Tricking The Mind and Other Learned Circus Acts

I’m wearing a Brunello Cucinelli Leather Jacket, scarf and necklace, Cos Trapeze Top, Rag and Bone Pants, and Michael Kors Heeled Booties

Today was Tuesday. What’s more boring than a Tuesday? At least on Monday you get to be either grumpy all day because it’s only Monday, or giddy all day because you’ve just come off of a really rocking weekend going out with your homegirls and meeting a cute boy who distracts you from even realizing that it is in fact the first day of a 5 day work week. Wednesday is better than tuesday because it is the middle day of the week. It is easy to trick the mind into thinking ‘It’s Wednesday! Only two more days to go!’ Thursday is basically the weekend or at least a good excuse to have a cocktail after work. And Friday… well Friday isn’t really even a weekday because, lets be honest, everyone gives up on working hard, dressing well, and dieting by 6PM on Thursday night. Some Tuesdays are so bad I can’t believe I even make it to Wednesday! So this morning I woke up and decided to make this Tuesday different. Rather than putting on my usual fall outfit consisting of skinny jeans, boots, and either a sweater or some combination of tee shirt, blazer, necklace and scarf, I pulled out my very favorite German top and some stacked heel booties and told myself this Tuesday would be different than the rest.

First of all, who doesn’t feel great when they’re fully put together? When you look good, you feel good… which I’m sure is a mantra that my mother recorded and played on repeat while I was sleeping throughout my youth. By throwing on leggings and a big sweater, you are physically giving in to looking sloppy and therefore acting sloppy all day. And don’t try to tell me that leggings and a big sweater is ‘so hot right now’… even though it is. If you’re not 6’1″ and 103 lbs you do NOT look good in leggings and a big sweater. Something I also discovered during my leggings and big sweater days is that the bigger the sweater, the more room you have to fill it out, consequently resulting in overeating, gilt about overeating, and most likely wearing leggings and a big sweater on Wednesday, too. It becomes a vicious cycle. Take my word on this one – I’ve done the research.

Happy Tuesday!

My favorite German top is not my favorite because it’s German (although I do have some very favorite German things including lederhosen, dachsunds, and one of my oldest best friends Annabelle), but because it is the most flattering shape for a lady with an overly enhanced upper body area, namely, the bosom. A trapeze shape is that of a top or dress that is fitted in the chest and flares out towards the hem of the garment, creating a loose shape with movement that does not create a bag like affect on the body. Many bigger women can’t wear bigger styles because they make them look… well… bigger. That is why the trapeze is completely genius! By creating some definition of your upper chest area, you are able to hide your stomach and waist without losing the notion that you are, in fact, a hot mama under all that fabric. Now, ladies who are not as naturally well endowed as I am: do not fear! The trapeze is great for you too! Just make sure that it is fitted enough under the arm so that you don’t look like the liberty bell and you can partake in the wearing of this great silhouette too. Pair with skinny jeans and heeled booties and we can be twins! Well… could have, if you wore that today.

So wake up tomorrow and put yourself together, and you just might be able to trick the mind into thinking that Wednesday is no worse than Friday.

Your Waistline Might Be A Million Years Behind You

Wilma Flinstone is the perfect example of a lady who followed the paleo diet and became hot stuff!

If you were told that acting like a caveman would make you skinny, healthy, and happy, in 30 days or less, would you do it? Okay. Me neither. But what if I told you that if you act like a caveman, but do things like shower, go to the gym, take mass transit to work, wear clothes that make you look like hot stuff, update your eHarmony profile, and continue all modern day activities all while EATING like a caveman, you would still get skinnier, healthier, and happier in 30 days or less? I imagine that most of you are rolling your eyes saying to yourself ‘I can’t believe that loony toon is trying out yet another fad diet’. It’s true. I’ve given into the super hot right now and almost impossible Paleo Diet. And I’ll tell you why. Because it’s good for you. Imagine that! A DIET THAT’S GOOD FOR YOU. The Paleo diet is not like Atkins where you eat your weight in butter, or Jenny Craig where you are fed ‘healthy meals’ consisting of processed flavors and more sodium than goes into the sea salt body scrub at Canyon Ranch. The Paleo diet is very simple: Eat natural, whole, and non processed foods, and you will be better starting from the inside out.

