30 Going on 16: How I Got to my Lowest Weight Since High School

As promised in my last Skinny Girl Problems post, I turned 30 this weekend, and I did it at my lowest weight since I was 16. Leading up to my birthday, I was set on losing 2 pounds in the last 2 weeks of my twenties, but that didn’t happen… BECAUSE I LOST THREE! It wasn’t a fluke, or due to a visit from the magic weight loss fairy, which I wish was a real thing, but rather a few minor changes that took some hard work. Here are what I believe to be the keys to my success.

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MY FITNESS PAL

The first thing most nutritionists and personal trainers will tell you is to write down every thing you eat. They want you to account for every bite, every morsel, every drop of food you put in your body, so that they (and you) can see the reality of what’s going on. Back in the day, I was a HUGE advocate for the Livestrong App. It was the first thing I downloaded when I switched over to using an iPhone, but I eventually got frustrated with Livestrong’s limited capabilities (and not to mention lazy) and ultimately clicked “uninstall”.

At the suggestion of my spin teacher, who I’ll talk more about in a minute, I decided I should start logging my food again, and all signs pointed to My Fitness Pal. It had the most positive reviews, seemed to be the most user friendly, and was totally free.

After two weeks of inputting all my food, drinks, and exercise, my weight loss has been kickstarted. Turns out the little I thought I was eating turned out to be a whole lot more. Seeing the numbers in front of me has caused a decrease in my snacking, and an increase in my effort to maintain a more balanced diet. Which leads me to my next topic…

PROTEIN, PROTEIN, PROTEIN

For a whole bunch of reasons, I am a vegetarian. And because I am a vegetarian, protein is at a premium. I’ve been eating cheese all along… because, duh, it’s delicious, but few months ago, I decided to start eating eggs, greek yogurt, and milk again, especially after working out. The second I did that, my muscles started looking more like Britney at the VMA’s in 2001, and less like Britney at the VMA’s in 2007.

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Aside from feeling more cut, protein has helped me feel more full and satisfied after meals. That said, getting enough of the all-powerful protein is a constant struggle. Something about the synthetic stuff rubs me the wrong way, so I’m constantly trying to sneak it into every meal through greens, beans, and nuts. But if any of you have any suggestions of foods I could be eating, please please PLEASE leave them in the comments section!

CRUNCH GYM

My one year Crunch-iversary is only a few days away, and is what got this whole thing started. If you’re going to join a gym, join this one. It’s affordable, memberships are month to month, the classes are out of control good, every machine is top of the line, they have Bliss products in the locker room, and it’s SO CLEAN!

Crunch is full of helpful, friendly rock stars who make the whole experience of the gym a great one, but I have to give a shout out to the people that have been clutch in my time there. First off, Liz Barkan might just be the best spin teacher in New York City. She’s so good that I wake my butt up every Saturday morning for her 9:15am class. Second, Angel Ortiz is a miracle worker. His cardio tai box class, which incorporates high intensity interval training, makes you feel like a badass and has helped me go down a size. Finally, I start most of my workouts with a high five from Wesley, who works at the front desk at the 38th street location. He is possibly the most friendly and helpful person I’ve ever met, and saying hi to him has become one of the highlights of my workout.

BATHING SUIT SEASON

I’ll be spending most of July at the beach, and being able to rock these new purchases has been a huge source of inspiration.

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Victoria’s Secret // H&M // Old Navy

I still have ten more pounds I’d like to lose, and would love to hear about YOUR weight loss journey! Can’t wait to read your comments below!

 

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Summer Lovin’

Hey there, fellow conquerors! Here are some things that will surely spice up your summer. They’re already doing a number on mine.

TO EAT:

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BLACKSEED BAGELS

170 ELIZABETH STREET

TO DRINK:

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DEL’S SHANDY / ALLAGASH GINGER

GET THE SHANDY AT PROFESSOR THOM’S AND THE GINGER AT HARLEM PUBLIC

TO READ:

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LUCKY PEACH MAGAZINE

TO SEE:

chef-movie

“CHEF” THE FILM

TO WATCH:

Silicon-Valley-Cast-Logo

“SILICON VALLEY” ON HBO

TO WEAR:

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DRESS AVAILABLE AT ANN TAYLOR LOFT

TO LISTEN:

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THE BLACK KEYS “TURN BLUE” / YOUNG THE GIANT “MIND OVER MATTER”

The Uniform

Up until very recently, I was the antithesis of a uniform dresser. As an art school kid, it was always about looking as funky as possible and amassing as many unique items as it took to set me apart. And after graduating, this habit didn’t change. I looked at my wardrobe as a way to keep up with the Jones’s so to speak, and used it as a way to compensate for something I’ve worked really hard to change. My weight.

