First off: I am not telling anyone, with the title of this blog, that they should either feel or be skinny. I am writing this because, aside from myself, I have known friends and clients who don’t feel great about their bodies. We all sometimes “feel fat,” right? And if this doesn’t apply to you, don’t waste another minute reading what follows!
Paradoxically, with the nice weather, I actually feel less inclined to work out. No, it doesn’t reach 3-digit temperatures in Seattle, but somehow even at 80 degrees I feel hot and sluggish and don’t exercise, so I’ve been feeling less than awesome about my midsection lately.
And all this simply reminded me of some things I have noticed over the years that have helped me feel better about my body. Even those of us who don’t have significant weight problems easily fall prey to perfectionism about the way we look.
Here are the quick and easy ways I have found to help you feel skinny by the end of the day. No, they don’t make you lose 5 pounds by the end of the day–they make you feel like you did. And it’s how you feel that’s important! Most of us greatly exaggerate our imperfections. These things will help you perceive yourself more accurately and just simply feel better. And we all like to chill out about this stuff right?
Here you go:
1. Wear clothes that fit. Nothing makes you feel fat faster than feeling the pressure of your jeans against your midsection when they are digging into it or spilling over the top. Wearing jeans, skirts, or pants that are too tight in the waistline is a great way to be reminded second by second that you aren’t fitting into your clothes the way you either used to, should, or wish you could. Perfect formula for a nice flow of stress and crappy self-image to last you throughout the day. Don’t wear stuff that doesn’t fit! Wearing a larger size might bum you out temporarily, but at least you won’t have to be reminded all day long with a squeezed tummy that your clothes don’t fit and would if you were smaller. If you are always trying to fit into a size smaller than you comfortably are, let me enthusiastically encourage you to take this step–it’s a relief to button your jeans with ease and sit down while still taking full breaths into your abdomen. You’ll never look back.
2. Work out. Yes, this is a post about short-term solutions to feel skinny now. No, one work out does not take off 5 or 10 pounds. But one workout alone makes you FEEL thinner! After just one workout, you look at yourself in the mirror with just a little more positivity. You simply perceive yourself as healthier and fitter and have a glass-half-full mentality about your body. Working out boosts self-confidence and gives you an instant justified reason to pat yourself on the back! It’s a mood booster for so many reasons! So if you’re feeling down about your body, hit the gym or the sidewalk ASAP for just 30 minutes, work up a sweat, and smile at that red dripping face in the mirror when you get home!
3. Do not fill your stomach to capacity at meal time. The fastest way to “feel fat,” hands down, is to stuff your stomach. Whether you went out to eat, cooked a special meal, or had a holiday feast, the times you ate the most, you felt the biggest–no surprise there! You can’t put a piling plate of food into your body and have it disappear. It expands your tummy and, though you haven’t put on weight at one meal, you’ll swear you did! One huge meal can leave some of us feeling guilty for days.
Personally, I got so tired of that totally exhausted feeling that came from stuffing myself, one day I just said no more. Even at Thanksgiving, I stop eating when my stomach is around 75% full. I just can’t stand that bursting-at-the-seams feeling. I’ll never go back. If you fill your stomach fuller than 75% habitually, and you are already unhappy with your weight, you are probably adding to that emotion. Feel better fast and eat only until you are comfortably full. You will feel better, have more energy, feel thinner, and may even become thinner in the long term.
No rocket science here, but just a few easy and practical things that work if you do them! What did I miss? What do you do to feel better about your body in the short-term?