Thursday, 27 October 2011

Michelle Obama : Her Style

I recently had the pleasure of reading Michelle Style by Mandi Norwood.  The book, basically, deconstructs the fashion style of the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama.

I took some notes of little style tips really struck me.

1. Every Woman has the right to Bare Arms.  

One of Michelle's best features are her trimmed and firm arms.  That's why she can always pull-out sleeveless outfits.  I heard she regularly has special work-outs for those arms alone.  Worth it!

2.  Style is not in-direct proportion to price tags. 

Michelle, can have the most expensive clothes, stylists and designers to dress her up for free,  yet she still shops at still wears clothes from retail shops.  I'm not familiar with Target & J. Crew, but I have seen these dresses, that she wore, off-the-racks from H&M.  Certainly something you and I can afford, as well.

3. Clever Color- Combos. 

Women have a tendency, as we grow in age, to stick to classic colors. Brown, Beige, Gray, and the ubiquitous black.  While, we can never go wrong in classics, it takes a certain bravado to experiment with colors.  Michelle certainly is not afraid of colors.  Sometimes, she hit it, other times, she miss.  I like that she finds dressing up as fun, and she doesn't mind committing style mistakes. Certainly, She's not a classic.. but she's definitely not Boring.

But sometimes, color combination can be tricky as hell, especially if you can't take standing out in the crowd of blacks. This instances, she got bad reviews.

4.  Don't be scared of Prints.  

Prints can sometimes be overwhelming.  People attention tend to revert to the print, rather than the personality.  Plus, for regular women like us, prints cannot be used as a wardrobe workhorse.  It becomes very obvious that we keep on wearing the same clothes. :) I think, the trick is to keep prints to a minimum.  Inner shirt. Scarves.

5. Add elevated touches to cheaper clothes.

Check out how her pearl chokers elevate these off-the-rack J. Crew cardigan and skirt.  I noticed that the trend these days are no longer head to foot designers. But it's picking the right thing to splurge one's money on.  Jewelry, watches, bags, are definitely investment pieces, but with clothing, one can go up and down the price scale.

6. Break with Convention.

Who would have thought Ivory White could bring the house down on an evening ball? Michelle picked an unknown designer (Jason Wu, 26 years old) veering away from the Classics old masters (Oscar de la  Renta, etc.) and choosing a color, which used to be a no-no for evening.

7. Great Skin is the best Foundation

Her make-up is always understated.  I rarely see her in fully-made up, even if it's for evening, she just put on neutral eyeshadows. The result is a classic look, doesn't overwhelm but compliments her but her more colorful outfits.

Lastly, It Isn't about Looking Young, it's all about Looking Good.  We cannot defy the laws of time.  Granting there are so many alternatives technological scientific solutions out there,  we can only do so much.  

It's all about that Confidence that one gains from knowing one's self and the willingness to take the risks... be it fashion or life!


Friday, 14 October 2011

My Ways & Means of De-Bloating

Let's review ... Three kids under my belt, a waistline of 26," tipping the scale at 42KGS, 3years shy of 40. My friends always assume, I'm an expert in losing weight and keeping it off. They often ask me, " Paano mo ginagawa?" (How do you do it?) "What's the secret?" Give us tips!"

Let's make things clear. I'M NOT THIN. I'm just not Fat. My perspective with regards to my body is Tamang-Tama lang. Average. Just right.  But, how do you know what is JUST RIGHT?!   (Answer: When I can fit into my sexy black Skinny Jeans and there are no bulges in the Baby -Tee that I want to wear).

Ok. Punishing. If you want to approach it scientifically. Let's use numbers.  

1.  I Set my Ideal Weight GOAL.  

What is My Ideal Weight based on my Height? (CLICK THIS)

Treat that Ideal Weight as your Age.  You don't forget it. Even if you pretend to be 20s, deep down you know you're 37, and you are a responsible individual.  It is your GOAL.  Everything you do, must move you toward that goal. If you notice, you're doing something contrary, STOP!  Put that chip down. It doesn't move you toward that GOAL.

2.  I Quit Stuffing Myself.

You came across those Make-It-Yourself Teddy Bears in the Malls?  One chooses an empty, limp teddy bear, and you get to stuff them yourself using a machine.  The cost will depend on how stuffed you want the bear (of course, we want fluffy and cuddly).

Imagine yourself, THAT Teddy Bear, and every time, you put something in your mouth, you are literally, stuffing yourself to the kind of body you want

This is cruel, I know.  But I need to be, because most of the time, eating is an outlet for emotions.  (Cravings, depressions, moods, happiness) So, we need to fight it with a Mindset. This is the mindset that works for me.

3.  I Move My Butt-Off

...and i don't mean just taking the stairs instead of the elevators. I will not make any bones about this, I work hard.  I force myself to fight excuses.. because I am busy, I am tired, too much demand at work, no time.  IF YOUR GOAL, IS IMPORTANT, YOU WILL FIND TIME. 

