While I have always said that I won't post before and after pictures and I am sticking to this, I have created a few for myself when I've worn an outfit that I had previously worn when I was bigger. These have let me point out the areas that have really changed and keep track of my progress.
Doing this has helped me keep focus at the gym as I can see what exercises have been working and reminded me that there is more to weight loss than numbers on a scale. It has also made sure I keep in mind that my body is still going through changes and will continue to do so for a while.
What I've found when losing weight is that because I spend every day in this body that I don't always notice the changes that other people do. This means that it can often take someone telling me that I look different for me to really see it, which is why I'm trying to make note of things that have changed now.
I actually have shoulders now
I know it may seem like a silly thing to notice, but I've always had fairly chunky arms and shoulders that are very rounded, so seeing that definition and being able to feel bone is a really strange thing for me. It's amazing how much this has changed the way my upper body looks.
My collar bones are visible
For someone who has always had more soft and squidgy areas than boney and toned, having areas where my bones can be seen and felt - other than my knees and elbows - is a bit weird.
Boobs have changed shape
As I expected, my back size has gone down, which is great but I am now slightly in between sizes. I was also expecting my cup size to have shrunk due to the amount of empty space in my existing bras. However, I'm apparently the exact same cup size, I've just lot weight off the top of my boobs - which were really full in this area previously - so they have changed shape.
Essentially, this means they need a bit more of a boost to get them close to where they were before - thanks gravity. Unfortunately, my cup size is hard to buy for and I either have to make do with styles that are not sexy at all and just hold my boobs in place with no extra oomph or spend a fortune for bras that look good and stop my breasts from making friends with me knees. Thank God for Curvy Kate sales!
I'm actually hoping I do lose a cup size or two soon as my boobs are stopping me from fitting into smaller sized clothes so I'm still dealing with the waist on dresses being too big.
My hips are finally shrinking
Then recently, I leaned against one of the hand rails on the bus to steady myself - something I do a lot because I know my hips have extra padding so it won't be uncomfortable - and it actually hurt. When the bus moved, rather than being supported by an extra layer of hip, the bar hit bone and genuinely hurt me.
This made me look at my hips in the mirror and I realised that they aren't sticking out as much, they are more curved and more toned. I still have extra hips and a fairly sizeable bum, but I'm okay with that because I am accepting of the fact that I will also be curvy.
I've taken time to remind myself of my reasons for having my gastric band fitted in the first place - to be healthier and to be in a better place (both physically and mentally) to start a family. It's amazing to see how my body is changing as I lose more pounds. I'm excited to see the next stage, but it's also incredibly frightening as there is always the worry that maybe I still won't be entirely happy with my body.
I'm still going to do my weekly weighs and celebrate the successes, but I think I also want to make sure I'm taking time to really appreciate how amazing my body is for dealing with what I've put it through this last year.