*Our outer appearance is important to us, to some more than others, but needless to say as a woman i like my face to look clean and smooth. As an adult i have realized that my skin breaks out more than when i did when i was a teen, i normally don’t venture out into a lot of new products, since i have very sensitive skin and everything makes me break out. But i got this great free sample at my local Walgreens Pharmacy and i tried it. I loved it, my skin felt so refreshed, smooth, and most of all no break out’s. Yeah!!! I give it 2 thumbs up! What products do you like?
*MY 2014 OSCAR TOP PICKS*
12 Years a Slave
Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Actress in a Leading Role
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Actor in a Supporting Role
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Actress in a Supporting Role
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Animated Feature Film
Despicable Me 2
Gravity, Emmanuel Lubezki
American Hustle, Michael Wilkinson
American Hustle, David O. Russell
Music, Original Song
“Let It Go” from Frozen
Best Adapted Screenplay
12 Years a Slave
Best Original Screenplay
Sooooo working in an office, i have the flexibility to wear pretty much anything from casual to super dressy, except 2 Friday’s a month that we have Dress Down day,Jeans here i come (lol)… The ladies in the office were talking to me about the fact that i rarely repeat the same clothes and one of their big questions was “How can we look professional, without always wearing a BLAZER”… MMMhhhh so after much thinking, and shopping! I came up with some other awesome ways to look Professional without wearing “The Blazer”..Here are my ideas, you ladies and gents can tell me what you think. Gracias
Did you know that in 2013 the latest statistics stated that, the average woman’s size in America is a 12/14. That being said recently I have lost 52 pounds and went from a size 18 to a 10-12. Believe it or not I’m finding it harder to buy jeans now than before are they to tight, to long, to short, to baggie etc. Being this smaller size is great but mentally and emotionally speaking i still see that chunky girl in the mirror, and that is the psychology of weight loss. So I did some research and I gathered some great ideas and information about plus size and curvy jeans.
1) Were are the Pockets?
This is easily the biggest issue with all jeans, and the problem is only magnified in the plus-sized jean world. It is critical to the health of all jeans.
Here are the keys to proper pocket placement:
a. Proportionally sized pockets
b. Correctly Placed Pockets – covering the bottom curvature of the butt
c. Width between pockets – minimize as much as possible.
Proportionally sized pockets are a must – if you have a larger butt, you need larger pockets achieve butt balance. If you have a smaller butt, you need smaller pockets to prevent butt flattening. Basically, you want the pocket to properly cover your butt, but not over cover your butt.
Your pockets should come down an inch or two PAST the bottom curvature of your butt to prevent Long Butt, cover to the sides of your butt to prevent Elbow Butt, and have as little room as possible between the pockets to prevent Wide Butt.
2) Leg Width
Many people assume that the bigger the leg opening, the smaller the body will appear. This is definitely not the case. Although I hardly ever recommend a stick-to-your-ankle skinny jean for anyone, a narrower leg tends to slim, where a bulky leg can weigh you down and shorten your legs. Also, it should be noted that the term “Skinny Jean” has come encompass a vast range of leg opening widths, from a jegging that clings to every curve and dimple, to what used to be called a straight cut or barely boot.
3) Fabric Color and Fading
As a rule, darker jeans are almost always more flattering. They minimize, streamline, and cover over a multitude of cellulite. However, this is just a rule. If a light pair happens to look really good, go with it. Also, don’t be afraid of color. I personally was very frightened by it for a long time, but have recently come around.
4) How does it fit?
Jeans should be fitted but not clinging. I use the back of the thigh and the butt to determine all good fits.
Don’t have a saggy butt, but definitely don’t have The Upside-Down Heart Crack Cling. Make sure that your thighs are fitted to the point that the denim wrinkles finely and horizontally, but are not so tight that your leg is squishing out from between the wrinkles. And finally, I urge you to find an honest friend to shop with you, because you literally cannot see your own butt. The right jeans can be a miracle for your body.
Learn the different shaped of denim. Overall, there are generally five styles, with variances to those, depending on what is trending at the moment. They are:
Boot Cut- this universal cut skims the thigh, with a slight opening, breaking at the knee
Skinny- this fashion forward denim skims the thigh, and remains fitted through the calf and ankle
Straight Leg- Similar to a boot cut and a skinny, this style is wider than a skinny leg opening and relaxed yet not as flared as a boot cut.
Wide leg- oftentimes referred to as a trouser jean, this denim is fitted at the waist and through the seat, and starts to flare at the top of your thigh, and continues to flare throughout
Flare leg- this denim usually is extremely fitted through the thigh and significantly flared out, more so than a boot cut.
This refers to where the denim hits on your waist. This is the length of the fabric from the crotch seam to the top of the waistband. Knowing the rise of your denim will help deter plumbers crack or muffin top, can elongate the legs, and enhance the rear.
High Rise- At over eleven inches these jeans traditionally cover the belly button. You will find this at or above the waistline.
Natural Rise- Regular rise jeans sit between nine to eleven inches. The waistband sits right at or below the belly button.
Low Rise- Can vary around eight inches, but vary an inch up or down. Expect this jean to sit around two-three inches below the belly button.
Super Low Rise- No more than a seven inch rise and varies from there. The rise can go as low as three inches above the crotch
*Spandex and Lycra*
The magic of denim and its ability to hug to your curves is the blending of both Spandex and Lycra. The use of either one of these is what gives the denim its stretch.
