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Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Realistic Self-Care: My New Pair of Pants

BTW, these aren't the pants I bought...

Today, I dared to take a pair of "regular person" (i.e. non-maternity) pants into a retail store change room. I'll admit I was nervous, because my experience has been that, even if I manage to shimmy them over my hips, my baby-induced extra weight and blown abdominals defy the closure of any zipper or buttons.

But, today, I am triumphant. Today, for the first time in over four years, a pair of off-the-rack pants fit me! Never mind that said pants are double what used to be my usual size; I bought them anyway. They are a symbol of my progress to-date.

When I originally began my baby-weight-loss journey, I told myself I wouldn't buy any new clothes in my plus-size. This pledge was both a cost-saving measure (why buy something when you're planning on it not fitting you in the near future?) and meant to provide extra incentive to stay focused on my end goal.

Or at least, so I figured.

Various people told me that positive self-perception would boost my commitment to losing weight, but I figured my practical side would wrestle my vanity into submission. Turns out, a little vanity is practical! Truth is, I make better choices to take care of myself when I feel good about my appearance: I'm more inclined to grab an apple than a chocolate bar, more motivated to head to the gym once again, willing to resist late-night urges to snack.

Whatever the psychology, when we feel good about our appearance, we work to keep feeling our best.

I'm not suggesting that every time we hit a stage of appreciable change in our transformative journey we should blow the bank on a new wardrobe. I bought two pair of very affordable pants, one that fits me right now and one that I can just zip up without slicing myself in half. That second pair of pants I am able to wear immediately, but they remind me that I mustn't slack off in my efforts, that the journey has yet to be completed.

So, if there's an (affordable) item that would celebrate your intermediate accomplishment and help you feel a little more chic or "together," then maybe you should get it! Over the course of a long haul, we all need some encouragement...

(On a related note, there are lots of "weight-loss journey" writers out in the blogosphere, many of them with people still part way along the journey and not using professional air-brushed photos of themselves --just very real. If knowing others are journeying too will help, check some of them out...) 

How about you? What keeps you going when you're in the midst of a lengthy work-in-progress? 

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