March 4, 2010

Question: What do I do with this holiday weight?

(as seen in The Michiana Family Magazine)

A year ago I lost some weight. That weight followed me around and taunted me until it jumped back on my hips and thighs around Thanksgiving. Stupid weight!

I thought about making a New Year’s Resolution to lose this weight – but really…would I? Is this weight a matter of something to be “lost” or something to simply deal with once and for all. It seems that losing something implies you will find it again. I am deciding to deal with this weight thing – whatever medical, psychological, caloric, emotional thing it is…it will be dealt with once and for all!

Can I get an ‘amen’?!

OK, we have that established…now what?

I assume I should start by making myself feel better. Ever notice when you feel like you look OK, you seem to be more motivated? Looking the best you can at whatever weight will do more for your psyche than anything else you can possibly do for yourself. The last thing any of us want to happen is to fall into a stooper, and wake up a year from now with more weight in our midsections, and no motivation to do anything about it.

Step 1: make sure we feel like we look the best we can…every single day!

This means brushing up on “hiding weight” tricks. Here are the tips I plan on living by:

When you are trying to disguise a little extra weight, pattern can help you or really hurt you. Pay attention to where pattern and detail lies on your outfit. For example, if you don’t want people to notice your midsection and hips, then don’t put any detail (pattern, belts, color contrast) in that section.

However, some pattern can act as camouflage. For example, an all over pattern on a wrap dress. This option is a very slimming and is forgiving of bumps and bulges. If the pattern thing seems too complicated, and if you are worried about making a mistake – for the time being, skip it and go with outfits that are monochromatic.

I would be lying if I said monochromatic (all black) wasn’t a good option…especially since I live in this community, and see so many of you out and about – you’d bust me (since I seem to wear all black a lot). In my our quest to keep attention away from trouble areas, lets strategically wear pops of color; for example a colorful scarf or a bright red shoe. This will bring the attention to your face, or bring it down to your feet. That tactic is one of my favorite, as long as you don’t notice lumps and bumps in the middle, I am OK with face and foot attention!

When ladies put on a few pounds, we seem to hibernate into muumuu like clothing. This is a mistake. It is even more important when you’ve added a few lbs that you wear the right style for your shape. Concentrate on defining your waist, be sure the cut of clothing you wear is flattering to your shape rather than hiding it. Choose clothing that creates an hourglass silhouette…rather than a bowling ball silhouette.

When you feel a little thick in the middle, be conscious about what kinds of fabrics you wear. Avoid overly heavy fabrics, and likewise, avoid very thin fabrics. Heavy fabrics (like tweed) can add extra weight to your look. Thin fabrics have a tendency to cling…in all the wrong places. Thin fabrics are OK, if you are using them as first layer pieces…but definitely not as the statement to your outfit.

Confession time: I own jeans in 4 different sizes. There is nothing that is more uncomfortable than wearing a pair of jeans that are just a smidgen too small, and really, there is nothing more unflattering than poorly fitting clothing.

When you put on a few pounds, many of us instantly start looking at the biggest size available at the store (or in our closets) and wear those pieces. Remember – extra fabric will translate (visually) to more weight. It seems to me, this is the opposite of what our goal is (to look thinner!).

On the other end of the spectrum is wearing something that is too small will cling and bind your body in places that will bring unwanted attention to those bumps and bulges we want to hide; again, the opposite of the goal of looking thinner.

The simple fact is the key to looking your best lies in your attitude and the presence you have in your clothing. Embracing WHO you are under the jackets and jeans will make those jackets and jeans look amazing on you…the you today, and the you of tomorrow!

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