- The optimal level of spandex should range 1 to 4 percent
- 100% cotton denim takes less time to wear in than stretch denim
- The higher the percentage of spandex or Lycra, the more likely the denim will lose its shape
- Regular denim lasts much longer as the elastic fibers are more prone to breakage
Give me your thoughts on this article, thx email@example.com
I don’t wear makeup very often, but as i reached the young age of (20+15). I have realized a little foundation and lip gloss really do go a long way. But no one ever really showed me how to wear makeup or eyeliner or blush so i wanted to share this great resource on how to apply make up, you might know how to do it already if not i hope this helps. If you have great ideas please let me know. Gracias
Step 1: Corrector/Concealer
First, neutralise darkness with a pink or peach-toned corrector. Apply with a brush to the deepest or darkest area to prepare for concealer. Next, choose yellow-based shades of concealer and layer them over the corrector underneath the eye up to the lash line and on the innermost corner of the eye. Blend by patting with your fingers. Last, apply pale yellow or white powder with a brush or puff to set the concealer in place.
Step 2: Foundation
To find the perfect foundation shade, swatch a few shades on the side of the face and forehead and check the colours in natural light. The shade that disappears is the right one. Use a brush, sponge or fingers to apply foundation where the skin needs to be evened out – around the nose and mouth where there is often redness. For full, all-over coverage, use a brush, sponge or fingers to apply and blend foundation to the outer edge of the face. To cover blemishes, spot-apply foundation stick or blemish cover stick in a shade that matches the skin tone exactly. Pat with your finger to blend. Repeat if necessary.
Step 3: Powder
For crease-free and long wear, apply loose powder in a pale yellow tone (or white if you are very fair) over concealer using an eye blender brush or a mini powder puff. Apply powder in the correct shade for your skin tone to the rest of the face using a powder puff or powder brush.
Step 4: Blusher
Smile and apply a natural shade of blush on the apples of cheeks. Blend up towards the hairline, then downward to soften the colour. For long-lasting results, layer a pop of brighter blusher on top. For an extra glow, dust a shimmer powder on the cheekbones with a face blender brush, or use a creamy formula applied with your fingers.
Step 5: Lipstick
Start with clean, smooth lips. Neutral lipstick shade and sheer formulas can be applied directly from the tube. Use a lip brush to apply darker or brighter colours, which require precise application
Step 6: Lip Liner
To achieve natural-looking definition and to keep clear of feathering around the mouth, line lips with a lip liner after applying lip color. Use a lip brush to soften and blend any hard edges.
Step 7: Eyeshadow
Sweep a light eyeshadow colour from the lash line to the brow bone. Dust a medium eyeshadow colour on the lower lid, up to the crease. Apply contour colour if needed to the fleshy part of the lid as a correction and to add depth to the eye.
Step 8: Eyebrows
Define brows using shadow or pencil in the colour of your eyebrows and
hair. To apply shadow begin at the inner corner of the brow and follow
its natural shape using light, feathery strokes.
Step 9: Eyeliner
Line the upper lash line with a dark shadow colour. Apply damp or dry. After lining the upper lash line, look straight ahead to see if there are any gaps that need to be filled in.
Step 10: Mascara
When applying mascara, hold the mascara wand parallel to the floor and brush from the base of the lashes to the tips. Roll the wand as you go to separate the lashes and avoid clumps. Always apply two to three coats.
So i have officially let out my natural kinky hair (lol). In doing this i have discovered that my hair although fabulous is dry and its not so easy to manage as when i blow dry and go.So i did some research on products, hair care and what, who and the how’s of kinky curly hair. Here is some great information and i wanted to share it with you. I’m also positing pictures of all of the hair care products that i use and no i don’t use them all at the same time lol. How do you work with your hair? What products do you use?
*************************************************************************************************How to Care for Your Curly Hair
1. Ditch The Heat. Heat Styling Tools such as Flat Irons And Curling Irons do nothing but damage your locks and, turn your hair into a dry, brittle, unhealthy mess since you are basically frying your hair when using them. So the first thing you should do is get your split ends cut off, you can get this done at your local hair stylist of even do it yourself if you dare.
2. Don’t wash your hair every day. You may think that its good for your hair to wash it daily. But when you wash your hair daily, your actually stripping it of its natural oils resulting in it being dry and frizzy. Curly hair requires a lot more moisture than straight hair so its actually quite bad for it to be washed daily, you should only be washing your hair 2-4 times a week. You can condition your hair between washes if you like.
3. Find The Right Shampoo And Conditioner. You may not think it matters much about what shampoo and conditioners you use. Well it actually does. The type of shampoo and conditioner you use has a big impact on your hair. Everyone’s hair has different needs, so the type of shampoo and conditioner you use all relies on personal choice and what you feel leaves your hair looking and feeling its best. If you are on a swim team, etc and swim in a chlorinated pool regularly you should be using a clarifying shampoo and conditioner as the chlorine in the pool can be harmful to your hair.
4.When Conditioning your hair, apply the conditioner starting about an inch down from the root all the way down to the tips of your hair, don’t apply too much conditioner because this can result in your hair being greasy, just apply enough so that your hair is feeling silky and smooth. Wait about 1-3 minutes before rinsing the conditioner out of your hair, during this time brush your hair with your fingers until most of the knots are out, then use a WIDE TOOTHED COMB working up from the tips to the roots so your hair doesn’t get damaged.
5. You should deep condition your hair at least once a week to keep it hydrated.There are many deep conditioning treatments available.
6. Detangle your hair now. As a curly haired girl, hopefully you already know that unless it’s halloween and you’re in need of an afro, you should avoid brushing your hair when its dry because it will just go POOF ! Use a detangling spray on any knots, and carefully work through them with your fingers or a wide toothed comb, DO NOT USE A NORMAL BRUSH because this will cause breakage to your hair.
