beauty


On the bus this morning on my way to work a woman standing down the aisle from me caught my eye – tall, blond hair neatly pulled back in a pony, pencil skirt, good boots, funky swing jacket, fun scarf – she looked great, pulled together, good.  “love her style” I thought to myself  “would like to look like that”

and that’s when it hit me – I used to BE that girl – put together, chic, well-groomed, fashionable, confident

30 or so pounds and several life-crisis ago, that is

well crap, it’s time to go back to being THAT girl

I have a closet full of fantastic clothes – great jackets, funky skirts, chic pants, cute tops – but all 2 or 3 sizes too small – this must change

Lately I have taken to wearing my lulu pants or jeans to work with a sweater or hoodie and my Chucks.  On the one hand, SO LUCKY I can dress like that at the office.  On the other, it has allowed me to become lazy and complacent and not make any effort in getting dressed in the morning.  I have become LAZY.  And COMPLACENT.  My mother would most definitely not approve.

I mean who cares, right? No one is going to see me, what does it matter?

Oh, it matters.  Believe me, IT MATTERS! I need to make that effort again, care about what I put on before heading out the door.  Be the girl people look at and say “wow, she looks GREAT!  what style!” I was that girl and will be again. Soon. I figure by the end of April I can get my act together, drop 2 sizes and be right back in my kicky skirts and flirty tops, feeling good about being ME.

Show the world the best version of me and then the sky’s the limit – there will be no stopping what this girl can do!

will keep you posted . . .

*the fact that the episode of Beauty Call that I filmed a few months ago wherein they (and Whitney Port!) called me FAT (I am a size 12 to 14) in at least 18 different ways on national television has NOTHING to do with this!

I am not one for New Year’s resolutions – personally I think they are stupid and do not stick.  However, this year I made a promise to myself to try things that scare me and that get me out of my comfort-zone.

Going on national television in my undies counts I think, right?

Last week I told you how I got a call from Anna & Kristina’s Beauty Call and that I had been selected to appear on this new make-over show.  Well the first part, the SCARY part, was filmed on Tuesday – and while scary, it was not terrible.

I arrived on set not really sure what to expect other than the fact that at some point I would be in front of a camera in not a lot of clothes.  The “studio” is in an old office building bordering on Yaletown and has been staged to look like a girls’ dressing room on one side, complete with vanity full of make-up and accessories and a fashion designer’s studio on the other – drafting tables, bulletin boards with sketches, magazine cut-outs, etc.  BTW, LOVED the two arm chairs in the dressing room side – think they would notice if I snuck them out??

anyway …

First off the make-up artist worked her magic and made me look human. Honestly, I want her to live with me and do that every day – it didn’t look like I was really wearing any and looked like me but WAY better.  LOVED!

The show’s stylist (and forgive me right now but for the life of me the only name of anyone I met that day that I can remember was the lovely PA, Plum) brought me to the bathroom – in the HALLWAY! oh, the glamour of television –  to do measurements (!!!!) and give me my outfit for the shoot – the afore mentioned bandeau top and boy-shorts.  Not as terrible as I thought and I have found my new favourite undies –  Jockey bamboo boy-shorts! Honestly, so comfy and soft and THEY DON”T RIDE UP AT ALL!!  Of course I got to keep the pair that I wore that day (duh) and have since gone out and bought myself 6 pair.  They are THAT good.

anyway, carrying on …

Then it came to my turn to be on camera – GAH!  Oh, and have I mentioned that the camera crew were all men??!!  But professionals, I guess, and used to this so whatever … on to the mat I stepped, in front of a full length mirror and answered questions fed to me by the segment director. The questions were pretty mundane:  name, age, occupation, then came WEIGHT!  and MEASUREMENTS!  and then the crux of the matter – what is my fashion/wardrobe dilemma (too much black, too conservative, a little boring) and what did I hope the girls could help me with (to be a bit more fashion forward, adventurous).  I guess this lasted about 10 minutes but it seemed like FOREVER!

When it was over I got back into my own clothes and met with the second director and camera crew for the outside “before” shots.  This consisted mainly of me walking back and forth on the side walk by Victory Park which is right across from the where the studio is.  If you are at all familiar with Vancouver you will know that the people who hang out in Victory Park are mainly addicts and homeless people.

Walking back and forth being followed by a camera crew caused quite a stir!  I tried to act all natural and like I do this all the time but really?  AWKWARD!  AT one point they had me sitting on a bench, texting, looking natural (!!!) – I sent the following text to my sister “they are filming me texting you so when you see this on tv that is what I am doing – HA!”.  People were staring at us and after it was over a few came up to me and were all like “are you an actress?”.

um, no

And so it ended and I survived and it wasn’t terrible. The big “reveal” is being shot next week and I can’t wait to see what they pick!

