Don't wear clothes that make you feel fat.
I just did for about 5 min, and my self-esteem literally took a hit.
Ugh! I couldn't believe the affect that it had on me. I try to kid myself that I'm “past” all that, but the feelings that surfaced took me back. One of the things that I learned too late in my journey was not to wear clothes that made me feel horrible about myself. Don't make the same mistake that I did. Find clothes that fit you now – the way that you look right now – and make you feel good about yourself. When you wear clothes that make you feel frumpy, then you're going to feel even more discouraged in your journey. As I begrudgingly “suffered” through my (seemingly never-ending) journey, several (unpleasant) things about myself rose to the surface. One was my obvious lack of contentment in most ANY situation (I'd gone from eating barely 1200-1400 cals to well over 2000 and still complained – really? LOL). I also realized that the clothing I was wearing contributed greatly to my dissatisfaction with how I looked. I was either wearing clothes that were too big for me because I wanted to be “comfortable”, or I was pining for clothes that were too small for me (and feeling sorry for myself). So, whenever I tried them on I would feel fat.
When it comes to your clothing, fit is everything.
Not just you being physically fit, but the actual fit of your clothes. If they do not fit YOU, you will look and feel miserable. Period. Regardless of your size. Many articles will tell you to have a certain piece of clothing that you keep trying on, or to buy something smaller than the size that you need to have as motivation to get to that size. That can be a good tool, but you have to know yourself – and be realistic. Decide if it's something that will motivate or de-motivate you. Realize, also, that even though you have these “goal” clothing items it may still take you a while before you get there. What will you do in the meantime? A few ideas:
- Limit your goal items – or at the very least the ones that are within reach. Have one or two items that you want to wear when you're at goal, put the rest away or give them to Goodwill/sell on Ebay. Be honest with yourself about the items. Will they still be fashionable when you get to goal? Are they even fashionable now? How do they make you feel about yourself now? How will they make you feel when you can fit them? Do they work for the new shape your body is taking on? If they do not complement your body shape, then it doesn't matter. You shouldn't keep them around. Make sure the items fit you, not just you fitting into them. There is a difference.
- Have multiple goals. Buy maybe one item that is the next size down and another the next size down until you get to goal so that you have something that you're striving for all along the way instead of being a size 20 and only having a size 4 pants as your goal pants. That would only discourage you because there are SO many sizes between 20 and 4.
- Shop for clothing that fits you right now. Another suggestion is to not have “goal” clothes at all. Pre-purchasing something with the assumption that it will fit at some point in time can backfire. Your body is changing in shape, and that new shape will likely end up better than you could imagine (higher boobs/butt, shaplier legs, etc). So pre-purchasing something that may make you despise your new changes – a shirt that is too tight in the chest area, or jeans with too low of a rise – could prove a waste of time, money, and sanity. Instead, try purchasing as you go. Set mini goals (ex: “every week/month that I consistently hit my protein goal, I will buy a new outfit that flatters me NOW.”). There are so many books, magazines, YouTube vids, TV shows that give advice on how to shop for the full figure/no figure/large bust/no bust/bigger hips, belly, etc., that should leave us with no excuse. Dress in a way that does not make you uncomfortable, or cling to the places that you want to disguise — yet still flatters you, and makes you feel good about yourself every step of the way.
This does not have to be a costly thing. This is not mean that you need to go and buy new wardrobe for every size. If you do a bit of research and discover what the “tricks of the trade/rules” for your body-type, you can apply these to whatever your budget is. You can find items at Goodwill to GAP to Neiman Marcus, and everywhere in between. Whatever clothing shops you frequent, the key is to look for clothes that flatter you. right. now. You could even use the money that you sell the old items for to buy new ones each time. This does not have to be a full-blown shopping spree since you're not at goal size. You do not have to become a “fashionista,” read every issue of Vogue, or follow every fashion trend that comes your way. But, the value of simply having clothes that fit, complement YOU, and make you feel good about yourself versus wearing items that don't fit (big OR small) can not be understated. If you wear clothes that make you feel that you're accomplishing nothing, you will begin to believe it. You are caring for your body in a new and better way, and the clothing that you wear should exemplify that.
It seems so simple, so trivial, but I dare you to give it a shot.
Have you, like me, uncovered any skeletons in your closet along this journey? Are you waiting until you get to a certain goal before purchasing new items? Do you feel as if you are “giving up” or conceding defeat by purchasing clothing items other than your final goal size? What is your game plan for the in-between sizes? Have you discovered any tips along the way to make you feel good about yourself at every level of the journey? A new haircut every 5lbs? Pedicure when you lose a certain amount? New pants every few inches lost? How are you making the journey work for you, your lifestyle, and your budget?