7. Avoid Towel Drying The Hair. When you scrub at your strands with the towel, this causes friction which increases the amount of frizz in your hair when its dry. While in the shower, gently wring your hair to get some of the water out of it. To avoid your hair being dripping wet, wrap it up in a towel on top of your head for about 5-10 minutes.
8. If you’re in a hurry and have no time to let your hair air dry, use a diffuser (blow-dryer attachment), because we all know that a hairdryer is a curly haired girls worst nightmare, because it simply makes your hair go POOF! While pointing the diffuser in the direction of the curl, hold the curl in your hand and gently squeeze it while drying, however you should not be using a hair blower in your hair too often, and when you do make sure to use a heat protectant.
9. Do not cake on the hair product all at once. As you should know its best to apply products while your hairs still damp, however you should not be putting layer upon layer of different products on your hair, because like us, our curls need to breathe, too many products in your hair will just cause greasiness and frizz, it is recommended you only use about 1-4 products in your hair, and make sure that you wait about 3-5 minutes between applying products so the product you just used has time to set into your hair. A great method of applying product to your hair is by gently scrunching it in, this stops your curls from becoming flat.
10.Use the right products. Curls are prone to frizz, to prevent this frizz you should use an Anti-Frizz serum. Also to add extra shine to your hair and help in the repair process a great product to use is the Organix coconut milk. If you want to add a little more moisture to your hair you can apply a leave in conditioner. You don’t necessarily have to buy expensive high end hair treatments to keep your hair looking good, there are some great products available at drugstores and target that work amazingly.
11. Curling Mousse and Gels are great products for giving your curls definition and for creating those scrunched beachy waves. However if too much gel/mousse is used it can give your hair that stiff, crunchy feeling, so make sure to apply the right amount and distribute it evenly by scrunching it through your hair. Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly Line has a great range of styling products such as mousse and gels that work wonders without making your hair crunchy and smelly.
12. Shape the hair by scrunching it some more and twirling pieces around a finger.
*SO THIS WEEK I WAS WATCHING THE BIGGEST LOOSER AND THEIR WAS A BIG CONTROVERSY, WITH THE WINNER, SHE WAS A BIG GIRL AND LOST SO MUCH WEIGHT, BUT THE QUESTION WAS DID SHE LOOSE TO MUCH? WAS SHE TO THIIN? I DID NOT LIKE THOSE COMMENTS I THINK SHE LOOKS GREAT AND SHE WAS AN ATHLETE BEFORE SHE LOST THE WEIGHT WHO ARE WE TO SAY WHAT IS TO SKINNY? I FOUND THIS GREAT ARTICLE ON PSYCHOLOGY TODAY AND I WANTED TO SHARE IT WITH YOU*
*A Positive Take on Losing Weight*
For the majority of my adult life, I rarely stepped on a scale, and thought about weight even less. So I was rather surprised when, after about 5 years, I did my most recent check-in. The first scale I tried was clearly broken, saying I was up about 25 pounds from the last time I weighed myself.
But then, the second one said the same thing. And so did the third. The following days, weeks, and months of embracing the reality of my weight gain and slowing metabolism– and my commitment to turning around both– have been fascinating, empowering, and fun.
That’s the response I’ve heard time and again since I began this journey a little over a month ago, a response that gets more emphatic as the pounds continue to fall away (currently up to, or rather, down, 10).
Seeing people’s shock, I realized how differently I view weight and self-image and therefore, what an opportunity it could be to share my experience. Particularly at this time of year, when eating and weight are brought into such sharp, and not necessarily healthy, focus.
Having not weighed myself for so long, my initial reaction was denial. I was healthy, happy, felt great about myself, and looked good (I’m one of those people who carries weight well).
Yet even after I accepted the reality of the situation– little aches and pains had started to creep in, the dry cleaner couldn’t shrink all of my clothes that much, certain pictures revealed that I didn’t carry weight thatwell– I still had a hard time dropping the pounds. Something was in the way, and I wasn’t sure what it was.
After a couple of months, I finally figured it out. While I wanted to lose the weight, there was a larger commitment I was tenaciously holding to: the belief that I shouldn’t have to, that my metabolism shouldn’t be slowing down, and that I should be able to continue eating whatever I want.
In essence, I believed that I shouldn’t have to deal with what everyone else on the planet does: Reality. For years, I’ve written about reward theory: why we never achieve our goals so long as there is a larger one to which we– consciously or otherwise– are attached. So the realization that I was reward theory’s new and best posted child, was, to say the least, bittersweet.
Much as I wanted to lose the 25 pounds, believing that I shouldn’t have to was more powerful. And so the weight piled on. And stayed. Finally aware of this underlying belief, I had a decision to make: pride or humility. Choosing the latter, I felt a sense of empowerment return as I re-framed my relationships with health, aging, and weight loss into more positive ones. I started dancing and working out, ate more healthily, and made a game out of weekly-weigh ins. And soon after, the results– rather than the reward structures I’d been holding onto– began to speak for themselves.
Recognizing and shifting any dis-empowering notions about weight and health are important first steps. But there are larger issues at play in our culture with which weight is so often inexorably intertwined: Self-image, self-confidence, and self-worth.
Having spent my life in the music business, I have and continue to see the close ties between notions of appearance, weight, and worth. While certainly exacerbated by industry specific demands, they are in fact a reflection of the larger culture. The rates of eating disorders, self-mutilation, shame, suicidal thoughts, and self-loathing are and have for too long been on the rise, particularly in young people.
