weight loss inspiration

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?

U is for Unattainable

impossible-unattainable

U is for Unattainable 

One of the common themes in emails I get from readers is the concept of weight loss being allusive and an impossible goal. This post is meant to discourage that negative thinking.

A question people often ask, myself included at various times in my journey, is  Why Can’t I Lose Weight? The short answer is that often times we make unrealistic goals for ourselves. According to doctor charts, I should weigh about 125 pounds. My body doesn’t like that and I’ve never seen a weight that low. In fact, I think I would look gaunt and unhealthy if I weighed much less than 140. My body likes the 145-ish range and so I don’t give myself grief about not weighing 125 pounds.

Another reason why weight loss can be unattainable is that the “diet” is vague or there isn’t a PLAN for weight loss. You can’t just say “I will stop eating chips and lose 100 pounds!” Sure, eliminating the junk food from your diet will help, but there are so many other things that factor in. Exercise. Eating a balanced diet. Drinking water instead of soda, etc etc.

For me, focusing on calorie intake and calories burned is what helped me lose 100 pounds. It’s also helped me maintain that loss for almost six years. That worked for me. Maybe the Weight Watchers points system works for you, maybe Paleo or a vegetarian/vegan diet is what your body responds to. Who knows. You gotta try to figure it out–and the negative self-talk discouraging you from even trying is not going to help. Find what works for you and stick to it.

For most of my teen years and early 20’s, I told myself that I would NEVER LOSE WEIGHT. I used words like never and can’t. I couldn’t lose weight. I’d “tried”! Really, I hadn’t tried to lose weight. I never addressed the binge eating food habits that were sabotaging whatever efforts I made in the gym. (Check out this post: We All Start Somewhere for some inspiration.)

lisa-eirene

If you never REALLY tried, you can’t use the words like never! Give it a fair shot and you might be pleasantly surprised! I sure was when I dropped 10 pounds that first month I started swimming!

Check out some of these old posts if you’re struggling with where to start:

New Year’s Resolutions To Skip

How to Start Losing Weight Now

10 Harsh Realities that Help You Grow

A few years ago I also wrote a series on How To Lose Weight. It was a big task to write about and so I broke it down into a weekly series covering a lot of the issues that come up during a diet change. It takes each topic one by one because baby steps is less overwhelming! Trust me!

How to Lose Weight Series: 

Week OneWeek One Check In

Week Two , Week Two Check In

Week Three

Week Four

Week Five

Five Truths of Weight Loss

Five Truths of Maintenance

Over the years I gave up that drive to try and reach a seriously unattainable number on the scale. Like I stated above, 125 pounds would not be a healthy weight for me. We need fat and we need muscle on our bones. I don’t want to be a skeleton just to achieve some ridiculous goal that isn’t something I can maintain for very long! Perfection is never going to happen, so I try to be happy with where my body is.

perfect-for-marriage1
My hope with this blog is that the four years I’ve been writing it have inspired readers to try to lose weight. I wanted my readers to see that it WAS possible to lose weight and it was possible to keep it off too! I wanted to be an open book for everyone to see that you can eat “fun” foods and enjoy life without gaining all the weight back. Losing weight doesn’t have to make you miserable or deny you the foods you want to eat. Moderating all of that stuff is really what works in the long run.

I hope that this blog has shown you all that weight loss is ATTAINABLE.

Have you stopped the negative self-talk regarding weight loss? 

A-Abstinence * B-Balance * C-Calories * D-Vitamin D * E-Emergency * F-Fast Food and Fine Dining * G-Gym Bag * H-Happy Weight * I-Intervals * J-Jumping * K-Keeping Sane * L-Losing Weight * M-Measuring Mistakes *N-Nemesis * O-Open * P-Plateaus Q -Quitting * R-Runner’s Knee * S-Support * T-Truth *