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A great way to measure your success with weight loss besides the number on the scale, is paying attention to the way your clothing fits. Sometimes you may think you are stuck at a plateau or losing weight slower than you’d like, but your body is still shrinking in size and you are losing inches! Unfortunately we can’t control specifically what area we will lose weight from, but typically the initial weight loss will be primarily from the stomach area. Who doesn’t want a flatter stomach? This is also the most dangerous area to store excess weight because it is surrounding our important organs like the liver and lungs.

Shopping for clothing may be a sore subject for many people with larger bodies. It can stir up negative feelings and self-talk. Maybe it was embarrassing and frustrating when the stores did not have things in your size in the past, or you never liked how the clothing looked on you. Let’s leave the past in the past, and look forward to a new, more positive shopping experience going forward!  You no longer need to hide behind oversized clothing!

As you begin to lose weight rapidly in the beginning, you may try to hold out as long as possible wearing the clothing you’re used to before trying something in a smaller size. But once you run out of belt loops and your clothing feels like it’s falling off of you, it’s time to reward yourself for all your hard work and try out something that is better fitting. You may not be at your weight goal yet and are planning to continue dropping clothing sizes, and that is okay!

Start your search in your own closet! I think everyone holds on to some favorite clothing that they no longer fit in in the hopes that one day they will be able to wear it again, if only they could lose the weight. See what you have hiding in the back of your closet and dresser that might fit you again before going out to the store and spending money. 

Search consignment shops, thrift stores, or the sale rack to find a few key pieces that you need and will wear regularly. Clean out your closet and bring in your old clothing to consign to help offset the cost. Purging excess possessions can be a very cleansing experience! Don’t go looking at expensive stores for clothing that may no longer fit you in a few months. Get a couple neutral pants and shirts that you can mix and match together that is appropriate for the current season you are in. Buying clothing that is made out of material that has some stretch to it can be helpful as well, you may be able to get more wear out of it as you continue losing weight because the clothing won’t look baggy or oversized.

As tempting as it may be, only purchase clothing that is in your current size and not something that is too small for you to wear. Try to dress for your new body, even if you plan to lose a bit more weight. Another idea if you are on a budget is asking friends or family if they would like to do a clothing exchange or have anything in your size that they are willing to part with, or even just to borrow temporarily.

Lastly, enjoy the experience! Shopping for clothing can be a fun way to celebrate your successful weight loss journey thus far. Treat yourself by getting something new that makes you feel confident and beautiful in your own skin – you deserve it!!

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Carley Baulick MS, RDN, CDN
By Carley Baulick MS, RDN, CDN
Bariatric Dietitian Educator

Carley Baulick, MS, RDN, CDN is Garnet Health Medical Center’s Bariatric Dietitian Educator. She received her Bachelor’s and Master of Science Degrees in Nutrition and Dietetics from the State University of New York College at Oneonta. She is a Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist, holds an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management, and is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). Carley is passionate about nutrition and helping others reach their health and wellness goals through individualized counseling and nutrition education. Carley can be reached at (845) 333-4730 or cbaulick@garnethealth.org.

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