Category: Losing Weight

How Tracking Food Helps With Weight Loss Success

A very big piece of advice I would like to pass along to you is to track your food and exercise, in some shape or form. It has a lot of benefits, more than I could ever list. So here are the highlights.

These are just a few methods of tracking:

  • Online or through an app: Spark People and MyFitnessPal are just a couple that I’ve had personal experience with and have found work well. There are likely countless others.
  • Computer: some programs such as Microsoft Works and Microsoft Word have food and exercise logs. You could also create your own custom food/exercise logs with simple tables or other buttons within some of these programs.
  • Paper and pen: go old school and use a notebook to write down what you have eaten and done for exercise or print logs from programs and use them to write them down.

Now you may want to know what is so important about tracking food and exercise when you are trying to improve your health and lose weight. I’ll tell you why I believe it to be so important:

  1. To see where you stand throughout the day as well as at the end of it, such as eating within your calorie range, getting enough fruits and vegetables, getting enough protein or fiber, not getting too many carbs or too much fat.
  2. To measure physical capabilities and see how much more you can do compared to when you started or even a couple weeks ago. Some ways to see progress would be with time (minutes), distance, speed, repetitions of strength training exercise, increasing the weights for strength training, etc.
  3. To see what works for you as well as what does not. That way you can repeat what does work and cut out what doesn’t. You will be able to look back and see trends to help you decide your course of action going forward. If you weren’t keeping track, how would you know?

As you track your food and exercise in one form or another, you will also find that it gives you accountability to yourself. It provides you with the chance to see what you’re doing each day in relation to your goals and progress. Keeping track of what you eat and what exercises you do, as well as possibly even how you felt about it if you want, will help you to continuously move forward.

Then as you go along, you will know how to change things as needed and find what works for you. A lot of this weight loss thing is finding what works for you personally. Sure, you can get a million and one ideas from the internet, but some things will work for you and others won’t. Some of it won’t interest you and some simply doesn’t work for you or your body, and this is one way to keep track of that as well.

~Bonnie~

A Day in the Life of a Health Coach

I’m often up late at night working, writing, connecting, answering messages, and much more, so I do not get up at a “traditional” hour. Besides that, there are some days I sleep in even longer due to simply needing more sleep.

As I am a writer and health coach, my day encompasses both roles. Just like everyone else, I have family things going on each day as well and that doesn’t stop just because I work from home. What I love most is being able to have a flexible schedule, take care of my puppy, and just do what I’m passionate about! This was yesterday’s day:

11:15am- Time to wake up, take my parents’ dog (Daisy) and my own pup (Jasper) out for their morning potty trip, and finally coffee + healthy breakfast! My usual go-to is whole grain toast with peanut butter and sliced banana on top. Yum!

Noon- Fed Jasper and catch up on Facebook notifications + touch bases with friends and clients, answer emails, and whatever else needs to be done while my brain is “waking up.”

1:30pm- Jasper needed to be taken out again for a potty run and to have some playtime. We tossed around his toys, played keep away and tug-of-war, and generally did whatever got him running around and getting some energy out.

2:15pm- Poor little Jasper had to be crated so mommy could get a workout in… I did YOUv2 our new workout that was just released last week! It is dancing to 80’s and 90’s music with a fun and charismatic trainer named Leandro Carvalho. I love love love the workout and am excited and pumped to do it each time.

3pm- Made a run out to the car to carry a package of water in that my mom went out to get. She can’t carry it in herself, so I needed to do it. Next I took Jasper out for a potty run again, and finally Daisy.

3:30pm- Drank my Shakeology shake. Today I started “drinking” it with a spoon that I had been using to stir it up, but found myself eating the rest of it with the spoon. It was super satisfying that way!

4pm- Time to get back to work messaging my own coach and touching bases with friends, catching up with my clients, and whatever else I need to catch up on for the afternoon. I also checked in on my Facebook groups and pages at this time. Yesterday I created an event for a live webinar in the group for Wednesday, my first ever FB live webinar.

5:30pm- I took Jasper out again and then did some dishes while he hung out in the bathroom. Only two safe places for him are the bathroom or his crate because otherwise he gets into mischief! He did really well in there and didn’t whine until I was almost done.

