Saturday, March 31, 2012

Buying Bigger Clothes = Accepting the Fat?

Just a nice, quiet weekend here. I'm looking forward to a week "off" with no school stuff or dance classes over spring break! It's funny, I am always excited for school vacations because I don't have to be up and out the door as early, I don't have to help with homework or school stuff, I get a break from working in the classroom and packing lunches and making sure there is always the right clothing for PE or ballet or messy art classes. It is awesome to be "off schedule!" But always, by the end of the break I am ready for them to go back so I can have a little time to myself again.

The weather is changing and the clothing dilemma is approaching. I've mentioned before that I gave away all my bigger clothes; it's bad enough I only have one pair of jeans that fit, but I am pretty sure I have ZERO pairs of shorts that fit. I've been getting by hiding my excessive muffin top bulge by always wearing a sweater or a sweatshirt over my tee, but it is quickly getting too hot for that. Yes, I could go to the Goodwill and buy a couple of things that fit. And I may have to do that. But doing that goes against everything that made me give away my fat clothes in the first place! I mean, I gave them away so I wouldn't have anything to grow into! Having nothing in bigger sizes creates a barrier to weight gain. If I gain five more pounds I will not fit into ANYTHING! So if I go out and buy bigger clothes, will I just keep growing into them... like I did when I gained 80 pounds in a year? Buying bigger and bigger jeans and then going to stretch pants that let me have NO feedback from my clothing about my size? I don't want to "let" myself do that. That is why I have been holding out on buying anything comfortable. Because once I buy a pair of comfy size 18's, well, it opens all kinds of opportunities for more gain. I have finally put the brakes on the gaining and *want* my too-tight pants to tell me every day to NOT eat junk. So I dunno, not sure what I am going to do if I don't start shrinking significantly. I can't go naked. But it feels like buying bigger clothes means I am accepting the fat. I don't think I can do it.

Tonight for dinner I am making a new recipe. It's a veggie stew loaded with onions, mushrooms, carrots, celery, tomatoes, and beans. The recipe calls for potatoes, too; I may put one small one in there, or sub some other veggies. Not sure yet. I will post the recipe if it turns out good. It sounds really good. Off to bike!


Anonymous said...

I was trying to think of a happy medium to your dilemma because I do understand. What if you were to buy a larger size that you didn't like that much? Maybe a style you didn't find flattering or a color you disliked? And then buy another pair of pants in a smaller size that you just love and really want to wear? Could that be motivating while still giving you some comfortable clothes? You certainly don't deserve to be suffering in the heat.

Just some thoughts. Wishing you all the best!

Anonymous said...

I also had the idea of buying something inexpensive in a style you do not like. The other idea I had was to force yourself to look at the tag and acknowledge the size every time you put on one of these items of clothing.

Both are designed to remind you and reinforce that this situation is TEMPORARY. You have NOT resigned yourself to this size and you are taking the actions to change it. Both these actions are "jarring" enough (hopefully) that you will not become "comfortable" in the larger size.

I think you have to buy a couple of things at least, but it does not mean you are resigning yourself to a larger size.

Take care,

birchgirl said...

Refusing to go to size 18 is what spurred me onto my 45 lbs weight loss. What size shorts do you have? If they are less than size 16 you need to buy something no matter what. If they are size 16 I would say use it to motivate yourself to lose weight.

Anonymous said...

I know some others disagree with me here but I personally would Not buy new clothes for as long as possible. Layering shirts helps hide muffin top and such, and if you wear a sleeveless/strappy shirt under a tight tee, it smooths you out and isn't bulky.

I know it's a hard issue-different people have different takes on it.

Another kind of embarrassing tip is really stretching out your jeans. Do all sorts of stretches and whatever you can do to loosen them up. Hold weird poses to really loosen up the fit. This is a favorite of mine for stiff skinny jeans that have no "give" to them. As you hopefully lose weight, you can wash them a bunch or wear with a belt. I don't know if I'm just nuts, haha, but I'd rather loosen up pants I already own than go out and buy more.

Anonymous said...

such a dilemma. My approach is to buy a small number of clothes, on the plan that I will "outgrow" these ones in a month or two. Being happy makes me more likely to lose weight, and having clothes to wear to fun events makes me happier.

Overhauling-Me said...

I'm concerned with the changing weather. At the moment I have just one pair of jeans that fit. Still have a pair of nice sweats from my larger size (just 40lbs) that I wear. My concern is my arms. Not wanting to have the saggy flabbiness exposed in shorter sleevers. As the fat goes away they seem to have more swinging skin.

I'd love to hear how the veggie stew turns out and would love the recipe.

Happy Saturday!

Anonymous said...

