Friday, September 5, 2008

A Slimmer You

Sometimes it takes several pounds before it looks to anyone else like you've lost weight. I had been calorie counting at least two full months and had lost 10-pounds before my husband noticed I'd lost any! Part of that is because our bodies are going to lose where they wish to. Spot reducing, which gyms and spas touted in the 80s, isn't possible. Just because you want to lose weight in your hips and thighs, doesn't mean that's where it's going to happen first. But the illusion of a slimmer you is possible.

I've mentioned here before that simply standing straighter can take 10-pounds off your appearance because your clothes will actually hang better on you, and you will exude more confidence. But standing straighter is only half of what you can do to look better. Try pulling in your stomach. I know it sounds like something you would have heard in a 1950s health film along with seeing women standing on those old vibrating belt machines, but it's true. Try pulling in your stomach for more than a few seconds and see how it feels. If you're not used to it, it will feel like you've finished a mini workout after only a short time. Better yet, see how it looks. Because today's materials stretch and our clothes are not the restrictive attire of our mothers, we have let our bodies relax over the years to the point where our bellies stick out. If you were to watch yourself on a hidden camera, it's very possible you wouldn't like what you saw. You might even think it was someone else! When we dress in the morning, we tend to stand straighter and pull in our stomachs just for those few minutes we're looking in the mirror. The moment we walk out the door, our stomachs poke out and we slump our way to the car or bus. It's not an attractive sight and worse yet, it ages us. We certainly don't want to look any older and heavier than we are, do we?

Here's an idea: while sitting at your desk, try to hold in your stomach for the amount of time you're typing an email, or for the amount of time you're talking on the phone. Try to go as long as you can. What usually happens if you're not used to it, is that 15 minutes later you realize you forgot about it 30-seconds into the exercise! It takes some concentration. Try again. Here's another idea: when you're in the grocery store, see if you can remember to hold in your stomach while walking down one entire aisle of the store as you shop. Relax as you walk down the next aisle, and then pull in that stomach again around the third. If you do this over and over, by the end of the day, you'll feel like you've been doing sit-ups. And that's part of the benefit. You'll not only look good while you're doing it, but the mere action gives your stomach muscles a bit of a workout and you'll actually tighten them over time. Looking better makes you feel better. And feeling better makes you look better. It's a great trade off and it takes no special clothes or equipment. Try it!

No comments: