If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you may have figured out that I have a real nerdy side. Exhibit A: my dinosaur obsession that goes back to kindergarten when we had to sew stuffed animals (how/why they were giving kindergartners needles escapes me at the moment) and I of course chose to make a brontosaurus over a bunny or a cat. Or… in junior high I had a t-shirt that said “DNA is life – the rest is just details.” Remember those? Yeah, no basketball (or anything cool) here. I thought I was so clever. Well, now I’m a full-on adult and I wear shirts with light sabers on them. I don’t know what to tell you. I get the most excited about an outfit that has a playful nod to something that’s not fashion related at all. This getup feels fit for a networking event on Mars. Useful as can be…
Let’s talk about crop tops, shall we? It’s easy to pass those things off as strictly for 17 year-olds or Coachella (or 17-year-olds at Coachella), but believe it or not, there’s a more sophisticated identity for this style. No need to bare your belly. Pick one that’s a little boxier and more structured and layer it over a silky tank. Beyond that, the sky’s the limit. You can pair a graphic print with a complementing solid, play with color blocking, or keep it minimal and monochromatic. It’s actually easier than you might think AND makes you look like a styling pro. Plus it’s a great new way to mix and match your tops and create new looks you never thought of before. Here are a few combos to get the ideas flowing. Try it!
Wow, I can’t believe it’s been a whole five and a half months since I wrote this post. You guys were all so encouraging and that has seriously helped so much even to this day. Now that I’ve been doing this for awhile and especially now that we’re in the beginning of a new year, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on how it’s all be going. There have been some wonderful parts and some not-so-wonderful parts – such as a 6-week hiatus in from the gym (and let’s face it, healthy eating) in Nov-Dec due to being sick, traveling, moving, and the holidays. Oops. Coming back has been an uphill battle, but pushing past the beginning is the hardest part before it starts to get easier and more hopeful.
With the new year, I made a couple of changes. First, because we moved, I had to switch gyms. This may not seem like a big deal, but it was hard to do. I had gotten very comfortable with my old classes and instructors. The routine was comforting. Now I’m the new girl again, but this time without the momentum/excitement of starting a whole new initiative. But I keep reminding myself that this feeling is temporary and I’m already starting to settle in and find my favorite classes (yoga, a “dancer’s body” type class called Lean Line, and spinning as always).
The second and probably the biggest change is that I’m cracking down on my diet by doing Whole30. In short, it’s a 30-day intensive “real food” diet with absolutely zero grains, carbs, soy, corn, sugar, dairy, legumes, or alcohol. Yep. You read that right. The crazy thing is that even though it’s so strict, it’s also the easiest diet I’ve ever done. It’s very straight forward,, and focuses on good, wholesome, basic, recognizable foods (coconut, avocados, grass fed beef, almonds, etc). It’s basically the Paleo diet with zero cheats allowed for 30 days. Today is Day 16 and while there isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t desperately want a glass of wine, I’m feeling positive and strong and Ian says I’m looking thinner. I can’t tell by looking at myself, but hey – I’ll take it! You’re not supposed to weigh yourself while on it, so I’ll keep you posted on that when it’s over. A few of you spoke highly of Whole30 on my original post, so that definitely piqued my interest. If you’ve done it, I’d love to hear your tips! If you haven’t, I highly recommend this. The best part is that there is an end in sight. That doesn’t mean I’m planning to throw a sugar party when it’s over. It’s a diet that helps you form better, more sustainable habits. So while you can loosen up a little after the 30 days, you go forth with a better routine, lots of healthy recipes in your line-up, and a clear view of what you’re actually capable of. Plus… you can have coffee! Huge plus.
