From the FB page:
Q: Why is it that when you lose weight you sometimes feel you look just as big as you did before the weight loss & you may feel you are seeing no progress even though measuring tape & scale say differently.?
I went through this for a very long time. Actually, to be quite honest, I went through two rounds of this, and am going on my third. Yes, it’s that common that I’ve accepted it as a reality and I shrug it off, and I hope that I can convince you to do the same.
When I first started legitimately losing, coming down hard and fast from the 300lb mark, I couldn’t see squat. All I saw was “big girl.” I could grab a tape measure and measure my biceps, my waist, my neck, my hips and thighs and that would show me some progress. But I wanted the visual affirmation, the thing that would show me, with my two eyes looking at myself, that what I was doing was giving me what I wanted.
I think we can all acknowledge that visual progress is important. I completely get the thinking that goes along with it. If I do all the cardio in the world, sweat out my pressed hair, and walk to the showers with my head held high and my body glistening with sweaty afterglow, I believe – in my mind – that I should immediately be able to see what part of my body burned that fat… because, considering how sweaty I am, clearly it was at least three pounds. I want that validation.
It just… it doesn’t always work that way, I’m sorry to say.
The reality is, when it comes to burning fat and shrinking down in size, you won’t see immediate results. It’s tough because, with muscle, a thorough workout will have you coming out feeling like a long lost descendant of The Almighty Ernestine Shephard or something, and you can actually flex in a mirror and see muscles that are a bit more cut. You won’t get that with fat burning.
You feel like you’re seeing no progress because you look at yourself every day. While you may move a centimeter in a few places here or there each day, those centimeters turn into inches if you give it a few weeks… but you’re not going to see that week-to-week or even month-to-month change because you’re too busy looking at yourself every day and getting frustrated that you’re not waking up and looking like your goal. What’s more, if you look at yourself every single day, waiting for change, for the entire month of July? On July 31st you’ll be comparing yourself to what you looked like on July 30th, not July 1st. You’d be denying yourself all the credit for your hard work, instead of saying “Wow, the difference that 30 days can make.”
This is why I’m such a huge fan of having what I call a “progress dress.”
Pick out a cute dress that no longer fits you, or go to one of your favorite inexpensive stores, and pick out a cute dress in a size smaller than what you are, now. Make it a ritual. Each week, play your favorite song in the bathroom, put your makeup on, peel that dress on, and take a picture. One from the front, one on the side. At the end of the month, compare all four photos and notice how the dress looks differently across your thighs, around your tummy, on your arms. Take an in depth look at your body. Appreciate it for what it is, praise yourself for how you’ve treated it, and become excited by the possibilities… what it’ll look like in the dress in the future if you continue.
Cut yourself some slack. Depending on your size, it may be difficult to see how much progress you’ve truly made. In all seriousness, depending on your goals, you might get conflicting messages. I remember a point where my hip measurements were actually going up instead of down and I became frustrated, but then I realized – after time – that it was because my booty was actually lifting and coming up off my thighs, and those drastic but necessary changes were taking place. Had I become discouraged, I might not’ve experienced the benefit.
The core message here is that even though our tools for measuring our progress can give us conflicting messages, we have to protect our efforts to live healthier lives. Don’t let the discouraging lack of visual progress prevent you from doing what you know is best. Give your body time to “thank you” for treating it well, and most importantly be patient and don’t stress it. Before you know it, you’ll be seeing all kinds of progress!