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Archive for the ‘Progress Pictures’ Category

A couple of weeks ago I overheard some women in my office discussing another co-worker’s weight loss.  They were gushing about her progress and how skinny she looked, and even though I didn’t know who they were talking about or which diet this newly skinny co-worker had been on, their discussion piqued my interest and I started eavesdropping.

Don’t judge. I think everyone in my office knows the panels that serve as our cubicle walls only provide the illusion of privacy.  Also, they were talking about weight loss, so duh, of course I’m going to listen.

It turns out the newly skinny co-worker had found success on the 17 Day Diet.  I had never heard of the diet, but apparently it’s big with Dr. Phil and The Doctors, two entities that should not be mistaken for one, especially since their separate endorsements were enough to get half the women in my office to start following the diet.

I work with many young women, most of whom have given birth within the past couple of years and are looking to shed those last lingering pounds of baby weight.  None of them have nearly as much weight to lose as I do, but I couldn’t help but feel a little annoyed.  Here I am, a woman who has been following the same program for a year and a half and who has lost nearly 100 pounds and they’re gushing over the newly skinny co-worker and her 17 Day Diet.

But like I said, these women do not have 200 pounds to lose like I do.  These are women who most likely never had to live with excess weight until after they had children.  Their post-pregnancy bodies are foreign to them and now and they’re looking for the quick results this 17 Day Diet promises-as much as 10-12 pounds after the first 17-day cycle.  Hell, even I would love to see those kinds of results.

My weight loss has been fantastic and I’m very proud of it, but I’ve found people aren’t that enthusiastic when they hear I’ve been following Weight Watchers. Just this morning my supervisor complimented me on my progress, and when I told her I’ve lost about 100 pounds, she was floored.  “What are you doing?” she asked.

“Weight Watchers,” I said.

“Oh…that’s a great program,’ she said and I could hear the disappointment in her voice.  She wanted me to tell her I rode my unicorn to the magical spring that spouts the skinny juice I’ve been drinking since October 2009.

Nobody wants to hear that I work out five days a week, plan my meals, track everything I eat and see an average loss of about five pounds a month.  Everybody knows I didn’t wake up one morning a hundred pounds thinner, but the significance of that loss is harder to register when viewed over the course of 18 months.  People really only get it when I show them this picture:

Self portrait: August, 2009.

August, 2009

And then show them this one:

Self portrait: February, 2011 (96 pounds later)

February, 2011

Only then are they able to see just how hard I’ve worked.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not slamming the 17 Day Diet. I completely support people finding out what works for them and should any of my co-workers read this, I wish every one of them the strength to make it through the diet and reach their goals. Their enthusiasm for the diet actually has me intrigued, so much so that I downloaded the book to my Kindle yesterday.

I have a feeling if I can get past phrases like “boob flab” and having a medical doctor ask questions like “are you ready to be a total hottie?” it may turn out to be an interesting read.

But just look at those pictures and tell me Weight Watchers isn’t also pretty fantastic.

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Every time I get serious about weight loss I pose for the obligatory “before” photo. You know the one where you stand expressionless in front of the camera wearing the most unflattering ensemble in your wardrobe?  Yeah, that one. It’s meant to bolster your enthusiasm and remind you how far you’ve come, but what it really does is document one of the most miserable moments of your life; you at your heaviest weight ever.

This time I didn’t pose for that picture.  I don’t know why. Maybe it was because I never expected to get this far. I’d had so many stops and starts over the years and it had been ages since I’d lost more than 10 pounds.  I guess I just figured my enthusiasm and my resolve would wane during the holidays and I’d find myself right back where I started.

Ah, but I did not.

So here I am months later and I’m searching for a suitable “before” picture.  The problem with being the family shutterbug is there is very little photographic evidence of my existence outside of my driver’s license.  That’s usually how I like it, but at the moment it’s inconvenient.  I can feel the changes in my body, feel my clothes getting looser and I can even see the weight dropping from my face, but I’d kind of like to see how the whole package now compares to the whole package before.

Then I remembered a particular picture taken of me at BlogHer last summer.  Of the few photos I posed for during the conference, none was so hideous as this one:

Before Disclaimer #1: Had I known when I woke up that morning I’d be having my picture taken next to a giant bottle of Ragu, I would not have chosen to wear that orange shirt.

Disclaimer #2: Even though I am within five pounds of my heaviest weight ever in this picture, I’m far from miserable.  I think this was the second day of the conference and I was just really tired.  There’s no way I could be miserable having finally met Meg.

Sorry, Meg, but you’ve unwittingly earned a spot in my weight loss saga by being a part of my “before” picture.

Since I found that picture it was time to take the first progress photo. For that shot I entrusted my camera to my husband and flashed my best smile.

Can you tell the difference? I think I can. Granted my body is turned inward a little in the first photo and I’m not standing next to a giant bottle of Ragu in the second, but I think I can see a visible reduction of body mass in the second picture.

Rock on!

I was originally going to show you these pictures and finally reveal how much weight I’ve lost so far, but then I thought it would be more fun to use this information to my advantage and offer a little giveaway.

I don’t do giveaways very often so pay close attention. Here’s what you have to do.

You’ve seen the “before” picture and the current picture. What I’m asking is that you GUESS how much weight I’ve lost.  Don’t worry about guessing low and insulting me. This is all for fun and I promise your puny estimates will not offend.

The person who offers the most accurate guess will win an Amazon gift card equivalent to the number of pounds I’ve lost as of tomorrow’s weigh-in.

There is one catch, though. This contest is taking place entirely on Facebook.  This is a completely self-serving stipulation as I’ve just recently set up a page for the blog on Facebook.  Don’t judge. I’m giving away free shit.

Here be the rules:

  1. Become a fan of my blog on Facebook.
  2. Submit your entry with your best guess under the “discussion” section of my page. Right now there’s only one thread there so it should be easy enough to find.
  3. Only one entry per person.
  4. Your entry will only be valid if you are a fan at the time I select a winner.
  5. If you are the winner, you will have 48 hours to contact me to receive your prize.

In the event more than one person has submitted the most accurate guess, their entries will be numbered according to when they posted to the thread and I will then draw a winner using a random number generator.

The contest will remain open through Tuesday, March 2nd. The winner will be announced via a Facebook message to fans on Wednesday, March 3rd.

If you don’t have a Facebook account or if the Facebook stipulation of this contest doesn’t appeal to you, I can promise there will be another giveaway in the future in which entries can be submitted here in the comments section.  For this particular contest though, it’s all happening on Facebook.

Just to clarify, your guess needs to be as close as possible to my total pounds lost as of tomorrow’s weigh-in. Don’t be afraid to use decimals in your guessing. Weight Watchers scales display in increments of .2 pounds, and I will be reporting my total loss down to the last tenth.

Good luck!

In the interest of full disclosure, this giveaway is sponsored by none other than yours truly. Neither Amazon nor Weight Watchers have contributed and I have not been compensated for this post.

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