A proper and comprehensive look at the reasons behind these increases would require another article, and thankfully, many terrific ones have been written on the subject. And the majority at least touch upon a common issue: that imposed, scarcity-based, and even unhealthy notions of beauty set often impossible standards which people are then conditioned to try and achieve.
Couple these standards with the billions spent on advertising and marketing each year, as well as our hyper-sexualized and often shame-based media culture, and it’s no surprise that personal as well as physical confidence begin to wane. Constantly bombarded by and comparing themselves to the air brushed and buffed images staring back from movies and the pages of magazines, people see themselves as falling short in more than the physical sense.
Knowing Who You Really Are
While a worthy cause, the battle for a healthier media culture is an uphill one. Advertisers are well aware of social psychology, including the profitability of attraction, competition, and the quest for perfection.
Fortunately, we can undo the expensive work of advertisers by beginning a conversation about the true nature of self and what it is that defines who we are. So who are you? Who are you if not your body? If not your hair, your face, the approval of others… the skin and bones that move you through the world?
You are the precious and glorious being within that external shell: Your heart. Your soul. Your spirit. Your curiosity. Your passion, hopes, and dreams. Your ability to love. Your desire to make a difference.
This is who you are, who we all are. Time will certainly change the shape and nature of our appearance; tragedy and illness often contort how we once looked. Yet neither matter; none of these changes diminish who we are.
Like so much of life’s wisdom, only in letting go do we gain what it is we wish for. Having long ago realized that who I am is not a function of my body, I have been able to enjoy and appreciate it in any state and at any weight, and now, to play with the latter. To effortlessly and joyfully renew and fulfill my commitment to my health, rather than resist or remain stubbornly and insecurely attached to ideas of how I should look.
This is my hope for each of you. To look past the messages of the media and to see yourselves with a sense of appreciation, wonder, gratitude, and love. You are not your body. You are so much more than it could ever contain. Know this, and an extraordinary relationship with your body– as well as with your true self– finally becomes possible.
Jennifer Hamady is a voice coach and counselor specializing in emotional issues that interfere with self-expression. Click here to learn more about her book: The Art of Singing: Discovering and Developing Your True Voice, heralded as a breakthrough in the psychology of personal and musical performance.
*Here are my personal ideas on how to save money when buying clothes*
1. Figure out precisely when to hunt for bargains. Your favorite stores will have several big sales throughout the course of the year. With a minimal amount of advance planning, you can time things so you shop only during the best sales. If you don’t feel like monitoring the ads in your local newspaper, call the stores directly and ask for details.
2. Go to the back of every store. Make it a regular habit to scour those hidden-away discount racks first. You’ll find plenty of marked-down garments there, and sometimes the deepness of the discounts is shocking. Those same clothes likely were on display at full price in the front of the store just a few short months or weeks ago. Also be aware that some items come back in style. I don’t buy extreme trend items, I keep it simple but I do accessorize. So if let’s say spikes or neon are in style I may buy a belt or purse or hair bow and add that trend to my outfit.
3. Be a savvy Internet shopper. Visit the Web sites of your favorite stores and clothing catalogs and look for online-only sales. Click on any link that says “sale,” “new markdowns” or “final clearance.” It’s not at all uncommon to spot dresses or suits that used to cost $100 or more lurking in final clearance sections for $19.99 or even $9.99. If you’re really sneaky, you can try clothes on at your nearest retail store first to make sure they fit and then buy them online for less. Just make sure that excessive shipping charges won’t turn your online deal into a dud.
4. Remember outlet malls and stores. Some outlet stores offer fabulous discounts on high-quality clothing, while others sell clothing at prices higher than you’d find at regular retailers. You also may encounter merchandise produced solely for outlet stores that can be of inferior quality. All of that said, outlet stores frequently offer serious bargains on “irregular” garments, which often have defects that are barely noticeable.
5. Visit discount retailers. Have you taken a pass through the likes of T.J. Maxx, Ross Stores, Marshalls or Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, Rainbow’s lately? Lots of their clothes are nice – and inexpensive. You can find reasonably priced shoes, purses and accessories such as jewelry and watches at these stores as well. Also if these stores have apps, you can get their coupons or sales or get apps like SnipSnap. I always look to see if a particular item will be on sale, I ask the staff at the store hey when are these going on sale. Most of the times they are very nice and if that item will go on sale the next day they will hold it for 24 hours.
6. Go thrifting, shopping at thrift stores takes patience and time, so you shouldn’t go when you’re in a big hurry. But you can find beautiful suits, jackets, dresses, sweaters and other clothing there for literally pennies on the dollar. Sometimes you’ll even spot brand new clothes with the tags still attached. . Really go thrifting. So you say you’d rather get those dress pants for $1 instead of $5? Well, you probably can. Many thrift stores offer regular weekly deals that provide true shopping thrills for bargain hounds. For example, all clothes tagged with stickers of a certain color may cost 99 cents on a certain day of the week. Call up the thrift stores in your area and ask about special sales.
7. Make wise shopping decisions for kids. Buy clothes that are a little bit too big for your growing boy or girl. You can hem pants and let them out later, or roll up sleeves for a while until your child grows into that shirt. I purchase summer clothes in the winter I go 1 or 2 sizes bigger or buy items with elastic or things you can tie. I purchase their coats, boots and hats and gloves during the spring.
