In Search of Smaller, Part 4

Earlier posts in this series: part one, part two, and part three.

Did you have a great 4th of July? I did, even though Philly was hotter than balls all week and it was too hot to even attempt hiking which made me sad (hit the gym instead, which is great but so not the same). We walked to our local fireworks (something I couldn’t do last year), and they were quite amazing (we pay to get into our town’s fireworks so it doesn’t come out of tax revenue, so even during the downturn the fireworks were pretty great) and lasted forever. Unfortunately we sat downwind this year so the ash and paper remnants of the fireworks got all over us, prompting 11pm showers for all of us which is not ideal with a tired seven year old. But we survived.

Friday I meant to post, but then I decided to enjoy the weekend instead and mostly stay offline. I read two books during the weekend and started a third. It was lovely.

But here it is Monday again, and one of those rough re-entry Mondays to boot. So I thought I’d go ahead and update you on my quest to get smaller. In short? It’s working. We’ll start with the photos, yes (click to make bigger)?


So, yeah. Not too shabby, huh, considering I started working on this in November? Of course the difference between May and July isn’t huge, although it’s worth noting that I’m actually wearing the same skirt in May and July and you can see how much longer the skirt is now. When I was wearing it that day I kept thinking I had strings or something hanging from it because it was brushing the backs of my legs below the knee, and for the last couple summers that skirt came just below mid-thigh. I finally realized (after taking this picture) that my smaller body means the clothes hang lower. I’m also wearing a terrible bra in the July pic, so no, I didn’t lose my boobs completely (I need new bras for exercising). I wish I’d taken photos of just my thighs; I swear they are half the size they were last summer.

I have to avoid feeling a bit frustrated that the progress is going more slowly now, despite the increased exercise. So I did a side-by-side photo of just the last two pics. Oh, hell YES. It shows.


Can we just talk about the weird way you lose weight from the extremities in? I can see that my lower arms are smaller, but my upper arms are not that much smaller. My chin and calves are thinner, but it seems like my belly isn’t shrinking at all (to me; clearly in the photos it is, but it doesn’t FEEL like it, you know?). It’s just odd.

The actual weight lost since May isn’t huge; only about three pounds. It’s also not surprising that it’s slowed down a bit after losing so much in May (about 12 pounds total). But my body is smaller, and I’m so much more fit. I remember going for a hike with Jo-Ann last November and just being beaten down by the fairly short and easy hike; she had to walk very slowly for me to keep up with her. When she and I went hiking on Sunday with the kids, it was raining so we all hiked fast to get to the dry cars – and I had no trouble keeping up with her at all and was even often in the lead.

Best of all, of course, is the way I feel. I sleep better. I have far more energy. I get restless when I stay in the house all day “relaxing.” Yesterday Tori was feeling sick in the morning so we decided to stay home, but I ended up doing about three hours of intense housecleaning (I even cleaned and organized the fridge and hung a new shower liner, that sort of thing) because I couldn’t just sit still.

I like myself this way.

Best of all? The other day Tori crawled into my lap and cuddled there for a while. That might not seem significant, but I haven’t had a “lap” in years. Tori used to just kind of drape herself over my belly, or just curl into my side. Having a lap (a small one, yet) is fucking awesome. I’m so thrilled, you guys.

Comments Closed


  1. says

    By the way, I have been noticing it in pictures of you lately, even without this update, especially in your face. You have always been lovely not matter your shape, but rock on sister for working so hard. Love you!

  2. says

    I’m so proud of you for keeping at this. You look great and I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better and more energetic, too. You’re making important lifestyle changes; slow and steady wins the race.

  3. says

    You look fantastic!! It’s wonderful to get to a point in life where you like yourself the way you are, feeling energized and sleeping well!! Congrats!!!

  4. says

    You’re looking great, but more importantly, you sound happy!
    I do hate that tone/fat loss is not even, but it clumps in areas.

  5. says

    I’ve lost 13 pounds since April, and I think it must have all been in my fingers. All my rings are too big, but I notice no difference whatsoever in my clothes. My grandma told me once that I lose weight from my back first. This is also possible, since I haven’t spent much time looking at it lately.

  6. says

    Awesome progress! And yes, the little things can make such a difference like skirts hanging lower. Plus if you’re doing weight work at the gym, you may not see a difference on the scale, but you’ll see it in how your clothes fit.

  7. says

    The best thing about this post is when you say “I likr myself this way”. Thats what im striving for. You do look great your progreass is evident in the pictures.

    Keep up the good work. I feel inspired having read this.

  8. Candice says

    Congratulations and keep up the good (hard) work. This is really so inspirational. I need to get my ass in gear! This pictures REALLY show how hard you’re working (and you get lap cuddles as reward – totally awesome).

  9. Jan says

    You look fab. Don’t worry about the weight numbers, the more you move, the more muscle weighs. Yeah, it’s a bummer – muscle actually weighs more…. So if you’re toning up the weight comes off slower but pounds themselves are changing. And did I say you look fab?

  10. Nancy says

    Good for you. Focus on how you feel. That will mean more than a number on a scale or how your clothes fit. Skinny can suck it. I’ll take strong any day.

  11. says

    Way to go!!! I’m so excited for you and with you! I know about the excitement of getting your lap back and how much energy you have now! Keep up the great work!!!

