Tuesday Tip – Sisterhood of the Shrinking Pants

muscle.jpgI’m almost at a milestone – 25 pounds lost. Almost. Just half a pound to go and then another 35 pounds to go.

Yes, you read that right. Another 35 pounds to go. It’s amazing to me how much weight I’ve gained and lost over the nearly twenty years that I’ve battled with my weight. But I try not to think about that, or about the big number I’m still facing. I’ve been trying to think of that number in smaller increments, happy about each and every pound. Ecstatic as I move from one size to a lower one.

As for the scale, we all understand that to know the pounds lost (presumably the measure of your success) you need to get on the scale.

That can be daunting for many reasons. There’s always that sense that the scale is like a pinball machine and the moment you set yourself on it, it’ll light up and start flashing TILT, TILT, TILT accompanied by an assortment of bells and whistles to add to your misery.

For those of you too young to have played much pinball, think of it as GAME OVER.

The truth of it is, getting on the scale can tilt your sense of accomplishment in a negative way. It can frustrate you to the point that the game, namely losing weight and getting healthier, is over. So here’s some suggestions (and mind you, it’s tough for me to keep to them sometimes, too!) for keeping positive:

1. Try not to get on the scale every day.

2. Try not to make your major weigh-in on a Monday. Weekends are killers for most people and a weight gain or lack of weight loss on Monday morning — TILT, TILT, GAME OVER.

3. Don’t rely on just the scale to judge the success factor of what you’re doing.

The last is probably one of the most important of the suggestions. Why? If you’re doing any kind of exercise (which you should be in order to improve your circulation and muscle tone), you will be building muscle. Muscle is heavier than fat. Muscle is leaner than fat. Muscle burns more calories in a resting state, so muscle is very very good.

If you’re building muscle, the scale may not move much, but your body will look and feel different. You will feel better and stronger.

pants.jpgSo how do you gauge your success while you’re busy building muscle? You can measure yourself. Upper arms, chest, waist, hips, upper thighs. Think of the inches lost versus just the pounds.

Yes, all the measuring is tough so what else can you do? Pick a pair of pants that are tight on you, but not turn-your-legs-blue-because-they’ve-cut-off-the-circulation tight.

Use them as your measuring stick. At the end of the week, do they feel looser? After two weeks, how do they feel?

When they fit just fine, find another pair of tight pants in the next size down. Keep this going until you are back in the pants you wanted to wear.

Right now, I’ve left the tight size fourteens and am in a snug pair of size tens. My goal is to rid myself of the muffin top and spillover and move down yet another size. I want to keep on going with this until I am back to where I was nearly a decade ago — approaching a size 6.

Will that also equal losing the next 35 pounds? Who knows? As I exercise and try to improve the strength of my body, it may turn out that those 35 pounds aren’t the measure of my success anymore, but rather, how I look and feel!

The thing about using this kind of approach is that it is more truthful than the scale. It acknowledges that your body is changing for the good as you eat better and exercise. It also reminds you that it’s not going to happen in a day, but as those pants become a little looser each week, it should hopefully give you the boost you need to realize that you are succeeding!

Hope this little tip helps you join the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Pants! Have any suggestions of your own?

7 thoughts on “Tuesday Tip – Sisterhood of the Shrinking Pants”

  1. Hi, Caridad,

    I’ve been on the “I’ve got to lose this
    extra weight” merry-go-round for a good
    twenty years now. In fact, my weight
    has been up and down so much that it
    is a wonder my nickname is not “Yo-yo.”
    Carrying all this extra poundage can be
    harmful in many areas, leading to heart
    and diabetic problems among others. It
    seems that finding something positive to
    focus on keeps me from sliding down
    into negativity. At present, I find I have
    hit a plateau and have been sitting on
    it for a couple of weeks. My positive
    focus: at least I haven’t been gaining
    any weight!! I’ll just concentrate more
    on my eating patterns and re-start my
    downward spiral!! Good luck to all, I’ll
    keep you all in my prayers.

    Pat Cochran.

  2. Great post, Caridad. Congrats on getting closer and closer to your goal size.

    I think many of us are plagued by emotional eating. I’ve also been trying to use activities – Yoga, tennis, walking & swimming – to replace the comfort a few, or a dozen, chocolate chip cookies can give you. 🙂

    I gave up weighing regularly a couple of months ago. Now I concentrate on living healthy and making good choices. When my clothing begins to feel more loose, I’ll get on the scale. So far so good.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing! I think there’s a lot we can all learn from one another about getting healthier. Plus, it helps to know that we are not alone with these issues. That we are a sisterhood of women with similar needs.

  4. Hi, nice post! I think this is really good advice. I’ve lost (my madre always said to me that if you lost something, you’ll try to find it again) – I got rid off 25kg (about 14 pounds), and I know how frustrating the scale can be. It took me about three years, doing it slowly – that’s a lot of time, and there were months when the scale stood still. Death wishes, anyone? 🙂

    Anyway, I kept fighting, and I finally won. I have a tip, although many people don’t believe me: Bach Flowers helped me a lot. You can say it was a placebo, if you want, but since I started to take them, I stopped the “snack all day long” and I didn’t feel the urge to eat a ton of food in the meals anymore.

    Best of all: I stopped the flowers when I reached my goal, six months ago, and I didn’t started to eat too much again (I was afraid that I will fall back when I stop taking the flowers). My weight is stable and nice. Anyway, it’s just my experience, and I wanted to share it with you.

  5. OH, please!
    I don’t need to feel guilt this early in the morning!

    My mother is still around to make me feel sufficient guilt every day of the year.
    I may be fat, but I’m not wrinkled, not yet, that is. It’s only when the balloon starts losing air that the wrinkles show.
    (yes, I’m joking…Caridad has no visible wrinkles whatsoever)

  6. You are not alone. When I get frustrated or upset, I eat or do other bad things. It’s definitely better to channel that energy into something that will help you.

    Now, I’ve been channeling that into working out and I find that after I do it, I am very relaxed and centered. Of course, the kind of workout I’m doing focuses on becoming centered.

    If you want, I’ll offer up some hints on that next time!

  7. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! WOO-HOO!

    I love your attitude.

    I get frustrated with my life and don’t take care of myself and make bad choices. I need to channel that frustration into workouts!

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