The Truth About Getting Older!

Hello Lovelies,

I think the month of January ran by me without my realizing it. My every day life has been incredibly busy for a month straight – between teaching, doing parties, and now launching a new business with makeup and skin care (more to come on that later!!), I think my body decided to revolt!

Some of you know that I’ve become pretty passionate about getting healthy. For almost a year, I’ve watched my diet and worked out at least 3-4 times a week, focusing on a cardio/weight lift circuit. It’s worked out great, as I’ve lost 33 pounds. Pretty nifty keen, if I say so myself!

March 2016

March 2016

January 2017

January 2017

But here’s the thing. Though I am stronger and more fit, somehow my body decided maybe I was trying to do too much and as a result, my sciatic nerve GOT MAD last Saturday morning and the Hubby and I spent most of the day at the emergency room. So, imagine my frustration when I am told to rest for a few days and take medications for pain. UGH!

Besides all that, I am realizing that my eye sight is going downhill. More and more I am having to rely on my reading glasses – and that’s not such a bad thing, as my glasses are kinda cute, but damn….it means I am definitely getting older!

I want to tell all young women out there – CHERISH your bodies. Love them as they are; don’t wish for something else. Now that I am in my mid 40s, my beauty routine has become much more elaborate to fight gravity. More supportive bras, firming creams, regular masks and facials. Yes, I know – we all get older. However, it doesn’t mean I have to just let gravity and stress tell the story of my life! Call me vain, but I want to look as young as my heart feels.

Dress. LuLaRoe. Bag, Just Fab. Necklace, Premier Designs.

Dress. LuLaRoe. Bag, Just Fab. Necklace, Premier Designs.

I take care of my skin. No longer do I trust just anything to put on it – chemicals make me red and the inflammation ends up breaking down cells, causing loss of tone and creating wrinkles. I discovered a professional grade skincare and makeup line, LimeLight by Alcone, which uses no chemicals, is free of parabens, plus is cruelty free (which I especially love!). Check out my before and after! You can see more at my Facebook page: Giving Good Face by Melanie! https://www.facebook.com/groups/1069186336560621/

Left, last December. Right, Feb 3 2017 after using LimeLight by Alcone's skin care and makeup consistently. No photoshop or filters!

Left, last December. Right, Feb 3 2017 after using LimeLight by Alcone’s skin care and makeup consistently. No photoshop or filters!

So yes – physically, aging sucks. Over time, things wear out. However, one thing I know is true: With age, comes wisdom. I don’t get sucked into others’ dramas, I focus on what’s really important to me and my family, I believe kindness is much more effective and needed, and true friendships are precious and few. I have no patience for toxic people or situations.

Getting older has given me more confidence. I say what I mean, and mean what I say. I don’t have time for games. If I want to try something, I will do it. Appeasing others to save face doesn’t interest me. The cliche’ of “life is too short” becomes very clear as one gets older.

So, yes I’ll have to do more physical therapy, wear glasses more frequently, maybe pass on more commitments to reduce stress. However, I’ve got one life and I want to live it the best I can!

Until next time!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo, Melanie:)

 

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Beyond What’s On the Scale

Hello Lovelies!

As you are aware, I am on a quest to reclaim my fitness. The truth is, there is no “magic trick” to losing weight. It’s hard work and watching what you eat, plain and simple. However, there’s a lot more to the story than numbers on a scale. I thought I’d share with you all what I’ve gained (and lost!) during these past 30 days:

  1. Eating REAL food makes a big difference! I didn’t realize just how much processed food I was eating until I began paying attention to my diet. I’ve dumped a lot of canned and frozen veggies from my diet and added in a bunch of fresh veggies and fruit. Watching the kind of starchy carbs (and how much I eat) has made a difference in my calorie intake. I feel a lot less sluggish and have more energy.
  2. Fitness Apps keep me on track. What did we do before smartphones? A lot of math and calorie burning guesswork! There’s a number of fitness apps out there, but the ones I use every day is My Fitness Pal and FitBit. What I really love about My Fitness Pal is that I put in my goal weight and it automatically figures out how many calories I need a day based on my activity level. It also can get all the nutrition info on any food with a barcode! I’ve also found it has the food info on LOTS of dishes served in restaurant chains. FitBit keeps me motivated and tracks my steps/exercise, and that info is linked to My Fitness Pal, which figures out how many calories I’ve burned! Yay!
  3. No Excuses. I decided that exercise MUST come first with me before doing anything else. To reach my goals, I do at least 30 minutes of heart pumping exercise 4-5 times a week, switching between cardio and strength training. I’ve rediscovered my inner athlete, regained flexibility and strength, and my endurance is so much better!
    A good sweat is good for the soul!

    A good sweat is good for the soul!

    I am a BEAST!

    I am a BEAST!

