Squeezing into jeans

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"Body image can be externally influenced—by a number on a scale or an image in a mirror—but it's also affected by physical sensations like discomfort," says McGonigal. When you wear clothes in the smaller size that you want to be (or once were), the feeling of constriction sends a constant signal to your brain that you're not thin enough. This isn't an appeal for elastic waistbands ("Looking like a schlump won't do much for your body image either," McGonigal says) but for clothes that are both elegant and comfortable—in the size you are now.