100 lb. Club - Why it doesn't show

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02-03-2011, 12:28 PM
Hello folks,

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.

02-03-2011, 12:48 PM
Thank you for that reminder . . . . I've been discouraged that I don't look that much smaller looking head on . . . but in reality, i've gone down 6-8 sizes.
Thats pretty darn impressive.

and KUDOS to you for those inches lady! and the 75 lbs, wow!

02-03-2011, 01:14 PM
I noticed that as long as I kept wearing my larger clothes I looked the same size. Once I got rid of all the big clothes and purchased some smaller clothes (cheap clothes nothing fancy) people really started to notice :)

02-03-2011, 01:26 PM
for me at my weight with 75 pounds to lose i know that people start to notice when i lose about 40 pounds or when i get down to 150 i know this becuase i've done it before and it was like one day i woke up and looked in the mirror and was like wow ive really lost weight and it was that day that everybody i saw that knew me said the same thing lol so ithink as a general rule it takes about half of what you want to lose before people start to notice and when you yourself really notice!

02-03-2011, 02:26 PM
I noticed that as long as I kept wearing my larger clothes I looked the same size. Once I got rid of all the big clothes and purchased some smaller clothes (cheap clothes nothing fancy) people really started to notice :)

This was my experience exactly.

02-03-2011, 03:03 PM
This was my experience exactly.

It wasn't mine, at least not with the first round of new clothes purchased (after about 50 pounds gone). I felt great in my new smaller clothes - but still no one commented (I can't say no one noticed, I have no idea what they noticed, only what they said).

Maybe the second round of new clothes, which will come this spring - when I will be more in the 80 pounds gone range and won't have to hide in bulky sweaters - will have a more dramatic effect.

02-03-2011, 03:17 PM
I know on my last weight go round, I lost over 60 lbs., down from 240 to under 180, and people never really noticed much except in one or two flattering outfits. But that was down from a size 20 to a 14, huge when I lay the two pants over each other!

Then there is the time before that when I was younger and lost about 10-15 lbs, but it was from 155 to in the low 140's--everyone talked about it and said I had been a "butterball" before.

Now at 259 I would love to be that 155 butterball! But it is really frustrating, and I think your explanation with math really helps. I have also read that in smaller clothes sizes the difference between sizes is only a few lbs., but I have to lose 15-20 lbs. to go down a size where I am now.

p.s. My husband is a math teacher, he will love your comment!