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Let's get real about our pants

Posted Jan 22 2010 12:00am
I just stumbled across the worst diet advice I’ve read in a long time... and that’s saying something.

It was in a USA Today article called “Weight-Loss Challenge: 13 Tips to Help You Get Fit.”

A few of the article’s suggestions made sense, in an obvious sort of way, like “Limit soda and sugary drinks” and “Plan meals and snacks around healthful foods.” Yeah, we know.

Some of the tips struck me as open to debate: “Keep a food diary,” and “Weigh yourself regularly.” Those habits may help some people, though they have a certain compulsive quality, and are definitely not requirements for getting fit.

But one suggestion really caught me up short: “Motivate yourself.” How? “Get a pair of jeans or pants that are too tight and hang them in the kitchen instead of the closet... They are a good reminder to stay on track.”

Before you embrace this advice, let me share with you an insight I arrived at long ago, a discovery that has since saved me from much fear and self-loathing in the dressing room.

Clothes are made to fit people, not the other way around.

If you try on pants and they don’t fit, the solution is to find a pair that does, not to beat yourself up for not being right for those pants. After all, the person who designed them probably never even met you.

Here’s another time-tested wardrobe guideline: If you haven’t worn it in a year or more, get rid of it. Make up your mind to live in the present. This doesn’t mean you’ve given up on losing weight, but it does mean being okay with yourself the way you are now, and refusing to make yourself feel bad by wearing (or staring longingly at) too-tight clothing.

Yes indeed, take those skinny pants out of the closet, march them into the kitchen, and then keep going, walk right through the door, get in the car, and drive to the consignment store or thrift shop.

If it kills you to get rid of perfectly good clothes, then fold the pants neatly, put them in a box, and stash the box in a closet or attic where you won’t have to look at it every day.

Then put on something that makes you feel comfortable and attractive at your present weight. Don’t have anything like that? Permission to go shopping granted.

Those too-tight pants probably aren’t even in style anymore.
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