Motivation: Out With The Old and In With The New

Close the door on the old weightClose the door on the old weight

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Keeping Old Clothes Will Not Help Motivate You to Lose Weight

Walk in closet

Walk-in closet

I have done it for years.  Whether the clothes are too big or too small, I keep the old clothes because I think I might need them if my weight swings back the other way.  I like a particular pair of shorts that no longer fit well and I am holding onto wearing them again.  It is common to keep old clothes laying around or hanging in your closet as motivation to lose weight, but the fact is this will not help motivate you to lose weight.  You might think that having a pair of jeans from your skinner days may sound like it provides a tangible measure of success, but I would argue it is just making you look like a hoarder.  Declutter your house, give them to a charity, and stop being a hoarder.  

Personally, I keep one pair of tighter shorts to motivate me.  I use them to gauge my progress, but they almost fit.  It is kind on like a waist circumference test that uses shorts instead of a tape measure.  I also use a tighter pair of shorts to gauge my weight gain on weekends and holidays.  Since they are tight, they remind me not to overeat.  It works as motivation for me to limit regain.  I find this more accurate than a scale because waistline is a better measure of body fat than body weight from a scale.    

For clothing that was too big, I got rid of them immediately.  The ones from high school and college were history years ago.  As soon as I made it to the size I wear today; I took all of the larger sizes to Goodwill with the goal of never getting into that size again.  I see this as motivation to not make that size again since I got rid of them.  I made a little party of it and celebrated the end of that size.  I try them on right before I bag them to donate.  

Buy new clothes now at your current size and enjoy your weight loss.  Consider this a celebration of your success.  Don’t buy clothes for the future you.  You will make it there, but wait to buy a smaller size.  I guess it is ok to buy a single pair at 34 if you wear a 36, but don’t jinx yourself by purchasing multiple pairs when you are not there yet.  Use the thoughts of your new wardrobe be motivation but hold off buying it until you get there.  

Don’t let the past weigh you down.  Clean out your closet.  As you sort through your old clothes to get rid of some of them, you will find some that fit that you did not know you had.  It is sort of like going treasure hunting.  If they do not fit, donate them or give them to friends.  The act of getting rid of the clothes from heavier times will feel good to part with the past.  

Buy new clothes as you need them.  If you do not have enough clothes that fit, buy a few outfits that fit and make you feel good when you wear them.  Wearing clothes that are too big makes you feel bad about yourself.  You need to buy clothes that fit and make a statement to the world.  If you wear clothing that looks good, you will feel better and be more confident about yourself.  

Bottom line: Get rid of the poorly fitting clothes.  It will provide more motivation than keeping them around.  

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About the Author

ChuckH

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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