6pm- Played with Jasper in the room, throwing toys, playing tug-of-war, and getting him to run around like a lunatic!

6:30pm- Cooked dinner. Tonight we had tacos. I usually do tacos in a bowl, or have a taco salad. However, I indulged this evening with two tacos. Fully tracked and accounted for.

7pm- Caught up again on Facebook with friends and clients, while the pup slept in his crate. He was a crack up though, sleeping upside down, his little back legs resting on the back of the crate and he looked so peaceful that it made me smile!

7:45pm- I let the rascal out of his cage, got my running shoes on, put his harness on him, and made sure we were all set for a walk.

8pm- We left for our walk and we decided to walk on the main road today, which was fun for Jasper as someone had dropped a piece of cake on the sidewalk and he managed to snatch a bite while we walked. On our way back home, we ran into a puppy that’s a little older than him and they played for a couple minutes.

8:30pm- Took Daisy out and then got to work in my room on a blog post and my newsletter, so that I could schedule for later!

10pm- Made the finishing touches for the blog post and then scouted for freelance writing jobs online and sent a few applications and emails for jobs.

11:30pm- Another potty trip for Jasper. Finished up the newsletter content to schedule! If you’re not already signed up to receive it, be sure to sign up here: Inspire the Best You Weekly Newsletter.

12:30am- Downtime for a bit to catch up on the website SparkPeople, another place for weight loss and healthy living support.

1:30/2am- Time to brush teeth and go to bed!

What does your daily schedule look like? Do you work from home or out of the house?

 

~Bonnie~

How to Survive a Big Slip-Up

The truth of the matter is that slip-ups happen from time to time, for all of us. None of us is perfect and we all make mistakes. Unfortunately, sometimes we also go through periods of time where all it feels like we do is slip-up! Those are really the pits! I had one of those myself recently and I had to constantly fight the “I’m a failure” feeling that kept creeping in simply because I was struggling so bad and nothing I did was working.

There is some great news… It is completely normal for this to happen in your weight loss or healthy living journey and I guarantee that you will get through this as long as you don’t give up! So no matter what you do, keep trying to forge ahead with your healthy living goals. As long as you keep trying, you will find something that works for you. It just takes time! It may even take longer than you imagined but it will indeed happen.

Use your bad experience to fuel you as you move forward, instead of seeing it as a totally negative deal. Learn from it and keep moving forward. There’s no use beating yourself up about the past. As I like to tell myself: “It is what it is and all I can do is move forward.” You can’t change what already happened, but what you can do instead is keep trying to do better.

Here are some of the things that have helped me get out of my big slip-up:

  • Look at the big picture. When things are tough and it feels like everything is fruitless, look at the big picture of your goals. It can be a beautiful tool because it reminds you of the big reason as to WHY you’re trying to lose weight and get healthy.
  • Focus on what you CAN do. Focus on each healthy decision you can make to help dig you out of the hole that it seems you fell into. What can you do right now, right here, to better your mentality?
  • See what you can do TODAY to move forward. There is only so much you can do each day. Think about what you can do today to work towards your goals. That way it seems like so much more of a manageable chunk.
  • Take it all one day, one moment at a time. No one can achieve their goals in no time flat. You think about each day, or each moment at a time, whatever works for you to make it easier and more doable.
  • Keep putting one foot in front of the other, no matter how difficult it seems. Don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking of all the things you need to do in order to achieve your goal. Just put one foot in front of the other no matter what and keep yourself moving forward.
  • Get yourself pumped up about something! Nothing can spark your motivation to do well like getting yourself excited to do it or something else you really enjoy. Feeling happier and more at peace will certainly help you get back on the right track with your weight loss and healthy living goals!

Even when it seems fruitless, remember that you are simply AMAZING for your efforts. Always keep trying! Even when it feels like you’re not making any progress whatsoever, keep going!

Try something new if you need to or try things that worked for you in the past. Trust your process because it is yours alone. Remember you haven’t failed until you quit trying.

Repeat this mantra when all else fails, “I CAN AND I WILL!” You will get through this.