Sounds pretty easy, right? Wrong. There is a whole list of delicious foods that I am not allowed to go anywhere near! Imagine life without whole wheat pasta, fat free mozzarella, low fat chocolate covered yogurt pops, or skinny vanilla latte’s for an entire 30 days. Do you think I’ve been doing Weight Watchers for too long with that list of cravings? Regardless, the Paleo diet is a no grain, no dairy, no sugar, no happiness diet that is said to change your health and your waistline in 30 days. How? Well I’ll get there. I’m only 8 chapters into the book. I also want to mention that I keep saying ’30 days or less’ because, allegedly, going paleo can turn your health around in a month. And 30 days is all I committed to, so we may never know what happens after that.

One week ago today I decided enough was enough. Since losing 15 pounds I have maintained the same weight for about a year now, and for me, I have maintained it for approximately a year too long. At first I was all ‘WOOHOO! 15 pounds down!’ and now I’m like ‘you’re not skinny, so why are you eating that ice cream, fool?’ And I’m right. Why am I eating that ice cream? I’m learning that ice cream, and all refined and non natural sugar products are tricky tricksters that want your brain to think one thing but your body to do another. By eating ice cream, it is making my brain think that I NEED sugar because that is what I’m putting in my body. And don’t fool yourself. Your body has the same reaction to carbohydrates when they are in your body, except they are even worse! Carbs come in all kinds of delicious forms like baked lays, pop chips, chex mix, pita chips, and pretzel crisps, and do you know what those delectable, crunchy, savory little snacks do to you? Well, I won’t preach, but I assure you they do nothing good. Over the course of the last week I have eaten my weight in romaine lettuce, arugula, bananas, grilled chicken, turkey, sweet potatoes, eggs, avocado, nuts, and especially kale, on a daily basis. And I’ll tell you something. I feel AWESOME. Within the last week I have not felt overstuffed or famished, or woken up feeling guilty from my indulgent meal the previous evening. My cravings for turkey sandwiches with lettuce mayo and swiss have dissipated along with my cookie and espresso ritual after lunch. I am living on food. Real food. That I am crafting in my own kitchen. Go figure.

Tonight I decided to try a little paleo cooking and picked up some almond flour and chicken breasts on my way home from the office. With a little added love from my friends cayenne, red and black (quite the gang, aren’t they?) I kicked up the flour dusting and made some absolutely delish chicken cutlets! By adding arugula, fresh tomatoes, onion and avocado I made myself a paleo version of one of my favorite meals: Chicken Milanese.

Since I woke up feeling fab and relatively weightless I decided to wear a figure flattering menswear inspired outfit today. With my skinniest jeggings, I wore an oversized white blouse with a banded stretchy tank underneath, and balanced the volume of my top with a pair of chunky boots. Of course, I wore a belt to pull in the volume of the blouse around my slowly shrinking hips and threw on a necklace for good measure. I was too busy on concentrating on being a caveman to get a picture, so instead I’m featuring a pic of a girl who always knows how to accentuate her curves!

Sofia Vergara at the Golden Globes. My God isn’t she fab!

Getting Back on the [Race] Horse

Dani, Ashley, Jess, Me, and Lois en route to Travers. I’m stylin’ in a Timing dress with an elastic waistband, Brunello Cucinelli suede sandals and Dior cat-eye sunglasses.

Busy is not the word to describe what my life has been like over the past few weeks. And do you know what a synonym for busy is? Hungry. At least in the Alex Fischman version of the Merriam-Webster. Let’s pretend for a second that I’m about to give you a legitimate excuse. Besides traveling to Europe and back, opening Spring 2013 market (which, for those of you who don’t know what market is, just picture hell filled with expensive clothes), partaking in an intense work related tour of the United States including 5 different cities in 5 days, and finding a new apartment in the SUPER reasonably priced rental city of New York, I have been doing everything in my power to get Jenny Craig to stop pocket dialing me four to five times a day (at least that’s her excuse when I call her to confront her). So as you might imagine, my diet, and waistline, have both literally fallen off the scale. As have I, mostly because I refuse to weigh myself until I am able to step on the scale without breaking it.