Lyn, this tactic might be a barrier against weight gain for others, but it obviously didn't work for you. Your lack of larger-sized clothing didn't prevent your weight gain so far, and here you are at 217 without any clothes that properly fit you.

Everyone, EVERYONE, deserves to have comfortable, properly-fitting clothing, whether they're gaining, losing, maintaining, or what have you. Anything less is just disrespecting yourself.

Anonymous said...

Buy something that fits, it will make you feel better. Don't spend to much money on it, but it is always better to dress nice and feel comfortable.

Princess Dieter said...

I figure looking and feeling like crap in too tight clothes doesn't do anything positive for one's state of mind. Finding clothes that fit is just accepting that FOR NOW, you are THIS SIZE and facing up to that, seeing that 18 when you dress, may remind you that you musn't go up to a 20!

I'm a believer in clothes that fit--for health and mental well-being. But I also believe in buying a smaller "doesn't fit" size for motivation.

Buy the 18s. Then buy a size 14 that you really love--anything fitted that isn't stretchy. Something you ahve to WORK to get into down the road, in a classic style so it isn't out of fashion if it takes you a year.

Something for now. Someting for a future date.

But stuff that fits.

You have to feel good and accept NOW, too, ya know?

Anonymous said...

I think buying clothes that fit properly tell you that you value yourself...and think of how you will feel when they are something that has a zipper rather than an elastic waist though...

debby said...

I probably have a different opinion than most people. While I do understand the technique of wearing tight clothes as a reminder to not overeat (and I have done this myself when going out for dinner or on holidays, etc,) I do not agree with non-stop wearing of clothes that are too tight, or not having enough clothes to wear. I feel that that is disrespecting yourself. I refused to do that when I was at my heaviest, and I refuse to do it now. At whatever size I am, I am worthy of dressing comfortably and well.

I am a big thrift store proponent, so it is not even expensive to go up or down a size or two (which I have done quite a bit in the past six years.)

Anonymous said...

I definitely identify with the reluctance to buy fat clothes. Which is why I have almost nothing to wear with the season change. I did break down and buy a pair of dress pants. I have two tops to go with them. sigh.

Anyway. I tried the yogurt recipe. It was WONDERFUL! Picture is on my blog along with a shout out to you.

Thanks for this!


timothy said...

i must admit i'm on the fence about the clothes, my instincts are screaming "NO DON'T DO IT!" because when i regained some and had to buy a larger size i felt disgusted and every time i put them on i felt like a worthless failure, i burned those pants as soon as i could and i will NEVER buy a 34 again gosh darn it. but it's very personal and i dont want to project my negativity onto you. if you can wear the larger clothes and feel ok with it do it, if not stand your ground. either way i adore you and am here if you need me! xoxoxoxoxoxo

Anonymous said...

Ok, I guess I'm alone in leaning towards NOT buying new clothes, heh. It has worked for me in the past but I guess it only works to an EXTENT-if you absolutely can not even get your jeans past your thighs, it won't. I guess it depends on how extensive the regain is and where it has affected you most. I'm more of a stomach gainer, so usually any point of concern is in the waist of the pants.

Anonymous said...

Lyn, I fear that if you panic about the lack of comfortably fitting clothes, you may attempt a "desperation diet" again. I have a thought that you will most likely reject as an idea, but here goes anyway: If you take an entire year to get back to healthy eating and the exercise you are able to do, eat around 1800 calories per day and simply maintain, you will STILL be ahead of the game, compared to the last two years when you were torturing yourself in one way or another and gaining consistently. If that works for you, the following year you could drop a couple of hundred calories per day and start losing slowly, without too much effort, eating well and exercising well. If, while you are eating 1800 calorie (or so), your "maintenance year", you happen to lose a pound or so a month, just think, you'll be 12 pounds lighter than your expectations.

Ultimately you will decide what you will do about buying or not buying new clothes but perhaps a working plan may help you with the issues that are most bothersome to you.

I hate to use such a corny expression, particularly given the subject of your post, but "flying by the seat of our pants" when it comes how much we eat, regardless of the type of food we consume, can get most of us into trouble. I respect anyone's decision to do whatever she need to, in regard to remaining unaware of the amounts of food consumed but we all know that we are notoriously good at underestimating. If we eat well and exercise but the calories we consume are still to high, we may tend to assume that healthy eating and exercise "do not work for us" and we're on to the next plan.

