Mar 252015
 

I’ve ranted about Pinterest several times before–about how you search for “healthy” recipes and they are really not that healthy. One of the things you also see all over Pinterest is the “thinspo” type memes. The thinspiration photos that are somehow supposed to motivate us to work out and lose weight. Sometimes they are pretty good, like this one:

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I think that’s a good motto to live by. One of the issues with binge eating is that regret and food guilt immediately afterwards. I’ve felt that way so many times, vowing to never eat that way again! Then the cycle continues. It’s the same way for exercising. There are definitely days when I wish I could skip it. But then I remind myself that even though I may be in a bad mood now, I will feel better after I work out. And I always do. That workout almost always fixes my bad moods. And this one:

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I love that above body-love picture. My entire life I’ve hated my stomach rolls. When I lost the weight, the rolls were still there, except this time it was loose skin. I still hated my stomach (and still do) and am working hard on trying to dispel those negative thoughts from my inner monologue. Stop the body hate. Stop criticizing myself. It’s so hard. Especially on days when you’re already feeling kind of down. But that one is a good reminder. Still beautiful.

So in that way, Pinterest memes can be beneficial. But what about this one:

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I hate those ones. Working out should not be torturous. You shouldn’t be miserable. You shouldn’t be puking or passing out. A lot of newbies who are joining the gym in January to lose weight think they need to go balls-to-the-wall crazy with their workouts. That is so not the truth. You’ll be much more successful if you ease into it. Pace yourself. Give yourself rest days, give yourself a chance to catch your breath and BUILD UP TO intense fitness. Burning out the first week or two, or injuring yourself, SUCKS. Don’t do it. Ignore that meme!

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This is another one that annoys me. The whole concept of a thigh gap annoys me. And then seeing stuff on blogs and online about “do this exercise and you’ll get a thigh gap!” UGH! So dumb. (Read this old post for more ranting: Thigh Gap Obsession! :) )

I want to end on a positive note, rather than just ranting over Pinterest stuff that makes me roll my eyes. How about this one:

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So freakin’ true! This is one you should print out and put it up somewhere you can look at it. This is a reminder for everyone and not just about fitness. It applies to dieting, too. How many of you have been the “the diet starts on Monday” type of person? Then you spend all weekend bingeing and eating things you shouldn’t be just to start Monday morning with the super restrictive diet. That never works. Why put off something you can start today?

Making the decision to start eating healthy can start today, it doesn’t have to wait til Monday. Making the decision to get fit can start NOW. GO for a walk on your lunch break. Do some yoga stretching on your 15 minute break at work. Do 10 pushups and 50 jumping jacks first thing in the morning and each week add 10 to both activities. You’d be surprised about how easily these things will become habit and you will feel better. You will be surprised at how easily you will be able to add to these activities. You start to feel a little better and then all of a sudden joining a gym or starting to train for a 5k doesn’t seem so “big” and overwhelming. It’s the little things that add up!

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Feb 172015
 

When you’re trying to lose weight it’s easy to get stuck in a rut in a lot of ways. One of those ways is taking care of your appearance. When I was losing 100 pounds I was definitely in a rut because I couldn’t really afford new clothes. I’d buy some new clothes but then I’d lose weight so quickly that often times I didn’t get a chance to wear my new clothes before they were too big. Some outfits even had tags on them still! Check out this old post about the topic: Losing Weight and Shopping.

One of the things I regretted was how much money I spent on new clothes I never got to wear. If I could go back and tell my younger self I would have advised myself to buy clothes at thrift stores to save money. Despite that, there was one thing about that whole experience that I think is important: when you’re losing weight it’s important to dress for your body type.

When you’re losing weight it’s easy to get frumpy. Clothes become ill-fitting and baggy. When I was at my heaviest I already wore clothes that were bigger because I thought it hid my size. In reality it just made me look even bigger. As I lost the pounds the clothes got baggier and looked terrible! I had workout clothes that were literally falling off my body because they were too big. It doesn’t motivate you or maybe you feel good when you feel like you’re walking around in clothes that are falling off.

I think it’s really important to reward your weight loss efforts with non-food rewards. Shopping for new clothes is a good one. You’re not sabotaging your successes by “treating” yourself to a hot fudge sundae. Instead, you’re rewarding your successes by buying a new outfit at your new weight to make yourself FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF.

