A fellow blogger gave me a terrific idea today and Tracey was born.
I’m a visual person, I learn visually, I love to teach visually and I need to visualise my weight loss, I need to see something happening and not just on myself. We all know that we often fail to see that we’re losing weight even when we’ve downsized three times in jeans.
I’ve used charts and graphs in the past, stickers, awards, online progress markers but the idea of Tracey really struck me. When I quit smoking years ago I did it by charting my days of being smoke free and then by charting the mornings I woke up without wanting a cigarette, when there were more days where I didn’t want one than when I did I knew I’d cracked it.
It was pointed out to me by my fellow blogger that if we are overweight, especially the very overweight or obese, then everything we do takes extra effort, even a small amount of exercise, even a short walk, a normal chore it all takes additional effort because we are carrying an extra person around with us.
I thought that would be a fantastic way to visualise my weight loss and far more effective and poignant than any other means of charting that I’ve used in the past.
I decided to bring my ‘extra person’ to life and get rid of them once and for all. For way too long this extra person’s been hitching a ride on my back and it’s time she got off.
The kids and I decided to make Tracey by cutting her out of body parts from magazines, sticking her onto a big piece of card and then mounting her on the dining room wall. Tracey evolved and was made up of 20 different component parts. So we decided to give each portion a weight value of half a stone (7lbs). When I lose 7lbs we have to ceremoniously remove one portion of Tracey until she is all gone. There is no replacing body parts, gaining 7lbs of weight is not an option.
I know that I actually need to lose more than a Tracey but that will be a real good long term target for me. I have lots of short term ones and now getting rid of one of Tracey’s feet is one of those too. But hey! 140lbs, 10 stones of fat that is some target and that ill be some achievement. That should bring me to my lowest weight in a very long time and should see me out of plus sized clothes.
Of course I have this scale problem where I don’t know what I weigh so we can’t start getting rid of Tracey until I’m on the scale (getting weighed in public at a chemist or whatever is not an option for me, I’m not that far on the road to recovery). So whatever I lose prior to starting to chart Tracey’s demise will be added onto that 10 stones but we’ll never know what that is so let’s just call it a warm up.
I’ve created a much more simple digital version of Tracey to use on my blog so that my journey can be mapped here too. As soon as cut out Tracey is complete I’ll be sure to post a photo of her too.
Only people who understand the psyche of the obese, perpetual dieter will understand how important this is and how non stupid it is. There are many times when our weight loss just isn’t showing to us or to others and having a visual of it disappearing is really important… to me anyway and this is my journey.
I’ve also decided to add a little pocket to the poster and pop into it words which describe how I feel now and which describe some of the problems I have with mobility and health. Each time we remove a part of Tracey we’ll read through the words and see which ones I no longer feel or experience and we’ll thrown those away with the part of Tracey.
This may sound really stupid but it’s making perfect sense to me and I’m already feeling hugely motivated. I want her gone!