I'll be taking and putting up my 8-months along picture tonight after I get home from the gym. Tempted as I may be, I won't flex these biceps because then the pictures wouldn't match.
Having gotten close to 190, I'm suddenly thinking way back and remembering little things. See, up until a little over a dozen years ago when I made the screwy decision to gain weight, my "I'll never get heavier than" number was 200.
I was 150 in my junior year of high school, without any real excess on me. (I might edit this blog or add another with some really old pictures of me, in fact.) The reason I remember 150 so well was my driver's ed teacher talked about blood alcohol levels and the effect of our weight on how much we could drink and be in range. He asked if anyone weighed 150 and I answered that I did. Sure, there were some who were shocked. Girls weren't supposed to be willing to admit how much they weighed, for one, but I wasn't chubby at all and I really truly had no consideration about my weight at that point.
I did gain weight once I was living on my own. I'm sure the 32-64 oz of soda amongst other things helped. Not a lot of weight, though. I remember 160-165 being my usual range and mostly be annoyed by the small bulge of my belly. Amusingly, this was the only time I did things like wear those shape-enhancing girdle contraptions or control-top pantyhose.
The next time I remember actually having a known number was late 1988. I had done the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) because I really didn't know what sort of career path I wanted to take and figured that a test that told me where my aptitudes were could point me in the right direction. Going over the results, I could choose any branch, any field (so much for narrowing my choices) ... but I was 5-10 pounds over their top limit for my height and would need to lose that to join. Turns out I was a couple months pregnant already at that point but didn't know yet. I don't remember the number, but I think it was 175.
The next number was the day before DDb was born (that same first pregnancy). I was two weeks late, she was definitely big, and they were talking about inducing labor. I weighed in at just under 200 (198 or 199). I think this is where my stated limit of 200 came from. If an 8 pound 15 ounce baby couldn't knock me over 200, I could definitely get active or eat better to keep my weight below it otherwise.
From the time I met my EX (probably around 165) until we were divorced (probably around 180-185), my weight mostly fluctuated depending on such things as when I had a car and when I didn't, whether I belonged to a gym or had time to take off and go hiking, pregnancy gains and losses, and the like.
There were a few times in those years that I considered diets or other things, but I'm a skeptic - particularly of any form of marketing. The moment any ad or food product included "along with a healthy diet and exercise", I refused to consider it. I already knew that healthy diet and exercise would help me drop the weight, so what benefit was the product? If the product actually DID anything, I wouldn't need to change how I eat or work out. (Thankfully I did listen enough to improve what I ate and work out more ... for a while each time. Never a diet, but enough healthier behavior to stay a good ways under 200.)
Honestly, it was that stubborn streak of mine and attitude about advertising "promises" that were usually lies that saved me from the Yo-Yo dieting nightmare.
After making my screwy decision, I gradually gained over the years - seeing 195, passing 200, seeing 210 for a while, passing 225 and sitting at 230, eventually hitting my high of 250.5 when I started here. I weighed periodically, and recorded them over the years in various places without really worrying about the number.
I've mentioned it elsewhere, but I pulled out my state ID card the other day - I'm the loon who lied UP about my weight. It says Wt: 255. I never weighed that much. I got this ID over 6 years ago - when I was more commonly in the 225 range. By some old records, I was fairly steady around 235 - 240 in late 2010 to early 2011.
Soooooo, what I've been realizing is that I'm actually below the Start Point of my deliberate gain now. I see myself in the mirror and I'm seeing two things at once.
One is how much slimmer I look. Side views, front-on views. I definitely have less gut and less hips. Those are two that are super obvious. Even away from the mirror I notice little things. My DDa and I were noticing that I look like I have bonier wrists than her - even though I'm carrying more fat. It even feels bonier, like a thin layer of skin wrapped around there and nothing under but bone. Shaving my legs gives me a lot of visual reminders of how they're changing. I laugh to say I can actually FIND my hip bones now. Yes, they were there before but under a thick enough layer I felt like I was digging around to decide where my hips where. They're still under some fat, but it doesn't take much to find the edge.
The other is how far I still have to go. I'm at the upper end of what used to be my "I'm fat" compared to my "I'm normal, if a little chubby", and I'm seeing and remembering that. This is a weight that would, in the far distant past, have me walking more and eating less sweets - my standard of non-diet normal behavior when I saw my weight creep up. One of the things I mentioned above had recently come to mind - that it was only when I was thinner that I used body-shaping clothing. I have no real desire to right now, but it came to mind seeing a body in the mirror that in the past I would have squeezed into smaller, tighter clothes.
IMPORTANT: No, I don't feel bad seeing that I still have a "long" ways to go. Self-esteem or body image have never really been a problem. Even the girdles were more about fitting into existing clothes than looking skinnier. All I'm talking about here is seeing things like the roll that shows up if I slouch or feeling the extra padding over my hip bones or jiggling the "bat wings" while flexing the bicep. (That last makes me chuckle. It will eventually go away, but having both tickles my funny bone.)
This is ME on the cusp of 60 pounds down.