Meet Tracey

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!

Tracey

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13 thoughts on “Meet Tracey”

  1. I think that it’s a terrific idea. Visualization is the most potent realization for weight loss. It gives you a solid tracking system as well, as you can see how much you’ve accomplished by how much of Tracey has gone. Best of luck!

    Rob

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      1. None of us are as easy on the eyes as the digital ones! lol Are they even real?? Having your kids involved is another excellent idea. I have my oldest boy watching what he eats and is starting to become health conscious.

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        1. My son is naturally slimming off now as he goes into the full throttle of puberty, he is growing up and in at an alarming rate, I just want him to make healthy choices now, his hours of playing sport has kept him from getting fat but when demands of life reduce his opportunities to play he may struggle if I don’t get it set right now before it’s too late. He plays a mean guitar but I don’t think that uses up as much energy as a good game of tennis 🙂

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          1. My kids are 11 and 14. My 14 year old struggles with weight, but my 11 year old boys don’t. I’m trying to get my 14 year old to work out with me and get in shape with me. I want him to be healthy and have solid self esteem as he goes to high school next year. I’m a guitar player myself and will admit that I burn less calories playing guitar than basketball. 🙂

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            1. That’s the key problem with being overweight when you are young as far as I’m concerned, it can cause you to miss out on so much of your childhood. I know it did me, I wanted to join in things but lacked the body confidence and that carried on to after school when my girlie buddies were going on their first holiday to Spain or somewhere and I so wanted to go but didn’t want to be the fat friend in the one piece on the photos.

              I missed so much because of how I felt about myself, my friends were sad I didn’t go and they didn’t care how I looked (in truth I wasn’t that overweight but I felt huge – I’ve had a poor perception of my size all of my life overestimating it to a ridiculous extreme. It’s only now that I am the size I always thought I was that I realise how messed up my head was).

              It’s important to set good examples, fortunately my kids have been good at doing as they are told and not as they see and they are both quite health conscious. It also comes from their early years where I was much more active and healthy. I just don’t want that to change.

              Besides that kids have so much more stress on them now than I remember having and their adult lives are going to be so much more of a battle than ours have been. If the world continues the way it is they are going to need to be super healthy to cope.

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  2. I agree – my son’s friends love him and it doesn’t matter to them what he looks like. But it breaks my heart when he won’t take his shirt off to go swimming. I know that there are health benefits of sheltering your skin from the effects of the sun, but I think he does it because he’s not skinny as they are. I hope to change that for him soon. It’s on me to find the time to help him.

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    1. It will be so liberating for him, I remember the first time I wore a bikini I felt amazing. I still felt like everyone was looking at me but I was past caring by then. You’re a good dad. I’m sure he’ll listen and at these boys can switch from chunky to skinny in a couple of weeks, it’s the best time to catch them while their bodies are munching up any stored energy they can find.

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      1. Thank you! I appreciate your kind comment. I try to be a good dad, but as you know as a good mom, there’s no manual to kids and we learn as we go. I’m happy to have found your blog today!!!

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        1. So true, we will doubtless make mistakes but as long as they look back on the overall effort and give me a B+ I’ll be happy 😀

          I hate that they are having to go through this with me but at the end they will have their mum back and hopefully I’ll be around for longer and that’s what has motivated me to do this and to do it properly.

          I’m happy to have found yours too, you have some killer recipes there 😀 But like you I love to put the internet to good use and to connect with people across the world who share something in common, it makes the world smaller and makes us realise we’re more similar than we sometimes are led to believe.

          I hope we all get to share in one another’s triumphs and beat our food and fitness demons day by day, one step at a time.

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          1. One step at a time! I’ve said repeatedly that we’ve taken some time to get where we are and it’s going to take some time to get to where we want to go. One step at a time, and it’s not always linear. I’ll be sure to follow your progress and success. When you next visit my blog, check out some of the folks who comment. They’re really supportive and have helped me along the way. I think that you may like them as well.

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