In my journeys up and down the scale I’ve noticed some consistencies in my weight, how I look, and how people perceive me.

At 246 pounds I was fat and I felt fat, looked fat, and people looked at me and saw a fat person.

When I had dropped to 216 I wasn’t really seen as fat anymore, even though I was. I felt fat, but with my weight very evenly distributed over my body, I didn’t really come across as fat. People seemed to see me as overweight.

When I had dropped to 190 I was what people often called chubby. I still felt fat most of the time. But I was starting to come to a place where I was more comfortable in my body and I sensed that people weren’t seeing my weight first when they looked at me. “Me” was starting to come through.

At 170 pounds something changes in my face and waist and legs and suddenly I’m not chubby anymore, I’m just a little heavy. I can move pretty freely, feel pretty good in my own skin, and I suspect I’m starting to actually look nice in my clothes.

I seem to have hit another critical threshold at 155 pounds. All of a sudden people I only know in passing are stopping me at work to tell me I look good. I’m getting compliments left and right from people saying that I’ve “really slimmed down”.

I’m getting compliments on my clothes. I don’t know if people who’ve never been overweight understand that when you’re fat no one comments on your clothes. It’s too close to saying something about someone’s weight to comment on their clothes. Now, I’m getting comments like, “that’s a great dress!” and, “you look great in those pants”.

Last night, I was still in my work clothes when my husband got home from work. (That doesn’t usually happen because I get home about 3 hours before he does and have to get the kids dinner and baths so I’m usually in my pjs by the time he gets home.) Last night, still in my work clothes my husband told me I looked hot.

Now, he’s always supported me, loved me, told me I’m beautiful. He does everything right to try to make me feel good about myself and show me that he feels good about me.

But, when he told me I looked hot I could tell that I did actually look hot. It was an unfamiliar feeling for me. But it felt good.

I’m wondering if the last 8 pounds I’m going to try to lose will take me past another critical threshold. Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t know. But if so, it’s one I’ve never passed before so I’ll be interested to see what it brings.

But I’ll confess I’m not satisfied with my body and I don’t think I ever will be. No matter how much weight I lose I can’t undo the effects having two children and two c-sections had on my stomach. I can’t undo the fact that the skin on my upper/inner thighs and upper/under arms will never bounce back from having been 246 pounds (and everything in between there and here). I’m not 25 years old, I’m 38 years old and my skin just doesn’t have the elasticity it used to. I have stretch marks, wrinkles, some cellulite, and spider veins that can’t be erased just through weight loss.

I have to begin to accept the imperfections of my body that have nothing to do with what I weigh or what size I wear.

On the bright side it might help me appreciate clothes more and how good they can help me to look!