I had an interesting thought today… What if what we wear impacts our diet?
If you think about it, some people use an item of clothing as inspiration for weight loss, and I have done a lot of reading over the years on weights loss and what helps to motivate among other topics. It made me think about my own habits.
Looking back when I first started losing weight it was more of a lifestyle change to begin with and being around the right people, with little bad influences around me. I remember after the first 10kgs thinking I felt confident enough to shop for new clothes, I thought having been a size 16-18 that a 16 would be a safe bet, I bought two pairs of jeans in different styles, one pair didn’t fit me. So I would occasionally try them on, but wear them with a really baggy shirt because they were showing too much muffin. Eventually I got sick of the disappointment and didn’t try them again for sometime. Eventually I got the courage and tried one more time and they fit, not only did they fit but maybe I was motivated by that, or a combination of good influence but the weight kept dropping.
I remember I lost the first 15-20kgs and I knew my clothes were loose, including those jeans, but I wasn’t sure I was ready to drop a size yet. Finally I talked to someone who had lost a large amount of weight, and they reassured me that I could definitely try dropping a size, I knew how horrible I would feel if I couldn’t fit into it though. As it was, my jeans were falling off as I walked, I had to wear a belt, whereas in the past did only used one to prevent showing too much when I crouched, or as a fashion statement. So I took the risk, I went shopping, at the time currently wearing size 16 pants that we’re falling off and hoping a size 14 would fit. Unfortunately the shop I went to didn’t have the jeans I wanted in a 14 but I noticed them in a 12. I thought about it for a moment and took a pair to the dressing room, and a pair of 14 in a style I didn’t really plan to purchase, just as an experiment. To my surprise the 12’s fit, not a really attractive fit, but I bought a size medium jacket (which was also a first in a long time – having fit barely into a large for so long), and it hid the hang over I had and I felt ok. I felt like the pants looked nicer than the baggy ones I had, and hoped to one day fit these new ones. Eventually I did it. I couldn’t tell you exactly when but they are now baggy and loose around the waist, I can’t say they fall off, but they are looser. Now I fit into the smaller size 12’s, depending where I shop I usually find clothes either fit well or seem to borderline feeling like they might be almost a size too small.
The things I’ve noticed by wearing the pants that didn’t quite fit rather than hanging them somewhere to be seen, was that it became a bit more real that I could really fit into them someday. Sometimes wearing more snug clothes even makes me feel more self conscious of my body too, and keeps me from over-eating. I hate feeling over full or bloated, and especially in my work pants that are snug even on an empty stomach, I’ve noticed I don’t eat a big lunch and I try to keep my meals smaller. I believe this aided my weight loss more than any diet or exercise routine, and I’ve tried many. I’ve tried meal replacements, appetite suppressants, exercise DVDs, gym membership, exercise equipment, exercise video games, but nothing work like learning to recognise when I was content. Not full, but just content. I made myself a few little rules:
1. No solid food before 11am (exceptions to coffee and energy drinks – not that I use them much anymore and I try to avoid them)
2. Make a plan for meals – this includes the portion size. Eat what is planned and wait 15-20mins after to see if I’m still hungry before reaching for something else, sometimes it takes a little while for my belly to respond to the food
3. Only eat when empty not because of the time of day, if I’m not hungry no food.
4. Only eat until I’m content – see point two
5. No food after 7:30pm
Counting calories can help and choosing food with nutrients is important, I try to keep each meal under 300 calories. If the food is high in energy I try to titrate the size. However if you stick to fruit and veggies you shouldn’t have too much trouble.
I find the biggest problem today is that we reward ourselves with food, we eat to the clock and we eat until we’re full. Since starting this idea of eating to be content I lost 43kgs. I wouldn’t mind losing another 4-6, but I was wondering today if the problem is I have no inspiration. I need to find an item of clothing to challenge myself. Currently I fit into everything that used to challenge me.
And I guess the question is does this really work? Or is it a stronger sense of determination that some people have that others don’t. I know people who have had lap band surgery, lost weight and for whatever reason had to let it out afterwards, but they have learnt nothing, and gain it all back. In a world where we have such a high prevalence of obesity and even morbid obesity, where did it all go wrong? And, when social situations are all revolving around eating and drinking can we truly be surprised? Or can we adapt? I hold off on breakfast to go out with friends or family for lunch, I’m not a big eater anymore and I recognise that, so I plan ahead. I fact recognizing my own habits helped me develop my own points I’ve listed above. How do the celebrities manage social outings and their weight? Why does everything seemingly revolve around feeding lately? Have we truly lost our ability to share some comment interests with each other to the point we all need to eat so we’ll just do that?