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Magic mirror: Have I lost some weight?

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

When will I be able to look in the mirror and notice a major change in my appearance as a result of the weight I’ve lost? I wonder.

I’ve lost almost 50 pounds so far, just 2.4 pounds from it, and people tell me I look different. They can see the change.

On some levels I can see it myself too, but not so much. In some ways, I feel like I look the same.

It makes me wonder when the dramatic differences will come. If I lose another 50 pounds, will it look dramatically different, or will it look only slightly different the way it does now?

I don’t know.

I’m determined to find out of course, but I guess I was hoping for more of a noticeable difference sooner.

What I have noticed is that I am wearing clothes I haven’t been able to wear in a while because I am smaller, but still, I’m the same size as I was before number wise. Only now I can wear clothes that are moderately more closely fitted than before.

So it’s all going in stages.

Not having been through this before, at least purposely so, and from such a high weight, I have a theory. I wonder if the most dramatic visual changes comes as a person gets closer to their goal weight. For me right now, I’m still 184.6 pounds away from my goal of 150 pounds. That’s a lot of weight yet to lose.

Of course, once again, the moral of the story is patience. A character trait I seem to lack.

In the meantime, maybe I ought to shop for a new mirror, one that maybe says, “Hey beautiful, have you lost some weight?” every time I look into it.

I could then reply, “ Why yes, you noticed?” and be on my way, hopefully with a smile on my face.

It seems that a magic mirror might be just the thing to turn my sad topic around and temper it with more patience, because that’s what I need.


It was many years ago now, in fact almost 20 years, that I came back from Germany after having spent a year there as a foreign exchange student.

While I was there I lost about 50 pounds without even trying.

I had no idea how lucky I was then to have lost all that weight with no effort, while now I’ve done it again, but with great effort.

Then I don’t know that I really noticed a change in appearance. I saw myself the same almost from the day I arrived to the day I left. The only difference I recall besides the fact that my jeans had to be altered to fit me again was that I had a new haircut.

I went from having long hair to short hair. It was a first for me, but I loved it.

I wonder if that experience might shine some light on what’s going on now. I have lost about the same amount of weight, but just I don’t see it.

My clothes fit differently, but I see the same person in the mirror.

When I went to Germany I was a size 22/24, but when I came home, I could wear clothes as small as a 14/16.

Putting on smaller clothes when I came home did little to change how I saw myself.

I was still the fat girl I felt like on the inside.

The thing is, the fat girl faded into the background when I was in Germany because I was too busy enjoying myself to feel fat most of the time and I was too happy to think about it much.

Those thoughts came back to me when I came home.

So did the weight, and then a bunch more.

Maybe I needed a magic mirror then, one to whistle at me and tell me I was “hot stuff.”

Maybe that would have caught my attention and got me on the path of keeping the weight off.

I don’t know. But it is weird how my perspective of myself didn’t change the way it should have.

I knew I was more fit. I could feel it. I was in kick-butt shape for that matter, even if I wasn’t as small as I should be.

That’s what happens when you walk a kilometer to the train station in the morning to catch a train to school, another kilometer from the train to get to the school, and about a kilometer walking during lunch time, and a kilometer to the train again and another kilometer from the train station to the house.

That’s not all, sometimes I went somewhere before I went home. Add another 1-2 kilometers, depending on how adventurous I was that day.

That’s a lot of walking. Of course the distances are estimated, and I’m not really good at math, but still, it was a lot of walking.

On weekends I’d walk a lot as I would go places with my friends and explore the area I was in. I loved it.

While that was the routine at one of the places I lived, I lived elsewhere in the country too, but still found ample time to walk to my heart’s content.

I didn’t drive. I didn’t need to. I could get anywhere by train or bus, or even bike. Oh, the bike. Yikes.

I discovered that if you use an old bike and you are overweight like I was when I first arrived in Germany, biking is not so easy. The bike didn’t like it, and frankly it wore me out.

I got used to it though. I found it fascinating that there was a bike trail along the Autobahn. That’s how I got to the school where I had my crash course in German after arriving in the country.

The trail was pleasant and very well kept. Actually everything was for that matter.

Frankly, I don’t know how to duplicate the life I had there, it was so weight-loss friendly. I live in a rural area, I have to drive almost every where I go, although I suppose I could walk to the Post Office, that isn't too far away. The thing is, I have no reason to go to the Post Office most of the time and there really isn’t much reason for me to walk anywhere else in the place that I live.

For me, it would be more about the scenery, and this time of year, the scenery is just a little too cold for my taste.

But that aside, it seems I’ve wandered off topic a little bit.


Given that I’m aware of what seems to be a perspective problem on my part, I am going to have to combat what could become a demoralizing issue.

