January 9, 2012

Before And After

One of the joys of weight loss is that you are well entitled to go shopping.  There is only so much belt-tightening you can do before the whole mid-section looks like a cinched up garbage bag.  Client #1 reported that his pants were falling off when he removed his belt for the TSA - time to go shopping.  Client #2 had lost more than 30 pounds following the dietary advice proffered in The 4-Hour Body, and a holiday trip to the Southern Hemisphere (beach! swimsuit!) was upcoming - time to go shopping.  They didn't have any before-and-after pictures to show, just inches vaporized to the point of necessitating new outfits.  If people have lost inches but still complain about weight gain (from building lean muscle mass), if people look anorexic but still want a fat-loss workout, they will most likely be blind to the story told by before-and-after pictures.

Kelly Clarkson, 2009 - "Before" & "After"
Yet those same folks who possess distorted self-images are also more likely to succumb to the media's not-so-subtle misrepresentation of weight loss success.  We (meaning the 1%) are well aware that extensive re-touching and faux-toshopping happen rampantly and manipulation is the norm when it comes to "fitness" models touting the magical qualities of diet pills and exercise programs.  But who needs to lose weight when you can appear svelte and toned on the cover of a health and fitness magazine with just a few clicks on the mouse?  Shown here is the digitally slimmed version of Kelly Clarkson on the cover of Self.  There is no lack of controversy surrounding such blatant distortion of reality, yet sadly, some people will continue to see what they want to see.  We (of the clear-headed variety) know that you can't trust everything you come across on the internets.  You don't need before-and-after photos.  Just go sit on the toilet, pull up your shirt, and look down.  Say to yourself in Steve Jobs' stay-hungry-stay foolish voice, "Be objective!  Be realistic!"  Welcome to the Field of Undistorted Reality.

The truth of the matter is, I don't really care for shopping.  And I don't need or want to lose any weight, at least not so much that I would need to drop another clothing size, because "-2" does not exist.  My butt is the product of Hard Style kettlebell swings - firm and lovely if you ask me - yet I'm having to shop for panties, again.  And I need to justify this to the world, because heaven knows I'm a frugal Asian girl and I don't like spending money on lingerie, especially when it's coming out of my own pocket.  So, despite everything I just said about meaningless before-and-after pictures, I'm going to post one - unaltered and untouched.  (Sorry, it's not of my ass.)

What you're seeing is not evidence of butt shrinkage. These are two pairs of panties of similar style and cut, and they are both sized "XS/TP" - as cookie-cutter as what GapBody is capable of producing from its panty-cutter (in Thailand).  Once upon a time, about 18 months ago, the larger one hugs my buttocks (imagine Forrest Gump saying "buttocks") perfectly.  Of course my buttocks did not expand - and I don't think I need to explain the benefits of swinging kettlebells yet again. Who's the culprit here?  What happened?  The answer is ... LAUNDRY!  Cold water, gentle cycle, line-dry only! Laundry can do this to your clothes.  There is a linear function that can be expressed thus: y = mx + c, where y is the final panty size, c is the original size, m is the coefficient of stretch, and x is the number of times laundered.  It would behoove a PhD candidate to investigate the value of m across clothing brands.  Value shoppers like myself would appreciate that kind of information when making our purchasing decisions.  We the 1% get to become the 1% not from squandering our hard-earned dollars.  (My father would wear a wife-beater to death - till holes do they part.) But we also don't dress in granny's panties.  We must Occupy The Underwear in style.