Wardrobe Planning for the Ups and Downs of Weight over 50

Today, I would like to discuss the wardrobes of those who experience weight ups and downs…like me.  When I began my makeover at age 50, I was about five sizes larger than I am today.  I knew the weight needed to come off and that I was beginning at a time when metabolism goes down, down, down.  I also knew to change my perspective and discover joy again, I needed to accept my body where it was and dress it for confidence.

The last 15 years have been a series of ups and downs.  It is important for my health…blood pressure, heart, etc…that I continue the downward slope!  Stress and injuries made it a challenge.  I had great success with one popular national diet that was done with processed foods, but my inflammation went up and I quickly gained the weight back.  It has only been since January that I feel as though I truly have a lifestyle change for my eating.  I just do not desire some of the “bad” foods I previously loved, and I am enjoying learning how to eat in such a way as to lose weight.  At the moment, it is the Weight Watchers App which is training me for healthy eating in such a way that I do not feel deprived.   I do not really tell anyone I am on a diet…I am changing a lifestyle.

One of the “Rules” we hear often is to not save the clothing we wore when we were smaller sizes.  Experts (whoever they are) advise to rid your closet of any clothes that do not fit, because it is depressing and demoralizing.  I did take many of them off the hangars, but the pieces I truly love…like this red jacket…I have kept in a box.  Knowing those great pieces of clothing are there does motivate me and not depress me.  I plan to shop this box first before I look for more form fitting clothing now that the weight is dropping.  A huge victory for me right now has been lower blood pressure…and wearing clothes I have missed.

Since I started the blog in 2010, there have been many weight ups and downs, but I continued to dress the body I have in flattering and fun ways…if I had not been able to have that confidence in me at different weight levels, I would have quit doing this.  I completely understand the struggles many of you go through with weight, but I do want to encourage you to persevere.  With hopeful determination, you can discover your healthy eating plan…and do not negate the importance of exercise along with it.  MOVE…no matter your size…MOVE.

I have stopped looking at charts which show me the perfect weight to be for my age and height…that is more depressing to me than having smaller clothes in the closet.  I only weigh once a week….more than that can also mess with my mind.  I make sure to keep exercising, and I add very healthy supplements to my routine.  I am finally (it took years) able to understand what stress does to me…and I am ready to say NO MORE.  Since April is Stress Awareness Month it is a good reminder to understand how it affects you!

So, my advice to you is to make a box like I have…only if it does not add more stress to you.  If the smaller clothes add stress, then donate them.  It’s fun to shop for new with a new body.  But, if it motivates you (like me) then take them off the hangar and put in a box.  Hopefully someday soon you will return to those pieces as I am able to do now.  Hang in there!  You can do this!

Please share…at what point do you get rid of the clothes which are too small?  How does it help you the most to remain positive?

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20 Comments

  1. First of all, congratulations on finding a plan that works for you, and works overall! The fact that you are on this journey motivates the rest of us to keep at it too. Thank you for being real with us and for encouraging! Probably the vast majority of women, if they are being honest, have experienced the ups an downs. For me, it’s always been a mental thing. My tough times have come due to work stress, when overall discouragement caused me to slip. Then I’d beat myself up for having to fix the issues, and for letting a job get to me. Like you, I began this new year with a new plan. I did retire from that job, and that did help (things had become toxic at work), but finding myself physically and spiritually bereft, things had to change. They have changed. The clothes…for me, it’s the larger clothes that I’m dealing with. I’m afraid to give them away, so I need to have confidence that I’m living a different lifestyle now, one where exercise plays a much bigger role, and eating habits have great improved. (Just don’t wave a bag of Cheetos at me…!) Last week I packed up the bigger things and hauled them to the car for Goodwill. I haven’t taken them yet! Those “what ifs” still tug at my mind. It seems to take the most time dealing with the mental issues, having a strong enough belief in myself that things really have changed and I’m living a new way. Like you said, it’s important for our physical well-being as we get older to make the better choices. That motivates me. It is also motivating to read your story and how this is working for you! On we go!!

    1. I am going to take a bold step here, Karen and encourage you to take the clothes to Goodwill soon! That chapter of your life is over. A new chapter has begun full of excitement and possibilities!! Close that chapter and take the clothing… oh and make sure you get a receipt!! ?

  2. I’m glad you are encouraging your readers experiencing weight changes to keep the favourites tucked away. Four years ago, we made a move halfway across the country and while that was already making me sad, I could not make the decision to part with my too-small clothes. After following a healthy regime for 10 months now, dropping weight and blood pressure, I am happy to rediscover that wardrobe. It is motivating and even more so to follow your tips on styling my classic choices. It’s even more fun than shopping. I have a couple of happy events to plan for this year and my new confidence is making the planning exciting as I celebrate my healthier self.

    1. Yeah, Colleen! Congratulations! I do agree about how much fun it is to once again re-discover clothes we love! I am like you and so happy I saved some of these. Thanks for sharing.