In reflecting on how I let this happen to myself I have been able to pinpoint a few things that I believe have given me that extra push when I have been too close to the edge of falling off of my diet. The first I believe to be the most frustrating. Although I am extremely thankful that my colleagues and I are provided with a delicious lunch cooked by a real live Italian chef in our newly renovated super amazing office kitchen, both my brain and stomach are suckers for a buffet. Even when I told myself that I would not eat pasta, somehow the fresh and never dried strands of spaghetti made their way onto my plate, curled themselves around my fork, and shoved themselves into my mouth. And we won’t even talk about the fresh mozzarella, miniature truffle sandwiches, or bite size tiramisu cups. Traveling for a week was also difficult, mostly because many of my meals were scheduled to be eaten in airports. Now, if you read my post ‘Cibo Stands for Clearly Irresistible Brands of Junkfood And Other Delicious Airport Treats’, you are probably wondering why I wasn’t more excited about exploring the culinary offerings of not one but FOUR different airport terminals throughout the Continental United States. Well let me tell you one thing. Houston Hobby, Dallas Lovefield, Boston Logan, and Philadelphia International don’t even begin to compare to the La Guardia Delta Airport Terminal. So clearly I was forced to eat only foods with a calorie value of 1000+ and we’ll just leave it at that.

My fashionable besties after the races

Following my week of travel and eating mania I joined over 20 of my college friends in Saratoga Springs to celebrate the end of the Saratoga horse racing season and attended the Travers race along with many generations of Skidmore College graduates. While we were all very excited to finally be together in the place we spent four of the best years of our lives, the real treat, as well as challenge of the weekend  was the multitude of restaurant options that we had to cram into 48 hours. And cram we did. From fried chicken sandwiches slathered in coleslaw from Hatties, to chocolate covered potato chips from Putnam Market, to Upstate New York style bagels from Uncommon Grounds slathered in walnut raisin cream cheese, or butter, (or both), we made it our point to consume as many options as possible in the small amount of time that we had. And then the weekend was over, and reality hit, I was forced to drive back to The City with my pants unbuttoned because three of my strongest friends could not force them shut. Okay, not really. I wore leggings.

So how does one get back on track after spending weeks reminding themselves of all of the delicious food options this world has to offer? Make up your mind. When I returned to The City on Sunday night, squeezed myself through my apartment door, and prayed to the high heavens that I would wake up in the morning and someone would have preformed gastric bipass surgery on me in my sleep, I made up my mind that Monday was Day 1. Again. And so I woke up Monday morning, got a coffee and banana on my way to work, a salad for lunch, and went to the gym before dinner. And you know what? I survived. Day 1 wasn’t the best eating day I’ve ever had, but it was a whole hell of a lot better than Day Before 1. And you know what else? Day 2 was even better than Day 1. This morning I had a fresh pressed juice for breakfast, vegetable sandwich for lunch, and made couscous with arugula, corn and tomatoes for dinner. AND went to the gym. No, I am still not a size 2… or 4… or 6… but I’m back on track to getting my shrinking tush into pants that have a front zip fly instead of an infinitely stretchy waistband. So take the plunge. Tomorrow can be Day 1 for you too! And remember, food is good. Correction, FOOD IS GREAT, so don’t deprive yourself, but know that tomorrow can be Day 1, again, just like that.

Schnitzel Has Too Many Calories to Count.

An artistic interpretation of what we would have liked to have been wearing instead of our travel outfits.
Drawing by Molly Peters

It’s been quite some time now since I’ve taken to the internet to rant and rave about my growing and shrinking waistline, but I promise, I have a very legitimate explanation. Early last week I embarked on a biannual journey across the Atlantic to the German city of Düsseldorf. If you have never heard of this city, I’d be much less shocked than I was when I heard that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were getting divorced, which, as naïve as it may make me seem, SERIOUSLY surprised me. So let me give you a brief summary of what one would find in the city of Düsseldorf: schnitzel, the Rhine River, and some very jolly blonde haired German folk with accents that make any English sentence sound funny. Now that we’re on the same page let’s discuss.

