When I weighed 246 pounds and wore a size 20/22 I didn’t wear belts or high heels. Ever.

They hurt.

The belts cut into my stomach and sitting down in them was downright painful.

High heels too. Carting 246 pounds around on a pair of heels was like some kind of medieval torture on my toes and arches and it would sometimes take days to recover from the pain they caused.

When I weighed 180 pounds things were a bit better, but not by enough. The belts and high heels weren’t painful per se, they were just uncomfortable. Something was always pinching somewhere and I by the time I got home all I wanted to do was rip them off and not see either again for a few days.

Yesterday, I wore both and not only felt comfortable all day, I actually felt good about how I looked in them.

The belt was required to hold up dress pants that would have otherwise slid down over my hips. The belt’s buckle didn’t even touch my stomach when I was standing and when I was sitting there wasn’t any upper stomach bulge hanging over the top of my pants to press into the belt buckle.

It was an unfamiliar sensation.

But it was nice.

I’d always visualized myself looking like an upside down bowling pin when wearing heels. Bulbous and awkward on top tapering down to a tiny base teetering unattractively. But yesterday I felt them lengthening my stride as I walked and holding me up in a way that felt secure and confident.

It was an unfamiliar sensation.

But it was nice.

I’m thinking a lot about this today because my mind is starting to turn towards thinking about tomorrow’s weigh-in. After the two pound gain last week I was reeling a bit. I tried my best to self-examine and figure out the ways in which I had gotten sloppy and tried to clean things up this week.

I also decided to make an attempt at a plateau buster and focused on adding in more tea, upping my oat bran a bit to keep thing moving, and drilling down on the low-fat protein and not letting myself slip into eating the fattier meats.

All in all, I’ve done well, and other than the three handfuls of peanuts at the block party on Saturday I’ve done a great job with all of it. The week has been tight and clean and I haven’t felt deprived at all. I’ve walked for an hour on each of 5 days this week and I’m going to yoga tonight. I’m feeling good.

But my husband has been doing this intensive week with me and he weighs himself every day. He hasn’t lost any weight since we started this and he warned me about it this morning. He thinks that maybe going back on the “attack” phase after losing weight for a while doesn’t work and it’s amazing results stem from being such a dramatic change from how one is eating prior to starting the diet. He might be right.

He told me this to prepare me for the possibility that when I get one the scale tomorrow morning it won’t have moved.

I have to confess that I don’t like that idea at all. I will be angry if I get on the scale and it’s the same as last week or higher.

If the scale shows I’m back down those two pounds I had gained I will be relieved but not actually happy about it.

I will be relieved and happy if the scale shows three pounds lost and I’m back on the path of losing.

I will feel vindicated in my efforts and have increased motivation to push on to the end if the scale shows me a four pound drop telling me those first two I gained were a fluke and I lost two “real” pounds this week.

All four options seems possible, although some are more probable than others. Of course, I imagine that the most likely scenario is one have no ability to predict. That’s usually how these things work.

But the truth is that no matter what happens I don’t see myself wanting to change things all that much. Maybe I’ll decide it’s time to move to the “consolidation” phase to get my body to accept and reset itself at this weight. Maybe I’ll decide to just keep on keeping on with the “cruise” phase because it’s comfortable and not doing any harm. I don’t know. That’s tomorrow, not to day.

My husband asked me last week if I couldn’t just see the big picture: that I’ve lost somewhere between 29.5 and 31.5 pounds. Round it to 30 either way and that’s an amazing accomplishment. I’ve lost 15% of my total body weight.

Let me say that again: I’ve lost 15% of my total body weight.

I took my BMI from 32.4 (which is considered “obesity”) to a 27.3 (which is the lower part of what’s considered overweight).

Last week when he asked me that I said, “No, it doesn’t count. What matters is that I’ve no longer reached my goal. It’s binary. There is no middle ground.”

But today, facing the weigh-in tomorrow, and remembering the joy of wearing a belt and high heels yesterday, I think I’m starting to see the big picture.

So what that the clothes I wore the last time I was this weight don’t fit? For goodness sake, I had another baby! Guess what? It changed my body shape. It’s normal. It’s expected. I have to let go of this and move on. My old corduroys don’t fit in the waist but my blouses do. So what?!

For my birthday this past year I asked for gift certificates to some clothing stores. I’ve been hoarding them since August waiting for some magical day when I will finally give myself permission to use them, when I feel I’ve earned the right to spend them. Shesh.

Yes it would be disappointing to spend them after losing 30 pounds and then lose another 10 and need to buy new stuff again. But, you know what? I can live with it.

The big picture is coming into focus. I’ve accomplished a lot and not being perfect isn’t going to take that away from me.

Maybe, someday, I’ll get to perfect. But until then, for today, I’m focusing on my progress and on being happy with myself for what I’ve done.

It’s been a lot.

 

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