By now you all are quite familiar with my Skinny Girl Problems, but for once I’d like to post about a Skinny Girl Perk. Now that my body is where I want it, I can dress in the way I’ve always wanted to, instead of in a way that caters to my insecurities. Despite my rock and roll tendencies, I’ve always known deep down that I’m kind of preppy. As a kid, I would ogle the Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger ads and imagine myself as that dancing  skinny girl in the GAP khaki commercials. Now, because of the work I put in, I can indulge all of that. It isn’t about finding something that comes in my size anymore. It’s about wearing things that make me feel like me. And what I’ve learned is I am the dancing girl in the GAP ad, but instead of khakis, I’m shaking my booty in ripped jeans.

So when it comes to “The Uniform,” try to buy a few good things that fit nice, work together, and most importantly compliment who you are, instead of defining it.  So below is my uniform, and in turn, the payoff for a lack off egg sandwiches, burgers, and pizza that only now seems worth it. Enjoy!

uniform

SWEATER, SWEATER, DENIM SHIRT, JEANS, BOOTIES, BOOTIES, BUTTON DOWN, SHIRT, SHIRT, JACKET, SCARF, EARRINGS, NECKLACE, HAT

How to look hot in the cold

I don’t know what you’ve heard, but it is EFFING hot in New York City!! I’ve been living life Blue Crush style and cranking up the AC like nobody’s business…

Just kidding. It is very cold here. Also, I don’t own an air conditioner. Deal with it.

On the note of dealing with it, here my favorite warm clothing items that when venturing outdoors keep me looking less like the Michelin man and more like me.

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1) THE WARMEST JACKET EVER

My Mcelroy Parka by Spiewak is the first jacket that’s ever gotten the job done for me. It has snaps and buttons in all the right places and is made of magic material that gives you warmth without the pesky bulk that usually comes along with it. Also, it’s cute. What more could you ask for?

2) A STATEMENT SCARF THAT DOESN’T MAKES ITS STATEMENT TOO LOUD

Ever since Dee from Morning Cup of Style sent me this leopard scarf, it hasn’t left my neck. The key with a scarf is it being long enough to wrap around your neck a couple times, and being wide enough to cover some ground in the process. Also, it should probably be in a print, pattern, and color that goes with everything else you wear. That way it can be more than just something you wear outside. The one below is similar to mine and can be bought on Etsy.

3) A HAT YOU WANT TO CURL UP AND TAKE A NAP IN

Half turban/half beanie, my Free People hat keeps my noggin nice and toasty. Now that I have like no hair, my head gets extra cold, but I’d never know while wearing it.

4) ETHICALLY CONFUSING LEATHER GLOVES

Gifted to me by my Aunt Rose, these black leather gloves from Bloomies keep me comfortable enough in the cold to debate whether or not I should feel guilty for wearing leather. They’re also lined with cashmere, which I am decidedly very okay with.

5) A KILLER SWEATSHIRT

Sweatshirts are great cause when mixed with good fitting jeans and high heels, they suddenly become super chic. Also, you can layer a tee underneath to stay extra warm. I will be keeping my eye on this skull sweatshirt from ZARA as I wear one just like it that I got for 20 bucks at H&M.

Fashion’s not just for skinny people

Project Runway got me all cranky last night. It was the inevitable “Real Women Challenge,” and as always, some not even thin himself butthead spent the whole episode complaining about the thickness of his client. He was overwhelmed with the challenge of designing for someone he couldn’t floss his teeth with, and was very vocal about it. He complained to the cameras, his roommates, the designers, Tim, the Naked Cowboy, a Parsons Janitor, and anyone within a 50 mile radius that would listen. Problem is, he also complained to his client. FYI world, overweight people know they’re overweight and, unless you’re a doctor, don’t need you reminding them of it.

This poor woman who was a, gasp, size 14 got an earful. The belts provided were too small, she had no shape, she made his job really hard, she might as well be a puppy exterminator cause her weight makes her the worst. This designer has some nerve. I don’t know what remote part of the world he was raised in, but clearly it was a place devoid of actual women. Call me crazy, but it’s my understanding that the average woman is a size twelve and the only women that are the same shape as dress forms are actual dress forms. And it is also my understanding that dress forms can’t buy the clothes you design cause they are made of cotton and not real.

Now that that’s out of the way, and seeing how it’s not my style to complain or talk smack, I want to offer some helpful advice from a girl who has spent most of her life being “plus-sized.” Me.

I come from a long line of physically strong and substantial women. We have muscles and curves and strong (big) bones, and even if we all went on a starvation retreat would be more like Cathy Bates than Kate Moss. But if you can believe this, despite our physical features, we are always at the top of the style game.

My grandma and mother are kick ass sewers and designers, and growing up a good number of the clothes that lived in our closets were handmade. I remember pouring over the Delia’s catalog with my mom and picking out what she would copy and make me. I remember spending a mother daughter weekend making a fur, leopard print pea coat that a classmate begged me to sell to her. I remember pictures of prom dresses that my grandma made with little more than a sewing machine and her imagination. I remember them working together to turn my Bat Mitzvah dress from a water-stained thrift shop find to my favorite dress I’ve ever worn. All of these things were designed with ease, by amateurs, for real shaped women.