Figuring out what to wear when getting on a 7+ hour flight is no easy feat. But figuring out what to wear when getting on a 7+ hour flight while traveling with your boss who owns a fashion company that bases its image on being an all around lifestyle brand, is pretty close to impossible. So you should understand my surprise when not a single one, out of the eight of us traveling to Germany, arrived at the airport in our birthday suit. How did nine very different women between the ages of 24 and 33 all manage to put together an outfit that was acceptable to wear to work, sleep in on an airplane, and wear well into the next day until checking into the ultimate relief of the Hotel Intercontinental? That, my friends, I do have the answer to. Modern miracle. That’s all.

Elif and I sacrificed comfort for cute in this picture at Riva Restaurant in Dusseldorf. I’m wearing a brand new top by COS and elif is wearing a cotton blouse with organza sleeves by Brunello Cucinelli.

The number one requirement for me when putting together a ‘travel outfit’ is comfort. Okay, I’ll be honest, comfort accounts for all top five spots of my travel requirements. If it were up to me I would travel in a full pajama set, wrapped in my down comforter, in my fleece lined J Crew slippers, but unfortunately, that would not be socially acceptable. So instead I made some additions to an otherwise sleepwear-esque outfit which were easily removable upon airport arrival. I built my outfit around my cotton stretch seamed leggings, which I’m pretty sure are magic. Although they might fool you with their strategically placed seams to make you think I am wearing real pants, the elastic waistband and 360 degree stretch make me feel otherwise. I wore a similarly stretchy extra long tank top to hide the junk in the trunk, and topped it all off with an oversized racerback tank top. I sure was a sight for sore eyes. Well, not quite, but once outfitted with a drop waist leather belt, long chain necklace, and boiled cashmere scarf, I’m pretty sure I saw at least one TSA security professional do a double take when I passed through the security checkpoint. (I suppose he could have just been checking to make sure that my cotton tee shirt could in no way be used as a lethal weapon, but for all intents and purposes we’ll attribute it to my travel outfit.) I also kept a cashmere sweater and a pair of socks in my bag to layer on when then Xanax haze took over, at which point, my feelings about looking good would be neither here nor there.

So remember, when getting on a plane where you will spend way too much time attempting to sleep and way too little time actually getting quality rest, make comfort your number 1 requirement. Wear an outfit with a comfortable base and let the uncomfortable parts be removable ones. And always, ALWAYS, pack your own food. Because as comfortable as you may be upon boarding the plane, after eating the chicken special of the evening, you might find yourself in discomfort for the rest of the journey.

Learn How to Walk Before you Run

I refuse to post a picture of me in an exercise outfit, so instead, here I am eating a healthy post workout snack!

A diet, pardon me… ‘lifestyle change’ has two parts. There is the eating part, and the exercise part. Wanna guess which one I’m better at? Well, neither. But the truth of the mater is that, although I genuinely believe that what you consume determines about 75-90% of weight loss, that other 10-25% is also very important in achieving your ultimate goal of being a hot mama. The easiest way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you consume. But lets get real here. To me, the thought of burning twelve to fifteen hundred calories a day seems almost as impossible as getting my mother to wear a skirt that hits her above the knees (she thinks her knee’s are ugly. seriously.) So I opt for a different route in incorporating exercise into my life, which is committing to getting to the gym at least 3 days a week. Are you shocked that I work out at all? You should be! This is a recent development that has only been in place for the past two to three months ever since the New York Sports Club made me an offer I couldn’t refuse… which in retrospect wasn’t that great of a deal but at least it got me to join. When I get to the gym three days a week I feel like a total rockstar. And if one of those days is on a Saturday? Forget it! Queen of the castle. With my diet being my main focus, working out seems like a bonus to me, and who doesn’t love a bonus? Before I thought that if I didn’t get to the gym five days a week, I was a failure, which was true when I was eating tons of crap and relying on burning calories to keep the weight off… down… not growing as rapidly as it would have had I never exercised, which I didn’t, hence the lifelong continuous weight gain. Now that I have diminished my expectations to going three days a week my goal seems much more achievable and I actually enjoy and look forward to my triweekly commitment. But I’m still human and there are some days that I dread going. There are some days that I loathe going to the gym so much that I will make excuses to myself! I will say things like, ‘You had a big lunch and you might feel sick if you run.’ or ‘You worked out really hard yesterday and you should really give your muscles a chance to heal.’ Can you believe that? And sometimes I even let myself get away with it, because, hey, I’m admittedly charming pretty good at making excuses. But I have also committed to something else, which is telling myself, on the days that I would rather cut off my own arm then set foot inside of the NYSC, that I will go and just walk. And you know what? I never just walk. So next time you think that ‘you really shouldn’t work out because you think that you might not be able to catch a cab when you get out of the gym at 8PM on a Monday night which might cause you to go to sleep past your 10PM bedtime,’ tell yourself to just go and walk, and see what happens.