Buying New Clothes at Your Current Weight

You don’t have to buy a whole new wardrobe at every weight you get down to. That would be expensive and ridiculous. But so many times I bought clothes that were too BIG for me OR too small, hoping that “one day this will fit.” Don’t do that. Just buy a few interchangeable outfits that fit well and look stylish. It doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy. Sometimes just some fitted black pants and a few colorful shirts is all you need to boost your self-esteem.

Since I put on about 13 pounds in the last year I found that a lot of my clothes weren’t fitting properly anymore. Sure I hadn’t gained a TON of weight but it was enough to make my clothes look odd. Pants were too tight. This caused a muffin top and my legs looked like they were busting out of my jeans. Fun times. Shirts were tighter, a little bit shorter around the waist. It was demoralizing. It made me feel BIGGER than I actually was.

It’s really important to pay attention to your body shape and buy clothes that are flattering for your shape. I found this chart that was really interesting too:

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When I first got back from Hawaii and realized I’d gained some weight, I went through my closet to get rid of stuff I  knew I’d never ever fit into again. I kept the stuff that I knew I’d be able to wear again and then I bought a few pairs of pants and a few shirts in a larger size. Sure it wasn’t what I wanted–I hated having to buy clothes in one size up, but feeling comfortable in your clothes makes a huge psychological difference.

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Recently Michael’s mom and stepdad gave me a generous gift card to Kohl’s for my birthday. I went out and bought some new shirts and even some new underwear and a bra. Not that I needed to buy a bigger size, they were all generally the same size I’d been wearing but I felt so much better about myself with some new clothes. They were cute clothes, they fit well, they were flattering for my current body shape and it just MADE ME HAPPIER.

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This is another thing you can do while losing weight. A new hairstyle! It’s something easy to do and can make a world of difference. A new hairstyle can change the shape of your face, make you look nicer and in turn make you FEEL better about yourself.

Like I said in a previous post, I’d let my hair get really long and hadn’t taken care of it. I felt super frumpy. I hated my hair. My clothes weren’t fitting right. It made me feel bummed out about my weight. I didn’t need to wallow anymore. A few new outfits and new hairstyle made a humongous difference for me!

Getting Your Nails Done

Going to a salon to get a mani/pedi can get expensive but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it yourself at home. I know that when I do my nails in colors I like I feel feminine and pretty. Again, it’s all psychological. Boost your mood in ways that don’t include food and you’ll be successful!

Accessories

I love earrings and necklaces. I have a large collection that I’ve accrued over the years. I have my favorites that I wear all the time and then once in awhile I re-discover something I had that I’d forgotten about and it’s like wearing something new!

Again, you don’t have to spend a lot of money. Go to thrift stores, antique stores, consignment shops. You can find some really neat, unique jewelry if you keep an eye out.

Celebrate Progress

I definitely recommend that people trying to lose weight take progress pictures! I wish I had taken more. I was not comfortable being in front of a camera when I was bigger and I regret not taking more photos of myself as I lost the weight. I have pictures of when I was over 250 pounds and then I have some pictures from my brother’s wedding when I weighed 200 pounds. Then there were more taken as I got closer to my goal weight.

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But I think it is a positive, uplifting ritual to take progress pictures. Sometimes when you are looking in the mirror you can’t see the progress you are making. Photos will show you that!

Take Care of Yourself

The point of doing all of this stuff is to make yourself look attractive to yourself. Wear things that you like and think positive thoughts when you look at yourself in the mirror. Try practicing positive self-talk and tell yourself something you like about your appearance. So often we get stuck in a rut where we tell ourselves “I’m so fat” and “I hate my stomach rolls” and “Why can’t I lose this flab in my arms?” and it becomes a broken record in our mind. Before you know it, all you do is talk shit about yourself and that brings down your mood and self-esteem. I know, I’ve been there many times.

I am trying to silence that negative voice in my head that’s always pointing out my flaws instead of celebrating my victories…

Losing weight is hard and it’s a drag sometimes and sometimes it TAKES FOREVER. Anything you can do to boost your mood and take the focus OFF your weight and the number on the scale is a good thing for making progress!

What are some of your favorite things to do to make yourself feel good about your body?

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