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:

table

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.

ladies-dresses

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.

Haircut

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.

LisaEireneBeforeAndAfter

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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Jan 012015
 

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I saw a statistic recently that 36% of the people that make new year’s resolutions give up after one month. There is a 127% increase in MyFitnessPal app registrations in January compared to other months. There is an increase of +256 new class participants in Portland Crossfit in January but by February, -190 less people participate in those classes.

There is something magical about the start of a new year. A clean slate. It’s really only one day different from the previous day, but somehow in our minds we have a collective sigh in society — “a new year!” It’s got to be better than last year, right? But why? Why do we place so much emphasis on the changing year when things really don’t change all that different, than one number at the end of the year. Still at that same job. Still doing the same routine. Still dealing with the same struggles. But somehow we get enlightened and motivated.

I am definitely one of those collective sigh people — happy for a new year to start. Even though my life doesn’t change all that much. Ever since I decided to get healthy I’ve lived the “new year’s resolution” every single day trying to lose 100 pounds and then trying to keep it off. My new healthy lifestyle was no longer a resolution, it was who I am. So when the start of the year came around and everyone around me was signing up for the gym and going on a diet, posting on Facebook about their goals and progress and then eventually…February the quitting of said changes starts. Except for me, I was still plugging along doing the same damn thing every day that I’ve done for nearly 10 years now.

Why do people quit? I’ve wondered this for years and the conclusion I’ve come to is that it’s hard. It’s hard work. We want the easy fix (all of us, me included) and when the work is hard and we TRY but don’t see immediate results it’s easy to give up. Why bother? We tried, right? And it didn’t work. The other reason I think people quit is that they make lofty goals that are too damn big to achieve.

I saw another article: Just 8% of People Achieve Their New Year’s Resolutions. Here’s How They Do It. The conclusion: Keep it simple (maybe make 1 or 2 goals instead of 10). Make it tangible (becoming a millionaire movie star might be unrealistic). Make it obvious (convoluted goals that aren’t clear aren’t going to be easy to achieve). Keeping believing you can do it (DON’T GIVE UP).

bestnew-year-resolutions

Another article I read said this:

“No-Choice” Category: Most people have some positive behaviors that they might not consistently want to do but they decide to always do anyway. Dr. Beck calls this the “no-choice category,” and places putting on a seat belt or getting dressed for work in this column. “We do them without struggle because we don’t give ourselves a choice,” she says. “It’s the choice that makes sticking to a resolution so difficult.” She suggests putting positive behaviors on a mental “no-choice” list and reaffirm them daily. “If you never give yourself the option to eat dessert, you’ll never have the struggle,” she says. (source)

YES YES YES. When making goals, be CLEAR. BE CONCISE. Make it a “deal breaker.” For me, losing 100 pounds was a deal-breaker. There was no failing. Failure meant diabetes and insulin injections. Failure meant blood pressure medications to keep me from having a stroke by age 30. Failure was not an option. I DIDN’T GIVE MYSELF AN OUT. I was losing the weight. Period. And that seemed to work for me.

New Year’s Resolutions 2015

I don’t really make resolutions anymore because after changing my lifestyle and losing the weight I didn’t feel like I needed that title to motivate me. I had personal goals. I had monthly goals. I achieved some of them. I definitely achieved the big one: keep the weight off.

Now? 2014 brought a lot of life changes and stressors that I hadn’t expected but it also brought a lot of wonderful things! Marrying the love of my life was the big one. I definitely let things slide after that. I gained some weight on my honeymoon and then struggled throughout the holidays to get back on track. Truth. Trying to lose weight between Thanksgiving and Christmas is an exercise in futility. I just tried not to GAIN anything more!

Now I have that fresh start like everyone else. 2015 is going to be a great year. I feel focused on some of my goals.

Finish losing the 2014 weight!

Travel

Read more books

Walk Bella more and work on her training

Run another 5K

Spend quality time with friends, family and my husband

Finish the kitchen remodel!!!

Those are basically my goals for the new year. I’m excited about some of the things we already have planned and some of the things we’re still discussing. Stay tuned!

Do you have a new year’s resolution for 2015?

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