Do you find it frustrating to go shopping or get dressed when you aren’t at your desired weight? Do you completely wait to shop until you've lost the extra pounds? Do you hold off on wearing certain items in your wardrobe until you have? Trust me, I have been there more times than I would care to remember. You see, I have struggled with my weight from the time I was a teenager...gaining and losing time and time again. Each time I lost I felt I could dress in cute outfits and deserved to go shopping for myself. Each time I gained, however, I would revert back to wearing oversized clothing, trying to hide the weight I had put on. For some reason I felt the 'larger me' didn't deserve to wear the pretty clothes.
After giving birth to my eldest son, I was the heaviest I had ever been in my life, having gained 75 pounds during that pregnancy. Even though I was elated to have my new baby, my self-esteem was at an all-time low and my clothing choices weren't helping the matter. I wore my maternity clothes for the first several months of his life, and then after that it was oversized t-shirts and sweats, trying to hide the extra pounds I still carried around with me. I managed to lose most of the 'baby weight' by the time my son was 1 year-old and was able to maintain for the next four years (wearing the cute clothes I allowed myself when I was at a smaller size) until I became pregnant again.
I was thrilled to be having another child, but at the same time afraid that I would once again gain a large amount of weight and repeat the entire process I had gone through after the birth of my 1st son. Well, I did indeed once again gain a large amount of weight, despite my extra efforts to eat very healthy and exercise, but this time I was determined not to let myself revert back to wearing my maternity clothes or oversized tees and sweats after his birth. I decided that I would dress for my current size and shape, instead of waiting until I was at my ‘magic number’, as I call it (you know, the one where you will feel pretty and self-confident, accomplish all the tasks you have been putting off, and life will pretty much be perfect) like I had done after my 1st pregnancy (and every other time I had gained in my life previously). I decided that this time things were going to be different, and they were.
I dressed myself in Cropped pants (similar here), button-down shirts (which gave easy access for nursing my boys...similar here), and comfortable skirts (similar here). I accessorized my outfits with pretty scarves and jewelry, wore cute shoes with matching handbags, and made the time to fix my hair and put on a little makeup each day. Well, I must tell you that it really made a difference for me in the way I felt about myself on a daily basis, and I think it actually helped to speed up my weight loss, since I felt more confident and seemed to eat less out of boredom or ‘just because it was there’. I had given myself permission to feel pretty and confident even though I wasn't at my 'magic number', and it worked.
Now, I didn’t go out and spend a fortune on clothing that I knew wasn’t going to fit in a few months, but I did pick up a handful of pieces that were flattering for my figure and made me feel pretty when I wore them. These items also transitioned as I lost weight…button down blouses now became shirt jackets as I wore them open over a tee or tank top. My pants were altered for a few dollars by my tailor so that I could wear them until my next drop in size. Then each time I did have to shop for a smaller size I chose clothing in basic colors -white, black, navy, khaki, and grey. This way the new outfits worked with all of the accessories already in my current wardrobe, allowing me to continue to dress in a way that made me feel confident and pretty, without spending a lot of money. I followed this same process after the births of my last two sons, and found the results to be the same. I felt better about my appearance on a daily basis, had more self confidence, and allowed myself to feel pretty, even though I wasn't the size I wanted to be.
After the birth of my youngest son I still struggled with my weight (and still do to this day). Despite my efforts to eat healthy and exercise, there have been times when I have gained. However, instead of reverting to my old ways of 'hiding' in unflattering, ill-fitting, oversized clothes, I follow the process I took after I gained during my pregnancies, because in my experience...it works.
I am sharing this because I know that many women struggle with self-image and weight issues...I am one of those women. There are many who don't (or won't) shop for themselves until they have lost a certain number of pounds...I have been that woman. Many women don't feel pretty because they are not at their own 'magic number'...I have been there, too. However, I want you to know that it doesn't have to be that way. You deserve better! You deserve to feel pretty and dress in stylish, flattering clothing at the size you are right now! I spent too many years waiting...waiting to reach my 'magic number', waiting to feel pretty, waiting to dress in clothing that I truly love, and I can tell you that they were wasted years. I believe that every woman deserves to feel pretty and dress in clothing that she loves right now...no matter her size! Please don't wait for your magic number and waste time away like I did...you deserve better!