I took some measurements yesterday to order new bras, and doing that drove home a point that I think a lot of folks struggle with - so I wanted to share it.
Since I started this process almost 75 pounds ago, I have lost about 8" from each of my torso measurement spots - bust, waist, hips. That's pretty good, and I'm pretty happy with it.
But - that's 8" of circumference - 8" around. If you remember your junior high school geometry, circumference = 3.14 * diameter. That means that if you look at me head-on and see how wide I look - the distance across my body - I'm only (8"/3.14) ~ 2.5" smaller across (give or take, because my cross-section is not a perfect circle).
2.5" is still nothing to sneeze at, but it's not all that much either, considering how big I was to start with. It's certainly not going to make everyone I know gasp in astonishment at how different I look. If I put the "before" pictures side-by-side with the current pictures, the difference is apparent - but if you're just looking at me, without that comparison, it's not so easy to see.
This is part of the reason why big changes in weight don't always translate to big dramatic differences in how you look - especially for those of us who were very heavy to start with. 75 pounds sounds like an enormous amount to me and I'm very proud to have lost it. 2.5" across, though, is a bit more sobering. It doesn't take away from our accomplishments, but it does make clear why we don't always feel very different, why other people aren't gaping in awe at how different we look, why the pictures are sometimes disappointing.
So, I am trying to focus on non-visual cues - how my clothes fit, how much more energy I have without lugging around the extra pounds all the time - and not worry so much about whether so-and-so made a comment or why I don't yet look like a stud in the mirror, despite having shed 75 pounds.