How Your Clothes Could Be Making You Unhealthy
This winter I thought I could fully handle buying a new home and launching a new program for my business at the same time. But by the end of the launch, I stood in front of my mirror in my new home and saw that through the entire process I'd gained weight.
In that moment of truth, I realized I'd spent a majority of my time working from home in my sweatpants. I had convinced myself it was OK to stay in pajamas all day because the to-do list was never ending and what difference would it make to "get dressed" every morning? As it turns out, everything was connected.
I was too busy to change out of sweatpants, which meant I must be too busy to make myself a healthy, nourishing lunch. So instead I treated myself to takeout. And while that kind of food was certainly easy, it sapped my energy and left me feeling heavy and sluggish.
Catching myself in this pattern, I decided to schedule morning self-care into my daily routine ... the work could wait. My health and personal happiness needed to come first. How I felt influenced everything, including launch results and my own productivity. This shift meant that by lunch, I was wearing outfits that didn't involve sweats and I also felt inspired to make myself a nourishing meal. An added bonus to this shift? At the end of the day, I'd accomplished more work than on the days I skipped my morning routine.
If you're having a hard time scheduling morning self-care, I want to share three powerful reasons integrating style into your self-care routine can improve your health.
1. When you feel good about your look, you'll be more inclined to treat your body right.
Just like a great morning meal kicks us off for a powerhouse day, walking out the door feeling fabulous in your outfit can help you make great, healthy choices all day long.
Back in college, a professor challenged my class to an experiment: One day we'd get dressed up and the next, we had to dress down. On the day I dressed up, I made healthier food decisions that nourished my body from the inside out because I wanted what I put in my body to reflect how I looked and felt on the outside. However, on the dress down day where I was rocking sweatpants, I gravitated toward unhealthier, fried foods. Even now, I notice this pattern in myself and my clients.
Action: I challenge you to do this same experiment. One day dress up and the very next day, dress down. Take note of the decisions you're making each day. Do you notice that you make healthier choices on the day you put your self-care first?
2. If you don't believe you're worth it, you won't take the actions to be kind to your body.
If you're anything like me, the days you don't feel fabulous in your clothing usually lead to negative self-talk. You think to yourself, "You look sloppy. You shouldn't go anywhere looking like that. You can't get your shit together. You're not even dressed."
People pleasing can kick in as well, causing you to focus on other people's needs instead of your own. This puts your own self care at the bottom of the list, which can leave you compensating by emotionally eating.
Action: I always tell my clients to pick out an outfit the night before, and you should try it too. This way, you set yourself up for success because your outfit is ready, no matter how little time you have in the morning. Schedule 15 minutes every night for the next week to give this a test drive.
3. Your current relationship with your clothing makes you look heavier.
What I've discovered from styling hundreds of women is that we don't know how to style our body shape because our bodies have changed without us realizing. We gain weight, lose weight ... sometimes we wake up and barely recognize our own bodies. Because of this, we mentally checkout. We go to the store and buy anything that fits instead of focusing on how to accentuate and flatter our figures.
Or you may have the opposite problem of buying and wearing clothes that are too tight because it's tough to face the fact that your body has changed. So you convince yourself that the size you were when you were in college hasn't changed. Or you resist purchasing new clothes because you believe you'll be able to lose those extra pounds again.
Action: Take your latest measurements to find out what your current body shape is. Our bodies are constantly shifting and changing, so while you could wear certain things in your twenties, you may now find yourself a totally different shape now. This means the clothing that will flatter your body is also going to shift.