How do you measure up?

Quite awhile ago, I wrote a blog about my measurements. Or at least I think I did. This morning, for some reason, I decided to get the ol’ tape measure out again and measure three key areas – my  hips, my waist and  my chest/bust.

When people begin a healthy living journey, one thing I think they should always do, but almost never, ever do, is measure – as in using a tape measure, not the scale. People often gauge their progress just by the numbers on the scale. And sometimes, those numbers may not budge or they may not budge according to what the person wants. And if that happens, they often get depressed and think that they are not making progress. That is why measuring with a tape measure is so important.

So, my advice to everyone who is just starting this journey, is to grab a tape measure and measure your hips – yes, at the widest part – along with your bust/chest and your waist – at the narrowest part. Then, maybe every two months or so, measure again. See if anything has changed. I am betting the results will shock you. And, maybe give you that motivation you need.

I actually can’t remember the last time I measured, but I do have numbers from February 18, 2009 – nearly two years ago to the day. At that time, I had already lost nearly 16 pounds so my measurements weren’t accurate from when I actually started. But at any rate, my measurements on February 18, 2009 and my measurements today, February 21, 2011, are as follows: chest/bust – was 39 inches, is now 33 inches – a difference of 6 inches; waist – was 33.75 inches, is now 27 inches – a difference of 6.75 inches; and hips – was 44.5 inches, is now 38 inches – a difference of 6.5 inches.

In addition, my body fat back in February of 2009 was 37.9 percent. Today, it is 24 percent. That’s a difference of almost 14 percent body fat. CRAZY!!!!

My weight back on February 18, 2009 was 174.6. My starting weight, which was on November 19, 2008, was 190.2 and my current weight, as of this morning, February 21, 2011, is 136.8. The difference from when I started until now is 53.4 pounds. WOW! There are times I still don’t believe it. There are times when I look in the mirror and still see the old me. BUT, there are also times, when I see the new me and wonder, wow, when the heck did that happen? Who is this person staring back at me?

So, starting today, I would like all my readers to grab a tape measure and measure your success not just by what the scale says, but also what your body says. If you have done this already and would like to share your success, please leave a comment. I would love to hear about it. Or, send an email to confessionsofaformerfatgirl@gmail.com.

And, as always, you can find Confessions of a [former] Fat Girl on Facebook…just click here.

Inch by inch

The one thing I didn’t do when I started my healthy living journey was measure. You know, take a tape measure and wrap it around my hips, waist and chest. For some reason, when people decide to do something about their weight, they only think of the scale, not a tape measure. 

Well, in February of 2009, we did this eight-week program at work called NATS, which is led by Natalie Heckert, a fitness guru! She is the inventor of the NATS Total E Fit Gym, among other products. NATS stands for Nutrition and Aerobic Training Service. She’s from Alexandria and is full of energy and has an unending passion for fitness. If you want to know more about her, log on to her website, www.natstotalefit.com

So, at any rate, when I signed up to do her eight-week program at work, she had us fill out this paperwork, which included her taking our measurements, among other things like age, height, weight, body fat and so forth. My information was taken on February 18, 2009, here is what it was:

Height – 5 feet, 6 inches. Yep, that stayed the same. Whew, I haven’t any gotten any shorter!

Weight – 174.6. Nope, that’s not the same. That has definitely changed! I am 145 pounds now. 

Body fat – 37.9 percent. Yes, that’s right, nearly 40 percent body fat. That’s kind of yucky. The last time I checked, which was on April 25, my body fat was at 25.2 percent. That’s 12.7 percent less. TWELVE POINT SEVEN!!!! Crazy. And, kind of cool, huh?

Chest – 39 inches. Yep, that, too, has definitely changed…big time. I just measured it today and it was 34 inches. That’s a five-inch difference. FIVE INCHES. I guess that explains why I am now a 36B instead of 38D.

Waist – 33.75 inches. Yep, another big change here. Ummm, it was nearly six inches…SIX!!! When I measured it today, it was 28 inches. TWENTY-EIGHT!!! Hello. That’s a difference of 5.75 inches. Seriously. Are you kidding me? Oh, it makes me so excited.

