Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Beauty from the inside out

Last night I couldn't fall asleep so I decided to watch a documentary I've been eyeing on iTunes on the beauty industry, called "Chasing Beauty."

I loved Jiro Dreams of Sushi so I had high hopes for this documentary.  Artistically speaking, I didn't think it was as well done as Jiro Dreams of Sushi- in terms of cinematography, music, pacing, etc., but it was still very thought-provoking and certainly a topic of larger relevance.  It follows an aspiring model landing in LA, unsuccessfully interviewing at all the big modeling agencies, as well as pageant specialists, a plastic surgeon, a beauty editor, former and current models, makeup artists, historians, parents of models and model recruiters.  Since I had watched Girl Model, I thought this documentary would mostly detail the insanity of the modeling industry but this documentary was primarily about what beauty has meant in the past and in the present, the obsession over beauty, the advantages of beauty, and what it means to different people.  For what it's worth, I believe it's a worthwhile watch.  It reminded me of how absolute the saying 'beauty comes from within' truly is.  I have no aspirations in the beauty sector but the message was still very applicable and poignant.  The outside 'pretty' isn't true beauty, and the term beauty isn't to be conflated with good, nice, successful, etc.  The term 'pretty' doesn't even stay constant nor does it mean the same to different people in the same room.  Your own definition of beauty is for you to choose, for you to protect, for you to keep discovering and for you to nurture.

Monday, April 29, 2013

4 Major beauty no-no's

1.  Laziness

Not removing make up and cleansing the face -> Breakouts & Aged skin!!

2.  Sleep Deprivation

Your skin recovers when you sleep!!

3.  Hydration

Beauty works from the inside -> out!

4.  SPF

No Sun protection -> wrinkles, sun spots, etc.

Immediate Craving:

Beer-battered onion rings
French fries in Belgium 

Chocolate.. well, anything!
Olive & Mushroom Cheese Pizza
Baguette Ham & Cheese sandwiches in France

NOT to feel like this!

Get back to my racing weight!
Get back into my clothes!


Drink refreshing & detoxifying water!
Healthy Korean diet!

Places I've been so far... where should I go next?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Letter to my body: I'm sorry

***Not only has this tag been very popular around the blogosphere but I truly believe it is a great idea to practice this sort of meditation.  Many of us (well at least, I) am frequently not as appreciative of my body and health as I should be, often abusing and bullying it, when I really should be treating it as the precious gift it truly is.***

Dear Body,

Thank you for being the beautiful and strong vessel that you've been.  You've allowed me to run marathons, bike thousands of miles, make love, explore the world, cuddle, cook, make music, taste exotic and ordinary foods, heal, rest and help others.  I haven't always appreciated you the way I should.  I have often yelled at you in the mirror for not being model thin, not fitting into insanely small clothes, and I have often not fueled you with the proper nutrition and hydration.  Still, you have resiliently kept my alive.  I realize not only that you cannot forever be so resilient, but also is high time I nurture you better.  Thank you for your continued strength and perseverance.

Let me take better care of you from now on.



Saturday, April 27, 2013

Weekend To Do's

It's a beautiful weekend in Boston, and I've got a million things to get off my checklist but I'm going to try and enjoy a few non-'work' things too, like:

Fresh cut flowers

Extra sleep


Quiet time on my patio.. it's finally warm enough!
What are you doing to smell the roses ?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Lessons from my 8 Pound Vacation Weight Loss

A few months ago, (before all the family-drama that ensued), I went on a vacation to Israel for two weeks and Paris for 4 days.  It was my first trip to the Israel and it a nutshell, I loved the country.  So much of its history excited me and I hope to return some day; and Paris, was well, of course brimming with beauty in its museums, architecture, food, and people.  Now, this post isn't going to be on what I did specifically during the vacation itself, but what I realized after I got back.

In the span of 18 days I lost 8 lbs.

Sounds like a line from one of those Marie Osmond Nutrisystem commercials right?

Towards the end of the trip, I had noticed that some of my vacation clothes were a little looser on me but I thought they might just be stretched out from over use.  But nope, it was real and not-just-water-weight, actual weight loss.  When I stepped on the scale at home, I was shocked!

Now, let me just say- Weight loss was most certainly not my goal when I set off to explore the historical places of Israel and prance around the most delicious Rues of Paris, but it happened, and I hadn't suffered for it at all!  I was obviously quite active during my travels (lots of walking!), but I never sought out a gym to squeeze in some strength training or burn some calories on a treadmill.  Food-wise, I never avoided much of anything, except excessively greasy foods (which I thought might wreak havoc on my GI during my travels).  I tried almost everything I could, ate fresh meals, enough to reach fullness but no more so that I could travel around with ease.  Snacks included some fresh fruit or bread rolls I stowed away from meal times in ziplock baggies, and I never sought out 'diet' foods or sodas.  I enjoyed my meals with other people, and never found myself scarfing down extra snacks or junk in private. I just enjoyed what I wanted from the foods that were offered, when they were offered, and that was that.