~Bonnie~

The Secret of Success: Celebrate Your Victories

If you are trying to lose weight, you may think “Well, I’ll reward myself when I lose X pounds.” Yeah, do that! However, you should also celebrate the non-weight related goals… and maybe put even more emphasis on these!

Did you eat 5 fruits and vegetables today? Celebrate that! It’s a huge accomplishment and takes amazing willpower. I for one don’t accomplish that as often as I would like to so I admire anyone who does it even for one day!

Did you make it through a hard workout without quitting? Workouts are hard, period. An intense one is even tougher to make it through because there may be multiple moments where you would absolutely love to quit! If you pushed through a hard workout without quitting, give yourself a big pat on the back!

Have you eaten within your calorie range for the first time, or have you eaten within your calorie range for a certain amount of days in a row? This is another feat! Go crazy, do a little dance for your accomplishment!

Are you starting a new exercise routine? Starting a new exercise routine is sometimes a hard thing to get motivated for, it’s new and it’s scary. Reward yourself for motivating yourself to start a new one and change things up!

Have you tried a new healthy food recently? Another new and scary experience is trying a new healthy food. What if you don’t like it? You’re spending money on something you don’t even know if you like. But how will you know if you don’t take a risk? Whether you end up liking this new food or not, give yourself a figurative high-five for putting your taste buds out there!

Did you push through and do your workout even if you weren’t “feeling it?” Good for you. Celebrate! Your a rockstar for pushing through and just doing it!

Did you push harder during a workout you’ve been doing for a while and just cruising along with? Another good reason to celebrate because that is not easy, to raise yourself up a level and give your workout your all!

One day you notice you feel stronger and healthier… Woohoo! Yeah, that is a great result! Celebrate it and tell the world or have a mini party! Those are the kinds of results you are working so hard to achieve.

Really, the list of non-weight related accomplishments are endless. You decide what you feel is a victory in your journey. It’s you who is living it and you who you need to keep motivated!

Your next question might be… How should I celebrate?

Here are a few ways that I have used or seen others use:

  • Let loose and just dance! Turn Some upbeat music on and dance your heart away.
  • Get your hair or nails done, pamper yourself!
  • Window shop for a bigger goal reward.
  • Spend some extra time alone or putting yourself first, and don’t let yourself feel guilty about it.
  • Buy something you have been eyeing for a while.
  • Watch your favorite TV show and just relax.
  • Go check a book out from the library that you’ve been meaning to read, and make time to read it. You deserve it!
  • Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. This is so good for the soul!
  • Go for a drive with some new scenery if possible.
  • Dress up and go out, even if it’s not somewhere fancy.

Again, the list for rewards and ways to celebrate is endless. What do you like to do that you rarely make time for? Make time for it now to reward yourself or simply celebrate a job well done. You deserve to pamper yourself in some way, big or small, for your hard work.

What are some of your recent non-weight related accomplishments? And what do you like to do to celebrate those accomplishments?

Healthy Living Becomes a Struggle When Your World is Unstable

When your world is unstable, compared to your normal, it can be hard to focus, to remember what is important, and to simply take care of yourself. I know because I experienced this myself on many occasions, but most recently in my journey when it started again in May of last year. That’s when my whole life got tilted on its axis.

Our big cross-country move was in the works for a few months before then, but that is when the true craziness began. We had to find a place to live in another state, pack up all our belongings, clear out my grandparents’ house, ups and downs with my brother and little nephews getting another place to live, clearing out our own house which was a huge to do with lots of issues, and so much more last summer. Let’s just say, having all of this on my plate led to me putting my health on the back burner.

After that huge ordeal that lasted a few month with nonstop work, worry, and figuring things out, I struggled really badly to get back on track. Each time I did work on it, I would do okay for a while and then slip back down into the blackhole of eating what I wanted and not getting enough exercise. I had thought that healthy living was such a part of me before this, but I was proven wrong in one of the worst ways. As some of you may know, I ended up gaining back half of the weight I had lost in the previous two years of my journey, in this past year.

