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Maintaining Your Ideal Size

If Those Jeans Get Tight


Most people's weight fluctuates from time to time. The secret to staying at your ideal size is to go directly back to the basics the minute your clothes feel too tight. Start eating 0-5, recording your intake, and doing your exercise program. Don't get seduced into quick-loss diet fads and gimmicks.

If you ever find your jeans getting tight, you must take immediate action. We can't emphasize this enough. Don't procrastinate. Don't get depressed or anxious. Take action. It is a whole lot easier to lose 3 or 4 pounds than to lose 20. By taking immediate action, you should be able to fit into those jeans within 5 to 10 days, maybe by the next weekend!

Gaining a couple of pounds happens to most people from time to time whether or not they were ever overweight. Short-term gain comes from overeating and also with age and stress.

Here's what to do when your clothes feel tight:

  1. Start keeping a food diary that lists your beginning and ending hunger numbers. Record everything you put in your mouth except water.

  2. Only eat when your stomach hunger number is 0 and stop eating when you're satisfied and before you're full—that is, stop at or below 5.

  3. Make sure that you're getting a good balance of high-quality protein, fruits, and vegetables. (We also recommend consuming about two tablespoons of essential fatty acids daily.)

  4. Keep up your exercise program. If you have stopped exercising, start again immediately and work up wisely to your former intensity levels of cardio, strength training, and stretching.

  5. Consciously eat 0-5.

  6. Start writing your affirmations again every day. Write, “I, (fill in your name), am now a naturally healthy and thin person. I wear a size (insert ideal size), and I do what thin people do.” Write this in your notebook 10 times daily.

  7. Use the stress reducers listed Simple and Effective Stress Soothers as a way to reduce stress and stop emotional eating.

  8. Make note of where you may have gotten off track. Then take positive action to correct your situation.

If you do the preceding, you can expect quick results. Your body at its ideal size has established a new set point, and it wants to stay there. So help it out. It will respond.

Dressing at Your Ideal Size

You're at your ideal size. At last you can wear all those fashionable clothes you've longed to wear. Perhaps you've noticed that people who are at their ideal size often wear different styles of clothing than people who are overweight. You have many more choices now that you've reached your ideal size. You'll never need to wear vertical stripes just because they make you look thinner—you are thinner!

We suggest that you reinforce your commitment to yourself by avoiding “overweight” types of clothes. Take a look at the following lists, and you'll get a sense of the clothing that will show off your new body.

In general, give up wearing these “overweight” clothing styles:

  • Big and long shirts, over-blouses and tunics on men and women
  • Elastic-stretch waistbands
  • Stretch pants designed to accommodate weight gain
  • Big, flowing dresses and slacks
  • Tent-shaped dresses
  • Big, loose, long, and flowing jackets or coats
  • Clothing purchased in “big people” shops
  • Huge sweatshirts
Body of Knowledge

If dressing as a thin person is new to you, enlist the help of a professional wardrobe coach or a knowledgeable salesperson. This type of person can help you coordinate your wardrobe so that your clothes meet your new lifestyle needs and you don't overspend your budget.

Instead, you might choose:

  • Slacks with leather belts
  • Tailored slacks and pantsuits
  • Form-fitting stretch jeans
  • T-shirts and torso-hugging knits
  • Tailored blazers and jackets
  • Shirts tucked into slacks or skirts or well-fitted tops over slacks (pass on the tunics and large overblouses)
  • Shorter skirts when they're in style (and even when they aren't!)
  • Sexy heels and sandals
  • Sundresses and evening wear that show some skin

Choose clothing that tastefully and lovingly reveals rather than hides your body. You have done a lot of work to master your weight. It's perfectly fine to show off your success.


Give the gifts of understanding and compassion to others who are still struggling with their weight issues. Follow the golden rule. Treat others just as you wish you had been treated when you were overweight.

The Need for Compassion

You know firsthand the pain and sadness of being overweight. You also know the prejudice and ridicule you endured when you were bigger. So make a firm commitment to never look down on or criticize others who have yet to reach their ideal size. You owe it to yourself and, in a sense, to the world.

No one should have to feel the pain of low self-esteem and prejudicial treatment because of his or her weight. Now that you've mastered your weight, you can be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Here are some suggestions for how to help others:

  • Respect the challenges that others still face.

  • Never become preachy about losing weight.

  • Graciously accept compliments without gloating.

  • Offer advice only when asked for it.

  • When asked, let people know that they can master their weight.

Because you've mastered getting to your ideal size, you've demonstrated that the epidemic of obesity and being overweight can be solved—one person at a time. You've actually helped make the world a healthier place. If others ask how you mastered your weight issue, by all means share your success story so that you can help them experience the joy and freedom you now have. But be sure to do so graciously and kindly.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Healthy Weight Loss © 2005 by Lucy Beale and Sandy G. Couvillon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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