EDITOR'S NOTE: Guest blogger Cynthia Parrott is a busy working woman who manages to find the time for fitness, diet and the writing of great advice for health-conscious women.
"Oh, my goodness! I had no idea I was THIS heavy!"
Have you ever been completely shocked to see a recent photo of yourself or to maybe catch a glimpse of your reflection in a store window?
Well-meaning friends soothe you by saying the camera always adds 10 pounds or the shop windows are making you look bigger than you really are.
You wish it were true, but... in reality, cameras and reflections really don't lie. Face it: You've gained weight and you have no idea how it snuck up on you like this!
Extra weight seems to just creep up on you until one day you are suddenly overweight and miserable. No one goes to bed skinny and wakes up 20 pounds heavier the next morning.
But it sure seems that way. So, how does this happen?
Two reasons: You hide it and you ignore it!
With that in mind, here are two very simple "stay-slim secrets" to insure that weight gain won't sneak up on you ever again.
Secret #1: Pay Attention to Your Clothes!
When the waistband on your favorite jeans seems a bit too tight, this is a telltale sign that you need indulge a little less often. You can blame it on the clothes dryer or monthly bloating for only so long.
If you are wriggling, squirming and fighting to squeeze into your jeans, then lying on the bed to zip them up, you have put on weight! The time to adjust your diet is NOW!
Little things mean a lot. Eliminate desserts, eat more fresh fruit and veggies, and cut back on bread. Do whatever it takes to zip up those jeans effortlessly.
Most of us don't do this, however. Almost every woman I know has a closet full of clothes in different sizes. It's easier to slip into a larger outfit than it is to wedge yourself into the smaller one.
Never, ever keep larger sizes of ANYTHING in your closet. Keep only the size you wear now and -- if you need to lose weight -- keep clothes that are one size smaller as incentive. Give everything else away!
Each time you shrink a size, take all those clothes that are now too big for you and donate them to charity. Get rid of the big sweatshirts, bulky sweaters and extra-large tunic tops, too. They hide too much and trick you into believing you really haven't gained weight.
You might be bulging out of the pants you are wearing, but toss on a large, long sweater and you can still look good. This is called "hide mode." Don't do it.
The same goes for sweatpants or anything with an elastic waistband. Elastic stretches with you and allows you to eat more, gain more, and yet still feel comfortable.
Keep one pair of sweatpants for exercise ONLY! As soon as you are done with your workout, take them off and put your jeans back on. If you are uncomfortable because they are tight, try to wear them anyway. This is the best incentive to say NO to that second serving of pie!
Secret #2: Invest in a Full-Length Mirror!
When was the last time you really got a good full-length view of yourself? If you saw yourself coming and going a little more often, perhaps those unwanted pounds wouldn't pile on so easily.
Do you dress in front of the mirror over your dresser and only catch half a view of what you really look like? Some women I know NEVER look at anything more than their reflection in the bathroom mirror as they apply makeup and style their hair. All they ever see is their face and shoulders.
This is how you ignore weight gain. If you don't see it, it isn't there.
You can't actually see the "muffin top" over your pants so, even though you might feel it, it really doesn't exist.
Get a full-length mirror and hang it in a place where you will need to walk past it several times a day. Look at your reflection in the mirror, turn to the side to see your profile, and check out your rear-view often as well.
Get dressed in front of the mirror. Better yet: hang it in the bathroom. You will definitely notice any excess pounds if you get a glimpse of yourself stepping out of the shower every morning!
A full-length mirror serves two purposes: to help you see any weight you might have gained and to remind you of how great you look while you are losing it or when you finally achieve your goal!
Regardless of whether you want to lose a few pounds or just maintain your figure, these simple secrets can help you win your battle with weight once and for all.
About Cynthia: I am a Certified Holistic Health and Nutritional Counselor. My company is Metamorphosis Consulting and I have been in private practice for over 10 years. I believe we can completely transform our lives by nourishing our bodies, our minds, and our spirits. It is my desire to help others achieve their health and nutritional goals, their personal goals, and to live the life they have always dreamed of. Learn more at www.truemetamorphosis.org and www.cyndaily.com.