CIBO Stands for Clearly Irresistible Brands Of junkfood and other delicious airport treats

Answering Emails, Surfing the Web, and Writing a Blog at an airport are all great ways to keep from indulging in airport food offerings!

Traveling is difficult for anyone, but even more so for someone who thoroughly enjoys airport food. I know. Disgusting. But my name is Alex and I’m addicted to junk food, so now that I’ve admitted it, let’s just move on. Today started a 2 day impromptu work trip that was scheduled late Friday afternoon. So you can imagine my excitement when I realized that I had booked my flight (in my Friday afternoon stupor), to leave from my very favorite terminal in the Tri-State area! The new Delta terminal at La Guardia airport is my absolute favorite place to fly out of or into when traveling. And do you know why? Because it has a multitude of tasty food options to satisfy my every craving at any given moment. From your typical CIBO, which offers the necessary basics ranging from an array of Coca Cola brand beverages to a few different types of individually packaged cheese snacks, to a sit down restaurant by the name of Crust, which I can only assume serves pizza, although I have never actually allowed myself to dine there. There are breakfast bars that serve croissants and cappuccino in the morning and fresh pressed panini’s and wine in the afternoon. And the best part of all? The entire terminal is riddled with iPad kiosk’s where you can effortlessly order anything offered at any restaurant or bar in the building and someone will bring it to you at your own private space, on a communal high rise banquette, in the middle of your gate while you wait for your plane to arrive. Previously, I have actually tried to schedule my flights around meal times so that I would have an opportunity to indulge my addiction at the DELTA AIRPORT TERMINAL. If you thought I was messed up before, how ’bout now? Anyway, I never succeeded in doing so, so I have not actually ever had the opportunity to try any of the offerings that I instinctively craved not so long ago. My point of disclosing that information to you was not so that you would call Jennifer Hudson and have me locked up in Weight Watchers prison the moment I land from the first leg of my journey, but to honestly express to you, at points, how serious my addiction to food had become.

So why was I so excited to be flying out of this terminal if I have never actually indulged my favorite part of La Guardia Airport? Well, things have been going pretty well with Weight Watchers for about a week now, and generally after about a weeks time into any diet my willpower and drive begins to expire. But not this time. I was ready for a challenge, ready to prove to myself that I was really in it this time and that I could resist the temptations of my eating addiction. So, with great pride, I share that when I arrived at the airport today, I did go to CIBO, and I did make a purchase, of pineapple, part skim string cheese, and a bottle of water. And when I walked by Crust my mouth did water a little bit, but only a small amount, because I know that losing weight and getting healthy will taste better than anything that the La Guardia Delta Airport Terminal has to offer me. That said if I was flying out of the O’Hare Delta Airport Terminal we might have a different story on our hands.