8. Don’t give up on the clothes you have too easily. Many ignored and abandoned items in your closet could enjoy a new life with a little bit of TLC. Coats and blazers can be relined, shoes can be resolved and small imperfections can be repaired. If you have a pair of shoes that you never wear because their soles slip too easily, use sandpaper to give them better traction. If you sew you can also alter and refresh the clothes in your closet. Or if you thrift you can buy a dress or skirt in a bigger size if you like the price or color or pattern and sew it to your body measurements.
My hair is very curly and i love it, but it does get dry and brittle, once a week i make my own DIY Natural Deep conditioning hair treatment. It makes my hair silky, soft and shiny. So here it is. I really like that its economical, natural and easy to make.
*ONCE DONE WASH AND STYLE AS USUAL. I HOPE YOU ENJOY, LET ME KNOW IF YOU DO THIS AND HOW IT WORKS OUT FOR YOU*
I have been sewing a lot lately, Joann Fabrics had a lot of fabrics on sale and clearance, i purchased a ton. This dress is a nice simple pattern i sewed elastic on the top i have not mastered sleeves yet so i sewed a simple band to the dress. Brown Oxford shoes American Eagle brand on sale only $12.30. This yellow cardigan was thrifted, shoes on sale. i love this great new Vintage coat i purchased only $12.00 it’s a 100% wool its so warm, i put a pink rose broach also thrifted. My brown Michael Kors purse. As you can see it is winter in New England
My wonderful hubby gave me a great sewing machine for Christmas and i loveeeeee it! I sewed this dress you see here, i wanted to wear red, since its still the holiday season, i like houndstooth but when i saw it in red i was sold, the fabric was on sale only $0.90 cents per yard, (Yeah). So here is my first dress it took me 4 hours from start to finish, i have a long way to go but i did get a lot of compliments at church today, shoes T.J. Maxx, tights Walgreen’s, Cardigan Top New York & Comp. Tell me what you think of this dress! Have a Blessed Day
What No One Tells You about Losing Lots of Weight
**After loosing 52 pounds people keep asking me how i feel, and coments like you look fabulous, wow look at you, and some not so nice coments. But as i was looking at myself and thinking how blessed i am to be “Thin or Skinny”, i also realized that this weigh loss comes with added weight of its own. I walk into the stores and i still look at the plus size, i see thin people and still say to myself, wow they look better than me, and no matter how great 52 pounds might be to many people, to me its still ok but not good enough. The Psychology of Weight loss is not the weight itself, but the internal process of who you are and who you become once you loose the weight. My husband tells me how beautiful i am and im sure to him i am, and i love it when he tells me, still a part of me dosent accept the fact that someone else can see “ME” and think beauty, thin, wondeful or amazing. Becuase trully and honestly at the young age of 35 im still trying to find this person evrey one else seems think is great.**
This article is amazing an i wanted to share it with you.
Just after her wedding in 2009, when she weighed 338 pounds and became determined to lose much of it, photographer Julia Kozerski embarked on a new art project. She took photos of herself in department-store dressing rooms, documenting her body’s transformation as she lost what would end up being 160 pounds.
Scroll through the series, “Changing Room,” on Kozerski’s website, and you’ll find, at first, pretty much exactly what you might expect: full-length selfies, with Kozerski’s lovely smile growing larger as her body grows smaller. It seems like a fun, empowering project: Kozerski, 29, is fond of animal prints and platform pumps that draw attention to a unicorn tattoo near her left ankle. You could literally chart the development of her confidence by the height of her hemlines. About two-thirds of the way through the series, though, two unexpected images creep in: extreme close-ups on Kozerski’s face, devastated, tear-stained. They’re jarring: What happened to the smiling, excited woman in heels?
A possible answer lies in another set of self-portraits Kozerski took inspired by her weight loss. Called “Half,” it is a series of nudes with a much more sober, even confrontational tone: These photos highlight Kozerski’s stretch marks, loose skin, stretched navel, sagging breasts. She looks, unsmiling, down at her body, or out into the distance. The “Changing Room” photos place Kozerski in the conventional story our culture tells about weight loss: the no-brainer cause and effect of “Look Great, Feel Good!,” as cheerfully suggested by People magazine’s weight-loss cover stories and The Biggest Loser‘s original theme song. The “Half” photos, by contrast, explore Kozerski’s surprise at eventually finding that happily-ever-after image lacking.
“Everything starts sagging, and you’ve got stretch marks, and clothes fit differently, you’re kind of panicking, and you’re saying, ‘Am I doing the right thing? Because this shirt doesn’t look right,’” she says. “I was very, very – I don’t want to say depressed, but I would get really down on myself about, like, ‘I’m not doing this correctly,’ or, ‘This isn’t what it’s supposed to look like.’” For Kozerski and many like her, the experience of significant weight loss is much more psychologically complex than the multi-billion-dollar diet industry, with its beaming “after” photos and promises of a new life, acknowledges. After all that work, it can be a disappointing blow to discover that bodies that have lost 50-plus pounds simply don’t look like bodies that have maintained a steady weight since reaching adulthood. (While cosmetic surgeries like those can treat loose skin, stretch marks, and sagginess, they’re also expensive, invasive, and mostly absent from the fairy-tale weight loss success stories we see depicted so often.)
“You sort of feel like someone shortchanged you on the satisfaction of things,” explains John Janetzko, a Harvard grad student who has lost 120 pounds. “I feel, oddly, more aware of everything – [like] when I lean forward, if I feel like I have any stomach fat that’s there. And it’s strange, because I’m like, ‘Well, how did this not bother me before?’ … It becomes this nagging, incessant reminder of, you did something, but maybe it wasn’t enough, maybe you should keep going.” Beyond just the surprise of a new body that still may not conform to the social standard of how a beautiful one should look, reaching a goal weight often leaves ex-dieters bewildered as to where to go from here – and upset to find that even after this tremendous accomplishment, they still aren’t completely satisfied with their bodies.
