If you are unhappy with what you see when you look in the mirror, you are not alone! The health and fitness industry in the United States generates almost $26 billion a year, and you’re probably not the sole contributor to that number (if you are, we need to talk!). Every month, there seems to be a new activity (such as Crossfit, Jazzercise, Hot Yoga or Spinning) or diet (like Atkins, Paleo, or Ketogenic) that becomes all the rage, each promising to be the best. Everyone wants to offer advice on how to lose weight, but regardless of the method, there are some aspects of losing weight that are overlooked and few people mention. Here they are...
Don’t Get Attached to Your Clothes
When you start losing weight, you’ll notice that your clothes just don’t fit like they used to. To celebrate your weight loss, you’re going to want to go shopping for new clothes in your new (smaller) size. It is thrilling to pull on and successfully button a pair of jeans in a size you haven’t seen in years. But don’t go crazy at the store (unless there’s a really good sale). If you haven’t yet met your goal weight, the new size is only temporary. When you’re between your starting weight and your goal weight, you will need new clothes, but you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg for them. Check out thrift stores! You can find a lot of clothes without spending a lot of money.
And that pair of pants that you absolutely love? Don’t get too attached. One day, those will also be too big on you. Don’t hang onto them “just in case.” Clean your closet of the clothes that are way too big and take them to a thrift store so someone else can love them as much as you did when they fit. Leaving them in your closet “just in case” you gain the weight back is setting yourself up for failure. I keep 3 sizes in my closet: my current size, a size smaller, and a size larger. Anything bigger than that (except for one pair of “starting weight” jeans) was sent off to find new homes.
Collagen, Collagen, Collagen!
One thing that is common for people who set out to lose a significant amount of weight is a fear of loose skin. Nobody wants to put in all the hard work of shedding pounds only to end up looking like a deflated balloon. The good news is that, when the weight loss is gradual, for the most part, the skin adjusts fairly well. Taking a daily supplement of collagen can help with the skin’s elasticity and moisture, which will help the skin conform to your new body shape. An added benefit of collagen is that it is known to reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging.
Friends and Events Will Unintentionally (or Purposefully) Sabotage You
While your friends and family can be excellent sources of motivation and encouragement, they can also be one of your biggest obstacles when you set out to lose weight. Nearly every celebration or holiday involves food or drink. When you’ve made the decision to live a healthier lifestyle and lose weight, temptations are everywhere. Inevitably, you’ll hear the dreaded phrase: “Try this! Just one bite won’t hurt you!” When you’re going out with friends for drinks someone is likely to mention something about having a “cheat day” or reminding you that “you only live once!” It’s hard enough to look at a piece of cake and deal with the battle waging in your own head about the pros and cons of trying it, but when your own friends are encouraging you to step away from your self-discipline, it can make it even harder. Be prepared for these moments. They will happen.
Losing Weight Doesn’t Automatically Fix Anything
Most people make the decision to lose weight because they are unhappy with the way they look. A lot of people believe that if they could only lose X number of pounds, they would be happy. Sound familiar? Here’s the thing: simply losing weight isn’t going to automatically make you happy. It won’t fix a broken marriage. It won’t help you find the mate of your dreams. While the body changes, most of the time, your mentality stays the same. Don’t be surprised if you look in the mirror and still see the person you used to be staring right back at you. It is harder to change the way that we think about how we look than it is to lose weight. While making healthier choices for your body, don’t forget to make healthier choices for your mind, too. Instead of telling yourself that you’re losing weight because you’re “fat,” remind yourself that you’re putting in all the hard work to lose weight because you’re worth it. Remember to like and love yourself.
Get Used to Compliments
When you’ve been working hard to lose weight, the first time someone notices your success is a huge moment. No matter how the comment is delivered, the fact is that someone noticed your hard work. It is very easy (especially for someone with a lower self-esteem) to pick apart a compliment. If someone tells you that you’re looking great, that doesn’t mean that you looked horrible before. Don’t try to refute the compliment with a negative comment about how much more you’d like to lose. Just accept the compliment! Let those compliments build you up. You’ve worked hard, and they’re right. You are looking great! Keep it up!