However, I have never given up. I knew I would get back on track at some point and I was not going to stop trying! I am so thankful to have had the opportunity and to also have made the decision to work with Beachbody a couple months ago. I’m finally working on my health in a more consistent way and while it is not some magic pill to help me lose weight, it is helping me rebuild those habits that I let go… and that is the biggest part of this! Truth be told, I haven’t lost any weight yet because I’ve been working on building the habits again instead of actual weight loss, but it will follow. It is all thanks to the great workouts, the support system, the nutritious shakes, and the Portion Fix container system. They all add up and are helping me learn how to do things in a way that works for me again.

When your world is unstable…

It makes it hard to focus

You have to figure out what your priorities are and you may not always pick the most important ones. When you have too much going on, your health is usually one of the first things to fall by the wayside, at least it was for me. Your focus is split between so many things and it becomes overwhelming to keep a hold on everything that you need to hold onto.

It makes things feel as if they are too much work

For me, even though healthy living was such a part of my life that it really shouldn’t have been so hard to keep it up even in the craziness, it just wasn’t. Everything felt like too much work because we had so much to accomplish in such a short period of time and things seemed like they kept being added to our plate.

It makes you feel guilty for not being “perfect,” even in moments of weakness

As humans, we often have this ideal that we need to be everything to everyone, in essence… to be perfect! And this feeling doesn’t just go away because we’re busy or our world is unstable, it may even intensify. I felt like I had to get absolutely everything done and stay on top of it all, but it was impossible, which made me feel guilty! That guilt does not help us get anything done.

Have you ever experienced a time in your life where you struggled to keep up with your healthy lifestyle due to your world being so unstable? If so, what did you do about it?

 

~Bonnie~

Sweet Tooth Sweet Attack Cravings Busters

Anyone who has any touch of a sweet tooth understands that from time to time, we all crave something sweet! How to handle such a situation when you’re working on your health and trying to lose weight? Calories are precious commodities in our plans, as is the fat and carbs we try to limit to some degree in order to meet our goals!

So here are some of the things I’ve used for under 200 calories:

  • Apple sliced up with cinnamon on it.
  • Apple sliced up with a tablespoon of peanut butter to dip.
  • Banana with peanut butter to dip (obviously the banana’s slippery lol, so you might need a spoon or fork!)
  • Peaches, nectarines, plums, grapes, strawberries, basically any fruit that has a satisfying sweet taste is great!
  • Fruit with low calorie whip cream on top!
  • Canned fruit mixed with applesauce, yum! Low calorie too with lite syrup or water based canned fruit and unsweetened applesauce, around 100-120 calories. Even diced fresh strawberries in applesauce is delicious!
  • Unsweetened applesauce with a little bit of cinnamon mixed in.
  • Yogurt (regular/Greek) either with fruit or other dessert flavor or with fresh fruit added in.
  • Greek yogurt with peanut butter and/or bananas mixed in.
  • Low calorie pudding with fresh fruit mixed in, I prefer vanilla with diced banana.
  • Fiber One brownies occasionally since they are only 90 calories and really hit the spot for me.
  • Skinny Cow ice creams, which come in a variety of flavors and kinds with low calories.
  • Ice cream cone from McDonald’s is only 170 calories, less if you get the kiddie cone! This is great for those rare treats or when you go out with your kids and want a small treat to enjoy with them.
  • And my recent cravings buster of chocolate Shakeology, which is 160 calories and packed full of nutrients such as protein and fiber.

Most of these packaged foods are only occasional as I don’t keep many of them in the house on a regular basis, but they are good on the occasion that we do have them. I especially like the Fiber One brownies because I can keep them in my own space (away from grabby hands) and eat one as needed or throw them in my purse for when I’m on the go. I have by no means cut out processed foods entirely, and still turn to them pretty often, but it is something I am working on as I continue my journey. It is a process and sometimes I do better than others!

Some of these could even serve as dessert with your dinner, or as an evening snack as most are really low calorie and/or healthy on some level.

So when you’re having a sweet attack, try something from this list and see if it works for you!

What are your go-to sweet treats that are low calorie and/or healthy? Do you have anything to add to this list? I know I didn’t list everything, because there are still so many options, so feel free to share with us! Passing along what you use to healthily bust those sweets cravings can really help others in their own journeys!