  12. Lisa says

    Congratulations Cecily! I lost 100 lbs myself over the last few years and I understand how difficult it is. I have been working very hard to change my relationship with how I see food–trying to relate to food as nutrition and not to soothe my anxieties. I am also increasingly interested in nutrition from a health standpoint because it’s amazing how much better you feel when you eat healthy. It sounds cliched to say it –garbage in, garbage out–but it is seriously the truth. One of the things that has helped tremendously lately is increasing the variety of produce, grains, nuts and seeds that I eat instead of falling in a rut by eating the same things. I just read the book, “Eat to Live” by Dr. Joel Fuhrmann and it provided a lot of insights on eating good-sized portions of nutrient-dense low-calorie foods which help significantly in curbing hunger and cravings. I have definitely experienced the benefit of what he describes in his book. I give you lots of praise and encouragement. When people tell me how I did it, I tell them that it is 90% mental and the rest is sweat and committment. :)

  13. says

    You can really tell a difference Cecily! I’m so proud of you! It is odd how the weight comes off. Your upper arms are tough, the skin there just kind of doesn’t want to go back and fat cells like it there. It’s a problem for me right now too.

    Love that you are FEELING the difference! On my one group we call all of these things NSV’s (non-scale victory). They are so much better than just seeing the number on the scale for sure.

    Keep up the great work!!!! {{{HUGS}}}

  14. alyssa says

    congrats, cecily! you’re doing an amazing job. (you’re using my fitness pal, right? me too, 11 pounds since feb, five more till goal. i love that app)

  15. Patti says

    Perhaps you’ve addressed somewhere along the way, but are you keeping track of pounds and inches lost? I would think the inches lost would be fascinating, more of a story really than pounds lost. Not to say that I wouldn’t be interested in the pounds too :), I just think it would be great knowledge to say that “x” inches are from your waist, arms, etc.

  16. says

    Cecily, losing weight and getting fit is one of the hardest things to do and look at your progress – it’s amazing. So proud of you and so glad to hear all the benefits like feeling stronger and cuddlier and sleeping better. Those are real life-changers.

  17. andrea says

    Wow! I am working on the same thing here and I know what a HUGE deal it is to see and feel such a difference! You are doing SO WELL. How wonderful to have so much energy, too. Keep up the great work – you are an inspiration!

  18. Jb says

    Yay lap! Yay photos! Yay feeling it all the way through you – inside, outside, upside-downside! And loved the receipe + profanity post. A receipe post only you could write. Loved it.

  19. says

    Well done, woman – the best thing is how proud you are of your achievement in this and the fact that you are sounding so positive.

  20. says

    Wow, the difference is amazing. Probably one of the best things you could have done was to put the 2 photographs together – they provide the motivation to carry on when you are having a bad day.

    I lost 79 pounds up to Nov 2011 and got lazy after a major operation and am now back to the size I was. The difference in energy levels is amazing and one of the greatest things I exzperienced about the whole thing. Time for me to get my butt in gear and do it again and keep it off this time.

    Well done.

  21. says

    You look fantastic. You are doing a fantastic job. Weight loss is SO HARD. I’ve been working to lose weight for nearly 27 months myself and I’ve been able to take off nearly 170 lbs. I love doing the side by side photos, it’s a great reminder of where I was and to not forget it because I’m never going back again (I was 370 lbs when I started my weight loss). It’s amazing how much your life changes, how working out can bring you joy and how much you miss it if you take a day off. Keep up the great work! Congratulations, you are looking so much healthier!

  22. jrm says

    Great job both mentally & physically! Not sure if you’ve gotten to this point yet, but I found when I lost a good amount of weight my overall determation and ability to filter out noise, was a lovely wonderful benefit. I always loose in my legs first, stomach last. My hypothesis is that it corresponds with where I have the most existing muscle.

    Keep going, it is a long journey but getting started is half the battle.

  23. pindy4176 says

    When I picture myself thin, I picture energy and enthusiasm. Your update proves that’s what I’m headed for!

    I have two questions, if you don’t mind:

    1. About your “polarizing hair”: I was surprised to see so much brown hair – I’d thought you colored it all! How much of your hair is pink? (I have a couple of streaks in mine that change color at my utter whimsy. Gorgeous sapphire blue right now.)

    2. About your tattooed arm: do tattoos change much with weight gain or loss? I don’t have any, no plans to get any, so I’m unfamilar. I thought about getting a butterfly tattoo on my abdomen, back when that was trendy, and have joked that with all the weight I’ve gained over the years, it would look like Mothra now!

    P.S. I love your neighborhood! I grew up in Pittsburgh, and seeing that style of house and the lush lawns makes me a little homesick. :-)

  24. Kristin says

    You go! =)

    On the subject of undergarments while losing weight: yep, they make a big difference. I saw a picture of myself a while back, and I was wearing a particularly slumpy t-shirt and old foundation garments…. I looked thinner, but I also looked slumpy and deflated. But another picture from the same time period looks a lot better, because the clothes work better on me.

    I’ve also had to adjust the shapes and cuts of the clothes I wear: what used to disguise me now tends to make me look boxy and short. I need to wear things that are closer and longer than I did before (and in fact, I couldn’t wear them before, because they’d stick in all the wrong places). It’s amazing what happens when I wear clothes that FIT. ;-)

    Congrats again. This is tough work, inside and out, and you’re doing great. In fact, I’m hearing Billy Crystal:

    Dahling, you look mahvelous!

  25. Julie says

    Can’t seem to find the original post, and my time is limited…but I wanted to tell you that there is gorgeous plus size workout wear on sale at Zulily starting today. The brand is L3. It looks great–I am so annoyed that I don’t have the budget right now!