  3. As we say around here – Pam you are an ENCOURAGER! That has to be one of your Spiritual gifts, because you are so real, humble and sincere when you talk about these things….You truly want to help others and it shows! Following you, I never get the “Look at me! Aren’t I fabulous! Aren’t I stylish and trendy and smart!” vibe I have gotten from other bloggers. Your warmth and humor shine through in all your posts – whether you are blogging about the psychology of losing weight and getting fit or ……mosquitoes! Personally, I have recently given up sugar. It was part of a “fast and pray” effort – giving up something that was a huge part of my daily life in order to focus on my spiritual walk. Some might say – “Well, that’s not really giving up anything”- BUT – let me be honest – Sugar was like Nicotine to me ….. Sweet tea was my water! (Not “ice tea” – we make it with pure cane sugar down here!) No dessert, snacks, jelly, yogurt (nearly freaked when I saw how much sugar was in that!)…..It was very hard for just a little while, but suddenly it was okay! The PRAYING part helped me with that! 🙂 I also drink water like crazy now – and my husband and daughter both told me they can see a difference in my face! It was like I was bloated before and now my face looks like it “used to” – their words. I haven’t changed anything else – but I’ve lost about 10 lbs now. This has been so exciting for me, that I’m encouraged to cut back on other things and with the nice Spring weather, start walking again. Lifestyle changes are HARD…. but it’s nice to have friends on the journey! Be blessed!

    1. Oh Shirley…you made my day! Try adding bread as your next move. I kickstarted doing WW by giving up sugar and gluten for about five weeks…it really is amazing how that bloated look goes away. Occasionally I miss ice cream but don’t miss sugar as much as I thought I would. Thanks so much for sharing and encouraging ME!

  4. gurrrl, you look great in that outfit! congratulations on your evolving outlook and your new, healthy lifestyle.

    about 10 years ago i lost 50 lbs using weight watchers and have managed to keep the weight off, altho with a few ups and downs over the years. i hope you have continued success.

  5. My weight loss journey mimics yours, Pam. I can honestly say, though, that I don’t allow others to judge me for it, and I don’t accept the popular stereotype of laziness or sloppiness. It took me years to get to that mental place, sadly. One of the things that bothers me, though, is when people talk about “investment dressing.” I never feel I can do that because my weight fluctuates so much. I do employ three strategies: first, I wear a lot of knits and cardigans. They can span a weight loss or gain of almost two sizes. Second, I make sure I’m well stocked on basics in a couple of sizes. Most importantly, I use accessories -scarves, shoes and statement jewelry- almost as the foundation of my look, rather than as the finishing touch. As in, I get out a scarf I haven’t worn in a while and build my outfit around that. I keep two Rubbermaid tubs for favorite pieces that don’t fit, and resist the urge to add to that number.

  6. Congratulations! Keep up the good effort! Love WW as it is the only way I have ever found to lose weight and still live a sane life.
    Since we live in a condo with very limited storage I do not have the luxury of holding on to things that no longer work for me. Lucky you !

    1. I agree…it does help me live a sane life! And I do not feel deprived! That is huge for me. Thanks for sharing!

  7. You look fab in this outfit, from top to bottom, Pamela; you’re incorporating all the “slimming” aspects…one color vertically along with the “V” of the necklace then that pop of perfect red jacket…you look amazing! Congratulations on achieving such wonderful results with your eating plan…you made it happen…(((: )

  8. I’m using Weight Watchers also, since I wanted to eat more real food, not everything from a box. I’m halfway to my goal.
    I did keep some smaller clothes & they are starting to fit, which is really nice.
    Since I still have a ways to go, I’m not buying many new pieces yet.
    Congratulations on your weight loss!

  9. Hi Pam, love your jacket! I feel like I have lived your life, which is why I love your blog so much. As another reader commented, you are real! I have always been on a weight journey but never let it interfere with my lifestyle, actually even at a size 18, I always thought I looked good. I wore stylish clothes and accessorized with scarfs and earrings. Not to mention I live 40 minutes from an awesome Eileen Fischer outlet! Hitting my 50’s and life changes did a number on me both psychologically and physically. It seems that overnight I morphed into my mother’s body, lost my self-esteem, and self worth. Two years ago I gave away all of my “skinny” clothes thinking I would never loose the weight. Now, 80 lbs thinner (through a nutritionist and dr) I am enjoying a new healthier me, as well as a new wardrobe, I am building it up slowly and buying only what I really love. I do not want a closet full of stuff any more. Just as I am learning mindful eating, I am learning mindful shopping! Now if I would only exercise more………….I guess that will be phase 2 of my lifestyle change. Betty

  10. I’m glad you didn’t get rid of this jacket! The shorter, more fitted style makes you look pounds thinner than the long, boxier jackets you often style. Thanks for showing how to look thinner without weight loss.

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