 

~Bonnie~

Failure is Life Giving You Lemons

One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.

-Napoleon Hill

Failure, what a strong word. We all have a fear of failure on some level. Some of us push past it or do our best to overcome it. Then there’s the actual dealing with it part that can be difficult to handle.

The truth is that we will deal with failure on some level, on a regular basis when we are actively living as it is just another part of life. So how do we deal with it? As a tool we can use it to our advantage and as a lesson we can learn from it. We will be better for this new experience. We adjust, changing our method in order to try again. We can even approach it from a new angle altogether. If it’s important to us to succeed, we will do anything we can to make it happen.

Failure is simply an opportunity to begin again. This time, more intelligently.

-Henry Ford

Ford’s words are so accurate. With the knowledge we acquired from our “failure,” we can continue on in a better frame of mind and we also have more chance of success.

We can choose to let failure debilitate us or we can keep trying until we’re successful. It may be true that some times we may genuinely choose to let go of whatever dream or goal we were striving for because it just doesn’t suit us like we thought it did. However, if it means anything to us, we will find a way!

It’s when the discomfort strikes that one realizes a strong mind is the most powerful weapon of all.

-Christie Wellington

We can use this never give up approach in our weight loss and healthy lifestyle journeys as well. It is vital for us not to give up. Sometimes we may need a break but we should never let go of striving for a healthier us. So when we fail, we should view it as something that will actually help propel us forward in our quest.

None of us are afraid to admit it, weight loss is hard and we are afraid we might not succeed! It’s natural to take the hit of failure and want to curl up in a ball and never move again. It’s truly debilitating in its own right. We can’t let those feelings win. Grieve for that plan that just couldn’t work out, but then move on and use that knowledge to help you move forward. Your health is too important to let go of.

 

~Bonnie~

What I Learned After 6 Weeks on the Portion Fix Eating Plan

It has been more than six weeks since I received my portion fix container system in the mail. However, I didn’t start using it right away. There was a lot of information to read and take in, that I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it all right away. So now that it has been six weeks of me being on the portion fix container system, I have to admit that I’m still not using it 100% of the time. It is a huge shift to go from counting calories and worrying more about that, while still getting in the all important protein and fiber, so changing over to a portion container system is a massive change for me. I’ve finally got to the point in the past two or three weeks where I am not focusing on calories, not even naturally thinking about that first. I am getting to the point where I think, is this healthy for me… is it too processed for me to eat? Besides that, I’m also telling myself no about certain foods a bit easier, without feeling deprived.

The portion fix container system is a whole new way of thinking about what I eat. It is forcing me to think more about what I’m putting in my body and how that food will fuel my body to do my workouts. Slowly, but surely, I will get to the point where I’m using the colored containers 100% of the time. I’m excited to work towards that. In the beginning, this system was a bit intimidating because it was new and not something I was used to using, or doing things in the way I was used to. However, I don’t see it as intimidating anymore. Does that mean that it’s going to be easy from here on out? Absolutely not, but I know that it will only get easier from here the more I practice using the containers.

While I have not made a huge transformation with my eating yet, there are still some amazing changes in mindset and eating habits that I have made:

Less Sugar

I have been eating less sugar. I am the first to admit that I’m addicted to sugar, and I am a chocoholic! So this is a big step for me. I always have to have something sweet at multiple points in the day, which is part of the reason why I got so off track. Those sweets were my outlet for my stress and depressed feelings. Undoubtedly, a misguided outlet, but one that I turn to on default. Now in the past six weeks, I have been working on that. I still have a long way to go, but I’m slowly making better decisions, rather than relying on sugary sweets! That is an amazing result to me!

Less Processed Food

Like I mentioned above, I now think more about how processed my foods are. I still don’t see myself as someone who avoids all processed foods, all the time, and I never have saw myself doing that. However, I do think about how much of these processed foods I am putting into my body and working hard not to eat them as often. When grocery shopping, I have noticed that I will avoid more of the types of foods I used to want or grab, because they are processed and I would rather eat something I put together at home. Again, this is something that I still have a long way to go to get where I want to be, but I am making progress and that is what matters!

