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Wearing Clothes That are Too Small: Good Motivation to Lose Weight or Crazy?

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 2

What Weight Loss Motivation Tips Work?

I have read thousands of weight loss motivation tips. Things to do to when starting a weight loss program. Things to do during a weight loss program. Things to do to maintain your weight after a weight loss program. One common weight loss motivation tip is to establish reachable goals and reward yourself when you reach those milestones. Rewards can be anything not involving food such as a mani-pedi, or a fun night out with friends after losing five pounds.

One particular weight loss motivation tip that appears to sit squarely in the love it or hate it category is buying clothes that are too small as an incentive to lose weight. The theory is that buying and seeing these clothes provides added motivation to lose weight. There is even a research study that shows that millions of women and a smaller percentage of men use this tactic.[1] The comments section of online articles where this idea is a topic indicates that it works for some and not others.

Don’t Buy the Next Clothing Size Up When Gaining Weight

Clearly, motivation is a personal experience. What works for one won’t necessarily work for someone else. However, I have found it helpful to seek ideas because many times something will click within my head and I can use a variation of a suggested method. Like this idea of buying clothes a few sizes too small as weight loss motivation. I would never do that because there is no guarantee that the clothes will fit nicely when I lose weight. Instead, I have used the opposite but related approach – that is not buying clothes in a larger size as motivation to lose weight. 

Of course this wouldn’t work in certain situations like women who are pregnant or who want to lose weight after pregnancy, as weight gain during this time is expected and healthy. I am talking about staying miserable in my current clothes that I am growing out of until I get fed up and just lose the weight. ”Get fed up and just lose the weight.” I know I made that sound easy. It’s not. It’s a process, but it is one that works for me.

My Weight Loss Struggles

 I feel lucky as I have basically remained in a narrow weight range since adulthood and have

worn the same clothing size. I try to lead a healthy lifestyle, but life happens. Stress, being in love, being out of love, sadness, happiness, vacations. Whatever it is that makes us gain weight I deal with too. On a few occasions in my life I have been 10, 15, even 20 pounds heavier than my goal weight range. During those periods I would try daily to find the motivation to lose weight.

During one particularly stressful time at work I was eating very poorly. I knew what I needed to do. Go back to my healthy eating and exercise. Simple. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. During this difficult time food was my solace. I’d come home stressed out, exhausted and unable to move. All I wanted to do was curl up in front of the TV, eat bad food that tasted good and go to sleep. In my work induced funk, that’s exactly what I did. And the pounds crept on. It happened quickly, and I could see it happening. I could feel it too. It wasn’t like one day I woke up and realized that I was fat. I felt sluggish. I could feel the additional weight in my knees. I just felt heavy. This of course did wonders for my self-esteem.

One Crazy Clothes Rule as My Weight Loss Motivation

Can stand her ground for what she believes in
I have always had one crazy clothes rule and that is never buying the next size up. (Funny how I don’t have the same rule about buying a smaller size…but I haven’t had to test that much). I almost bought one size up one time when I gained enough weight to merit the next size. The suit looked good on me. It was flattering. It made me think that I didn’t need to lose weight. When I caught myself thinking this way I knew it was the wrong thing to do for myself. Buying the next size up would make me complacent about my heavier frame and what I needed was weight loss motivation.

So instead, I kept right on wearing my clothes that were now too small. Even though I was good at masquerading just how tight the clothes were by wearing my tops on the outside and blazers which covered the hips and thighs, I felt self-conscious and just knew everyone could tell. The tightness around my waist was a constant reminder, as was the visible ring around my tummy when I took the clothes off. At one point my wardrobe was reduced to two pairs of pants and two skirts that still fit reasonably well. I made do with those and rotating several tops and blazers.

This went on for a several weeks until the discomfort I felt in my clothes was just as bad or worse than the stress that my job was causing. Instead of becoming more depressed, I used it to jump-start my weight loss. I felt like I didn’t have much control of what was happening at work, but I did have control of my weight. Call me masochistic, but the physical discomfort of my clothes, not just the mental pain we feel when we are unhappy with ourselves motivated me to lose weight. It was my turning point.

From there I lost the weight. The specific weight loss plan I used isn’t important because there are many (good and bad) which will work. However, what is true is that none of them will work if you don’t have the motivation to lose weight. It may be one thing or many. It may change over time. I also read and listen to motivational and inspirational books and cds. They are good for my soul as well as my body. (BTW- I am no longer at a job that makes me miserable). Don’t give up. Find what works for you. I’d love you hear what motivates you. Let me know in the comments section.

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Apr 11, 2013 7:48pm
I don 19t buy smaller clothes - they just shrink away to nothing all by themselves! But I persevere and manage to squeeze myself into most of them. Lies, lies, lies! I need to lose ten pounds, now! I know it, but it is just easier to stay the course. I will make the necessary changes tomorrow, but as we know, tomorrow never comes. Hum, I think I will take this article as a challenge to lose that weight. Excellent read as always, and Thumbs Up!
Apr 11, 2013 7:52pm
The second word in the above comment is suppose to be 'don't', but evidently it did not like the contraction.
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  1. loydspharmacy "Lloydspharmacy Reveals Women Buying Small Clothes To Lose Weight." www.Zoominfo.com. 16/05/2009. 27/02/2013 <Web >

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