Some of you folks might remember a few weeks ago when I wrote the first “Crazy Fat People Thoughts” entry on JerseySmarts.com. The point of that entry was twofold. First, I was commenting about how I have a variety of never-been-worn-before jeans that I can now wear since I’ve been losing weight. Second, I was making a statement that most fat people do weird things or have habits/issues that range from minor quirks to extreme issues. While I’m lucky because I don’t think I have any major issues, I definitely have weird little quirks – like buying jeans that don’t fit me. This entry is about another one of the weird quirks that I’ve become more aware of lately and why I’m becoming aware of it. I think you’ll find it interesting.
Whereas the last entry of this type focused on all of these unworn jeans in my closet, this entry is going to focus on what I see when I look at myself in the mirror. First, some history…
I’ve mentioned many, many times on this blog that I once lost 125 pounds before gaining some 105 pounds back. While I’m not going to rehash that story, I do want to comment on my perception of reality during that time. Specifically, even though I lost 125 pounds and I was getting compliments from everyone I knew and everywhere I went, I didn’t see much of a change in the mirror. Now, before you go and think that I have some type of body dysmorphic disorder (look it up), I certainly knew that I looked different and I definitely knew that my body was a different shape at 260 pounds versus at 385 pounds.
However, for better or for worse, whenever I looked in the mirror I just saw… me.
Was my stomach smaller? I guess so. Were my arms and chest more defined because of the intense lifting that I was engaged in? More or less, I guess. Did I see the same changed person that everyone else saw when they looked at me? Nope.
Maybe it was because I’m a pretty strong-minded person and I knew that even though my body changed, I was still “me.” You see, society seems to think that if you lose a lot of weight and your appearance changes dramatically, then you must be a “new” person. This weird cause and effect is played out in the media and in popular television shows (it’s actually the core root of NBC’s The Biggest Loser). Yet, becoming a “new” person was never my motivation to lose weight when I dropped 125 pounds and it’s not my motivation as I lose weight this time around.
That’s probably enough background, but feel free to ask for more if you’re interested. Now some more present day comments on this topic…
I decided to write this entry because yesterday I hit a pretty big milestone in my current weight loss efforts. Yesterday, I weighed in at 314.6 pounds, which is 50.4 pounds less than when I started losing weight at the beginning of the summer. That’s pretty damn good!
Just like when I lost all of that weight last time around, I’m doing the same things this time around – eating less and working out more. That’s the big “secret” to weight loss. It really is the secret!
And, just like last time around, I’m not “seeing” much of a difference in the mirror. However, because I was aware enough at the beginning of the summer to know that my eye-to-mind connection would lie to me again about what I was “seeing,” I took a measure to prevent myself from believing (disbelieving?) what my eyes saw in the mirror.
I took pictures of myself.
No, you’re not going to see those pictures on this website so don’t ask. However, I glance through the pictures every once in a while to get a view of the pre-weight loss version of my body versus the current version of my body. And truth be told, there is a striking, noticeable difference between the picture of me at 354.6 pounds (after already losing 10.4 pounds is when I started taking the pictures) and the picture of me at 335.0 pounds… but that’s about it as far as my eyes can “see.” I’ve also taken pictures of myself at 330.4 pounds and 326.8 pounds; I have yet to take some pictures of myself at my current 314.6 pounds.
However, here’s the thing – I don’t see a difference in the pictures between 335.0 pounds and 326.8 pounds.
Is there a difference? Well, there would have to be, right? I mean you don’t weigh 8.2 pounds less than you did a week or two prior and not look different. Yet, I don’t see it in the pictures. Sure, maybe I’ll see the difference in the 314.6 pound pictures, but I don’t see the change now.
And that’s the root of this entry because I’m finding it pretty hard to get as excited as I should be about losing the 50 pounds so far. Most folks would be jumping up and down for joy after losing that much weight and while I’m glad about it, I’m not ecstatic about the 50 pound drop. Part of me believes that I’m not excited because, frankly, I’ve been here before. In fact, I’ve gone another 54.6 pounds down this road and will likely retrace those very same steps in the next 6 months. But I’m just not overly elated at what I’m seeing in the mirror.
The analyst in me thinks that I need to heed the title of this entry and see the bigger picture in the physically smaller pictures of my body. In other words, I think that part of my problem is that I need to realize and begin to achieve the bigger picture items that come along with losing weight before my mind will allow me to see the physical benefit of losing the weight. What does that mean? Here’s an example: I go to the doctor again next Friday (second day of September). At that appointment, I will have hopefully lost a total of 55 pounds since I last saw the doctor. That’s an astounding amount of weight to lose. I think, however, in order for me to realize and achieve the bigger picture items that come from losing this weight, I’m going to need my doctor to lower the amount of my medications (currently at 10 pills and 1 shot each day).
I’m pretty confident that a development like that would begin to wrench open my mind’s eye so that it can see the smaller figure standing in the mirror.
The paragraph above is the end of this entry. Though, since this is a weight loss-themed entry, I thought I would add a few comments on my next goal and the longer-term goals that I have for losing weight. If you’re interested, read on…
The next goal is to drop below 300 pounds. As any big guy can tell you, when you’re losing weight that 300 pound figure looms above your efforts like a storm cloud waiting to burst. Once I break through that level and begin weighing something in the 290s, I’ll be content that this weight loss effort may actually have some longer-term legs. And on those longer-term legs, I’d like to carry myself to 275 pounds by the middle of October – in time for my older brother’s wedding. Again, as any big guy losing weight can tell you – once you breakthrough beneath the 300 pound level, 275 pounds doesn’t seem that far away (and it’s not in the grand scheme of things).
That’s about it in terms of my weight loss goals. Sure, one day I’d like to weigh around 230 pounds (I don’t know about going much lower than that weight, actually), but I’m in no great rush to get there. I could be very happy sitting at 275 pounds for a while just like I’m content taking small steps to get to that weight. If you’re interested in following this weight loss effort, stick around on JerseySmarts.com because I plan to chronicle as much of my thoughts and experiences as I can during this journey. It should be interesting. 🙂