Dress For Success: The Clothing – Mood Connection

Its no secret that I am a stay-at-home mom, but I also run a few family businesses. Luckily all these “jobs” require a very casual wardrobe. And by casual, I mean sweats, tee shirts, jeans, tennis shoes, baseball caps on days when I don’t have time to do my hair… etc.

Fridays are generally my day off from my project management role, so I will run a few errands and get sh*# done.  This Friday, I had an appointment so I dressed fairly professionally. After the appointment I ran a few errands. It was the strangest thing. Every person I encountered was really nice. Not to say that people aren’t usually nice, but each store clerk was more than friendly and helpful. Strangers were saying HI, it was a great day. Maybe because it was Friday??? Maybe because I didn’t look like homeless person or gym rat casing the joint.

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Okay, so I am a little obsessed with Robin Wright and House of Cards

Clothes have their own way of communicating, and how a person dresses can speak volumes about self-identification, image, and personality.  Clothing choices can inspire confidence in others, and play a part in that oh so important first impression (no flip flops on the job interview).

We hear it all the time, don’t judge a book by its cover, but clothes make the man (and woman),so dressing for success may be the winner in this debate, and a great excuse to go buy something new.

Clothing is important for self-esteem, since it can allow us to feel more assertive, confident, and comfortable in a given situation. And research suggests that individuals with low self-esteem can use appearance to help restore their self-confidence .

Because clothes and mood are inter-related, different types of clothing can be either positive or negative, so a wardrobe can be the secret to looking good and feeling great. Emotions are attached to clothes, and what we wear can be a great mood boosting tool, or even a mood masking one (feeling blue, a bright red shirt may be just the way to go).  

Whether a millennial or octogenarian, clothes can gear up a person’s mood with a new style, comfort factor, nice fabric quality, print, color, brand, and even a great fit.  Dressing for success can not only boost self-confidence, but can even make an individual seem more trustworthy; no one wants to be greeted by a doctor in shorts and a tank top.  And women are more likely to remember a man’s attire, so men take note; it’s time to polish up that look in order to meet the hottie at the bar, the gym, or the next cubicle over.  

Dress for success to boost self-confidence and take control of the message that those clothes are sending.  And as Mark Twain says — naked people have little or no influence on society.

The Foolproof Way To Get Back On Track When You Blow Your Diet

I was at the gym today on the treadmill listening to the two guys next to me lament about their ups and downs of weight loss. One of the guys had lost over 100 pounds several different times, which also means that he has gained over 100 pounds several times.

There is nothing as overwhelming as seeing that scale start to creep up. It happens to everyone, but how far you let the creep continue is up to you.

Scale creep happens because of the small, daily decisions, ones that you thought were just a big dinner, or a skipped workout were explained away in your mind as isolated incidents. But they are not. The little things add up, and they can add up fast if you don’t pay attention.

Gaining weight back is a similar path to how you took the weight off. When you lost one or two pounds a week, you made daily accountability decisions and choices that resulted in weight loss. Maybe it was your daily or weekly weigh-in on the scale, maybe it was your big salad for lunch, or pulling out your jeans to see if they fit yet. All of those little changes, those small decisions added up to your weight loss.

Gaining weight back follows a similar pattern. Remember, you didn’t lose the weight in a measured exact way of three pounds per week every week, and you don’t gain it the same way. It usually starts with one little trigger.

The Fourth of July bash and your birthday only a week apart … YIKES. One little trigger, for example an over the top meal: a big steak, baked stuffed potato, a little of the crab appetizer and the chocolate cheesecake, topped with drink after drink in celebration. You feel so lethargic the next day, which I call a food hangover, that you break your normal oatmeal/blueberry morning and you have a cup of coffee and a croissant just to function the next day and curb your food withdrawal.

Since you “messed up” breakfast, you say “screw” it to lunch and have the pizza you’ve been missing. Once you’ve had the pizza for lunch, you think, might has well have the fried chicken for dinner because I’ve totally blown it. What’s one more meal?

Maybe your scale ran out of batteries and you don’t have that accountability that you’ve been so diligent about when you lost weight. You just stop weighing in because you no longer have your scale. Two weeks go by and you’re so scared of seeing what that number will be, you go another week without weighing in. Three weeks turn into four and the pounds continue to pile on.

It can be as simple as wearing comfy sweats for 4 days in a row. They feel so big and roomy, that you eat an extra muffin and you think, wow, I must be doing great because everything still fits! (I’ve done that one myself, many times, then I finally “wake up”, pull up my jeans and say, ughh!!!! What was I thinking!?!??).

It’s all those little decisions, the same daily decisions you made when you were losing weight, that result in adding the pounds back.

The most FOOLPROOF to get back on track is to commit to one good day.

If one good day seems overwhelming , commit to one good meal. Just one. If you have already blown breakfast, then make your lunch your “on track” option … something that will give you energy, make you feel great, and give you the confidence that you can do it. Often, just one positive decision, one good lunch, one good run, can give you the jolt you crave to shake it up and get you back on the track of losing the weight. You don’t drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there. Get out of the water and get back on track!

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