April 26, 2021

Non-Scale Victory Reversal (things I miss from 40 pounds ago)

I've gotten in the habit each morning when I wake up to grab my wrist, touching my thumb and middle finger together around the circumference of my wrist. I used to do this once in a while as I was losing weight because I noticed that my wrists were getting smaller. Now, I do it to check how swollen my wrists/hands are from my carpal tunnel/tennis elbow issue. Some days, I can't even touch my fingertips together--and other days, I can overlap them a little.

Anyway, the point of this is that it made me start thinking about the little "non scale victories" I would notice when I was losing the weight in 2009-2010. I wrote a list of 100 of them when I'd lost 100 pounds; today, I went back to read those to see how many of them still hold true and which ones are no longer (due to weight gain over the last few years).

Here are some of the non-scale victories that have been reversed; things that I really miss about being 40 or so pounds lighter:

My thighs (all the way down to my knees) now rub together when I walk; it's really uncomfortable and I hate the noise that my pants make.

I don't wear "cute" underwear anymore--I simply wear plain black cotton briefs. I miss picking out cute panties at Victoria's Secret whenever I'd get a coupon in the mail. I am capable of wearing cute undies now, but I just don't feel good enough about my body to do it. (Jerry misses my pretty lingerie, too.)

It's hard to cross my legs now; I used to feel so much more comfortable when I crossed my legs easily. I remember being able to sit with my legs crisscrossed in a coach airplane seat--and it was actually comfortable! Haha.

My shoes are too small! I have about 8 pairs of Converse Chucks and they hurt my feet. I remember being so surprised when I dropped a shoe size while losing weight, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that my feet have gotten bigger now.

I get out of breath much more easily now. I remember feeling winded all the time when I was obese, and then I got used to NOT feeling that way. I don't feel it all the time now, but I definitely notice that I feel out of breath doing things that should not make me out of breath.

Wearing jeans is uncomfortable. Even the ones that fit! I used to LOVE to wear jeans and a hoodie, but for some reason, the extra weight makes jeans uncomfortable. I wear black yoga pants most of the time now.

Healthy food doesn't taste as good as it used to. When I was losing weight, my taste buds gradually changed and I started enjoying healthy food. Since gaining some weight back, I've found that I don't like a lot of the healthy food I used to love--even oatmeal!

I avoid the camera most of the time now. It's not as bad as when I was obese, but I definitely don't enjoy having my picture taken. However, I know that I regret not having many pictures from before I lost the weight (especially pictures of me with my kids) so I do allow myself to be in pictures--I just promise myself that I don't have to post them anywhere. There is no "rule" that pictures have to be shared publicly; if I want to share them, I can, but at the very least, I'll have pictures for memories to look back on some day. I miss feeling good enough about myself to post pictures, though.

I stopped wearing form-fitting clothing. This is one thing that I swore I wouldn't do! Baggy clothes aren't flattering on anyone. After my skin removal surgery, I loved to wear form-fitting shirts and jeans. Now, however, I prefer baggy clothes to "hide" in.

I have a very hard time getting comfortable--sitting, standing, lying down--my body just doesn't feel good. I miss being able to fold my limbs neatly into a comfortable position (or just stretch out).

I miss feeling confident--both in how I look and how I feel. I try to go unnoticed as much as I can because I feel insecure. It's hard feeling exposed like this--my weight loss was so public and now I can only imagine what people think when they see me.

Hardest of all (for me) is that I don't feel feminine anymore. This was the one thing that I loved most about my "thin" body; I felt pretty and worthy of wearing cute clothes, doing my hair, wearing make-up, etc. Logically, I KNOW that I can still do those things now and this is just an insecurity issue; unfortunately, I just don't feel good enough about myself to do it. I want to feel pretty again!

I realize this sounds like a total downer of a post, but the reason I'm sharing it isn't to fish for people to say that I look great the way I am now, etc. Even if it had nothing to do with my looks, I am not as healthy as I should be at this weight. I know that I need to take better care of myself. My reason for writing this is to lay it out there and remember the things that made the weight loss WORTH the effort.

I've been talking about losing this extra weight for a couple of years now and I need to either do it or quit talking about it. I haven't had the motivation to put in the effort required to lose the weight, so I'm hoping that by looking at these changes I've noticed, I'll remember that it really IS worth it in the end.

Writing it all out today feels good! I'm not hiding from or in denial of the changes that came with the weight gain. I'm acknowledging them and hopefully giving myself the drive that I need to get started--for REAL--on this journey again. I don't want to wait until I gain back all of the weight before I finally make some changes. The longer I wait, the harder it will be.

I don't want this to be how my story ends. I want to keep trying and trying, even if it means failing dozens of more times before I succeed. My goal right now is to just work on getting back those little non-scale victories--I want to feel comfortable again. Starting with exercise...

Tomorrow, I'm going to start the Couch to 5K plan again. I had planned to start it today, but my knee was really stiff all day--I'm not sure why, because that doesn't happen often--so hopefully it'll be back to normal tomorrow. And once I get back to exercising regularly, I'm hoping the general joint stiffness goes away as a result. My loose plan is to do the Couch to 5K on Tues-Thur-Sat, and then on Mon-Wed-Fri, I'll ride my bike--my bike gets my heart rate up higher than walking does and it's easier on my knees.

So there it is. Writing such vulnerable posts is always hard, but it's the most rewarding. I hope I'll have a good update to share later this week! Tomorrow, it's time for Transformation Tuesday :)


  1. I know you don't want to hear advice so I'll just leave it at you need to do whatever makes you happy! BUT, that being said, you should pick something from this list that you can do right now and just do it! I bet you'll feel great about yourself! Maybe put on a cute outfit or buy some cute underwear. Honestly, Amazon has amazing, cute underwear for all sizes! And half the price of Vicky's Secret. Its also no secret that Victoria's Secret is extremely fat-phobic so I've stopped buying from there completely. I know you got what it takes to do whatever you need to make yourself feel good!

  2. I am right there with you in the same boat. It was great to read this today and help me to refocus and get back on track. Thanks for writing, it's always nice to feel like your not the only one feeling this same way.

  3. I totally get this post. I was stuck in a funk for quite some time. I hated myself. I hated looking at myself. I hated how I felt in clothes and without clothes. After my second hip surgery last summer I decided I had to pick myself up. Everyday I have to choose whether or not I want to feel like crap or feel good. I have to work so hard at not binge eating when life is so overwhelming, and lately its been more overwhelming than normal. I've picked back up with running and am grateful to Beachbody for making a program geared towards runners. I am actually in my second round of it. I feel myself getting stronger. I like that feeling. Everyday is still a struggle and I do have bad eating days but I am learning to pick myself up the next day and to not dwell on it. I have watched you from the very beginning. You are strong and I know that you will get back to where you want to be physically and mentally. One small step at a time. One choice, one decision at a time. You are amazing, no matter what your size is. As women we need to start learning to love ourselves no matter where we are at in our journey. Its a struggle but I am learning. Love ya girl! <3

  4. Good for you!! I’ll be joining you in making a list and using it to get back to my thinner self.
    One suggestion for your stiff knees - if you have an exercise ball sitting in it and rocking back and forth really helps to stretch the soft tissues and gives better mobility. I do this daily because I had knee replacement and that knee is still a pain in my rear. 🤷🏻‍♀️ It’s an inexpensive way to loosen up and you can do other exercises on it as well. I do sit ups and butterflies and push ups. Anything to get the body moving.
    Proud of you for taking shard look at where you are, were, and want to be!

  5. Yes yes yes!! I’ve gained back all my WW loss (76 lbs—I made Lifetime!) and am on my way back to 300 lbs. if I don’t change. I miss so much about being at goal weight and you nailed most of them!! Pandemic gave me an excuse to eat anything I wanted. But food doesn’t even taste all that good anymore and I’m talking about all food, let alone healthy food.

  6. Sound like you are ready to step up your healthy eating to lose weight/fat. Maybe reading your own advice might help. The 'What I Wish I Knew When I Started Losing Weight' post is good! I find the summer weather makes getting healthier easier. No more ice! You can do it, just don't eat loads before you start.

  7. I understand how it feels to gain back some weight and not feel good about it. I've been there and I'm sure a lot of your other readers have been also. I did want to comment on the one example you gave where you said that you can only imagine what people are thinking. Honest to God, most people aren't thinking anything about it at all, and I mean that in the nicest possible way. I remember when I was a teenager how I always felt so self conscious because I could just feel everybody watching me (in my mind). And as I've gotten older I've realized really the only one paying attention to me when I walk into a room is myself. 🤣😂

  8. I think it's totally fair to write about these things. After all, they are what make you human and approachable. I agree with Amanda though, pick one thing and try and do it. Even one baby step is still progress! Above all, maybe write a separate post about the things being down XX amount of pounds (from your original) allows you to do today. Make it present tense to show yourself that you are still so far ahead. <3

  9. I love how you keep it real. Thanks so much.

  10. It's funny you wrote this today. Just two days ago I was telling my husband that I didn't want to go out to watch an outdoor concert with my sister and brother-in-law because I don't feel comfortable in my skin and although I know people don't care how much I weigh, I am not happy with the way I look and I don't want to see people. I live in a smallish town, so a night out means there's a good chance I'll see someone I haven't seen in almost 2 years and I will have to see their potential reaction to my weight gain. It's dumb, but I can't get it out of my head. So I hide at home. Not sure what it's going to take to get me to diet and exercise, but I just can't get there!

  11. I was struggling hard -- especially after my beloved husky died and I also had another loss/change ... the thing that has been helping me a ton is following Beatrice Caruso on Youtube (she's so funny) and doing her 67TYBB challenge (67 try your best bish) -- I think it's a play on the 75 hard. LOL. Maybe it was just the timing or I was ready to not be mourning but it feels really nice to feel good and be inspired. Fingers crossed you find your spark --- feeling bad just plain feels bad. And life is short. And you deserve to feel good.

  12. I don't know if it's the pandemic or just life but I am there with you too. Bigger than I have been and I know what I need to do. I am a marathoner and a triathlete and I've done NOTHING but walk my dogs for the last year... I want to do SOMETHING? My motivation is so terrible.

  13. Have you read Atomic Habits by James Clear? His work has recently gotten me excited/really working on changing habits again and I think there could be a lot for you to incorporate in making it easier/more obvious to move towards your good habits again. He also writes about the concept of 'identity-based habits' and that SEEING yourself as a fit/healthy person and thinking 'how would a healthy person act?' when going about your day is key to getting into and maintaining healthier habits. Good luck Katie!!

  14. Oh God. I felt this one so hard it made me cry.


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