Two Reasons to Avoid Measuring Weight Loss Success Against Clothing Sizes

by: Danielle Ternyila

Your weight loss goals and achievements can’t be reached if you’re measuring it all by pant size, or any clothing size for that matter. Our bodies are all unique and with so many different designers, brands, materials, and styles in clothing out there, there is not enough consistency to compare yourself to a tag. You may think you need to be a size X to be happy, but by what standards?

Over the course of a year, my most determined self committed to getting in shape and losing the 60+ pounds I had gained in college. During this time, I weighed myself daily and saw great progress at first, but once I shed the first few “easy” pounds, it got harder and I felt hopeless when I began to fluctuate and struggled with losing the rest. I would get so upset to put on a size 8 that barely fit after a 6 just the week before, but now when I look back, I see that those 2 different sizes actually were more similar in the waist after all being bought in different stores and made by different designers.

We can get so torn up over a number on the scale, but what’s far worse is the fear of our “fat pants” never fitting well again. Our clothing sizes are so inconsistent , however, that you can be a Medium in one brand while an X-Large in another fits the exact same!

Clothing Sizes Always Vary

By measuring my weight loss success through the size-18 jeans I hadn’t zipped up in years, the feelings of failure crept in eventually, and not fitting into them or still wearing bigger sizes did not leave me feeling encouraged to try harder. I’m not doing it right. I will never lose this weight. I have to just love my body for what it is, I thought.

Yes, you have to love yourself, but also remember you cannot give up on yourself either. At the end of the day, all the clothes in stores today come in so many varied styles and materials, waistlines and collars, inseams and hemlines. All of these things make each pair of pants in your closet unique, and I’m sure you’ll see inconsistencies if you laid out a few pairs in the “same size” and compared. Our bodies are different too! We all lose weight in different places and at different rates. I couldn’t get my jeans to snap for a while at first, but after another 20 lbs down, I realized I was actually losing a lot in my chest first, instead of my gut and thighs that affected the pant size I was holding myself to.

When I did get the pants on, I kept working on myself, and I started using measurements to track my progress. My weekly routine included measuring my upper arm, chest, waist, thigh, etc. Even though my favorite skinny jeans didn’t fit, I could see exactly how I was doing and get a more realistic idea of my achievements than when I bet it all on wanting to be a certain size for my closet.

Our Bodies Aren’t Perfect Fits

I dropped from size (barely fitting in) 18 to a comfortable but shocking size 2, but then I noticed I started going back up in terms of sizes. Now I wear a 6 more often, but I also have a lot of pieces in an 8-10. It was hard not to see this as a failure because we all assume we have to be the smallest size. That’s not true!

Like I said, every piece of clothing is so uniquely designed with different materials, ideas, and intentions. After becoming a Zyia Active Independent Rep, I can see how all of these factors change the way things fit, just like our bodies are all unique. Some of our leggings have an encased band at the top to stay put for those who are more active or have more they want to “hold up”, but we also have leggings without that or ones designed intentionally less compressive for more casual or comfortable wear. Some of our clothing accentuates the abdominal area, while others aim to flatten it or draw less attention to the area altogether. This changes how every piece is designed, just like our bodies all require different styles and fits. It’s not all about the size on the tag.

All of our bodies are so unique, just like the clothes we love shopping for. We can’t just expect ourselves to be the perfect image we are looking for. The most important lesson of all was in learning to listen to my body more. Activity, balanced nutrition, and positive mental health routines are all a part of my day to day now, and no matter what Jean size I’m wearing, I feel better mentally and physically, which is the only thing that should matter to us as we lose weight and take back our health.

Achieve Your Health Goals Like a Pro

by: Danielle Ternyila

I wish I was the kind of person that meal prepped. I wish I liked salads and healthy foods. I wish I could afford organic ingredients. I wish I had time to cook better meals. I wish there was enough time to go to the gym.

No, you’re not the only one thinking these things and struggling to take back your health for reasons like these. These wishes sound so hopeless, but telling your self any of this is NOT going to make things happen for you. Your health should be your number one priority, above anything else you do, and there is no reason you can’t.

No one is born to meal prep or cook specialty meals. Those people who do, though, actively choose to live that life. They don’t wish for things to happen, they make them happen. And if you have been struggling to get past the wishing and daydreaming, start acting.

We’ve all heard it in so many ways: actions speak louder than words. This is true even in achieving your goals. Telling yourself you can’t do it with these petty wishes and “Debbie Downer” thoughts will never will it to life. You set yourself up for failure every time you talk down about yourself, whether it is in the privacy of your mind, your car, or in a rant to a friend.

The only thing standing in the way of achieving your goals is the excuses you allow yourself to believe. At the end of the day, it is all just that. You don’t like salad is an excuse to eat bad instead. You don’t have time is an excuse to get out of 30 minutes at the gym. You can’t meal prep “right” so you stick to your old unhealthy habits.

Make the decision to follow your dreams. Do what you need to do make them a reality. Go the extra mile, put in the time even when you think you can’t, and tell your mind to “shut up” every time it tells you another excuse.

You can’t just wish for it. You have to work for it. And it never gets easier, you just get stronger!