But regardless if you have a whole list of your favorite airport restaurants saved in the ‘notepad’ section of your iPhone (yes… seriously), or if you have been taking lessons on self control from my mother, who can literally sit directly in front of an ice cream sundae bar and say ‘no’, traveling is an extremely difficult time to stay on track and make good choices. There are a few things that I have learned to do to save my waistline in times of jet setting. Firstly, I encourage you, no matter what size you are, to pack snacks. Pre portioned snacks have become one of my favorite things to add to my already excessively heavy handbag. How easy is it to reach into your bag and pull out something that you know you will enjoy and will not be able to overindulge in? And the best part? You don’t have to pay airport prices for snacks! (I mean REALLY, four dollars for a banana? Give me the guess who.) So feel free, buy in bulk, but when you do also add a box of sandwich bags to your cart. They will literally save your life. Well, not quite, but they have definitely helped my ever shrinking body. Also, schedule your meals for the day AROUND your travel, not during, so you will never be forced to eat at the airport and sacrifice your progress because you ‘had no other choice’. You do have a choice. You have a choice to eat a late lunch before your flight and a small later dinner when you arrive at your destination. Or, here’s a thought, pack your own meal! As busy as we all are it does not take more than 5 minutes to craft a 7 point sandwich that will satisfy your hunger, save you money, and make you feel proactive about your weight loss! So, to recap, next time you’re traveling, hopefully for a vacation to somewhere tropical, don’t blow your bikini bod at the airport. That would be tragic and completely unnecessary given the fact that you’re fabulous, and you now know some small tricks to put in your pocket for the next time your mouth waters as you pass Wok and Roll on the way to Gate C5.

 

Planning to Plan for Making Plans

I’m wearing a Kimchi Blue dress from Urban Outfitters and Brunello Cucinelli sandals

The summer is a great time to celebrate many things, including but not limited to, throwing a party for the bride of a future wedding, having a going away fiesta when you decide to move from New York to Boston, or to celebrate the beginning of the 26th year of life. And do you know how I know that? Because those are three events that I was asked to partake in during the weekend of July 14th. (Imagine how popular I felt! Seriously.) So, with my expectations high for the fabulousness of each event, I started to plan. Before the weekend ensued I decided to pick out my outfits to eliminate the stress, as well as spare my roommate of a complete physical and mental breakdown when trying to decide between wearing a wedge or a heel. I also made a conscious effort to review my eating schedule for the entire weekend so I could stay on track and not succumb to birthday cake, high calorie frozen drinks or late night pizza.

To start the weekend off right I committed to going to a Weight Watchers meeting to see what kind of progress, if any, I had made over the past week. Reluctantly, I walked the 6 blocks to the closest meeting, stopping to pick up an iced grande skim iced coffee (which I have FINALLY learned to order in perfect Starbucks lingo), took the elevator the the basement of 460 Park Avenue South, and removed my shoes, sweatshirt, and socks (as if socks were going to make it or break it for me). As the line in front of me quickly dwindled my heart started to race. What if I had worked hard all week and the scale doesn’t reflect it? What if the salt that I added to my tomato salad the night before is making me retain water and I don’t get an accurate read of my weight? What if all of the junk that I ate last week is just NOW catching up with me and I’m 5 pounds heavier than I was the previous week? And then it hit me. I was there, at a weight watchers meeting, on a saturday morning. If all of my negative thoughts were true, I was still here, actively working towards my ultimate weight loss goal. And that, my friends, is what I call progress. And here’s the other thing about weighing in: whether you gain or lose, the number on the scale gives you the incentive for the week ahead. If you have lost, you feel like a hot mama which gives you the drive you need to continue to push yourself. If you have gained, you know that your ‘bad’ week is behind you and you are now able to alter your actions for success and work towards ‘hot mama status’. So I weighed in, and lost 1.7. Not too shabby if I do say so myself.

I am loving lace and crochet details right now and have always been a fan of the sweetheart neckline

After having a small internal dance party for myself I headed my shrinking butt home to get ready for the wedding shower I was attending later that day. As the party would be held outdoors, I felt that it was the perfect opportunity to wear my brand new, and first ever owned, maxi dress! I had been searching for a long time to find the perfect maxi, and when perusing UrbanOutfitters.Com a few weeks ago it finally appeared. Here’s the thing about maxi dresses: They can be extremely elegant and trendy if you wear the right shape for your body, or, if worn in the wrong way, can make you look like you have gotten stuck in a nylon agility cylinder with arm holes. So choose wisely. For me, it was important to find a maxi with a defined waistline that had a bit of movement in the skirt. I envy all of the extra-tall, extra-slender ladies that can wear skin tight floor length jersey dresses and make it look effortless. But, alas, these styles make me look like I am wearing a latex body suit, which, I promise you, is not a good look on me. I paired my maxi with a pair of dressy sandals and made my way to White Plains to shower my friend, Andrea, with love and good wishes in her marriage. And while my maxi made a great statement for a day time party, Andrea wins the Sexy Lady award of the day. Dressed effortlessly in in a synched waist, high low silk number, the color of her dress let us know that all 10 years she has spent with her man haven’t been completely innocent! You go girl!

