What That Pound of Fat Looks Like
By Erik Fantasia
Last week, Heather and I donned large backpacks filled with everything we needed to survive five days hiking through the Patagonian wilderness of Southern Chile. It was the first time either of us had attempted a trek hauling all of our own equipment – camping gear, food, clothes, and other supplies – and our packs weighed between 35 and 40 pounds each. By the end of the first day, our backs, shoulders, and hips were struggling from this extra weight. We thought back to a couple of years ago, when we were carrying this weight not on backpacks, but on our bodies as fat. How did we handle it?
How We Measure
Here at Calorie Count, we keep a number of interesting statistics on members’ weight loss, which you can follow on our statistics page. To date, a combined total of nearly 2.5 million pounds have been lost. Of course, we can measure weight loss in ways other than just pounds, stones, and kilograms. Think about it this way – Calorie Counters have lost the equivalent weight of 158 adult elephants, or 17 Boeing 737 aircraft, or 5.4 Statues of Liberty!
These numbers are certainly impressive, though it can be equally powerful and inspiring to apply the same concept to your personal weight loss progress. Have you lost (or do you need to lose) the equivalent of a gallon of water, or a bowling ball, or a large bag of rice? Imagine seeing and feeling these objects. You might be surprised by how large and heavy they are.
Oprah’s Fat Wagon
Of all the countless times spent publicly discussing her weight loss struggles, one remains unforgettable – in fact, it was the highest ranking “Oprah” episode ever. In 1988, after spending four months on a liquid crash diet, Oprah shocked the nation when she stepped on stage wearing skinny jeans and pulling a red wagon filled with 67 pounds of animal lard, symbolizing the weight she had lost. While she later fell off the wagon and gained it all back, this dramatic moment remains one of the most memorable from her 25 years of broadcasting.
Pounds of Potatoes
It’s not too practical for most of us to haul around a wagon full of fat – luckily, there are plenty of other ways we can measure, compare, and commemorate those pounds lost.
Next time you’re in the supermarket, pick up a 4-pack of butter (1 lb), or a 2-liter soda bottle (5 lbs), or a bag of potatoes (10 lbs), or a bag of dog food (15 lbs). Seeing and feeling these objects are a reminder of the strain we put on our bodies when we are overweight. If you’ve already lost a similar amount of weight, this can be a real motivator, especially if you haven’t noticed any visual changes to your body yet.
Do you use any motivational visual aids to assist with weight loss?
Calorie Count co-founder Erik Fantasia and his girlfriend, Heather Curtis, are currently traveling through South America as part of a trip around the world. You can follow their adventures online with Facebook and their blog.