You know those “reality” shows where the person goes on, unhappy with themselves or their house or their wardrobe or whatever?  like TLC’s “What Not to Wear” or Britain’s Trinny & Suzanna??  Well Canada’s W Network is launching their own version, hosted by Anna & Kristina of  Shopping Bag and Grocery Bag fame called Beauty Call, and I applied.

And got on.

The first shoot is this coming Tuesday – and I have to appear on camera wearing a black bandeau top and black boy-shorts.

Half naked.

ON CAMERA.

For NATIONAL TELEVISION.

I guess it’s too late to start with the sit-ups … I wonder if I could request a full bar on my ryder???

UPDATE:  I did it today and it was scary but not terrible!  The (ALL MALE!!) camera crew were great and the production team really made me feel comfortable.  I said that this year I was going to do stuff that scared me and took me out of my comfort zone.  This totally qualifies!!  Can’t wait to see what they pick out for me!!  stay tunes …

taking a leap of faith here …

One of my favourite daily reads, Heather Hunter of “This Fish Needs a Bicycle” fame wrote this post about this post.  Quite something, no?

I was then reminded of a post of my own from 2 years or so ago.

The last year or so has been rather, for lack of a better word, tumultuous for me.  The on-again/off-again cycle ended rather dramatically with me winding up with a new puppy.  Have I mentioned that it was on the eve of my starting a new career?? And on that front, I have survived aggressive internal sabotage and come out on top. Not to mention the wee company I work for surviving the topsy-turvy world of the stock market. We are still here –  yeah us!

More recently my mother’s illness pretty much consumed my emotional resources and most of my time and energy.  But if I can take anything positive away from that experience, and I like to think that there is A LOT of things positive to be taken away from it, then it is this: do not wait for things to happen.

So in taking a page from Ms. Hunter, here’s an updated version of that post I wrote VERY tongue in cheek two years ago, though this time not so tongue in cheek.

To:  Potential Suitor(s)

From:  Me

Me, a single, 39 41 year old never been married and doesn’t want kids EVER woman, who may or may not have some serious control issues.  I live alone with quite possibly the world’s cutest and best golden retriever named Maggie, though she does have a somewhat irritating habit of throwing up randomly, and oftentimes on the bed, and she thinks that rolling in dead stuff is pretty much the best. thing. ever. Our new addition, Scout, is equally adorable in a rough-and-tumble kind of way, absolutely one of a kind. They take priority over EVERYTHING.  And there is no arguing that point, so don’t bother.  I maintain that I am a morning person, but don’t bother talking to me for the first 2 or 3 hours of the morning because I will not respond in a caring and positive manner (sadly, still very, very true).  You have been warned.  Food and I have an interesting relationship and there is rarely anything other than condiments in my fridge at any given moment (I Have changed a bit in that regard and try to maintain a somewhat stocked fridge.  Oh, hell, who am I kidding – even the condiments are not a sure bet!!).  Except for the $30 worth of olives from the WholeFoods olive bar (check!), or the 3 bottles of wine (and double check!)– I love to cook and am really, really good at it, but I also have to completely rationalize each and every morsel that goes into my mouth, hence the complicated relationship.  (Therapy has been wonderful) Again, you have been warned. For obvious reasons the section about meeting my mother and her eagerness to plan a wedding  is now no longer relevant.  That said, my father is indeed a lovely, wonderful man and is very direct with his questions.  Do not be afraid.  If you read more than the sports section, enjoy good beer, wine and whiskey (and bring same with you) and golf, you are pretty much a sure thing. Oh, but I do have fabulous hair (blond now, not brown) and shoes for every occasion imaginable, and even some for the non-imaginable (the collection has diminished, see Scout, above), and I have been told that I am fun at parties, though I don’t know if this is a good thing or if it is because I can do some incredibly stupid but apparently amusing things, but whatever, and? I can totally teach you the Hustle in under 5 minutes and am the undisputed champ of useless 80’s movie and music trivia.

If this sounds at all appealing …  (good therapist was found – maybe I should ask for a refund??) applications are currently being accepted.

Cheers!

Am I  pissed that she lost all that weight?  absolutely not – I think it’s fabulous.  What I am pissed about is how they are promoting it and the unrealistic image she is portraying while posing in a bikini.  Hey, she looks GREAT! but at what cost?  and to what end? as far as I can tell all it serves to do is propagate the unattainable and unrealistic (not to mention completely unhealthy) body image that Hollywood and the media force upon us.

