“No matter how hard the past is, you can always begin again.”
TWO SEASONS, TWO FITS
Dressing well is about confidence - does this shirt make me feel like a better version of myself? Is it flattering on my body?
So what do you do if you’ve gained weight and your clothes don’t fit as well as they used to and they expose some non-optimal features?
This is an inevitability that we have all encountered at one time or another. And the pandemic further supported the negative environment for slipping away from one’s ideal weight. There were days on end of being indoors and away from others. In front of the TV. Near the fridge. I know I have certainly experienced weight gains and losses of 20 pounds or more over the years and especially post-2019.
In this context, tailored clothing can be unforgiving. If your clothes are made too trim, you are apt to notice any weight fluctuations more acutely - and look and feel bad. You could have two sets of clothes to solve this problem. One for your peak body and one for your heavier body. It’s practical, but perhaps not financially. Or you may not even have enough room in your closet to house them both. It may also simply be a way to give up in the battle against the bulge. In the end, two sets of clothing is probably not realistic.
I can fluctuate 10-20 lbs. from month to month. What I’ve realized, however, is that it’s often associated with the weather. In the cold months I eat more, work out less and gain weight. In the warm months I eat less, work out more and lose weight.
Do you notice a change with the seasons as well? What are your weight/body tendencies?
Once I realized that this was my pattern I started to make my fall/winter clothing in a more forgiving silhouette and my spring/summer clothing a little more aggressively tailored. I’ve built my wardrobe around my own, personal rhythm, which happens to coincide with the seasons.
BEGIN TO TRIM
“The secret to change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
The holidays are over. I’ve achieved my peak weight (190 lbs). And while it’s still cold, I am getting ahead of the game to get back to my fighting weight (175 lbs). It’s time for me to cut down to get ready for warmer weather. It’s not easy to start over, but it’s necessary and follows the cycle of nature.
Improvements to your diet and exercise habits, of course, are always the most effective and natural ways to slim down. In the new year I’ve tried to start with a new philosophy - gradual, sustained changes. Instead of a crazy diet regimen, I have started to simply eat less food. Back on an intermittent fasting plan during the week and on weekends do whatever feels right in terms of timing. After all, I do love my brunches. Also, eating better food. Fewer desserts. Less processed sugar. At least 50 grams of fiber per day. New year, new me.
After a basic downshift in eating volume and an upshift in food quality, my plan is to cook more meals at home. That way I can control exactly what’s going into each meal. Too often in our busy lives we grab food on the go and have no idea what we’re eating. I do appreciate dinners out, and they’ll certainly remain a part of my life, but they’re not likely to remain the main source of my intake.
Coupled with a better diet, I have been working out in different ways. I was stuck in a boring weight routine - chest/triceps and back/biceps - both twice a week. While done consistently, it had started to yield diminishing returns. And I wasn’t incorporating my lower body that much. So I have added kettlebells 2x a week. I’m also (re)introducing yoga and some cardio. And a 20-minute sauna 4x a week.
Do you have a plan to get back to your best shape?
None of the above is intended to be any specific guide or advice for you in terms of your own fitness regime. Whatever works for you, keep doing it. Everyone is different. But if you are like me, then you could stand to think a bit more intentionally about your fitness.
Nevertheless, if you need help sorting through your closet, we at CMMP can help. We offer an in-home Wardrobe Edit service where we spend a few hours making sense of your clothing. We can even help with altering some of the clothes that might no longer fit well.
Here’s to a healthy, stylish and successful 2023.
Craig Arthur von Schroeder