Monday, November 30, 2009

What Are You Working Towards?

Even though I now have lost 30 or so pounds, I still hate the scale. The number it shows almost always disappoints me, and it’s not enough of a reward to keep going. I’ve worked on finding other ways to measure my progress and establish short-term goals to work towards. One of my favorites is clothing.

The outfit you see to the left is one that I worked towards fitting into the past 11 months. I got the size 12, Ann Taylor, A-line skirt in New York City during a visit to my sister a couple years ago, and I always thought it would look very sharp paired with a red shirt. It was one of my fantasy outfits I dreamed of wearing when I finally got thin.

When I first tried on this skirt, I was able to fasten only the top button if I sucked it in, and the gapping sides formed a large triangle. Whenever I reached a particular milestone in my journey to becoming a healthy writer this year, I’d try on this skirt and watch that triangle get smaller and smaller until I was finally able to close all the buttons. Once there were no gaps between the buttons and the skirt was no longer too tight to wear in public, I proudly and very happily donned this outfit and wore it to work Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009. I even was able to top the outfit with a very stylish, size 12, Ann Taylor Loft, short, winter coat. I made a colleague take my picture so I could document this accomplishment.

I’ve used other pieces of clothing, such as the outfit pictured to the right, as ways to measure my progress this year as well. I discovered that once I started to fit into more and more pieces in a particular size, I needed to start using a size smaller pair of pants, skirt, dress or top to measure my overall progress. I still have plenty of size 12s that I don’t fit into: a lovely Ann Taylor pencil skirt suit, 3 Tahari pants suits, and several other pants, but now that I can wear several size 12 outfits, I need to have some size 10s to work towards.

I did not own any size 10 clothing until mid-October. It’s been a very long time since I could fit into any, and I did not keep my thin college clothes. I did have some clothing I’d bought massively on sale through the years to thin into, but I never dared to dream I’d get back into a 10. Contrary to the fact that I am admitting to how many pieces of clothing I’ve bought when they were still too small to wear, I really do have a frugal streak. I only ever bought clothes one or two sizes smaller than I currently was and only when it was really, really on sale. (Yes, the frugal Yankee in me does feel a little guilty about this.)

In the past month, I have bought three size 10 pieces of clothing: a size 10 Evan-Picone purple dress (very Michelle Obama), a medium (sizes 8/10) Ann Taylor green silk shirt dress, and a size ten Ann Taylor Loft pair of corduroys. All three pieces were bought massively on sale. The two dresses were in the 30s and the pants were $22.04. I even tried the clothing in a size that currently fit to make sure they would be flattering when I reached a size 10. For less than $90, I have great encouragement to keep going and something to measure my progress against. I think it’s worth it.

What are you working towards? Have you found ways to measure your progress other than the scale? What helps you succeed on your journey to becoming a healthy writer?


Elise Hayes on November 30, 2009 at 8:23 PM said...

Love this idea, Michelle! (and congratulations on wearing the size 12 A-line skirt--it looks great!)

I'm with you on the clothes being a major motivator--I've got clothes that I only wear when I'm on the "thin" side of my regular size range and it's always a real treat to pull out those clothes. They make me feel great about myself when I get to wear them!

Michelle Butler on November 30, 2009 at 8:35 PM said...

Thanks, Elise! I have gone a little crazy buying new clothes, but it's been fun - and I've really had to replace my wardrobe.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on November 30, 2009 at 11:44 PM said...

You are looking great! I even thought the second picture was one from when you were younger, but it's you now. Fantastic!

I like the new clothes you've got to inspire you. I don't have to buy any smaller things as I still have plenty of jeans and suits to slim into. If I can get down to a 10, where I was in college, I will be a happy, happy woman.

Michelle Butler on December 1, 2009 at 8:11 AM said...

Wow, what a compliment. Thanks, Trish! That 2nd photo was from Thanksgiving a few days ago. It may be that it was taken at the perfect angle to be the most complimentary bc it's definitely the photo that I look the skinniest from the batch taken that day. :)

Getting into smaller clothes really is fun. Enjoy slimming into the 10s! I was very overweight for so long that I honestly did not have any 10s in my closet anymore. You should have seen how much shopping my sister and I did on Friday and Saturday.

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