Right now I kind of feel like I’m starting a new chapter of my journey. So although this post is approaching a dangerous overkill length, if you’re still with me, I thought I’d share five lessons I’ve learned so far…
1. It does really get harder after your 20’s.I was 25 when I last tried to lose weight. At that time, the pounds just flew off so fast with a little no-carb week or two (I still gave up on it at the drop of a hat, but that’s a whole other issue). Now that I’m in my 30’s, I can do solid work for over a month before I see even the littlest changes. This isn’t meant to be discouraging, but rather a friendly warning of the reality that we have to work extra hard the older we get. So if you’re a youngin’, enjoy your superhuman metabolism! If you’re in your 30’s like me, let’s help each other make this work and then meet for cocktails when it’s over and all our clothes don’t fit. ;)
2. Success comes from paying more attention to how you feel than how you look.This is such a key point for me. I used to obsessively weigh myself and look at myself in the mirror waiting to see a real change and if I saw anything I didn’t like, I’d really beat myself up about it and want to throw in the towel. Waiting impatiently for visible change only caused me frustration and anguish. But there are so many more reasons to maintain a healthier diet and fitness routine. One thing that happens instantly is how much better you feel throughout the day after a great workout and healthy eating. I feel more alert, less sluggish, more positive, and filled with confidence. That’s the feeling that keeps me doing it for the long term.
3. The scale lies.It really is not to be trusted. Aside from the fact that every scale seems to be different, it also doesn’t take into account that you’re building muscle while also burning fat. Plus weight can fluctuate so much within a few days. When I first started this back in July, I would check the scale every few days and sometimes my weight had gone up even if I had been working my butt off. Not a fun feeling. I have found it’s best not to focus on the number and try to keep the weight-check to a minimum – say, every two weeks or so. This is another way to keep the attention on how your clothes fit and how your body feels.
4. There is no way around the hardest parts.Man oh man, this is a big one. The biggest. If you recall my plan from my initial post, I was so excited about the exercise but a little loosey goosey on the diet. I was taking a laid back approach, that’s for sure. I simply could not give up certain things. Well, my friends, the weight has been much slower to come off for this reason. In addition to exercising, I seriously needed to cut back on a lot more grains, dairy, sugar, and alcohol (ughhh) before any real change can come. It’s a harsh reality I’m still trying to cope with.
5. Finding a plan you believe in is key.Since I started out as a diet and exercise amateur, I used to look at what other people were doing and always think, “I guess that’s what I should do.” But for whatever reason, certain things just didn’t resonate with me. Counting calories with Weight Watchers made me obsess over food too much. Going running made me not push myself hard enough. I’m a person who needs classes for workouts, and a diet that doesn’t require me to buy weird groceries and eat weird meals I’ll never eat again when it’s over. I have found that in a whole big world of diet and exercise options, it helps to really ask yourself what works for YOU and then stick to it.
Thanks so much for your kind words and support, you guys! Anyone in the same boat for 2015? I’d love to hear what you guys are doing, and hey – if you need a little motivation, you got this! WE GOT THIS! Oh and be sure to follow me on Instagram where I give more regular updates at the hashtag #thelifestyledfit.
And LA folks, keep an eye out in the coming weeks for a little something I have up my sleeve with SoulCycle! Hint: Get ready to ride!
I’ve been wanting a good cape for years. Specifically something that’s basically a blanket but acceptable to wrap around myself and leave the house in yet still manage to look chic. When I came across this one at Faribault Woolen Mill during my trip home to Minnesota over Christmas, I didn’t hesitate for a second about buying it. I love the plaid, the colors, the length, the hood, and most of all the fact that it was made in the next little town over from where I grew up. It was perfect to throw on when the house got a little cold while I was there, but it also works great as an “LA winter” coat. It felt refreshing to find a great piece that’s unique, authentic, and made by a company I can trust. It’s getting harder and harder to find things that are made with integrity in the US, no matter how “down home” the branding might be. Kinda frustrating. For this look I paired it with my other favorite domestic purchase of late, my cowboy boots from Allen’s Boots in Austin. Yes, cowboy! More on my newfound western wear obsession soon. In the meantime I’ll be curled up over here in my cozy cape with a cup of coffee and not being mad about it one bit.
