February 12, 2011

Visual aids

Last week, Amy reminded me of one of my very first posts in which I put together a visual to show my weight loss goals. It was pictures of five-pound bags of sugar.

This was what I wanted to lose long-term:

210 pounds of sugar
It amazed me: "That's not even my weight - that's the weight I had to lose!" And at the time of the original post, my total loss was 13 pounds.

thirteen pounds, more or less
About six months later, this is now my loss:

twenty one point two
I think visuals like this really help me, because something I find really strange about losing weight is that when I look in the mirror, I can't always see the changes. (And I'm still really kind of tempted to go to the grocery store, load up 21 bags of sugar into the shopping cart, and take a picture.)

I found a great list here on this discussion board of different ways to visually represent your weight loss. My 106 pound loss is the same weight as a two-month-old horse, plus a chihuahua, plus a guinea pig. Or a 5000 BTU air conditioner, a 5-gallon bottle of water, and an average housecat. Or four two-year-old children, an ostrich egg, and a rack of baby back ribs.

It's a little silly, but I love it.

Adjusting my self-perception is something else I need to work out with my emotional weight loss - one step, I think, will be buying a full-length mirror. My bathroom mirror at home is only chest-up, and perhaps it's because my loss has happened so fast that my mind still needs to catch up, but whenever I catch a glimpse of myself in the full-length mirror at the gym, it surprises me - am I really only that wide now?

What about you? Am I the only one who has trouble seeing that my body has changed? Do visual aids help anyone else?


Amy said...

that's so great!!! I looked at the list and have to laugh that the amount I want to lose (from my highest) is almost an elephant penis. How is an elephant penis that much?? hahaha

Full length mirrors can be deceptive because they can slant the view, I find gym mirrors NEVER do me justice - which I don't get. Mall mirrors are obviously forgiving, and then you get home and the clothes you just bought don't look as good as you thought they did!

Unknown said...

I still have a hard time sometimes and it's been a few years - you'd think it would have sunk in by now. I think a full-length mirror is exactly what you need, Mary. You need to be able to see yourself in it's entirety or else you won't relate to it as much. Plus, at home you can take time to really look at yourself for as long as you need/want to. Can't really do that at the gym, probably. That will help a lot!

Retta said...

Visual aids are sooo helpful, totally!

Recently my hubby set bags of kitty litter on my lap, and I told him to STOP before he even got to matching how much I had lost so far. I just couldn't fathom carrying it around.

jayme @ Losing Half My Weight said...

i totally love that list!! i still have trouble seeing the difference in my body until i take pictures and set them beside older pictures (which i need to do again soon).

Tim said...

I agree with the visual aids. When I started my blog I said I wanted to lose the weight equivalent of an electric fireplace. I'm slowly dismantling it but I will get there :)

Ellie said...

I completely understand your frustration about being able to see changes in your body. I have trouble with this every day. I think your idea about a visual aid (other then your reflection) is amazing. I will have to try it out.