“I haven’t spoken to a single person who lost a ton of weight and didn’t have some issues with their eating habits or body image after it was done,” Janetzko says. “And I’m pretty sure if you asked them at the beginning, they all thought that it would just be magic, and they would feel better automatically when they lost the weight.” Despite now being a very lean 166 pounds at just under six feet tall (and training for a marathon!), Janetzko says he still doesn’t see a thin or fit person when he looks in the mirror. “While you’re dieting and the scale is going down, it’s incredibly motivating when you get on the scale,” explains Dr. Judith Beck, a psychologist who specializes in applying strategies of cognitive behavioral therapy to weight loss. “After you’ve been at the same weight for months and months and months and months, it’s no longer thrilling to get on the scale.” And continuing to work hard to maintain a new body that feels alien is a task even more complicated than achieving that body in the first place.
For at least some newly thin people, there’s a meta-dissatisfaction in feeling that significant weight loss has made life anything other than perfect: Any discomfort you may feel with your body is compounded by a sense of shame at not feeling unmitigated pride at a moment you expected to be triumphant. “It’s a fantasy, that when we lose weight, everything wrong in our lives is going to be right — that means our relationships are going to be right, we’re going to feel completely differently about ourselves,” says Geneen Roth, a New York Times bestselling author of books on eating who also leads retreats and workshops, and who herself lost between 60 and 70 pounds in her late twenties. “People are shocked to find out that this thing that they’ve been longing for and waiting for and working for is not what they thought it was.”
“I don’t think [it's] exclusive to large amounts of weight loss. I feel like that [dissatisfaction] often happens with people who are really successful, who have really made it,” Roth says. “And then they find that, ‘Oh, this doesn’t do what I thought it was going to do, and now I feel ashamed that I’m still unhappy.’” Even when talking about her weight loss, Kozerski says there’s no room to share the full experience – like when she went on a popular talk show to share her story. “They’re putting me in Spanx, and I’m like, ‘This is not what I want to talk about; this is not at all how I want to come out,’” she says. “I would rather put it all out there.”
“If you walk into the grocery store, you see [magazines] on display – this person lost all this weight, and now they look like this,” Janetzko says. “A rational human being would look at it and recognize, ‘Oh, okay, it’s edited.’ But you do still feel kind of guilty; like, I look at that and think, ‘Well, I lost that much weight, and I don’t look like that.’” Reps for People declined to comment for this story because an editor wasn’t available to explain some of the magazine’s choices – retouching “after” photos in weight-loss spreads, for example, or strategically hiding the kinds of unflattering features Kozerski’s work focuses on, like loose skin and stretch marks. As for The Biggest Loser, executive producer Dave Broome, reached by e-mail, argues the show’s primary emphasis is on health, not aesthetics: “When you have one foot in the grave (as many of our contestants do when coming on to the show), being concerned about what your skin might look like after you lose weight becomes a minor issue compared to dying or having a significantly shorter life span because of obesity-related issues,” he writes.
Broome also mentioned that contestants have access to psychological counseling both during and after filming. And in his view, the show doesn’t present weight loss as a shortcut to self-acceptance: “Coming on to The Biggest Loser isn’t a magic pill that fixes you for the rest of your life.” Still, it’s hard not to get that impression when you visit the website for the Biggest Loser Resort, a fitness retreat affiliated with the show: “Everyone deserves a long, rewarding life, amazing relationships with friends and family, and satisfying and productive careers,” it helpfully points out. “That all starts with a balanced, healthy lifestyle.” Which you can achieve, presumably, by losing weight.
Cultural fantasies of weight loss present a tidy, attractive proposition – lose weight, gain self-acceptance – without addressing the whole truth: that body image post-weight loss is often quite complicated. Perhaps that helps explain why the rate of recidivism among people who have lost significant amounts of weight is shockingly high – by some estimates, more than 90 percent of people who lose a lot of weight will gain it back. Of course, there are lots of other reasons: genetic predisposition towards obesity, for one. For another, someone who’s lost 100 pounds to get to 140 pounds will need to work harder – including eating much less each day – to maintain that weight than someone who’s been at it her entire life. (Tara Parker-Pope’s excellent piece “The Fat Trap” explains these physiological factors in much greater detail.) But what about the psychological? Who would be surprised if a person – contending with both a new body that looks different from the one she feels she was promised, and the loneliness of feeling there’s no way to express that disappointment – returned to the familiar comfort of overeating? At least its effects are predictable.
So how can we better prepare extreme dieters for the reality of losing so much weight? Beyond more realistic portrayals of what post-diet bodies look like, we might also do well to reduce our emphasis on numbers – on the starting weights and goal weights that define the “beginning” and “end” of weight loss. The people I spoke with who had lost significant weight either never had a goal weight in the first place, never reached it, or saw it change during the course of their diets. In Dr. Beck’s diet plan, she explains, “We define ideal weight as the weight that you get down to when you’re eating in a healthy way that you can keep up with for your whole life.”
Maybe diet culture could stand to take a page from sobriety culture, too. Just as you don’t complete the twelve steps and celebrate with a bottle of wine, the idea that extreme weight loss has an end point after which life reverts to “normal” leaves dieters with very little recourse once the thrill of weight loss has ended. For those who have struggled with food, maintaining new habits is a lifelong, day-by-day process.
