Turning the corner on 50 (pounds down)
February 19, 2014 2:03 PM   Subscribe

In the past year or so, I’ve lost 46 lbs - which was 25% of my body weight. I have a goal to lose 5-10 lbs more, which would put me at a little over 50 lbs gone - and a coincidentally good zone for my size. I’d like to do, have, or make something to commemorate those 50 lbs. Not a reward - but I want to have something in my home, maybe on shelf somewhere, that I can look at as a visual reminder of that number and the work I put in for it.

I lost it pretty much entirely through implementing regular exercise 5-6 days a week, without dietary changes (I probably eat more than I used to on many days). I’m lighter, but tougher and stronger, and even though the lost pounds are nice, I feel really proud of myself for sticking with the exercise - a couple of 5k’s, various random-ass injuries, a badly sprained ankle, a couple skinned knees, a few scrapes and numerous bruises - always getting back up. I feel confident that I won’t gain it back, since 50lbs in slightly over a year is relatively slow. I’m not a yo-yo person, and this is the lightest I’ve been since half my life ago in high school. Because I didn’t make dietary changes, I haven’t deprived myself and am pretty sure I even raised my metabolism from the regular exercise (that I now really love and look forward to).

But even though I’m proud of the strength part, and the scale is secondary at best, It’s still a big enough number for me that I want to see it and remember it often. Not as a reminder about not regaining, but as a reminder of the many hours, gallons of sweat (and sometimes some blood) I put in to work hard it; I want to remember the *achievement* of those 50 lbs, not the fear of it.

But what? What might be a good or creative way of having a visual something reminder of that? Not necessarily something grandiose and obvious, but something that I can look at and remember that work, tucked away on a shelf or something?

[yeah, I know I haven’t reached 50 yet, but I know I’ll get there]
posted by raztaj to Health & Fitness (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Tattoo? Or, since you mention running 5ks, signing up for a race that comes with a shiny medal?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:05 PM on February 19, 2014

How about a 50-lb weight or dumbbell? Not just a visible reminder but a tactile one too.
posted by northernish at 2:06 PM on February 19, 2014 [13 favorites]

A beautiful glass vase with 50 something's in it? Polished stones?
posted by cecic at 2:06 PM on February 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

A photo of you holding fifty pound bags of sugar is semi-traditional.
posted by bswinburn at 2:10 PM on February 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

A photo of yourself as a kid, when you weighed approximately fifty pounds? (Assuming average size, age 5-7?)
posted by gnomeloaf at 2:25 PM on February 19, 2014

A 50 pound pile of gold!

Ok, maybe that's not so practical.

Since you're in some ways more proud of your exercise commitment (which is awesome by the way) what about adding up or estimating miles run/walked, or hours spent working out, and doing something with that number?
posted by medusa at 2:35 PM on February 19, 2014

A framed 50 pound note, depicting Matthew Boulton and James Watt? (And perhaps some relevant quotes as well.)
posted by neroli at 2:41 PM on February 19, 2014

Way to go!
Something that might work is an object that weighs 50 lbs (vase, object d'art, mirror, doorstop, etc.). Whenever you wanted to remind yourself of exactly how much weight you've lost, you could pick it up.
posted by notcomputersavvy06 at 2:44 PM on February 19, 2014

Have you saved your bibs from those races? They look pretty nice pinned up in a grid.

Not sure if you do strength training at all but a 50 lb kettlebell looks badass, is cheaper than you think, and is useful on bad weather days, too.
posted by telegraph at 3:08 PM on February 19, 2014 [3 favorites]

I think I might try to go for some kind of "scale" representation of the old fashioned sort (like this) with something on one side representing all the effort and something on the other side representing the 50 pounds. Like a trophy or art piece where the effort is symbolized on one side and the weight it "defeated" on the other.

posted by Michele in California at 3:38 PM on February 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

For whatever reason, I like the idea of a bird. This is a more abstract idea, but the idea of lightness, of soaring, of a match between body and purpose, of power, is what I would gravitate toward. Or maybe another animal or symbol would be more meaningful for you. Whenever I've used an object as a totem, I've always had more success holding onto it as a reminder when I can attach several ideas to it.
posted by megancita at 4:07 PM on February 19, 2014

If you have a lot of space: when he was trying to lose weight, my father added another one-pound can of Crisco to his stack for each pound he lost --- of course, the problem with that was how annoyed my mother got by the time he hit 109 pounds lost/109 cans of Crisco!
posted by easily confused at 4:13 PM on February 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'd go with the literal solution: one of those side-by-side pictures with the old you and the new you printed out. You could just pin it up somewhere, or even frame it. It has the advantage of being more inspiring than just a number. After all, if you end up gaining 5 lbs. of muscle while losing 5 lbs. of fat in the weeks/months to come, a bare number of weight lost would be less inspiring.

It's a bit vain, but congratulations, you've earned it. I would put it in a drawer if you're expecting company, though.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 5:22 PM on February 19, 2014

I'm getting a tattoo when I get there (hopefully May). Something about feeling like I "own" my body for the first time in my life. I have the design and artist picked out.

Way to go!
posted by Random Person at 5:46 PM on February 19, 2014

How about a necklace with 50 tiny pearls or something like that?

Or, start taking pictures of scenes from your workout life - running routes, your exercise shoes, a gym buddy - and arrange 50 of them into a collage that you have printed as a poster.
posted by lakeroon at 8:40 PM on February 19, 2014

Someone else already suggested it, but the 50 lb dumbbell is a very good idea. Once you get it, pick it up every now and then and tell yourself that you used to carry this around in body fat every day. You'll be amazed at just how heavy it is when you think of that.

The other thing I would suggest - create a poster, pic, whatever, just make it frameable. Make it look nice, but what you're going to put on it is the three digit number that represents the weight you were at before you started. Having that as a daily visual reminder can be pretty motivating.
posted by azpenguin at 10:38 PM on February 19, 2014

I lost 100 lbs. As a reminder, and a motive to keep it off, was a pair of my size 42 waist pants. It was a dramatic statement about my achievement.
posted by redliner at 2:23 AM on February 20, 2014 [3 favorites]

I love this. How about a 50-lb something -- not pretty, not elegant, but truly representing the 50 you no longer carry around. Like a 50-lb backpack (Pilgrim's Progress).
Or gross: a 50 lb tub of Crisco, or butter.
Or just a 50-lb slug of iron.
Let us know what you decide on!
posted by LonnieK at 6:11 PM on February 20, 2014

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