If you hear yourself,  making excuses now. STOP READING THIS.   It's not gonna work, if you start being defensive.

Choose the kind of Exercise or Work-out you enjoy. So, you will look forward not dread it. Pick-out nice sexy outfit, even if it's just at home and plopping the VCR.   If you are like me whose Work-out interests change like the Fashion Week's Spring, Summer & Winter Collection.  It's ok.  You are not aiming for a Yogi status or Top 10 Seed.  You just want an outlet to sweat, really sweat. 

Set aside 1 hour, every 3 days for a serious work-out. (1hour  =  30mins for the workout.  30 minutes making yourself pretty, before and after work-out) The making yourself pretty is important! Trust me. 

Another tip!  YOU MUST HAVE A CONSISTENT 21 DAYS (na walang palya) So you will make it a habit.  Use a calendar. Put a RED star for a successful day.  If you are able to do the 21 days,  your body will crave it.  You won't need to convince it too hard.  The 21 days are super hard though! 

These are just few of my ever- changing interests. I get bored easily. Now, I'm into running...because everyone else is doing it.  Street Jazz, I also want to try, but it's so expensive here.  :P

4. You have no business Eating Rice after 6pm, if you are not doing Manual Labor.

... that includes Pasta! "But Dew! I will get hungry. I can't. Manghihina ako."  (I will get weak.)  I'm not saying you will starve yourself after 6pm.  I just said, No Carbo.  After 6pm, you will probably just plop in front of TV or Facebook, & all the rice/pasta will go directly into your midsection and thighs. 

If you want to get that "full feeling" (busog ako! Thank you Lord!).  Eat all the ulam (viand) you want then drink tons of water.  As for me, I normally toss vegetable salad, that I substitute for Rice and eat with regular ulam.  If it gets boring, I just change the dressing (thousand island, caesars, italian etc) ; or I top with bacon bits and parmesan.  Other days, Fruits as toppings.  Masarap sya!  I  don't do it daily, maybe 3 times a week. Just to get rid of that bloated feeling.  

Trust me, paggising mo (as soon as you wake up), Deflate yang tummy mo!

5.  The Power of Grapefruit Juice

This one is really my number 1 favorite weight-loss or de-bloating tool.  This is the secret of the artistas :) (naks!)   Drink 1 cup of grapefruit juice before sleeping. "Dew, Ang asim! Sinisikmura ako!"   Well, I didn't say that it's sweet.  In fact, it has a slightly-bitter sour taste.  Hindi ka sinisikmura. In the first place, our tummy is already acidic.  Grapefruit helps you better digest all the fatty food you took-in.  

If you don't believe me...Click this :

The cheapest in the market is Harvey's. 

6.  Minimize using Food as Reward for a Good Job done.

What if you're always good job? Then, you can always justify that candy bar, or that extra helping of rice.  Instead of Food -- how about getting yourself a new shade of lipstick, or a new set of sexy underwear, or a nice shirt, or a massage?  

Same goes with gimmicks.  They don't have to center on Food.  My friend Bambi, met an old friend for a spa!  It's the same cost as dining-out, but they didn't gain extra calories! Needless to say, my favorite is meeting friends for lots of walking, window shopping and conclude with coffee, and shared dinner.

7. Work Double Hard, if your Mom/ Dad are Heavy-Weights.

I'm not a good resource on genetics but there's a saying,  "If you want to see how you look like 20, 30 years from now, look at your mother/father."  I don't really subscribe to that because  our environment are different from theirs.  However, we cannot deny we do inherit looks, height, inclinations, etc. So, if our parents are on the heavy-side, we have the likelihood to be heavy, as well. But it doesn't mean we should resign ourselves to fate. Rather, it just means that we need to work extra harder to change our course.

8.  Never say I am ON-DIET, because you are anticipating to be OFF-DIET. 

There are so many diet fads (Atkin's, Southbeach, Cabbage soup, Acai berry etc. etc.). The problem with diets,  they're not sustainable.  If we get-ON them, we lose weight, but since we cannot maintain, we get-OFF diet, we are back to square one.)  

I rarely deprive myself of anything.  I am an advocate of Coke.  I drink beer.   I eat chocolates.  I have weakness for Hot Fudge and Cheese Cake. But -- I DON'T STUFF MYSELF.  I just eat in moderation. Just to feed my craving.  I normally Share with the kids. I don't finish off after the kids. :)   Big difference there!!

(i used to deprive myself.  Then, feel bad, and next day,  order a huge one,  only for  myself because i wanted to feel better -- cheeseburgers, starbucks, cheesecake.. whatever).

We don't need to go on DIETS....but rather, just Lifestyle Changes. Mindset Changes. 
This is what I want to happen with my Being.
In the same way, we took charge of our career, our kids... 
We can take ownership of our body, our cravings, our appetite, our habits.

Reader :  
Dew, I'm already on my Ideal Weight.  I don't want to lose anymore pounds!  I just want to look and feel SEXY!

Now, that's a totally Different Story... worth another Blog Entry!