Like most women I know, and don’t know for that matter, I have struggled with my weight pretty much all my life.  I have been WAY up and WAY down, neither healthy, and right now I am pretty much where I should be but of course am still not completely happy with it.  I lead an active life but think I should be more active.  I eat well 95% of the time, but then go through spurts, like right now coincidentally, where a 250 calorie bag of baked pretzels dipped in almost no calorie Dijon mustard makes a perfectly acceptable meal of the day.  Yeah, I know, SOOOOO healthy, right?

I had a mini melt-down the other day, thankfully in the privacy of my own bedroom, brought on I suspect by watching an interview with the aforementioned Ms. Bertinelli, tuning in to the Biggest Loser (a show I actually enjoy and think for the most part promotes a healthy attitude and approach to weight loss),  and the fast-approaching spring/summer season.  Ms. Bertinelli admitted to dropping her caloric intake to 1,200 for several weeks prior to the bikini shot.  Well of course she did?  If I knew I was going to be photographed in a bikini for millions of people to see you had better believe that I would pretty much stop eating and start working-out 6 hours a day for at LEAST a month. 

But then what? What happens when you go back to real life? What happens when you HAVE  a real life, with a real job and real responsibilities?  Most of us don’t have 6 hours a day to dedicate to working out.  Most of us don’t have a weight-loss company PAYING us to promote them thus enabling us to have those 6 hours a day to work out.

Which brings me to my next “issue” – the whole weight-loss company thing.  Jennifer Lancaster made this point over and over in her book “Such a Pretty Fat” (which I LOVED, by the way – READ IT!).  Sure, Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers work great IF YOU EAT THEIR PRE-PACKAGED FOOD.  But then what?  Are you stuck eating that crap forever??  Because, yuck. And so not healthy – it’s all processed and full of stuff you can’t pronounce and so contrary to that other dietary trend we are being inundated by – the 100 mile thing (but that’s a whole other topic for a whole other entry). And they don’t emphasize (or even mention in some cases) that exercise is the key.

This is a point that The Biggest Loser makes over and over again – change your life, change the way you eat, change the way you move.  Sure the contestants on the show have the luxury of being on a ranch with some fabulous trainers and the ability to work out 24/7 should they so choose.  But it’s not a permanent situation and they, for the most part, leave the ranch with a new approach to how they live their lives.  They are shown healthy alternatives to their favourite snacks.  They are encouraged to MOVE.  Their lives and lifestyles change – they are not dependant on a series of pre-packaged “meals”.

But this isn’t about extolling the virtues if a reality television show.  It’s about why I am pissed at Valeri Bertinelli.  You look great, I’ve already said that, and you do.  Really, you do.  But how will you look in 6 months?  Probably still great, but likely not “posing in a bikini on the cover of a national magazine” great because how could you? unless, of course, you continue on your 1,200 calorie a day regime which is setting such a great example for all the real women and impressionable young girls out there.  Does being thin and bikini ready make you a better person? Because that’s the message that’s being sent.  thin=better, happier, worthier

Here’s the thing – I love food.  I love reading about it, watching about it (bad grammar, I know), talking about it, preparing it, and eating it.  Life would be pretty damn boring if I was restricted to 1,200 calories a day for life.  (also, I would be ridiculously thin and that’s just not such a great look on anyone over 35 – hello, a little fat does wonders for the wrinkles) Food for me is a social activity and one that I am not willing to give up.  The moving thing?  I do that – sometimes more than others but on average I am way more active than apparently 90% of the general population.  I have 2 dogs that require lots of exercise and that translates into 2 45-minute walks a day during the week (including HILLS – I live in the mountains) and a 2 to 3 hour hike on Saturdays and Sundays.  Plus other stuff.  So yeah, I am active.

I also know that I feel better a little “lighter” and I am in a better mood when I am eating healthier and when my favourite clothes fit. But I really don’t need the, admittedly mostly self-inflicted, pressure of having to be bikini-ready or risk being shunned or marginalised.

So Ms. Bertinelli and those of your ilk, I am pissed at you (but you do look great!).

 

not very often do I come across someone else putting into words exactly how I feel; today I did:

a man who’d experienced pain at one point in his life. I needed someone who wouldn’t be reckless with my heart, who knew what it felt like to hurt. I wanted a man, not a boy. I didn’t want a man afraid of loss but one who wanted me out of joy, out of preference. And I needed to live that way myself, to find someone I wanted not just someone who wanted me. Things don’t change just because you hold onto them. They change when you let go.

"I just want to be left alone ..."

"I just want to be left alone ..."

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