That’s not to say that for fashion savvy larger women DIY is the only option. Mr. Project Runway Designer would be interested to know that a ton of people have been able to accomplish what he had such a problem with. Unknowns like PR judge Michael Kors, Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, and Calvin Klein have all managed to make entire plus-sized lines. And boutique stores like H&M, Forever 21, Bloomingdales, Target, Torrid, Hot Topic, Ann Taylor, and Macy’s are just a few of the places where the over size 12 set can get their fashion fix. We’ve come a long way from moo moos and leggings being the only option, and I can’t wait to see this market grow even further.

Just because someone happens to be bigger, it doesn’t mean they gorge themselves constantly or are a slob, and just because someone is thin, they aren’t a guaranteed picture of health. Voluptuous women deserve to be just as stylish as skinny ones, and mainstream fashion has made leaps and bounds to honor this. That said, I hope the designer from Project Runway isn’t far behind.

Fellow Conqerors- Dee Brown

Dee Brown- Morning Cup of Style

About five year’s ago in an all-staff meeting, my boss asked if any of us would like to do a shout out. I took this a cue to do a shout out to Dee’s awesome hair and we have been friends ever since. Dee has moved on from New York to a life with her AMAZING husband in Houston and is the Head Lady in Charge of Morning Cup of Style, a fashion blog for women who want to be the most stylish they can be, while not spending a million dollars in the process. Below is a convo I had with Dee and some awesome pics to prove she is at the top of the fashion game.

You’re in an elevator with Anna Wintour and you have ten floors to tell her about Morning Cup of Style… What do you tell her?

In the words of Sophia Petrillo, “Picture it…” I’m in a hurry to catch the elevator for a very important meeting. As I step inside of the elevator, I notice that Vogue by Madonna is playing on the speaker (it’s a little cliché but this is my fantasy, so roll with it). To my surprise, Anna Wintour is standing in the middle of the elevator wearing an Oscar de la Renta chartreuse sorolla print silk twill dress from spring 2012. It hits me…I’m now standing next to the most relevant and powerful woman in fashion. To add, I only have about a minute to tell her about Morning Cup of Style. I’ve got to think fast. Instantly, I feel a dry gulp in my throat and a slight flutter in my tummy. What do I say? I’ve got it!

Anna Wintour…pleased to meet you. You once said, “Style is an expression of individualism, mixed with charisma. Fashion is something that comes after style.” I follow a similar method for my blog site, Morning Cup of Style. My mother played a huge roll in pointing me in the direction of fashion, as your father did with you. I love what I do. I love what you do. I hope that someday, I can garner a fourth of the information you know about the industry and pour it out to others. Here’s my card. I’d love for you to review my site and maybe we can sit for tea and chat some time.

What would you want to be wearing?

I’d wear a fitted ruffle dress, with a pair of Prada ankle strap platforms, MAC Ruby Woo lipstick, and a red vintage Chanel lambskin purse. Bold lips are everything! I swear my alter ego is in full swing when I wear my red lipstick. You only get a single chance to make a first impression. This will definitely do the trick.

What’s the most exciting thing you’ve achieved so far through your website?

The most exciting thing that I’ve achieved is successfully nailing interviews with some pretty awesome people in the fashion and beauty industry. I’ve interviewed David Meister, Kate Walsh, Cate Adair, Napoleon Perdis, Jenny Feldman, Morgan Willhite, and others. It’s amazing. I love people, and I love learning about people. It’s good stuff.

What do you dream of achieving?

My dream is to become an on-air style and beauty expert. I’m working very hard to build a platform that will get me there. My mother taught me two very valuable lessons about style and beauty; how to purchase quality clothing and how to put the pieces together to create an ensemble that totally represents style. To simply put it, style is my passion. It’s not about what you wear but how you wear it. If I chose to wear a retail Christian Dior dress, not likely, but that’s fine. If I choose to wear a thrifted Ann Taylor dress instead, that works too. I definitely want to be that figure that can teach, show, and tastefully demonstrate how women can look and feel their best. Truthfully, every woman can’t afford fashion, but anyone can afford style. The way I see it, if it works out, there will never be a dull moment that I’m not working, advising, writing, or picture snapping.

What is your favorite post so far?

I recently interviewed celebrity fashion designer, David Meister. His designs have been famously worn on the red carpet by socialites and major celebrities. David has also been featured on tons of entertainment programs. As a matter of fact, two days after I interviewed David at Saks, I was watching the Fashion Police on E! Entertainment and he was featured on a segment with Joan Rivers. I was totally blown away. I think it allowed me to have a greater appreciation for the interview that I conducted with him.

If you could go on a Supermarket Sweep style rampage in Bloomingdales, what would be your first stop?

I’m a bargain shopper by nature, so I’d definitely head to the sales section for shoes! Shoes are my EVERYTHING. I could totally wear a brown paper bag and set off the entire outfit with rocking shoes. I think a woman’s shoe speaks volumes about her character. I’m a people watcher, but I watch their shoes even more. Sound silly? Probably so. It’s my thing though…


Check out more from Dee at MorningCupofStyle.com.