Blogger Mandy Dawson, a mum of two kids, has made it her mission to get healthy and lose 50 pounds. Over the next eight weeks, she'll be working with wellness guru Debi Silber to get on the right track to meeting her fitness goals. Check back every Thursday for an update on how she's doing in our Weight Loss Challenge series.
"In your closet, there's a pair of pants," Debi said the first week of this challenge. "You know which one I'm talking about. It's the pair of pants everyone has hanging in the closet. The pants that used to fit but don't anymore."
I smiled, picturing my closet which is full of such pants, but one pair in particular stood out. They're a pair of flat-front khakis that I wore on my job interview two years ago. They're the perfect length, hitting to tops of my feet in flat sandals. They have a fantastically wide leg that made me feel as though I should be walking through the pages of J Crew or on a sailboat at least.
And, yes, I buy my clothes based on my fantasy life. Don't you?
Still, a little over a year ago, as the weight piled on, the pants stopped zipping until, finally, they started to collect dust on a hanger in my closet. In other words, I knew exactly which pants Debi was talking about.
"Pull them out and start trying them on each week," she suggested.
I nodded, made the note, and promptly followed her directions as soon as I got home. In near tears I tried to force the smooth tortoise button closed. It got within an inch and would go no further. I put the pants away to collect more dust.
Then, Friday morning, feeling dismayed at the number on the scale that stubbornly refused to move this week, I remembered Debi's words. Thinking I couldn't feel worse, I put on the pants and prepared to be disappointed.
Not only did they button, but they zipped. Not only did they button and zip, but they actually didn't look too bad. They were a little snug, but for the first time I realised my body is truly changing in a way that's not reflected on the scale.
I looked at the pair of shorts hanging from a hanger on the back of my bedroom door. Two sizes smaller than the size I wore when I started this challenge, they're my first goal shorts. I bought them after Debi and I spoke a little about where I want to be.
"I'm going to a concert in June," I told her. "It'll be hot because June is always hot. It's outdoors at a casual venue where we'll share a bottle of wine or two, eat BBQ, and listen to good music while sitting in lawn chairs under an awning. I want to wear shorts. Every summer I roast in Capri pants and maxi skirts. This summer I so badly just want to wear shorts."
"You will," Debi assured me. "And you're going to buy them now because I guarantee you'll fit into them by June."
Maybe she's right. I really should stop being surprised. So far, she hasn't steered me wrong, but for the first time I realise those shorts are not just in my reach, but by the end of summer, they might not fit — in a good way.
I might even be able to wear a cute spring dress without worrying about pinching and stretching and massive cleavage exposing.
"Don't forget to take measurements!" Debi told me this week as we concluded our weekly conversation.
I'd not taken them, afraid of what the numbers might be. Friday night, however, I did. Because maybe those are the numbers to keep an eye on until the scale catches up.