Weight-loss discourse would be healthier, too, if more focus were placed on the small, measurable, tangible positive effects it has on our lives rather than the giant, life-defining, theoretical, eventually unattainable ones. John Janetzko, for example, spoke glowingly about the new role sports play in his life – he’s discovered he loves doing something he’d never felt confident enough to try before. Julia Kozerski waxes poetic about farmers’ markets and bike rides. The most important thing, though, is to stop allowing ourselves to be told that everything would be different if we could just lose the weight. Big, important things about people’s lives do change after they’ve lost weight – and yes, often for the better – but no one becomes a different person. You’re still you, even when you’re half of your former self.
*The Bon*Ton Store*
I’ve never been to The Bon Ton Store, but this week i decided to go in and see what its all about. So here is my review. Overall they have a lot of name brand clothes, shoes, purses and accessories. They have good items on clearance and on sale, some items were over priced and not worth it unless it’s on sale. I did like the variety of clothing they had young pieces, nice patters, leopard, bright colors, cute purses and shoes. I have 2 boys and a hubby, so i did see a lot of great items i will be going back to get for my boys. I also saw a lot of great items on sale with good quality especially having 2 young boys ages 9 and 5, having good clothes at quality prices is a must. So overall i will definitely go back to this store. They also have great things on their on-line web page and good sales. Some items like shoes and purses i found to be cheaper at the store but they do have a lot of variety and sizes on line. You can use the Coupons on the Snip Snap app for most of their stuff, except the yellow items, unless you go the days they have coupons for these items.
Fashion is my Passion, and as the Self proclaimed Queen of Fashion and Psychology, I like clothes, shoes, accessories etc. But what better way to be me, than by learning how to sow. For Christmas i asked Santa Claus or (My Husband) for a sowing machine. *Here is my new sewing machine*
Growing up my mom and grandma would make a potato sack look like a wedding gown in minutes, so i figured it was installed in my DNA, the only problem is that as enthusiastic as i am to sow, i also realized i have no skills, knowledge or understanding about sowing. So of course as any young techie person i went to the source YouTube and i discovered that i could be only several minutes away from being the Puerto-Rican “Edith Head” of sowing. I’m working on my first skirt, pictures soon to come. I did find this girl and she is just awesome, i have watched all of her videos and have learned so much. I wanted to share this post with you and also a video of her amazing sewing skills.
This week for Christmas my wonderful husband gifted me this amazing Alex and Ani Bracelet. Now i’m not big on jewelry and only wear my watch and wedding ring, mostly for religious reasons, but as i opened my presents i saw how amazing this bracelet is. And this is why i’m writing this article. Then my brother gifted me this Alex and Ani “S” initial. This Bracelet is not only very nice but simple and not gaudy and it means something. It’s made from recycled material, its not expensive and it’s very spiritual. What do you think? Do you have an Alex and Ani bracelet? What does it mean to you?
*Pros and Cons of Online Shopping*
As you fabulous ladies and gents might now, i love to shop but always at a discount, clearance or sale price. I completed my Christmas shopping several weeks ago but i like to look online for great sales and also shop at my local retailers. Since the whole Target fiasco i have been looking more into what stores i shop online and in person. I’m an avat coupon-er i have a coupon binder and everything (lol), so when i see a good deal i tend to stock up.
**Here are some pros and cons about Online shopping**
The Advantages of Shopping Online
1. The stores are never closed, Shop 24/7 this one is pretty self explanatory, there is no dress code and you save on gas.
2. There are no parking woes and you can escape from aggressive sales people.
3. Saves Time, no need to go around the mall for hours, trying to find that perfect dress you want. Just type in a few keywords and you’ll definitely find something nice and a wide range of choices.
4. The Ability to Price Compare, when you are shopping at a brick and mortar store, it’s easy to gravitate to the cutest pieces. You’re in shopping mode and it’s easy not to put much thought into whether you could get it for a better price at different retailer. It’s cute and relatively cheap and you’re going to get it. When you’re shopping online, you can simply search the item and find the best price instantly.
5. Customer Reviews, Even when I’m shopping at a physical store, I’ll pull up the store’s website sometimes and look at reviews of something I’m about to buy. This has saved me money and this is a pro of both online and offline shopping.
The Disadvantages of Shopping Online
1. The inabilities to physically check out the items you are purchasing. Can’t Try It On - This is probably my biggest con for online shopping. You can’t physically touch the fabrics to see if it’s worth the money, if it will hold up through multiple washes, or if the color you’re seeing on your computer screen is even accurate
2. Losing the power to negotiate the price and payment terms that may exist in local stores.
3. Items ordered online are sometimes on back order but the consumer is not always informed until weeks after the purchase is made.
4. Not always knowing if a site is a legitimate and safe site to shop. Make sure the website or online store you plan to shop at is legitimate. Check for reviews and testimonials, if available.
5. Having to pay for shipping costs that far exceed the true shipping rate. No Guarantees, there are chances of your mail not getting delivered on time, or not at all, due to a number of reasons (e.g. wrong address, problem with shipping, etc.). This is the reason why some online shops offer insurance to their clients.
6. Returns and exchanges can sometimes be difficult because of the lack of face to face negotiations. I try to purchase from my local stores like Target, Wal-Mart, Macys, JCP, Sears, Forever 21, Rainbow’s, Aldo’s etc. Many stores will give you a return label to ship the item back if it doesn’t fit or it isn’t what you thought it would be. I like those stores.
You might say to yourself what does Tea have to do with Fashion? Well let me inform you that when i drink Tea i feel Fabulous. Recently i received this great sample packet of different teas. I personally stick to my Tazo Passion Tea, Teekanne honey vanilla bliss and Bigelow Chocolate Chai Tea. I try different flavors but don’t normally venture out to much.
