went swimming a lot - not a chore as I love to swim - and occasionally even put in some time on the stationary bike - very much a chore as I have a sensitive seat. I wasn't counting calories as it turns out to be very difficult when you're making 80% of the food you consume and eating out for the other 20%. It's easy to count calories when all of your food comes from the frozen food aisle and a might bit more difficult when you have to add up every ingredient of every meal and then figure out how much of the total you've eaten. Quite frankly, it wasn't something I could keep up. But I did start weighing myself every day and tracking my weight.

I know you're "not supposed to"* weigh yourself every day, except really it's the only way to actually see what you weight as opposed to what you weight after last night's bag of popcorn. I had a weight tracking app that made charts and trend-lines and based on my rate of weight-loss, calculated by how many calories I was over or under-eating from what my body requires to maintain it's current weight. And slowly the weight started to drop. Somehow I imagine you have an overly optimistic view of how slow I was losing weight. Instead of the "recommended" sustainable rate** of 1 or 2 lbs/week, I was losing 1 or 2 lbs a month. All told, 2010 I lost 20lbs.

Since the engagement, I've been a little more enthusiastic about my weight loss ("would you rather eat this or fit into your wedding dress?" a little voice in the back of my head would ask, which is ridiculous when you consider I'm having a gown made and maintaining would be a lot better than either gaining or losing!) and so far in 2011 I've lost 10lbs.

To recap, over the last 13 months I've lost 30lbs (2 stone). I currently weight about 185lbs (13 stone), which at 5'6" puts me just barely in a BMI** class of "overweight", down from "obese, class I". I've been taking pictures of myself in my unmentionables, aiming for a set of photos for every 5lbs lost and there is a very clear difference between December 09 and January 2011.

But while I'd lost all that weight, I was still wearing my UK size 20 clothes - first with a belt, then with a long-johns, then long-johns, tights and a belt - and now, as we reach 9hrs of daylight (and the occasional hour of sunshine) and long-johns aren't always a necessity, it's became abundantly clear that I don't own any clothes that fit. Clothes that had been a little snug are now too big. Things that were waiting for spring to get worn again hang off me. Dresses billow, shirts bag, skirts slide, and I don't own a single pair of trousers that need to be unbuttoned to be pulled on or of - or at least I didn't until yesterday.

Chris and I are a little strapped for cash, but I decided that this was getting a little silly and it's time to buy new trousers. Shirts, I figure, aren't going to fall off, but I should have one or two trousers that actually fit. Yesterday I wandered all over the mall looking for trousers in the under £20 category and wound up trying on a £15 pair of jeans at M&S. They said "stretch" on the label and, based on previous experience with their stretch jeans, I optimistically grabbed a pair of UK size 16s. They were snugger than I would ideally prefer but previously buying ones that fit comfortably in the changing room resulted in baggy jeans after an hour of wear so I decided to buy them anyway and if they didn't stretch, well, they were't so tight that I couldn't get them on, just a big of muffin top around the waist.Fastfoward to today, wearing them, and they were still pretty snug so I figured I'd go back to the mall and see what I could find in an 18.

They all slid off. I went to a couple different stores, trying on 18s and 16s, and the 16s are snug (though not as snug as the ones I bought yesterday - I think they're just a less than ideal cut for me) but the 18s go on and off without unbuttoning them. Oh. All this time in dressing rooms was also making it clear that my baggy shirts were absolutely, 100% not doing me any favours, so I tried on a few UK size 16 (which, remember, is a US size 14) tops and was amazed at the difference. I stood there, looking at my non-clown pants clad legs thinking, "I'm a lot skinnier than I thought I was." When I first pulled on the 16s yesterday I thought there was no way I was going to get one leg into them, let alone both and my hips. Looking at my silhouette, I was blown away. So this is what being 2 stone lighter looks like. Wow. I couldn't see it naked, I couldn't see it under my too big clothes, but seeing myself in clothes that fit... Just wow.

I wasn't ready to pay department store prices for jeans that may not fit in a month so I ducked into two thrift stores on the way home to see what they have in a 16 and came away with another pair of jeans for £4 (which fit much more comfortably the £15 ones). I'll keep an eye out for shirts and sweaters as well and should look into getting fitted for bras. I should really go try on everything I own and pack away all the stuff that's too big so I can see what I actually have to wear and make some educated decisions about what I need most.

* which is as ridiculous as all the other things you should or shouldn't do to have a "healthy" weight and fitness level.

** see previous footnote about wrt "ridiculous"
Tags: diet, health, weight
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