Saying ‘NO’ to Myself without Feeling Deprived

Here is another one that I mentioned earlier… not feeling deprived when I tell myself ‘NO’ to a certain kind of food or eating when I don’t need to eat. I’m trying to think of the alternative being more attractive to me than these foods that I used to want all the time. I still want them a lot and more than I should, but less often than I used to. As I keep working on this, I will continue to make progress in the right direction and soon will not have to say ‘NO’ so often!

What kinds of foods do you find hard to say ‘NO’ to, and what are you doing to work on saying ‘NO’ without feeling as deprived?

 

~Bonnie~

How to Beat the Motivational Slump

Everyone deals with that motivation slump from time to time. I know I personally deal with it at least once a week. It’s those days where nothing sounds appealing and you just can’t get motivated. It is especially tough when your bed is more appealing than going about your day. This type of day can be frustrating beyond words as you know that you have many things to do, and some of them are even desirable, but you can’t get yourself started with any of it.

Here are some ways I have found to beat that all compelling motivation slump:

  • Take a moment to drink coffee: Use your morning coffee as a chance to wake up and get motivated. Drink it a little slower to enjoy the moment and revive your mind after a night’s slumber. Read something you find motivational while you drink, such as a magazine, part of a book, uplifting news stories or articles, etc.
  • Fake it till you make it: Have you heard of this saying? Sometimes simply going through the motions of the day helps you find motivation to move forward again. Eventually something clicks and you feel better again, rejuvenated even!
  • Do something simple that brings you joy: A way to baby step your way into your day… find something simple and easy to do that also helps you move toward your goals. You can’t find the motivation to workout? Go on Pinterest and look at all the healthy living pins or read some blogs on the specific topic. You can’t find the motivation to work? Make a list of something related to your work that makes you happy.
  • Blog/Journal: Sometimes blogging or journaling helps as well, just working through your thoughts and emotions can help you process whatever has put up a “motivational roadblock” in your mind. Other times it brings to light a spark of interest in doing something you need to do because you thought of something completely new!
  • Listen to upbeat music: Listening to upbeat music, or simply your favorite music, is uplifting and inspirational! Try it sometime when your motivation is down the drain.
  • Go for a walk or exercise: Take a walk outside. The fresh air and sunshine will do you tons of good. All other types of exercise as well can help revitalize your body and mind at the same time.
  • Let loose: Act like a kid again, or simply let yourself be carefree. The release is amazing and can remind you why it’s worthwhile to just take action and live life!
  • Post on social media: The moment you post on social media that you don’t feel like doing something, you either get feedback that helps motivate you… or you feel motivated because you feel relieved, taking the pressure off. Sometimes even finding something positive to post on social media can help ignite a fire within you.

What do you personally do to get yourself motivated on a day where nothing seems appealing? I’m sure we could all use a whole arsenal of ideas to spur us to action on those days!

 

~Bonnie~

How to Spend Less Money on Clothes When Losing Weight

These aren’t mind-boggling tips that I’m about to share with you, but if you’re losing weight clothing can get really expensive and I want to share some tips that I’ve personally found helpful!

How to spend less than $100 per wardrobe while losing weight:

Number 1: Thrift Stores

Sometimes even thrift stores can be out of our price limits with $5 clothing pieces. That’s a whole lot cheaper than a brand new piece of clothing in most places, but my trick is using the sales days at thrift stores to hit the jackpot. My personal favorite is the 50% off day at Goodwill, but there isn’t one of those everywhere and I’m not sure if they have that sale at all of their locations either. However, nearly all thrift stores have a day where clothing is 20-50% off at least once a month to get people coming in. So my suggestion is to do your homework and go on those days, get as many quality pieces of clothing as you can. You might even find a brand new piece of clothing with a tag still on it for a lot cheaper than the store. I know I’ve found at least a few such pieces in the past year.

