Friday, May 08, 2009

A non-scale victory

Last year at this time, I was in pain. My stomach hurt very badly. I was wearing a belt that I'd bought at Casual Male XL, that was very, very long, with a notch every inch that was wrapped in a bit of metal. I'd needed a new belt as the ones I'd owned had become stretched to the point that the belt buckle was ripping itself free of the binding to the leather and the leather itself wasn't as high as it once was, instead being pulled longer than it was made to go.

The reason I was in pain was because my stomach was so heavy and hung so far over my belt buckle that when I was seated the buckle would dig into my skin, leaving a large impression on my belly. Sometimes after a big lunch I would just unbuckle the thing and let the gut hang over the waistline of the pants to avoid the pain.

Also, and this is so very attractive an image, my stomach would sweat. With the shirt, undershirt, underwear, pants and belt, there was too much going on down there for me. The little metal rings around each notch of the belt started rusting from the stomach sweat. Eventually three or four of the metal rings fell off as the rusted metal was being pulled and stretched from my shifting fat and they couldn't take the pressure. Just not a high enough tensile strength put into those bits of metal I guess.

I'm reminded of this, because yesterday as I stood at the urinal at work, peeing out my two liters of consumed water, I had unbuckled my current belt. I'd purchased this belt back in December, as the really long one had now become silly-looking since I'd lost enough inches that the remainder of the belt once buckled hung halfway down my thigh. When I went to rebuckle the belt, I pulled it in, then cinched the buckle. My fingers absentmindedly straightened the position of the buckle to be in the center of my body, and as I did so I realized that the remainder of the belt felt a bit longer. I traced my fingers down and across the notches, and realized that as of yesterday I'm now on the last hole of this new belt. There's no more holes to go, so if I lose more I'll be forced to make a new new belt purchase.

Even though I'm still weighing in at 257 today, I'm pretty pleased to see that while the scale's numbers aren't dropping, my body is clearly reconstituting itself and changing. I guess I've put more muscle on again (I can see rounded shoulder caps while wearing my shirt in the gym when I catch myself in the mirror, and - and this is kind of funny - my buddy looked at me the other day and said, "you don't have fat-guy hands or forearms any longer.")

So yay - a bit of validation that just because I'm not losing weight doesn't mean that I'm not losing fat. I'm just building muscle and changing at the moment. And that makes me feel pretty good. When I do hit my goal, I should look much better than many of the men who weight what I do. My body fat percentage will be much lower and my lean muscle mass much higher. I'm sure if you put me next to the old version of me that was 257 but fat, lazy and on my way up the scale's dial that my current body would look much better and healthier.

Not that I'm even close to satisfied.


Liz said...

What a great achievement! That is awesome! :)

Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit said...

Nice reminder that the almighty scale isn't the only weight loss indicator.

Bad news for you tho: belts hardly ever go on sale.

South Beach Steve said...

Thanks for sharing this; it really resonates with me. I don't know about you, but I am never, never going back there again!

Fat[free]Me said...

Wonderful news - the results are really happening now!

Summer said...


Will (4xlt) said...

That's so freaking awesome, Roder. I'm at about the spot of having to buy a new casual black belt myself, as I'm at the very end of the line (although I'll probably just drill an extra hole or two, heh).

So yeah, I guess it's a two comment day - just trying to make the rounds to all my old weight loss blogging buds (and new folks, too) and say hey, I'm getting back in the game, so come say hello!You've got almost fifty pounds on me, but I'm gonna try and close some of that gap!!

Anonymous said...

That is wonderful news! :)

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