If you were at peace with the potential consequences it would not be an issue but given your worries about clothes (to give only one example), seems to indicate that perhaps the results of your "coasting" may end up upsetting you in the future or at the very least continue to leave you floundering. I have read every single one of your entries and I am aware that when you started losing weight you did not keep track of calories too closely and the pounds melted. I know that you are aware of the reasons for that, namely where you started in terms of weight, calories consumed and activity or lack thereof. Your system responded accordingly. I believe later you stalled and discovered MF. Suddenly you were probably eating about 50-60% of the calories you had been eating the previous 2 years and of course you lost weight fast but since you could not sustain such an unreasonably low calorie consumption, you were inconsistent. At the same time you stopped working out due to injuries and possibly due to lack of energy. This combination of factors brought you to the conditions in which you are currently. At the same time, you learned a lot. You have untold amounts of testing and results. You are in a position to use this data to help you with your next stage.

As always, wishing you serenity through the decisions you make, as well as the aftermath.

Lyn said...

Thank you all for the thoughts.


Thanks. I admit over the past few weeks the thought of going back on Medifast crossed my mind, but I already committed to myself that I will stick with whole foods and exercise and figure it out. No desperation diets :)

I still am not sure what I am going to do re: the clothes. I guess I need to go through the 2 rubbermaid tubs of clothes I DO have and see if there is anything in there that fits. Maybe I missed an item or two. I am doing really well with my exercise now, so maybe that will help. I think if I dropped even 5 or 8 pounds off my middle (which is where I regained it all) I would fit in a lot of things.

Anonymous said...

Be respectful of yourself, you deserve to look nice at any weight. You don't have to spend a ton of money, but feeling good and not squashing yourself into a painfully small size should be a positive boost to the self esteem. I say go buy from a discount house, take someone with you and have them cut the size tag right out of the item!

Karen said...

Get some clothes that fit. I like princes' idea of buying 1 item that is one size smaller to have a mini goal outfit.

It is what it is. Being honest and getting clothes that fit is better IMO. Too tight clothes fool no none.

Getting the right size of clothes is a step into reality and gets you off the denial mile. Your choice. You're driving your life car.

Karin said...

You are not your pants size. I think M/B is right on the money. But whatever you rock :)

PaulaMP said...

There is no way in the world I would subject myself to wearing skin tight uncomfortable clothing. Nobody knows what size you are wearing, they can't see the tag. Buy some clothes, you can always give them away to charity when you lose again.

Jamie Mckay said...

I HATE wearing jeans! But I know if I wear them, I'll be able to tell when I overeat. That, and I'll be aware of my gut being uncomfortably squashed by the waist band. I always wonder if skinny people hate wearing jeans too but I imagine that they don't mind them as much since their bellies are flat lol :)

Anonymous said...

Lyn, I guess I disagree with all the comments above about motivation, because I don't think that hunger is just a mental thing. I think that hunger is very real, and that it is usually caused by biochemical issues, not emotional issues.

I would focus on getting rid of the hunger by eating nutritious foods, but also doing these things:
1. Cut way back on carbohydrates of all kinds.
2. And specifically, cut way back on all grains, corn, rice, wheat, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, legumes (peanuts) and salt.

And guess what is a good low-carb low-sodium food that meets those criteria, with lots of protein and fiber and potassium?

The Slim-Fast 3-2-1 ready-to-drink liquid shakes.

I recently switched from soups and other salty foods, to Slim-Fast 3-2-1 shakes, and my weight and blood pressure dropped so fast that I got severe dizziness from the orthostatic hypotension for a little while, until my body adjusted. Now I have more energy than I've had in many months.

Try Slim-Fast 3-2-1 ready-to-drink liquid shakes and see if that helps. From my experience having spent hundreds of dollars on both Medifast and Slim-Fast, I think Slim-Fast ready-ro-drink 3-2-1 shakes taste a lot better than Medifast powder.

And. no, I have no connection to Slim-Fast. In fact, I hated their old Slim-Fast Optima shakes because somehow they made me feel very sick. Some places are still selling the old Optima version, and I would avoid them like the plague.

LHA said...

Lyn, this really struck a nerve with me. I am older than you are, and for many, many years (decades) I had very few clothes because I felt unworthy to have nice things because I was obese. I might have had one skirt and a top that I wore for "dress up" and one or maybe two outfits for every day....this went on for way too long. One day I thought, there are nice plus size clothes and regardless of the size I wear I am going to look decent! That actually helped me with my weight loss because I felt so much better about myself.

I also had to make the decision about getting rid of the too big clothes, and my nutritionist insisted I do it. It was hard, as mentally I thought "I will need those again sometime" but I did it. It was a right decision, even though as my weight drifted up a little I found myself in a similar situation to you. So, I bought a few things in the next size what!? I still deserved to look nice. I didn't stop being a human being or a woman just because I gained 15 pounds after losing a lot. I have now given THOSE bigger clothes away because they don't fit....too big again! I hope someone who needs them enjoys looking nice in them too and feels good wearing them.