Teas are not only tasty and healthy but they remind me of a great beautiful era during the Victorian Era. I loved the dresses, shoes, gloves, beauty and delicatessen of this era.
As i researched how Tea makes me feel i also discovered great effects of tea on our body. Here is some great information i wanted to share with you.
1.Tea can boost exercise endurance. Scientists have found that the catechism (antioxidants) in green tea extract increase the body’s ability to burn fat as fuel, which accounts for improved muscle endurance.
2. Drinking tea could help reduce the risk of heart attack. Tea might also help protect against cardiovascular and degenerative diseases. Drinking tea is linked with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease
3. The antioxidants in tea might help protect against a boatload of cancers, including breast, colon, colorectal, skin, lung, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, pancreas, liver, ovarian, prostate and oral cancers.
4. Tea might provide protection from ultraviolet rays. We know it’s important to limit exposure to UV rays, and we all know what it’s like to feel the burn. The good news is that green tea may act as a back-up sunscreen.
5. Tea could be beneficial to people with Type 2 diabetes. Studies suggest that compounds in green tea could help diabetics better process sugars. Green tea has been found to improve bone mineral density and strength.
Today i was at Kohl’s and Savers Thrift Store and i found these awesome items. I challenged myself to spend only ($15.00) my goal was to get at least 1 dress 1 top and either pants, accessories, tights etc.
I like being creative, art, paintings, home decor so i thought about mixing some patterns, colors and fabrics. The best part is that you can mix and match your dresses, tops, pants and cardigans so its like doubling or tripling your outfit selection. Here are my final 2 results of pattern mixing, what do you think? What are your favorite colors and patterns.
Tights are just FABULOUS… I purchased these awesome White Patterned Tights at, Yes you guessed it (Kohl’s) My favorite store ever! So i wanted to wear these awesome tights but WHITE is a hard color, here are some great ideas of how other fashionable ladies wore their white tights. Here is how i wore my WHITE awesome tights *Dress H& M Store, Tights Apt9, Shoes Target, Belt Rainbow’s*
Shopping Therapy 101
Part of Friday Psych Day is to bring up different topics about psych and fashion. I was at T.J. Maxx and as i was looking at the Christmas stuff, clearance and so much more, i realized that shopping can be a therapy. Not in an addictive way (lol) but more like looking and trying clothes, matching different colors and patterns and just being able to get a great item at a cheaper price and still love the fit and look of what ever outfit, shoes, accessory, home goods or candle you might purchase. After leaving the store i only purchased a box of Rose Hibiscus Tea, it felt good and i was excited to try this new flavor and brand, overall i did not find anything worth while but i did see several dresses, shoes and skirts i will keep an eye on for future possible purchases. Here are some pictures of T.J. Maxx and some of the great items i really liked.
So normally I don’t post a lot of articles about food, restaurants etc. But today I was at Dunkin Donuts and I saw a big sign for The Red Velvet Latte. Now I’m not a coffee drinker I always get the mint hot chocolate or just go with tea. But since Red Velvet is my ALL time favorite flavor I decided to try it. Ladies and gentlemen it was the WORST thing I have ever tasted. To me it tasted like Strawberry Quick. It was terrible. If it wasn’t for my ultimate love for Red Velvet cupcakes I would never ever eat or drink this again. It was so bad I decided to actually write a post about it. So if you decide to try it you can make your own decision on whether you like it or not, as for me. “It’s a NO”… Never Again. In this case I’m sticking to what I know Dunkin Donuts Mint Hot Chocolate.
I love all things that smell good, lately i have been obsessed with Wax Melts, i recently bought this great Lighthouse Wax Warmer at Walmart on clearance for only $5.00. (Yeah). So of course i purchased the last two. I also bought 2 different Better Homes waxed scented cubes for only $2.00 each. But as i was looking at other scents and noticed how expensive they were.
1. I started with Organic Beeswax, which you can purchase from Amazon or your local crafts store. You can also reuse the wax from previously purchased candles or wax melts. The best part is that you can re-use it, yes you can!
2. I chose the Beeswax because it is 100% natural, being nature’s wax, emits wonderful air-cleaning, depression-reducing ions that combat things like dust, odors, mold and even viruses while elevating the mood! Seriously!
3. You can choose any chose to mix up 3 essential oils, I chose Lavender and Rose and Peppermint. I love that it only takes a couple drops to get a great smell and there are 250 drops in each bottle. They really go a long way!
4. I popped the beeswax into the microwave until melted. Then I added a few drops of each essential oil. You can do this with any essential oils you enjoy the smell of.
5. You then pour the melted wax into an ice cube tray i got some cool ones at Ikea or reuse a “scentsy style” container.
6. I then popped the pan into the freezer for a few minutes and they were all set up! I just popped them right out of the pan and placed them in the warmers. The rest went into an air tight container for another day.
7. I can’t imagine how much money this has saved my family, and I still get to enjoy all the amazing scents that make me happy!
The Psych behind 1st Impression
First impressions are formed rapidly, after seeing a face, body and clothes for a couple of seconds people make judgments about a person’s attributes. How much does a person’s dress style affect these judgments? I believe that people make rapid judgments of others based on clothing alone. I took pictures of people I covered their faces and I asked different people what they thought about each person and what kind of person, occupation, style or tastes those this person have. The results were incredible, some were shocking others were not and some were just simply weird.
Each lady has a different number, here are the comments of over 45 friends, family, church folk and random people I met at stores.