Best wishes to the Lady in Red on her Wedding!

The party was lovely, and do you want to know the best news? The food options were all healthy! I had eaten lunch before leaving the city to subdue my appetite in case counting points for the delicious offerings proved to be too difficult. But when I saw the grilled chicken, sliced tomatoes and orzo salad being prepared, I knew I had the ability to carefully indulge without risking busting out of my maxi before the party was over. And I have to admit, I did eat half of a very small cookie. But hey, sometimes a girl just needs a cookie, right?

Don’t Trade Your Salad for a Slurpee!

I’m wearing an H&M Cotton Blouse, H&M Cotton and Spandex Tank, Brunello Cucinelli Garment Washed Jeans, a Brunello Cucinelli Leather Belt, and Steve Madden Wedges

Friday: The fifth day of a tedious five day work week. The day you get to be excited all day long about your weekend plans. And the day, where it is literally impossible, no matter how hard you try, to eat healthy and stay on track so that you fit into the skin tight, curve hugging, classy yet slightly inappropriate, va-va-voom outfit that you have been crafting in your head all week long and are planning to wear to your best friends birthday party on Saturday night. Why does the mere thought of the word ‘Friday’ make me crave extra crispy cheese fries? How did Friday become the day to trade in your cardio for a cookie? Throughout my life, as I have jumped from one diet to another, PRAYING that one day I would wake up and Tyra Banks would be knocking on my door begging me to be America’s Next Top Model, there has been one constant message. A diet is not temporary. In order to really lose weight and keep it off you must adjust your lifestyle. Oh! That’s all it takes? Well, not exactly, but it’s a good mindset to have when starting any type of body shrinking technique. Whether it be diet or exercise, you must set yourself up for success by thinking about the future. The reason that diets like Atkins don’t work is because they’re not practical! How can you possibly live off of prosciutto topped with deep fried bacon slathered in pork infused aioli for the rest of your life? (My boyfriend might have an answer to that.) So in the spirit of setting myself up for success, I’m turning Friday into No-Fries-Day and committing to going to a Weight Watchers meeting tomorrow morning at 10Am… Okay, maybe 11Am. But either way it’s on the agenda and I think that’s a pretty good step in the right direction.

My styling tip for today incorporates one of my favorite accessories for every size I’ve ever been: The Belt. A belt is a unique accessory. They come in all different shapes and sizes, colors and fabrics. And there are about a million and one ways to wear a belt. You may use a wide belt to accentuate your slender waistline or a skinny belt to pull an outfit together. People even sometimes match the color of their belt to their shoes and their headband (not my style, but J Crew certainly has a clientele). Today I’m going to tell you about one of my new and favorite ways to use a belt a slimming accessory.

Style Tip #4: Wearing a drop waist belt is a great way to show your shape even when wearing an oversized top. A huge trend in the market right now is the oversized look, a sloppy edge if you will. But it is difficult for ladies who, like me, carry at least 90% of their overall body weight in their chest, to wear less fitted top styles without looking like you are wearing your 5th grade home made ‘sheet-ghost’ halloween costume. Try wrapping your belt around your waist just about where your waistband sits on your hips, over the bottom of your oversized shirt. Buckle the belt either in the middle of your waist, or off to the side if you’re feeling a little crazy, and pull out all of the shirt but what is under the buckle. The belt will stay put on your hips, revealing that you do have a shape under all that fabric, and are not, in fact, shaped like the nylon tent that lived in your back yard throughout middle school.

