Who doesn't love a great buy, even if the item doesn't fit you — yet. If you're like me, you've bought smaller clothes that were on sale and told yourself it's motivation to fit into the jeans or skirt eventually. Below are the pros and cons of buying smaller-size clothing as motivation as well as ways to foster that motivation in a healthy way.
You go to a store and see an awesome pair of jeans or pretty skirt, but it's a size or two too small for you. You buy it anyway and tell yourself you're going to lose the weight and fit into it eventually. You even decide the cute new outfit you just bought will give you the kick you need to eat healthily, exercise and lose weight. But could buying smaller clothes be detrimental to weight loss?
It's almost like telling a child she can have cookies once she finishes her homework. In your case, you're telling yourself you could look hot or cute in that fabulous new dress when you lose enough weight to fit into it. The skinny jeans or beautiful little black dress hanging in your closet could give you the extra push to pass on dessert or second helpings of dinner. It could also give you the extra drive to go to the gym or run an extra 20 minutes. Any motivation is always welcome during a weight loss journey, even something as simple as clothing.
Have you ever imagined yourself wearing a dress you've been eyeing? Having a pair of skinny jeans or a sexy skirt you can't wait to wear gives you something concrete to imagine yourself in. This image of you in smaller-size clothing also usually means you're a few pounds lighter. That "end goal" image of yourself is another motivator for your hard work in losing weight and becoming more healthy. It's not as drastic as imagining yourself in a bikini with a Victoria's Secret model's body.
As I wrote in last week's column, we have a tendency to think we'll be happier and live our lives better after we lose weight. This leaves the "now" lacking, because you're stuck in the in-between. It's almost like telling yourself you can only feel happy, dress in nice, new clothes and do activities you've always wanted to do once you've lost the weight. The same mentality affects your habits when shopping for clothes. Why should you wait to wear beautiful outfits, look good and feel happy? If you still want to buy those dream jeans you're aspiring to fit into, why not also buy a pair of jeans that fit you right now? You don't have to spend a fortune if you're saving your money for a new wardrobe after you've lost weight, but don't wait to look good and boost your confidence. You deserve sexy clothes now too.
While buying smaller clothing could motivate you to stick to your healthy eating habits, it could also leave you feeling down. Some of us get on the scale every few days to see if we've lost weight, while others try on their skinny jeans to see if they're still impossible to zip up. If you buy jeans that are more than two or three sizes too small for you, you could be setting yourself up for failure. If you buy jeans that are half your size and expect to fit into them a month later, you will be left disappointed, and this feeling could lead you to give up on your healthy eating and fitness habits altogether.
Instead, take baby steps, and buy jeans that are only one or two sizes too small, as these are more realistic to fit into in a shorter time frame than the jeans half your size. Evaluate your goals, and be realistic with yourself to avoid disappointment. More important, be sure to celebrate your accomplishments, and don't downplay your results, even if your new pants are only a size or two smaller than your current pants. You've earned it, so flaunt whatever you're wearing no matter the size.
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