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    POOKASLUAGH   117,392
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A four-year look at shirt-shrinking (and me-shrinking)

Friday, September 20, 2013

September, 2009. A great month. Not only did my endodontist fix my teeth, thus enabling me to actually start losing the 100+ lbs I accumulated over 11 years of illness and infection, but my friend Chris convinced me to participate in NaNoWriMo for the first time. National Novel Writing Month is an annual event that takes place in November. For thirty days, writers all over the world attempt to write a 50,000-word novel (or, at least, 50k words towards a novel or other project). The goal is not to write something GOOD, but just to get the words down. The internal editor is set aside, and creativity explodes.

I had never written more than about 15,000 words in a month before then, and the idea of putting aside the internal editor and letting my inner writer just pour out whatever popped into my head at the time was a bit scary. I let myself be talked into it, though, and threw myself into the idea with gusto. I purchased my first NaNoWriMo shirt, and even though I was extremely self-conscious about my 255 lbs, I took this picture:

The shirt was a unisex American Apparel shirt sized 3XL. It was the largest shirt I owned, the one with the most X's on it. This is the only picture I have in the shirt now, and I've kept this shirt - as well as my largest pair of pants - to wear and take pictures with when I reach my goal size.

Turns out, I LOVED NaNoWriMo. My local writing circle was fantastic and I met all sorts of writers. We got together several times a week to write, and sometimes met socially as well. I remember November 2009 as one of the best months I've ever had in my life, and I knew I would participate again in 2010.

Sadly, I have no picture of my 2010 NaNo shirt. It was sized 2XL, one size down, as I'd lost about 15-20 lbs at that point. By then, though, shame and depression were so heavy on me that there was no way I was going to take a photo wearing it. :(

By 2011, however, I was well into my weight loss journey, and much happier with my progress! I definitely took a picture, and the contrast is clear:

I weighed 193 lbs - firmly in ONEderland, over 60 lbs lost altogether from my highest weight - and this shirt was an American Apparel unisex size large. Quite a bit smaller (both me and the shirt) than before!

In 2012, I'd lost a further 28 lbs, taking me to 165 lbs. I was no longer obese, and only 11 lbs from a healthy BMI. The NaNo store changed up the design brand this year, and my shirt was a Bella Missy lady's size large.

And now, 2013, my fifth year participating in NaNoWriMo. They're still going with the Bella Missy brand, and I'm wearing a lady's size medium this year! I'm only down 13 lbs since last year, but I'm happy to be at a healthy BMI and to have maintained my 100+ lb loss for the last seven months. NaNoWriMo is only six weeks away, and I'm SO EXCITED. Getting the shirt every year makes me even more excited, I admit. :D

And it's been wonderful to see how they've shrunk from year to year:

(Though difficult to see the difference between the 2010 and 2011 shirts, given that they're both black...)

And the four-year perspective, 2009's unisex 3XL to 2013's lady's medium:


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
LOVE7755 10/13/2013 11:49AM


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GOOFIERNU 9/27/2013 4:25PM

    Wow! That's quite the comparison there! AWESOME!!!

So, I've got an idea for NaNoWriMo... how awful would it be to start writing NOW??? emoticon

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GOLDENDOMER00 9/23/2013 2:26PM

    Awesome job! And LOVE the hair!

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MJ-SHE-BEAST 9/22/2013 5:53PM

  A picture is worth a hundred pounds, for sure! Great compare and contrast and great job!

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RUNNERRACHEL 9/21/2013 8:40PM

    What a great blog and story of your journey! Love that you started the NaNoWriMo in Nov 2009 and your health journey started then as well. A great story of transformation for writing and for your health . emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/21/2013 8:40:58 PM

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SCOUTMOM715 9/21/2013 5:19PM

    emoticon Love these pics!! You look great!

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RYDERB 9/21/2013 12:39PM

    WOW! Love the shrinking Ts! And your new hair! emoticon

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MCELLO58 9/21/2013 10:53AM

    Wow! What a wonderful accomplishment. Good job!

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ROCKINMOM77 9/21/2013 9:23AM

    emoticon Amazing progress!!

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MELITOD 9/20/2013 11:43PM

    Love the visual and that I was a spectator on your journey!! Yeah you!!

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GOOFIERNU 9/20/2013 8:19PM

    Wow!!! That's amazing! SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!

I may or may not do NaNoWriMo this year. Haven't come up with an idea yet. We'll see...

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MISTY_MOUNTAINS 9/20/2013 7:06PM

    Wow.... that really puts things into perspective, doesn't it?? Really amazing thing you have done for yourself!!

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MWWENSIN 9/20/2013 2:03PM

    Great results.

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MCONFESSOR 9/20/2013 1:18PM

    I love this method of showing the loss. Congratulations!

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    Very impressive!!!!

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LORILEEPAGE 9/20/2013 12:32PM

    Great visual, Amanda!

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 9/20/2013 11:46AM

    Fantastic transformation! I LOVE the pics of your shirts, SO cool!

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GHK1962 9/20/2013 10:34AM

    Wooo hoooo!

I recall knowing you since the 2nd photo ... and then YOU are to blame for getting me hooked on NaNo haha.

And ... that is an awesome way to track progress, via NaNo shirt sizes ... very creative blog post to show both the health journey and the shirt buys. (By the way, ever since you told me your shirt came in I have been going to check the mailbox ... where are mine damnit! I mean, c'mon!...SF is closer to me than to you hehe.)

emoticon (the closest emoticon I could figure out as writing)

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JUSTCHELLE75 9/20/2013 10:20AM

    That is awesome

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MOMMACASSEY 9/20/2013 10:09AM

    Wow--just wow. I am impressed by your ability to enter the NaNoWriMo EVERY year. I kinda sorta tried to do it one year without actually entering, and I think I burned out about 20 days and 30K words into the month. Putting that internal editor aside is just so HARD.

And, great work on shrinking your sizes! I am always in admiration!


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OLIVIANIGHT 9/20/2013 9:42AM

    What an awesome way to track progress! Well done, you : )

Comment edited on: 9/20/2013 9:42:36 AM

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MSDANYELL 9/20/2013 9:18AM

    Oh and I must add....I'm doing the NaNoWriMo as well! I wasn't going to because like you, my inner editor would never allow me to complete in the past, but you dear, are pure motivation! So thank you thank you thank you!!!!!

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MSDANYELL 9/20/2013 9:10AM

    AMAZBALLS!! How AWESOME are you! I need this extra motivation this mornign so THANKS!!!!

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KGIRL160 9/20/2013 8:43AM

    Great job!!

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KELLIEBEAN 9/20/2013 8:35AM

    Congratulations! You look great. How cool is that picture of the shirts. Really tells the story. So does the pride in your eyes and smile!

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BETHIEMAE75 9/20/2013 8:35AM


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STSCOTT11 9/20/2013 8:33AM

    Great journey...great transformation.
Your a real shrinky emoticon

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