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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Feb 112015
 

dieting
Trying to lose weight during the holidays can be stressful and like you’re rolling a huge boulder uphill. Even when I was trying to lose 100 pounds, I never put too much pressure on myself to lose during the Thanksgiving-Christmas time period. My goal has always been just to maintain through the holidays and then get back to losing after that. It’s worked for years for me.

This year was no different. I knew I wouldn’t lose so I just tried not to gain back what I had already lost. January came and I was back on track. But then comes my birthday and that is a setback sometimes! I do indulge more for my birthday. The above photo of the tweet? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt that way! Well screw it, it’s my birthday and then it’s Valentine’s Day and then….yeah yeah yeah. Excuses!

This time I decided to go back to what I’ve done in the past (at various times of the year) and take one extra step: no alcohol for the month (except for my birthday weekend). So that glass of wine or two I have Friday and Saturday nights is on the back burner until February, maybe longer. We’ll see!

I weighed myself for the first time since right before Christmas. After getting back from Hawaii I was a bit lazy (for about a month) and then got my act together enough to lose 3 pounds of the 10 I’d gained on my honeymoon. Then the holidays came and I gained that 3 pounds back.

As of early January, I now officially have 13 pounds to lose to get back to my pre-engagement weight. About 10 of those pounds were pre-wedding stress/honeymoon/holiday weight. So 13 pounds. That’s better than the 20 I had in my mind before stepping on the scale but still. I will be happy to AT THE VERY LEAST, lose 8 pounds and get back under my GOAL WEIGHT. That would be the best feeling in the world.

I talked about this in a previous post but the mentality of LOSING WEIGHT versus MAINTAINING WEIGHT is very, very different. It’s a different mindset and I fully admit that I had not gotten into the losing mindset until now.

I feel like in some ways maintenance is a lot easier. I didn’t have to restrict. I could be “fuzzy” on some of my calorie counting and portions and rarely saw a drastic gain on the scale. That was my reality for 6+ years. I’d FORGOTTEN just how hard it is to be in “losing” mode. Losing mentality is all about portions. Accurate calorie counting. Denying myself MOST (not all) treats I want. (Back to that moderation thing…) Restricting my calorie intake. The truth is I haven’t been in the loser mode. I’ve been often eating back the calories I burn in the gym, instead of creating a deficit–which is how to lose weight.

food

I really appreciate all the supportive comments on a recent post. Here were just a few:

Jamie said: “You are not alone! I am right there with you. I lost 100 lbs and over the last 6 months have gained 15 lbs. The journey ahead of losing that weight seems much more daunting than the 100 I lost before. Yeah, go figure! I’m learning how to navigate through this next part of my journey and I agree it is a slippery slope that once you start gaining it is so easy to continue.”

Jane said: “I tooted my horn and preened when I lost 220 pounds. When I gained back 15 I was silent and fearful, perhaps afraid I would become the person who ‘gained it all back’ ? I don’t know what would happen. Then I gained back a few more pounds. I labeled myself a failure and beat myself without mercy. I hid. I lied, I hurt in silence. It didn’t help me lose a single one of the regained pounds. Losing 200 pounds without surgery or medication is nothing short of miraculous. I am a miracle in progress. You are a miracle, too. Stay positive and stay honest. You will get past this.”

There were so many great comments. It sounds like a lot of people could relate to the struggle I was going through. Several of you had great suggestions that I already knew but needed the reminder. Limiting liquid calories is easy to do–not fun, but easy. Staying clear of packaged foods is a huge one. I tend to fall back on the Lean Cuisine type meals because that’s what I did for so long to lose weight (and it worked). You go back to what worked before. But if that isn’t working anymore, it’s time to shake things up.

So this is what I’ve been doing for the last month or so:

1) No alcohol (except for my birthday weekend).

2) Limiting sugar intake.

3) I changed the settings on My Fitness Pal to lose 1.5 pounds a week, which reduced my calories a lot. My base calories each day at 1510.

4) I am trying to create a deficit of calories every day (i.e. not eating back all the calories I burned in the gym). I eat some of them back but I am trying to keep at least 200+ leftover each day. Rest days are difficult!

5) So far the fitness aspect has remained the same. I’m still taking a break from the Warrior Room. I’m focusing on swimming, yoga, running, and some weight lifting to keep the strength in my glutes that are keeping the runner’s knee at bay.

Sounds pretty reasonable, right? After I got back from my birthday weekend I immediately got back on track and was doing really well! The only bummer was Friday nights. After a long week, I’m tired, I’m burned out, I want a glass of a wine. So far I am abstaining and while I can do it, I don’t enjoy denying myself my 1 or 2 glasses on the weekend! :(

diet1

Making the mental shift was HUGE for me. For the last 4 months I just hadn’t made that switch in my head. I was struggling a lot; I was feeling deprived; I was RESISTING the “diet” with all my might. And I failed. But once I had this “click” in my head that I was going back to loser mode instead of maintenance mode, it all got easier.

I weighed in  on 1/16/15 and lost 2 pounds! I stayed on track for most of January and the start of February. I did have a few slip-ups here and there but hopefully when I weigh in this week I won’t see damage done to that previous loss!

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