     

  4. Planning ahead is EVERYTHING! One of the bad habits I had was letting myself get too hungry, then I’d reach for the quickest food possible (and it was usually something processed or fast food). Now I make sure to eat 4-5 small meals a day to keep my blood sugar up and the food is low calorie and nutritious.
  5. Giving Myself a Break. I love food. I love celebrating good times with friends. To keep my sanity and stay on course, I allow myself one “cheat” meal a week. For example, last Saturday I enjoyed an 8 oz steak and mashed potatoes with friends. That is my indulgence until next Saturday. I also let my body rest the day after a harder workout.
  6. Rewards are Necessary. When I lost my first five lbs., I treated myself to a pair of pretty sandals. Then, when I realized I’d lost 8″ off my body last week, I got some “new to me” things from the local Airman’s Attic. When I meet a goal, I am sure to give myself a reward to stay motivated!
"New" wrap top, purse and earrings!

“New” wrap top, purse and earrings!

Purple earring

Can't believe this was FREE!

Can’t believe this was FREE!

Most of all…I am happier. Feeling lighter and having more energy has made all the difference with my depression issues. I hope to be 30 lbs. lighter by September, but I’m looking at this experience as a marathon, not a sprint, and to live my life this way for good.

Until next time!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo, Melanie.

 

More Boob, More Problems

Hello lovelies,

As many of you have probably noticed, I am a large breasted woman. I’ve been this way for most of my adult life. For the longest time, I wore a 36 C, then all of a sudden in my late 30s, they expanded to a 42 D. I blame the Hubby. I think he has a Jedi Mind Trick to do this.

My hubby loves me for me. I am very blessed.

Though breast enhancements continue to thrive, as any bountiful babe will tell you, more boob means more problems. I’ve come to the point where I’m seriously considering a breast reduction, much to the Hubby’s chagrin. Here’s just a sample of what I deal with all the time:

big-girl-problems

Back Pain. I have a double whammy in this department, as I have nerve damage in my lower back from a car accident. Standing in long lines are not fun. Neither is wearing huge balloons on my chest, adding to the strain. This is the number one reason I want these reduced!

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I’m a Walking Hazard. Unlike my smaller sisters, my boobs have been known to be deadly weapons. When in a grocery store, I wince when I have to reach up to grab something because I’m probably going to knock over a few items in front of me. I also have to sit away from a dinner table to make sure my gozangas don’t knock over glasses!

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Working Out is a Joke. Jogging is absolutely out of the question. Doing Zumba or any kind of jumping around aerobics involves two heavy duty sports bras and a prayer than I don’t pull a breast muscle (which has happened, by the way). I might suffocate if I try doing Downward Facing Dog. If I hope to get into better shape, these big girls need to go!

Buying an Affordable Bra is Impossible. Problem one: Most stores don’t carry sizes above a 40. Problem two: I will count on having to spend at least $50 to get a decent, well fitting bra. The $20 Playtex ones are useless, plus ugly as hell.

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Fashion Can be Tricky.  Button down blouses? Forget about it. I haven’t worn one in six years. Any top without stretch is not going to happen. Plus anything lacy, includes ruffles or bows, or satin is not happening with large breasts. Strapless? Yeah, right!

Ariel Winter...Good for you girl, but I can't do that to myself.

Ariel Winter…Good for you girl, but I can’t do that to myself.

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Trying Not to Look Like a Porn Star. Every day, I constantly walk the line of “am I showing too much cleavage?” Don’t get me wrong – I own who I am. However, for anyone to take me seriously, I have to watch the cleavage factor. Funny how we celebrate big boobs, but when we have them, we’re encouraged to cover them up. I. Can’t. Win.

comfybreasts-pillow-1.img_assist_custom

Sleeping Comfortably. On my back? Nope. I will suffocate myself. On my side? My boobs smash together. On my stomach? I need to place a pillow just the right way so I don’t feel like I’m being squeezed.

So ladies and gentlemen, wish for large boobs. I get it. They look fabulous! However, I can do with a little less va-va voom and more comfort! Here’s to my Big Boob Girls, “hang in there!”

boob-jail_thumb

Until next time!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo Melanie.

 

 

 

It’s The Divine Mz M’s Third Anniversary – Giveaway Time!

Hello lovelies!

Like my new layout? It’s time to change things up!

It’s hard to believe, but I started this blog THREE YEARS AGO today! With all the various beauty and fashion blogs out there, I didn’t really expect many readers to follow me. 130 posts later, I need to thank you for all your positive input, likes, and shares! You inspire me to keep writing about body positivity and self acceptance. I’m a believer in making the most out of life and loving ourselves as we are, today! Thank you for going on this journey with me.

You know what having an anniversary means, right?

It’s GIVEAWAY TIME! Woot!

I thought, what a better way to celebrate than giving away three of my favorite beauty basics for the third anniversary? So, one lucky reader will win:

  1. A Clinique Chubby Lip Balm

clq_749K05_402x464

I am obsessed with this lip balm! It’s the perfect hybrid of a lipstick and lip balm. Moisturizing, but not glossy. Looks so natural on the lips!

forever maxi 3

Wearing Clinique Chubby Stick in Sheer Berry Pink.