The good thing about thrift stores is they have almost every type of clothing right there, usually pretty well organized in sections. You can find shirts, pants, skirts/dresses, jackets, sweatshirts, shoes, etc. The downside, of course, is that they are nearly all used clothing. If you don’t have a problem with that after a good washing at home, then this is a great place to get your clothes. Chances are you have 2-3 different thrift stores (not all chains) in your town with sales on different days where you can hit them all and get even more bang for your buck. Also, don’t forget to go early in the day so that you have even more pieces to choose from!

Number 2: Yard Sales

Obviously, this is another choice where the clothing is used, but sometimes we can’t be choosy if we want to save money on our clothes as we lose weight. The good thing about yard sales is that you can haggle, and get the price per piece of clothing down even lower than they marked the clothes for. How much each piece of clothing is depends on the person holding the yard sale and the brand of clothing. However, you can get clothes for as little as $0.50-1 a piece when they just want to get rid of clothes. Of course, some might be as high as $5 a piece or even more expensive depending on different factors.

The downside of yard sales is it’s harder to find clothes in specific sizes unless they advertise it ahead of time, and it’s also harder finding exactly what you need if you’re looking for something specific. If you have the time and gas though, search newspaper and online ads and see who is posting sizes and/or just go out yard sale hopping!

Number 3: Clearance Racks

Now here is an option even when you don’t want something used… hit all those clearance clothing racks at various stores. Kmart and Walmart might give you more choices for less money, but Target and other stores are great as well. If you know the system they use to mark down their clothing, you could save even more money. These systems are sometimes posted online and on social media by people who used to work at these stores. I know my mom has given me tips for different stores that she’s worked at, but I can’t for the life of me remember any because I don’t go shopping often lol.

Prices vary greatly for clearance clothing as well, but you can get pieces of clothing as low as $3 and up to $15+ depending. I have actually found exercise shorts and shirts for $3 a piece at Walmart. The downside to this is it’s mostly by chance to find exactly what you’re looking for, and you get tempted by other more expensive deals on clothing around the clearance racks… which is probably exactly how they plan it!

Number 4: Store Sales

Keep track of the sales at the stores in your area. Sometimes you can find great sales and coupons in the ads! This saves a lot of money if you’re diligent! I know bigger department stores such as Kohl’s and JC Penney’s sometimes have coupons in their ads, to get a certain amount off if you spend a certain amount or more. This is more expensive as their clothing is more expensive per piece, and some have exclusions like no clearance. A lot of them will allow you to use the coupons on sales items though, so choose wisely!

Obviously with Thanksgiving coming up soon, you could also shop on Black Friday if you’re brave enough and find many deals that way as well. I’ve never done this myself but I’ve heard and seen great deals advertised for that day.

Number 5: Discount Stores

There are more and more of these types of stores popping up places: $5 a piece or less! I know one just opened in my town and before when I lived in California there was one as well. Sometimes the clothing is very cheaply made though, but it could serve it’s purpose while you’re losing weight since you only need it temporarily until the next size. However, if you want quality clothing, take a peek at these stores and try the other tips mentioned as well.

Now I’m sure I haven’t listed everything out there as I’m not a big “bargain hunter,” but these are some of the things I’ve done myself over the past year or my mom has done in her own weight loss journey. I have spent as little as $50 on each size’s wardrobe as I lost weight just by going to Goodwill’s 50% off sale a few times. I usually browse different sizes and grab a few in each size that I will be fitting into soon to be prepared for that size. I have found many cute and beautiful items there which is super motivational! Using all of these tips, you have a great chance of spending a mere $50-100 for a wardrobe that should fit you anywhere from 3 to 6 months as you are steadily losing weight.

Other tips would be to make your current clothing last longer by using a belt to hold up your pants to make it last a couple size reductions. I have also used a scrunchie/hair tie at one point to tie a baggy tee shirt to the side like the style of a long time ago, just to make it look less baggy. You could also save a little each month to do this budgeted clothes shopping or for even more expensive clothing while losing weight. Each little bit will add up and take some of the pressure off when the time comes. I personally like to look as sharp as I can in whatever clothes I am wearing: tee shirts, workout clothes, jeans, skirts, dress pants, etc. so I like having a variety and the tips above have helped me do so!

 

~Bonnie~