To recap: DO wear oversized shirts. They are super comfortable, breezy during the summer temperatures, and oh so hot right now. DON’T wear them without the belt unless you want all of your friends to start calling you Casper. And I don’t mean JLO’s man. Remember, the belt is supposed to look effortless, so don’t fuss with it too much or you’ll ruin it for everyone. Just kidding. Kind of…

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Brown Girl, White Pants, Extra Bleach

I’m wearing a Gap Cotton Tee-Shirt, H & M Cotton and Spandex Tank, Brunello Cucinelli Leather Belt, and J Brand Denim ‘Bette’ Jeans

Inevitably, if I am wearing white, I get dirty. And I don’t mean that I somehow get a speck of dirt on my brand new white blouse. Each time I wake up in the morning and feel slender enough to wear white, I am forced to remind myself that I am no good at it and should probably choose a different color for the day. This is followed by me convincing myself that today will be the one day, out of all of the days I have worn the color white, that I will not get dirty. And then I walk out of my apartment, and fall directly into a vat of tomato sauce. So of course, today is no different than all of the past days that I have thrown my fears to the wind and decided to wear the color white. This morning, I successfully put on my white pants, gray tank and charcoal colored tee shirt, complete with a taupe leather belt for a playful dropped waist detail. I made it out the door, into a taxi, and to the cafe across the street from my office, where I purchased my four dollar, SO not worth it, coffee, back across the street and to my desk without a single spot or splatter on my brand new crisp white J Brand high rise wide leg jeans. I couldn’t believe it! I was spotless! And then, as if some sort of higher power was playing a sick and twisted joke on me, my nonfat honey flavored 150 calorie 4 point Chobani yogurt exploded on my lap. Now here’s the good thing about yogurt: it’s white, which made for an easy clean up. So with a little help from my friends Bounty and Kleenex, as well as a guest appearance by Tide-To-Go, we are back in action with my daring fashion choice for today. That said, it’s only 11 Am, so please, pray for me until at least 5 O’Clock.

Style Tip #3: Everyone has the ability to wear white pants, but you must let your figure determine the silhouette. I can hear my mom now, “What-a-ya crazy?” Hear me out, people. White pants are a summer must-have, and now you can even wear them in the winter! So do yourself a favor and go over to Barneys Co-Op, and try on every style of white jean that they have to offer. Skinny girls – Good news! You can wear whichever style you want! (Bitches.) Curvy Girls – this is not the case for you. If you are shaped like I am and you’re Sir-Mix-Alot’s favorite body type (little in the middle but you got much back), then do me a favor and don’t try to squeeze your flesh toned sunflower stems into a pair of white jeggings. Instead, try a boot cut or flared style to balance the volume of your badunkadunk. Choose a silhouette that is fitted through the rear and the thigh, and flares out at, or just below the knee. This will give you the benefit of showing that you actually have those sexy curves without making you look like the Michelin Man. Wear something more fitted on top that shows your [en-route to] itty bitty waistline and you’re good to go. AND you’ve incorporated 2 top trends – white jeans and wide leg pants! You go you trendy trendster! Now go on witcha bad self and head uptown to 61st and Madison and get your little (medium/large) butt into some white jeans. But just remember to carry a tide pen and kleenex to-go pack at all times.

John Travolta wore bell bottoms, and you can too!

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All Hail Caesar [Salad]

On day #2 of the new phase of my diet I accomplished what seems like a few big milestones. To begin with, I ordered a salad from a salad bar and managed to incorporate 5 different kinds of vegetables, grilled chicken, and a low fat vinaigrette, as well as leave out croutons, dried fruit, cheese, and all types of salad dressings involving the words ‘ranch or caesar’. I also walked the long way to the subway, and even stopped in a few stores to do some perusing of the sale racks to increase my steps for the day. When I got home I opened my refrigerator, which still mirrors a miniature Trader Joes Pop-Up Shop, and reached for the baby carrots and hummus instead of the sesame crackers, which, in the past, have never been forgotten at any time I have had direct involvement with hummus. I know, I know. None of the above are life changing events or extreme weight loss techniques, but each one of these occurrences are small miracles to me. I have also realized that reflecting on my day, as I did both yesterday and today, truly reinforces my awareness of ‘I Can’ and does not allow much room for ‘I Can’t’ to enter my mind, therefore more or less forcing me to stay on track. I’m not sure how, but I have essentially tricked myself into sticking to this diet! But, again, it has only been two days, and tomorrow is Thursday, which sounds like a pretty good day for Mexican.