Sounds simple, right? The truth is, it was!  And yet, I lost 8 pounds!  Taking my mind off dieting/food/weight loss, were key to actually getting healthy for me.  Despite the toll of traveling, I had more energy and regular moods at the end of the trip than at the start.  Now, I'm not saying re-implementing those lessons will be as easy as it was when I was on vacation where options were inherently limited and I was most certainly moving around all the time, but I remember how good I felt, how well I slept, (and how well my clothes fit!) with non-chemical laden foods properly fueling my system.  I want to get back there!  Now, it's not easy to adjust your taste buds to less artificial flavors and I know I will be cranky at times, but it is so worth it.  The energy.  The good moods.  The non-bloating.  Mental clarity!

This is not a diet.  It's self-care.  It's the pursuit of feeling better, and not so sluggish.  So, today is day 1 back to my better self.  None of the really yummy stuff like chocolate, ice cream or doughy bread is off limits.  It is the chemical-laden margarines, microwave popcorn, fat free hot dogs, fat free deli slices, and aspartame laced snacks that I want to take off the table, and remove from my body.  My body deserves better.  I deserve better.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Managing Expectations and Exploring Weight Loss

When it comes to weight loss, hope and anticipation can provide you such a thrill, almost a *high* really, but the reality of the journey itself isn't quite as dreamy. Weight loss takes time and patience, which means managing expectations is crucial.  Particularly the enduring type of weight loss.  Time is required not only to physically change your body, but also to adopt new and healthier habits with regard to exercise, lifestyle and food.  Most importantly, you need time to get your mind to where it should be to live the rest of your life healthily and not just at your ideal weight.  Binge-exercising, binge-dieting, binge-anything may provide your quick and dramatic results, but trust me- you won't see them for very long.

Although one of my goals is to lose 20 lbs by my 30th birthday, that will require an approximate 6 lb weight loss per month, which is pretty aggressive when the higher priority is a lifelong lifestyle change. Therefore, I will be amending this goal to changing my eating habits towards hunger-driven eating and being more physically active, so I can gradually get to a healthier weight and never diet again.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Eating Intuitively

Yesterday, I began reading Thin Side Out by Josie Spinardi.

I'm about halfway through and so far, it's a recommended read.  It purports a non-diet mentality towards foods, i.e.  Hunger-Driven Eating (HDE), while discussing the multitude of negative repercussions to dieting using scientific data.  Spinardi writes very concisely without being too dense, making the book is an easy read. Her conversational language makes the reader feel like she's talking to him/her directly.

As a self-confessed, avid dieter in the past, I could relate to almost every diet-related symptom she mentions in the book.  Her promises to arrive at mental health (especially in regard to the food-relationship/attitude/confidence), happiness and the physically optimal condition were enough to get me started on HDE.  Some of the initial steps, for e.g. letting go of fear attached to eating certain foods, and letting yourself become very hungry, are not easy but I am convinced the ultimate goal of achieving a non-dieting attitude towards eating will liberate me from the yoyo-dieting and the weight roller coaster I've been on for the past 15 + years.

Much of this book reminded me of Bethenny Frankel's Naturally Thin concepts but the distinguishing feature of Josie Spinardi's advice is the value she places on self-care, self-understanding and self-love.  The emphasis is on exploring your individual body and psyche rather than the rules that Ms. Frankel proposes in her Naturally Thin book.  For those of you who desire to get off the diet wagon for good, give this a try.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Lose weight and Gain dough (the good kind!)

For those of you who don't know about Dietbet yet, it is based on the idea that if you put money on a commitment, you're more likely to stick to it.   

Please check out: Amanda Russell's Dietbet page and Sarah Dussault's Dietbet page.  I've joined both, so it's costing me $30 each, to a total of $60 (you can join up to 5 Dietbets at a time), and the idea is that the participants who are able to lose 4% of their initial body weight will get their commitment amount plus a little extra back at the end of the Dietbet.  Since I'm aiming to lose 20 pounds by the big 3-0, I might as well win a little money while I'm at it!

Blogging to the Big Three-O

A while back, I was blogging at http://putyourglasseson.blogspot.com before I dropped off the face of the blogosphere.  Stressful circumstances at home (which I'd like to keep private for now), kept me from my regular blogging but now that some of those things have been settled, I'm ready to return. I decided to start a fresh new blog because in 3 months, I will be turning 30 which I hope will launch a wonderful, new life chapter and hence the blog title.

Before the big 3-0, I've made 3 big goals for myself:
  1. Lose 20 pounds
  2. Apply for some post bac and masters programs 
  3. Ace the MCAT
All three goals are admittedly quite daunting but I am confident I can accomplish them.  

Please follow me on this road to my 30s and beyond! (hehe, I know.. I'm cheesy)