Monday, January 31, 2011

What Size?

What a mess, huh? I have a confession to make to you. I have TONS of clothes I haven't been able to fit into for years, decades even. I have clothes with tags on them and clothes I've been dreaming about fitting back into someday. I have clothes ranging in sizes from 8 to 18 so you can imagine what a mess it is. Just look at that picture. I'm embarrassed to say that this is what one wall of my closet looked like a couple of weeks ago. Since then I have dropped off over 10 bags to charity, given away 3 bags to friends and have many more bags to go but I'm plugging away at it and making some good progress getting rid of the fat clothes and sorting through what is left.

What I really wanted to tell you about though is the pair of "goal" pants I came across. The last time I lost a substantial amount of weight I did it by doing a modified Atkins/South Beach type diet. I survived a year without having any "white stuff," you know, bread, pasta, pizza, rice, potatoes, sugar, flour, etc. I'm not sure how I lasted so long without eating the foods I loved but I did it and lost over 60 pounds by diet alone. I thought I solved the mystery and had this weight thing all figured out but I was so wrong. Once I gave in and ate a crouton I blew back up in record time and ended up even fatter than before.

I knew I couldn't live the rest of my life without eating bread so I spent years trying to find something that would work for me. I don't want to sound cocky but think I've really got it figured out this time and pray that I will never again have to buy fat clothes.
Anyway, back to the story of the "goal" pants ....
I knew I was wearing these particular pants when I was at my lowest weight back then and I know I'm about 20 pounds heavier right now but thought I would try the pants on just to see how much farther I had to go to fit into them. Imagine my surprise when I not only got them past my thighs but was able to button and zip them with absolutely no struggle. They weren't even tight, I had room to spare and there was absolutely no muffin top. How is that possible? How could I fit into these pants when I still had 20 pounds to lose to get to where I was back then?
Even though the scale says I weigh more now than I did then, I think I'm significantly smaller but heavier. Does that even make sense? I have been working my ass off at the gym and know that I am firmer and stronger than I ever have been.

What's your theory? Do you think it makes sense? Do you think it's all because I've been exercising and toning or do you have another theory? I would love to hear your opinion about how I can fit into these pants and still have 20 pounds to lose.

Time to fill up another bag ...


  1. I think it's absolutely the exercise. 100%. You've toned and built muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat. I hear this fact used to justify lots of other situations, but in yours I think it's accurate.
    Great job!!

  2. My theory: muscle is denser than fat and takes up less space. So it makes sense that you are "smaller" (size-wise) at a heavier weight than you were when you lost the weight through diet alone.

    Good for you!

  3. I agree - it's the muscle. Muscle takes up so much less space, but is more dense (and heavier for the amount of space) than fat. One reason why the BMI is crap.

    You must be looking so nice and lean. I hope you're feeling great about it. Congratulations!

  4. Whatever it means... you got into those pants and that is awesome!

  5. It is possible to get smaller without weight loss. One thing is just losing the fat in the muscle and it takes up space. The other thing is that over time after you have lost weight, your skin gets less relaxed and it almost is like you keep shrinking. Wish that part would really last, though LOL!

  6. What they all said-especially since you said you did it by diet alone last time, you didn't build muscle...

    Polar's Mom

  7. I agree, it's the muscle weight.

    Funny you should post this today. I have been working in my closet and getting rid of fat clothes, too. It's very therapeutic, but hard work!

  8. "Once I gave in and ate a crouton I blew back up in record time and ended up even fatter than before."

    This is my life story. Atkins survivor, bread lover.


  9. me too, on the eating one thing (it was a homemade M&M cookie for me) and regaining everything. Congratulations on fitting into those pants ... don't know why but it's awesome regardless.

  10. Now you see why I refuse to rely on the scale. :) A pound is a pound, so it's not that muscle weighs MORE than fat. It's that you've lost fat and replaced it with muscle weight, which takes up less space. For example, if you've lost 20 pounds of fat, but gained 5 pounds of muscle, the scale will only show the 15 pound loss. Meanwhile, you look like you've lost 20. The concept took me a few weeks to get my head around, but the proof was that I was wearing a size 10 when I was still 180 pounds. :)

  11. I used to hang on to clothes that I wanted to fit in too, until I realized I hated all those clothes and wanted to buy new! Kudos for getting rid of that stuff - my daughter could have helped you out - she's an organizing junky!

    Yep, I agree that you could be heavier, yet thinner at the same time - great job!

  12. Thanks everyone! I guess I'm not losing my mind afterall. There really is a good reason why I was able to get those pants past my thighs. Too bad I didn't get in to the workout groove decades ago.

    Soibhan: I have to confess it was more than that one crouton, more like pounds of chocolate covered pretzels and every other sugary carby goodness I could find.

    Cammy: It is hard to wrap my head around the concept but I finally stopped giving the scale the power to dictate my mood. As long as I'm working out and eating relatively clean I'm good with the ups and downs. Thankfully there have been more downs ....

    Biz: Anytime that organizing junky (and her Mom) wants to visit Boston and needs a free place to stay, just let me know. I could use some organizing lessons. ;) She may want to wait for Spring if she wants to get away from the snow. I think we have just as much here as you have there. Shoveling is a great workout though ;)


No Sugar Coating Allowed