Hips – 44.25 inches. Yep, I had some big ol’ hips. But, guess what, not anymore. The difference between then and now…like my waist, it was nearly six inches. My hips today measured at 38.5 inches! Not bad, if I do say so myself. A loss of 5.75 inches. Yowsers! I really can’t believe it. 

I wish that I would have taken my measurements when I started because when the February measurements were taken, I had already lost 15.6 pounds. Whew! It’s still unbelievable to me. So, what about the sizes of my clothes? Well, when I started Weight Watchers in November of 2008, I was a 14/16 and now, I am 6/8. Who would have ever thought? Me, wearing a size 6? Seriously. Unbelievable. 

My suggestion to all of you who are just starting out, don’t only weigh yourself, but take your measurements. I would even measure your arms and legs. Sometimes, the scale doesn’t move much, but an inch or two can mean quite a bit. So, take my advice and grab that tape measure!!

A day of shopping

Yesterday, I spent the day in Fargo with four other Weight Watchers gals. Two of them are leaders and two of them are receptionists, like me.

It was supposed to be a day of shopping and then we were to attend a three-hour seminar. The good news is the shopping was fabulous. I mean, FAB-U-LOUS!!! The bad news is the seminar was cancelled – two hours before it was supposed to start. 

As disappointed as I was about the seminar being cancelled, I still had an awesomely terrific day. Why? I’ll tell you.

Want to know something cool about spending the day with others who are Weight Watchers people and health conscious? You don’t have to worry about being the only one who chooses healthy entrees. You don’t have to be tempted by the delicious, fattening, not-good-for-you food that your friends order. You don’t have to feel guilty for skipping the cheese on your sandwich or whatever it may be. Really, it was awesome. Kind of enlightening, almost.

For lunch, we all ate at the food court at the West Acres Mall. As we walked in, we scanned the places to eat and immediately all headed to Subway. One ordered a salad with fat-free dressing; one ordered a veggie sandwich on whole wheat bread with a bag of baked BBQ chips; two ordered the chicken breast sandwich on whole wheat bread minus cheese or fattening dressing; and I ordered the ham and turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread and a bag of plain baked chips. Three had diet pop and two of us had water.

Really, truly, it was awesome. There was no pressure. No temptations. No guilt. No regrets. It was fun.

And then for supper, we hit Granite City Brewery. We decided since the seminar was cancelled, we may as well go out to eat before we headed home. After we were handed the menus and the waiter came back to get our order, one of the ladies flat out asked him, "So what’s the healthiest thing on your menu?" His answer was comical. After listing off just two items – some grilled chicken sandwich and some grilled chicken entree – he said, "Well, we’re not really into healthy foods here." Or something like that. We all laughed.

I ordered the southwestern grilled chicken salad with a tequila lime vinaigrette dressing, which, okay, the dressing may not have been that healthy, but I asked the waiter to hold the cheese and the tortilla strips that were supposed to be on it. Everything else on the salad – the lettuce, tomatoes, corn, black beans and cilantro – was good for me. Two of the ladies ordered the grilled chicken entree; one ordered the grilled chicken sandwich with no sauce or dressing and no side of fries and she only ate the top part of the bun; and the other ordered just a side of broccoli, which I thought was pretty cool.

Again, no one felt guilty about ordering what they ordered. No one made fun of anybody for eating healthy. It truly was a great experience. I enjoyed every second of my trip.

But the best part of the whole day? When I tried on some dresses – size 8 dresses – and they fit. I know I have talked about sizing before and how it doesn’t matter or how it shouldn’t matter, but let’s face it, it does. I mean come on, who I am kidding? Who are women kidding when they say it doesn’t matter? The fact of the matter is that it felt great, downright euphoric and maybe, just maybe, a little powerful, for some reason. The last dress I bought was a size 14 or 16. And that was just a year and a half ago.

I ended up buying three of the dresses…I just might be attending that 20th-year class reunion after all!