If I can’t see the visual changes that are going on in my body, I’m just going to have to make it all the more obvious to myself.

I already measure myself approximately every month now. I haven’t yet taken February’s measurements because I don’t feel any different from January, but I’ll get on that on Thursday, my official weigh in day at TOPS (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly), and the day I hope I meet one of my short-term goals of losing a total of 50 pounds.

So since I measure myself regularly already, another course of action is in order.

I think maybe something along the lines of what scientists do to show the scale of an object in a photo would be good. If a scientist photographs a rock for instance, they put a pen, a quarter or a ruler in the picture.

I will have to probably do something similar, only a pen and a quarter won’t quite do! If only!

So this is what I am going to do: I am going to take a photo once a month in the same spot with the same objects around me. Or maybe I’ll use a yard stick or something for scale, but however I do it, scale is important.

That’s because I don’t want to view myself the same at a size 14/16 as I do a size 30/32. It just doesn’t seem right.

I’ll do what I can to make sure my view of myself changes along the way as I lose the weight, and if all else fails, I’ll look to buy a magic mirror! Maybe that will change my perspective!

The photo on top is a picture of me today. The middle photo is me shortly before I came back from Germany in 1993. I attended an outdoor art exhibit in Saarlouis. The photo on the bottom was taken of me about a week or so ago.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I grew up in Germany and lived there until 2002. The biggest difference I know is all the walking that is done. People move much more on a daily basis. Food containers, including milk and chips are so much smaller. There is hardly anything supersized. More people cook meals, versus using already prepared foods for lunches/ dinners. I had do walk to the train stop, walk 1 mile to the grocery store and then carry the groceries home. Not that we didn't have a car, but it just wasn't worth taking the car, when you could just hop to the store. I thought I was overweight then, but I was really in good shape. And all the walking that is done, just as one form of entertainment. So when I just read your blog, I thought about all the things I have changed since I moved to the States. Well, thanks for jump starting my brain. I will do some thinking and really look at some of the things I can just as easily get back into :)

    Thanks for the reminder!!!
    1805 days ago
    OH I know. I have lost almost 70 and some days I feel like I havent lost 7 ounces. Take lots of measurements, from lots of different places.

    My clothes usually tell me the story. Bigger clothes I use to wear, I still keep around as a reminder, and they hang on me.

    emoticon Thanks for sharing!

    Smile and Enjoy the Rest of Your Day!
    Perfect Health Diet Team
    Country Living Team
    Dr Oz Show Fans Team
    Wheat Belly Team
    1808 days ago
    Great to have some photos as reference points for yourself! Mirrors are so tricky because our self-perceptions can be so weird sometimes. That's why paying attention to many different non-scale signs of progress (inches, blood pressure, etc.) is such an important thing.

    1808 days ago
    Don't forget you can measure your progress in things other than appearance too; take pride in your steps towards being in top shape. Of course, I should practise what I preach, and looking in the mirror and seeing a result is at times a little more gratifying.

    Even if you don't yet see the change you deserve remember you're doing really well, and you've got a consistently positive attitude. It will happen.
    1809 days ago
  • KITT52
    keep finding ways to see you smaller, I keep a pair of jeans and shirt to remind me of my heaviest days.....I too have trouble seeing myself.....

    it takes time...good luck you are doing a great job......

    one thing that helps me is learning to love myself no matter what I weigh....
    1809 days ago
    I notice in the top picture that your eye's are smiling, a bright happy light!

    It's funny how we don't notice the changes in ourselves. I too feel that way and only really notice the difference when I get dressed and have to use a belt to keep my pants up! Maybe because it's winter and I'm wearing a ton of clothes to keep warm..

    I sure understand the rural setting as I too live in the country and walking anywhere, other than walking the dogs around here is out of the question. Your time in Germany sounds wonderful and thanks for sharing so much of your life.

    The picture idea is a really good one.. I found a couple of those from 2009 that I had taken when I was in the processing of losing back then.. I was amazed by the before and after.. muffin top gone. It came back though, thus my joining Spark and now it's gone again!!

    1809 days ago
  • DUKETTE316
    The monthly photo is a great idea! We see ourselves everyday, so we don't see the changes like others. Measurements are good, but they are just a number and impersonal, so keep doing them to show your progress, but photos are better because they are personal. In fact, I think if you have a whole body photo, you should tape it to the top corner of your mirror, don't change it for the newest monthly photo (keep those in an album), and then you should be able to really see a difference as the months go by! Keep going, you are doing great!!
    1809 days ago
    I like your idea of a photo of yourself once a month (I, too, am not seeing it). How about in front of a particular door ---as we get smaller, more of the door will be visible.... The same type of clothes may be helpful as well as we all look different in a dress than in jeans.
    1809 days ago
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