By Chris Freytag
Last summer I traveled to France with my daughter and I quickly noticed that unlike Americans, people in France don’t parade around in sweatpants. Women walk down the streets in Paris wearing tailored trousers, pants with a zipper, or jeans. As a fitness trainer, spending my days in active wear (lycra and spandex) is part of what my job entails, but our choices about clothes are connected to our health. Do you hide behind baggie clothes or show up in the world with fitted clothes that reflect your fit body? You can even use your jeans to gauge how you are doing with your health and fitness. I always zip up my jeans once a week, and here’s why you should too!
Marry your jeans.
Lots of women are married to their scales and those three numbers that show up on the scale either mean triumph or despair. Remember your weight can vary depending on the time of the month, hormones, sodium intake and other factors. A more accurate gauge of how you are managing your weight is to put on and zip up those jeans in your closet. Are your jeans suddenly baggie? Terrific! Do they fit as they always have? You are keeping it steady! Suddenly snug? That’s your red flag! You can’t even get them on? The alarm bell is ringing for behavior change!
Loose clothes mean loose choices.
Comfortable clothes too often mean your food choices will be too comfortable too. When I saw an ad for pajama jeans I immediately thought: C’mon! How easy do we want to make it for people to overeat? I will admit to childhood memories of joking with my sisters that we needed to unbutton the top button of our pants after a big holiday meal, however, if you find yourself unbuttoning that top button on a regular basis, it may be time for a little self-awareness.
What story does your body tell?
This isn’t about vanity but your health. You only get one body. How are you treating it? Do you make choices all day long without thinking, telling yourself you will worry about weight gain later, or do you assess how your decisions will impact your waistline every time you make one? Like it or not, your body constantly gives a first impression of you. Do you like what it is saying?
Don’t use clothes as a denial tool.
You can always tell what part of the body people don’t like by what they choose to cover up. Instead of covering up, commit to change. Make different decisions so you won’t have a body or body part you want to hide. One of the biggest mood boosts resulting from weight loss is enjoying getting dressed in the morning. It’s a simple thing, but people love getting dressed when they are wearing smaller sizes, enjoying a nice fit, and feeling good about the reflection in the mirror.
Don’t live your life hiding in a pair of baggy sweatpants. Head into your closet and find out how your jeans fit. Zip up those jeans once a week! Just think, there’s no hiding in skinny jeans. Why would you want to?
Chris Freytag is a health and fitness expert, author and speaker. She has been teaching fitness classes and personal training for over 20 years. She is a contributing editor for Prevention Magazine; the fitness contributor for the NBC affiliate in Minneapolis; and Chairman of the Board of Directors for the American Council on Exercise. Chris has authored 5 books; has created dozens of fitness DVD’s; and sells her signature line of healthy kitchen and fitness products on QVC. Connect with Chris at www.chrisfreytag.com www.Facebook.com/ChrisFreytagpage or on Twitter @ChrisFreytag