It may sound self indulgent, but I believe that I am entitled to dress nicely and feel good about how I look even if I became enormous! I am more than a pants size or a number on a scale and so are you! It is way more fun when you are buying clothes in a smaller size, but you will get back there too. Enjoy the journey!

Anonymous said...

Princess Dieter had my idea - buy something that fits now, and buy something smaller to work toward. I bought a Jason Wu dress in a 12 - it fits in all the right places except the very middle back is just a tich too small (didn't know that, as I bought it on eBay). I want to get in that dress so badly that I'm running 4x a week and eating on plan. Its a great motivator and I look forward to when I can fit into it properly...

Fit Thesis said...

I understand not wanting to give in. I worked in a clothing store for a time and the kind of anxiety that clothing size/number causes is intense.

Personally, I have a hard time handling ill-fitting clothes. Once I realized just how much a difference that it makes when things fit right, I haven't been able to go back. If it digs, I won't wear it. It's physically uncomfortable and I don't need any help on accentuating what's already there.

I hope you can find a solution that works for you, mind & body.

Anonymous said...

Jamie Mckay-i kind of hate jeans too and I'm thin/normal. I'm generally lean but gain more in the tummy, as does most of my family, so I get it. :x

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:32 A.M.
As I am for everyone who finds a solution that is effective for the goal of becoming healthier by losing wt., I am extremely happy for you. With the utmost respect, however, I will suggest that you read Lyn's blog from beginning to present. You will see that, as most of us tend to do, she occasionally eats or overeats for reasons that have little to do with hunger.
In addition, as far as I understand, she is attempting to move back to eating food that is not hmmm, shall we say processed and prepackaged. It has taken her some time and effort to return to a way of eating that has brought her success in the past, as well as making her feel better physically and emotionally.
Your suggestions are excellent and apply to many of us, regarding low(er) carbs and the elimination of some simple carbs that tend to spike our insulin levels and lead to hunger. I am just not sure that prepackaged "food" is the way to go in order to meet that requirement.
Of course, as we all do, she will make her own decision and in no way do I wish to imply that your own choice is not to be admired, since it seems to be successful for you.

Lyn said...

Anon & m/b~

agreed, and I think prepackaged/protein shakes etc can be very helpful. I still have a Medifast drink or bar for a snack sometimes. But for me, two years was enough and I was really missing things like fruits and legumes, so I am glad to be back to whole foods.

Diandra said...

Go ahead and buy a few used comfortable items. You weigh what you weigh, whatever size you wear. And your clothes do not dictate how much you will weigh in the future. You shrank out of the larger items before, you can do it again.

(I have been buying clothes at ebay while shrinking, even office outfits. Have most likely spent less than hundred bucks on clothes in three different sizes over the last two years.)

The Captain's Daughter said...

DO NOT buy the bigger sizes. I am going through this EXACT same thing with you - but give yourself 2 weeks of on-plan eating and you'll be surprised at how much better your existing clothes will fit. That's what I did 2 weeks ago... I was THIS CLOSE to giving up and walking back into a LB store for new bigger clothes but I said HELL NO! It was difficult (still is) wearing the winter pants and sweaters that I could still get away with wearing (elastic waistbands, which are the devil, by the way) because it was SO hot here in March - but I did it and I busted my tail to get back into my dress slacks and smaller shirts. And this time, there is NO going back! I am sitting here after having had my grilled chicken lunch salad and the waistband on these pants are CUTTING into my middle, but it is a GOOD reminder that if I remain on plan, these pants will fit a little better tomorrow and a WHOLE lot better next week! So be kind to yourself - believe that it'll happen and it will!

Always my love to you!


Laywoman Shawoman said...

Oh my gosh, you have to have some clothes that fit you and that you love - but just a few things! You must must must feel happy and confident and you absolutely must not get yourself into a forlorn mindset that could keep you from going out and enjoying your life! What are you going to do if you know you look horrible? That's a real possibility if it's hot and yucky and your clothes fit awfully. You might just decide to stay home and get reeaallyy tired. Feel that? Give yourself a little budget, buy a few things that make you feel as presentable as possible, and don't have ANY shame that you would be "wasting" the clothes by giving them off to someone else once they get too roomy.

I recommend to keep these "temporary" items to a minimum which will force you to launder them a lot, which is an active activity to keep you movin' as you go.

Deep down somewhere, you must know that you need to mean so much more to your own heart than your weight, and deserve to feel good about yourself no matter what the scale says. Until you work on resolving these self-acceptance issues, the weight will go up and down anyway, ya know?