If you’ve been around YLF for a while , my title may sound familiar. Fabber Toban wrote this forum posting last year with a similar title. I have recently started my own weight loss journey, and have referred often to her posting. What she wrote is incredibly wise and thoughtful with many great suggestions! Sometimes when people share very personal things it ends up being a great inspiration for others - her posting was that way for me. Maybe I can pay it forward here.

My weight went up quite a bit last winter, mostly due to inactivity and “misery” eating after an injury in November. My weight has gone up very gradually as I've gotten older, but this was different. I also learned at my annual physical in January that my BMI and other vital statistics had moved into unhealthy ranges, so it was time to act. On Feb 1 I started a program of reducing calories and increasing exercise (mostly walking), tracked in MyFitnessPal and Fitbit. I’m very happy to be down 10 lbs since I started! That’s just under halfway to my final goal. My approach is to make changes I can live with long term, not just things that work for quick weight loss.

Probably the best quote from Toban’s posting…
"It is very important to me to wear excellent fitting clothing even in the midst of body changes. I am working too hard on weight loss to have poor fitting clothes add visual weight and I receive a very big confidence boost from perfect fitting clothing."

This is the full list of her “rules”, with how I tweaked them for myself in italics

1. Ruthlessly cull pieces that do not fit. I am generally following this, but will occasionally wear things that are a little too big when I’m not leaving the house. I’m also doing a bit of alteration on some pieces to see if I can extend their life.

2. Identify wardrobe needs for the next 4 weeks. I’ve been doing this about once a month. The idea is to see what’s absolutely necessary and make sure you have it at your current weight, 4-6 weeks at a time, but don't do much other shopping.

3. Identify core essentials and a core color palette. I’m making NO changes right now in my essentials, color palette, or typical silhouettes.

4. No duplicates! and do laundry frequently. I didn’t follow the “no duplicates” rule entirely - for example, I wear jeans almost every day so “one pair of jeans” was too few for me.

5. Replace sparingly and only with a piece you love. I’ve been doing this by sticking with lower price points, not buying any higher priced items like jackets or coats, and doing more thrifting than usual. I'm learning a fantastic lesson in just how small a wardrobe could work for me.

6. Make do without. Yes! The mental trick I use is “will I look any less put together to the world around me if I wear only what is in my closet and NOT buy that shiny new thing?”. If the answer is NO, which it usually is, I usually make do without. I'm not being super-rigid about this but am following it generally.

7. Prioritize bras! I’m not quite at the point of needing to buy new ones but hope to be soon.

8. Patience. This one is sooooo important. It's been a slow process and I have moments of being very frustrated, but also some very upbeat moments.

9. Enjoy your weight loss and your improved health. Appreciate your strength and persistence. Yes, also so important like #8 above

So far this year I’ve put most of my budget into shoes and bags, including some outdoor fitness items and summer sandals. I have also bought a small number of new spring pieces. I'm spending under budget to save for later on when I need to spend more.

At 10 lbs down, many of my larger jeans/pants are too big, and I’m now wearing the smaller ones I couldn’t get into over the winter. With jean sizing all over the map I’m not sure if I’ve dropped a size or not. I’ve successfully altered some (taking in inseam, back yoke, and/or back waist) and some have been put in the donate bag. I never put clothes in the dryer, but I might try doing it with two pairs of thrifted jeans I bought in January that are now too big. Tops, toppers all still fit ok.

A huge thanks to Toban for the couple of PM conversations we’ve had about her journey. She’s kind, gracious and so inspirational!

Feel free to chime in with your own experiences, tricks that work for you, comments, questions etc!