The scale is only one metric.
Knoxville is currently hosting our very first Chinese Lantern Festival. The event is magical – filled with beautifully crafted silk lanterns of hundreds of different shapes and sizes, including the centerpiece dragon itself.
I’m a big fan of happy dragons and majestic dragons (mean dragons or horse-eating dragons, not so much!). But as I toured the festival, I noted how very different the dragon looked in the daylight versus at night, and it got me to thinking about the current changes taking place in my own body on my weight loss journey.
During the daylight, the dragon’s lighting does not show up very well, yet every detail of the silk skin that comprises the dragon’s magnificent outer casing was easy to see. The craftsmanship that surely went into creating that ginormous dragon “lantern” was breathtaking.
After dark, while the details of the construction were impossible to detect, the lights within the dragon glowed so brightly, the dragon almost appeared alive!
It was the very same dragon. Unchanged in some ways, yet the different perspectives offered by the changing light as the sun set made this lantern appear completely different.
The scale has been stubbornly stuck in the range of the same few pounds for months now. Sometimes that is truly depressing. Sometimes it is frustrating. But, during all these months, I have not stopped doing barn chores. I have not stopped doing yoga. I have not stopped striving to eat healthier and drink more water and live a much healthier life.
So recently, when I was indulging in a little retail therapy (shout out to shopping local), I saw an Ariat brand riding top that I was immediately drawn to. I loved the bright coral color! But, as I looked through the available sizes, I grew concerned. There was an “XL” and a “M” hanging there.
When I began this journey towards fitness, I had been wearing “XL” size clothes for years. Sure, the sleeves were at least four inches too long for my 5’2” frame, but at least there was enough fabric to stretch across my chest and much-too-round tummy (phat ponies, you are my tribe!)
But I now know XL is too large for me. My new default has been size “L” for months. But there was no “L” in this lovely shirt. There was, however, the “M” – size medium. I’ve dreamed of returning to size “M” for years now. Decades, honestly. Even typing the word “medium” makes me smile. ME? A size MEDIUM? Seriously?
I was embarrassed to ask to try on the shirt. What if it didn’t fit? What if it stretched across my bosom so tight the fabric changed color because the threads were stretched apart? What if my upper arms felt like encased sausages? My divorce was final this week, so I don’t need a garment to further decimate my self-esteem, thank you very much, lovely coral size medium shirt!
I hesitated. I wanted that beautiful shirt so badly. And, even more, I wanted that size medium to fit. In a moment of abandon (or desperation), I bought the shirt and brought it home.
And tried it on.
And. It. FIT.
My weight has not changed over the winter, but my conformation certainly has. My upper arms are smaller. My girth and rump are smaller. Hopefully my boobs will soon follow suit (raw honesty: as a rider of trotting horses, I SO envy all you “A” cup gals!).
I’m sharing some photos so you can see the differences. In some of the photos, I’ve pushed my gut out so you can see the “maximum girth” of Esther at the present time. (Humiliating, but absolutely honest and unretouched photos).
And, so you can compare, I also slipped on my “official” weigh-in shirt – the purple F.I.T.S. shirt I’m using for every ten pounds lost so we can all mark together how Esther’s body is changing. Again, I took a quick shot of “letting it all hang out” and another one of how my core is shaping up. (YAY, YOGA!)
I’m wearing size 14 pants comfortably these days; in fact, I often wear a belt now to keep them from falling down. YAY, ME!
I have learned that stretchy pants are not my friend. A belt helps keep me aware of when I feel full, instead of eating until the food is gone. #EmbraceTheBelt
So, while the scale has remained static, the past few months have seen drastic changes to my level of fitness. I am becoming the athlete I have dreamed of being!
The crazy thing is, I have been so focused on the scale as the one metric by which to measure my success, I never realized I had dropped down to “size medium” until this lovely coral shirt compelled me to try and see if it would fit.
Happily, it does, and perfectly so, right down to sleeve length.
Like the dragon, my weight has not changed. Yet despite the “sameness” of the scale, I – like the dragon – look completely different!
My authentic self is emerging, and I am eager to continue losing more flab and getting more fit!