positive self-esteem

Importance of Feeling Good

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?

Body Love Week: I Want My Daughters to Be Proud of Their Mom

This week on 110 Pounds, we’ll be discussing the important topic of Body Loving. Here is the second post to continue the positive body image week. Enjoy. -Lisa

I Want My Daughters to Be Proud of Their Mom

Guest Post by

Katie Squires

 

I’m running my first Marathon in May and in many ways I feel like I am heading into the last leg of an incredible journey, about to cross the finish line.  You see, I’ve lost 105 pounds in the last year and 9 months.  But that’s really just the tip of the iceberg.  I’ve been trying to find my way to a whole and healthy self for sometime, I spent much of my youth from the time I was 16 till 23 struggling with bulimia.  When I started to recover, I gained weight very quickly.  I went from a size 4 to a 22 in a matter of years.

Despite the weight gain I have to say that I was much happier, healthier and confident at my larger size.  Then my weight started to affect me physically, the bones in my feet hurt, my back hurt, I was so very tired and lethargic.  I also started to want more. I wanted to recognize myself again when I looked in the mirror. I had many false starts, but finally had my AHA moment when I joined the gym in May 2010.

Maybe it was the fact that I had an hour plus to myself, without my kids demanding my attention, time just for me.  But really, the click happened when I started to sweat and move and I discovered an athlete hiding in a fat girls’ body.  I amazed myself in those early months at just what I could do at 258 pounds!  I ran my first 5km race at 240 pounds in 33 minutes!  A year later I ran my first half marathon with my husband by my side, and it was one of the best days of my life!

Since that fateful day at the gym, my family’s lifestyle has changed.  My husband and I run together (we’ve done 6 races) and go to the gym together.  My children go to the gym with me every morning, and even though they are in the daycare they see that exercise is part of Mommy’s lifestyle.  They ask me every now and again why we are going to the gym and I tell them that its so that Mommy can be healthy, to have a healthy heart and lungs.  Sometimes I tell them its because it makes Mommy happy and I ask them if they like grumpy Mommy.

I’m lucky exercise comes easily to me; I love it, and am thoroughly addicted to it now.  I lost about 50 pounds in the first year through exercise and some changes to my diet (you tend to eat better when you feel better).  But the real weight loss happened once I stated strength training and eating a diet focused on whole foods.  It was hard for me to realize that I needed to make changes to the way that I ate, after so many years of disordered eating I was reluctant to say the least.  But I have found that I don’t have to diet, or restrict.  I tried to think of myself as an athlete and to think about putting the best fuel in my body.

I am trying very hard to teach my children to love healthy food.  We spend a lot of time in the kitchen together baking “healthy” versions of cookies, muffins and cakes.  I sneak all sorts of healthy stuff into their food and they now think muffins should look green.  They do not, however, like fish oil in their mac and cheese (long story).

Having struggled with an eating disorder, having known how hard it is to be overweight, I want so very much to set my girls up for the best possible life. 

I want them to see a healthy, fit confident Mother. 

I want them to grow up moving and playing with their parents. 

I want them to see me cross that finish line after 46km in May and be proud of their Mom. 

 

Lisa’s Note: Thank you so much, Katie, for sharing your inspiring story! I think your reason for staying fit and healthy for your daughters is a wonderful motivator. And the fact that they think muffins should be green just cracks me up! Check out Katie’s blog at So Write.

 

QUESTION: If you have kids, how are you trying to teach them how to be fit and healthy in a positive way?