I’ve always been fascinated by the Chinese zodiac calendar but never paid too much attention to the animal signs until last year. 2014 was the year of the horse which meant it was supposed to race by with lots of recklessness/change. Boy was that the truth! It was the craziest and fastest passing year with a lot of change going on in my life and that of my friends and family. So the accuracy of that left me feeling more curious about what the Chinese calendar predicts might be in store for 2015. It’s the year of the sheep, which is a much calmer, softer, gentler animal. That means it’s time to settle in and do a little much needed nesting. It’s a perfect time to catch our breath from the debauchery that 2014 brought on, clean up the mess, and enjoy the simple pleasures. It couldn’t come at a better time for me considering that I just moved into a new place and desperately need to organize, decorate, and turn it into our new home. Whatever you’re doing with the sheep, here’s a little list of “nesting necessities” that we’ll all need to get through this year.
I came across these beauties at Forever21 yesterday and my overall opinion/expectation of their shoes was immediately challenged with this one pair. I’m not really into cheaply made shoes because since shoes get beat up more than other things in our wardrobe, they tend to show their value pretty quickly. But every now and then something pops up that defies that theory. The expensive version of these shoes would likely still be faux leather and probably wear about the same over time. They’re a little stiff as you might expect, but surprisingly comfortable. I considered getting them in both colors but went with the silver in the end. Think these + ripped skinny jeans + oversized pastel sweater = January uniform. Whatever color you choose, you need to go get these stat.
If you missed the oxblood boat in 2013, here’s your chance to patch up your burgundy-toned woes. Marsala, a dustier, more muted version of the color was dubbed the hue of 2015 by Pantone in December and it hasn’t stopped popping up since. It’s a versatile color that has a neutral feeling to it instead of a statement one that’s easy to work into your wardrobe and your home decor. Since it’s an easy color to wear, you can get a little more splurgey on the more special pieces. If you feel like you have enough black totes, maybe it’s time to move over to one in marsala. It matches with basically everything and will add interest to a simpler outfit. The color has a richness that will never get old or tired, so whether you’re buying it in basics or splurging on luxuries, invest in marsala now and wear it forever.
There is no feeling like cozying up in a great coat in the winter time – especially a coat that’s delightfully engulfing. I love this one because it spared no drama with its extra long length, flared shape, and oversized collar. In this particular look, I felt like a film noir private eye in special winter garb (since a classic trench might not be warm enough for those cold winter investigations… I guess?). The berry lip (Scarlet Empress by NARS) added a little extra glam factor which is a nice change from my default nude. If I lived in a colder climate, I would love to have several variations of this outfit and wear them everyday to get through winter.
I’ve always loved the feeling of opportunity that comes in with January. There’s nothing better than a clean slate with a fulfilled, wiser mind and a whole year ahead of you to fill up with new stories, accomplishments, and memories. Right now though, it’s refreshing to embrace a quieter time – one we like to spend cozying up inside and away from the cold. It’s OK to be in hibernation mode but it’s also a great opporunity to dive into proactivity mode. This month gets us focused on what matters most, whether it’s our careers, our health, or our loved ones… I can’t wait to take advantage of this month to get a running start on 2015 to make it the best one yet. Hopefully it sticks around longer than 2014 did. So hello new year, and hello January.
When it comes to New Years Eve attire, it takes some serious restraint for me not to wear sequins. Not that it’s necessary to hold back from sparkle. There’s no reason to, other than it’s a nice challenge to come up with something equally as show stopping without a sequin in sight. This feather cape speaks for itself. It may not be the most wearable piece throughout the year, but I suppose not evvvvverything needs to be practical, does it? A black jumpsuit on the other hand is a staple every girl needs. I love how easy it is to glam up for something as extravagant as NYE but you can easily transform it into a more all-business look by swapping the feathers for a blazer and the heels for d’Orsay flats. Done and done. I have to be honest though, this New Years is shaping up to be a low key one. I haven’t really been home since I moved into a new place during Thanksgiving weekend. So I’m looking forward to grabbing dinner or perhaps a game of Cards Against Humanity. What are you doing for NYE and more importantly, what are you wearing?
Tibi jumpsuit (currently 40% off!) / Topshop cape (sold out online but available on Ebay here and here / Ivanka Trump heels / J.Crew bracelets (similar here and here)