Multi-Tasking Is the New Cardio

by: Terry Ternyila

I am a multi-tasker by nature. I have a hard time doing one thing at a time. If I am watching a TV show I
am usually checking emails or ordering my food shopping online. I keep flossing sticks in my car so I can
floss while driving and I usually catch up with my mom or friends on the phone on my way home from
work so the drive doesn’t feel like a waste.

I sometimes find it hard to just set aside a half hour or hour to just do exercise. In my busy day, that time
just seems to always go to other tasks that need to get done in my day. So I have found ways to add
some of my exercise into my daily routines. Breaking them into smaller sets and working them around
my tasks I already do make it easier to keep to a daily commitment.

When we went into quarantine for Covid, I realize my steps dropped to almost nothing while working
from home, so I started a little bathroom challenge with myself. Every time I went to the bathroom, I would do a set of exercises like wall pushups, squats, or dips off the tub.

It was great and I realized sometimes I would be getting in 100 squats or pushups in a day because I
spread them out all day. I started to use other time like brushing my teeth or being on a conference call to bring in my exercises. I keep small hand weights by my desk at home so if I am listening to a call I can work my arms one at a time. I will do squats while folding laundry into the basket or lunges down the
hallway to bring the basket to the bedroom.

Even in the car, when I get stopped at a red light I will squeeze my cheeks until the light turns green. Same for waiting on line at a store. People can’t tell you are doing it and really tightens up the muscles. It really becomes a challenge for yourself to see where you can find room in your daily routine to do a
little exercise.

I love finding new places to sneak some exercise into my day. My newest spot is when I go tanning I try to find new things I can do in the booth. Depending if it’s a lay down or stand up, I have come up with some creative things I can do in a small spots for my 12 minutes. Doing these exercises throughout the
day also helps keep me focused on my eating and water intake. Get creative see how you can add exercise to your day…..

Or as Danielle would call it: free cardio

How I Mended My Relationship With the Scale

by: Terry Ternyila

For years I was obsessed with the scale and my weight. I would weigh myself every day, and it would become one of the most toxic relationships I had, or at least that is what it felt like, looking to the scale for approval every morning. I would get frustrated and upset with myself, which would eventually lead to completely derailing whatever fad diet I was on at the time.

I still weigh myself every day but not to focus on my weight; I focus on my health. I have learned that the scale is a tool to help me, not to judge me. In the past few years my journey with food has changed so much, picking foods that fuel my body now and make me feel good, learning which foods I should avoid or eat in moderation.

Every morning I step on the scale first thing to see what effects yesterday’s eating had on me. This is not to judge myself for what I consumed the day before but rather to identify which foods work best for me. I used to think if you just eat healthy foods you will lose weight and feel good, but that’s not the case. I also thought one bad day of eating would cause me to put the weight back on, but it is the daily bad eating habits that will.

I also use the scale to keep me focused; now if I see the weight go up a bit, it is a reminder to go back to the basics, and usually within a day or so, I will see the scale settle down where I expect it to be. If I notice it’s trending up, I need to check in with myself to see what I am eating that is different.

Finding the foods that are triggers for my body to store fat and knowing which foods have a negative effect on me has been some of the best lessons I have learned. I track this through journaling what I eat daily and observing my body changes. I know which foods will make me feel “bloated,” so I don’t necessarily gain weight but clothes are tight and I feel gross. I note which foods trigger my body weight to creep up, as well as how the foods make me feel.

Implementing small changes in my daily routine based on learning my food triggers has made a big impact for me. I have found that certain dairy will make me feel bloated, so I changed my French vanilla creamer in my morning coffee to almond milk, and I feel so much better. Limiting my cheese intake is hard for me since it’s a favorite protein of mine; I make sure to pick the right cheese for me when I do want that snack, not indulging too often, and I’m honestly able to enjoy it so much more.

I have learned my trigger foods that make me gain weight if I consume too much. I am also a chocolate addict…one of my guilty pleasures for sure! If I eat dark chocolate, it does not affect my weight, but if I indulge in milk chocolate, it will trigger my body and some weight gain, especially if I consume too much. I know for my husband that one of his triggers is certain nuts, go figure. I would have never thought nuts would affect someone that way, and nuts do not affect me that way, so I find it’s a good go-to snack when I am craving something salty… Add a little of my dark chocolate to it, and it’s a great cravings crusher without the guilt.

Scales have come a long way. They have so many more features to them now. My scale tracks my hydration percentage, so this helps me see if I have slacked off in my hydration, which affects my weight as well. I can also link my scale to the My Fitness Pal app, so I can link my food journal with my weight and look back at patterns and trends.

Be sure to use all the tools you have at your disposal to help you:

• Use a kitchen scale for a week measuring all the food you consume will check in with your portion sizes
• Find an app to journal your food intake to see how many calories you are consuming
• Use your scale to track your reaction to foods and see when you gain weight or feel bloated
• Invest in a Fitbit or Garmin to keep yourself moving.

Remember, this is a long game…you have your whole life to figure it out, so don’t put stress on having to reach all these goals in a week or a month. As long as you are making progress every day to feel healthy and happy, you are on the right track.