How did a dress help me lose weight? The journey began with an opportunity to go out with my husband.
I used to be over 200 pounds.
I lost 70 pounds when I was 20, as I was a heavy child and teen, and when I got pregnant I gained it all back and then some. I couldn’t lose weight the way I had the first time because if I’m being honest, it wasn’t a healthy way to lose weight. I ate about 800 calories a day and jogged for 30 minutes every day, without fail for 6 months. I lost weight so fast that my skin was pale, sagged and I didn’t have muscle tone. After my son was born I found myself heavier than ever. I knew I had to be better to my body. It wasn’t just about weight loss this time, but also my health.
“When you change your mindset you change your actions. That is the key to lasting progress and change.”
I knew I needed to lose weight in a healthier way and that would be a slower change. Even though I wanted to change, and even though I knew how to change I didn’t. Why?
Answer me this, when you feel low and crappy do you want to eat carrots and exercise? No, me either! That makes the change even harder! When I looked in the mirror it only sent me to the fridge faster.
I felt stuck and unable to get myself out of my old thinking. Then something happened that set me on a mindset correction course!
One night my husband came to me and said “Don’t plan anything for Sunday night OK? I’m taking you out!”
What!?! WOO HOO! I had my son a year earlier and this was a rare treat! I was excited for a moment but then a feeling of dread crept over me. I suddenly didn’t want to go. My fanciest pair of yoga pants were not going to cover it. I wasn’t able to fit in my pre preggers clothes and I was still wearing my maternity clothes because they were all that fit, but they were looking pretty ragged.
My fanciest pair of yoga pants were not going to cover it.
Can I just say shopping is harder when you are bigger? It just is. I love shopping but not when I have to go to 5 different stores and come home with nothing or something that I’m only marginally happy with. But I needed something to wear badly! I wanted to look pretty for him but more importantly I wanted to feel beautiful for me.
I finally found a cute black dress that flattered me and, BONUS, it didn’t cost an arm or a leg. We went out and I still own that dress. It doesn’t really flatter me now since I’m smaller but I love that dress. It reminds me of how lovely I would feel in it and that’s my point.
That dress helped me to see myself in the best light. It helped quiet that critical voice in my head long enough to enjoy the evening. It also gave me the confidence and motivation to finally start eating right and take care of myself.
I’m not saying go buy clothes to lose weight, that would be so awesome if it were that easy! However, think about how you feel when you look your best? Does it inspire you to keep going and take care of yourself?
For me, first I had a mind shift first, THEN I lost weight. I was motivated to keep improving because in a small way the dress helped change my perspective about myself. I saw myself in my pajamas as a hopeless slob and that image would be much harder to improve than the woman in the little black dress. All she needed was to eat right and go for more walks. Even I could do that! That dress was just enough to help jar me out of a tailspin where I was judge, jury and executioner on why I would never lose weight.
If you are at a spot in your life where you want a change but see no hope in your reflection, change it up! Most people think they’ll get nice clothes after they lose the weight. For some that works, I’m not denying that, but for me that only kept the vicious thought cycle going. It made the reward seem even further away. Maybe you could invest in a nice dress, or whatever that fits your body now. Perhaps that would help disrupt the old thought pattern that you are not good enough.