2. And… Loreal’s Butterfly Intenza Mascara!

Butterfly mascara

Definitely one of my all time favorites. This gives me long, lush lashes without clumps, and removes easily at the end of the day.

This was just some lip stain! Washed out easily!

Makes my eyes pop!

3. To top it off…Rimmel’s HD Glam Eyes.

rimmelhdglameyes

Number 27 is my favorite. The palette has the perfect nude/blush shades for an everyday look, and I’ve used the darker brown on my brows. The colors don’t wear out after a few hours, and blend together beautifully!

!

So let’s party! Scroll down to the bottom of the page and enter the “Rafflecopter” widget on the right. Be sure to share with your friends! 

This giveaway is open to U.S., Canada, and U.S. Territories only.

Good luck!

Love, laughter, and shoes-

xo, Melanie.

Blogger on a Budget: Fabulous Fringe!

Blk floral fringe1

Hello lovelies!

As you know, I love a bargain, and with a lot of ’70s influence in this season’s looks, I hit Macy’s to find something to rock.

Blk floral fringe side

Macy’s never fails me. I can always find something chic that fits me beautifully for an awesome price. This adorable black floral coverall with sassy fringe from American Rag was marked down to $12! I can wear it with shorts, a jumpsuit, a dress, a skirt!

FREE thrift find!

I paired it with my fantastic thrift find – an Old Navy cotton dress that fits me great! My waist is defined, giving me more of an hourglass. I got this for FREE!!

Of course, I have to trick out my look with a few accessories, so I went gold with this chain necklace and gold cuff from Claire’s Accessories, and lengthened my legs with these beige wedges from Charlotte Russe. Love it!

Blk Floral fringe2

You might notice I’ve got a black bracelet on. I’ve been working on developing a healthier lifestyle, so I got a Fit Bit! So, I’m tracking steps, exercise, food, and water. Having this definitely makes me more accountable to myself!

However, as you know, I’m not about being a certain size. We all should find beauty in ourselves, regardless of size. My Fit Bit makes me make better decisions about how I treat my body. So, if I end up losing weight, my back would definitely be better for it, plus I want more energy! Who wouldn’t want more energy?

I hope your November is off to a great start! Until next time!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo, Melanie.

 

 

 

 

 

Coming Out Day: Owning Who You Are

Hello lovelies,

For many of my friends, Coming Out Day is a time to celebrate their authentic selves. To not hide who they truly are.  Being proud to say they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.  I am proud to be a supporter of their celebration!

For me, Coming Out Day is so much more than this. Many of us are “closeted” in some way.  Afraid of not fitting in, fearful of ridicule and criticism. For a plus size woman as myself, the one thing I’ve kept closeted is my weight.

Not today. I am owning that as of this week, I am 217 pounds.

IMG_20140625_191831

I am overweight. I accept this fact. I am aware that it’s not good for me to carry this excess weight on my frame. However, I am not going to be ashamed of myself.

My hubby loves me for me. I am very blessed.

My hubby loves me for me. I am very blessed.

I’m not defined by my weight. It has taken me years to get to this mindset, as I used to think I was fat, unattractive, and unworthy at 135 pounds. I thought, when I am 115, then I will be happy.

WEIGHT DOES NOT CREATE HAPPINESS! When I was in my size 2/4 days, on the outside I seemed happy. In reality, those were some of the most anxious, self doubting days of my life. I believed that if I gained weight, people would stop taking me seriously.

I lived off of protein bars and coffee to stay this thin. Always afraid of the scale.

I lived off of protein bars and coffee to stay this thin. Always afraid of the scale.

The thing is, now, I know I need to shed some weight to avoid becoming diabetic, taking pressure off my lower back, and decrease my risk of a heart attack. I am proud to say I am taking steps in the right direction to address these factors.

Hubby is really getting good at pics!

Hubby is really getting good at pics!

Weight goes up and down. My attitude and love for who I am should not be attached to what the scale says.

Own who you are. There’s only one YOU, so celebrate! 

Love, laughter, and shoes-

xo, Melanie.

 

 

“Face-ing” the Inevitable

Hello all,

I want to tell you about a big AH HA moment I experienced this past weekend.

Last week I got my hair cut for the first time since we moved here, and as the stylist shaved away layers of my red tresses, all I saw was white, white, and more white.

Where did my hair color go?

Usually my dark ash brown roots would signal the time for a touch up. However, this time I could hardly see any brown.  Sighing, I picked up some Clairol that promised to “cover stubborn grays.”

burns quote

Two days ago, while moisturizing my face,  I paused to examine a tiny crow’s feet wrinkle that seemingly popped up overnight by my right eye.

I am 44. In some respects, I am proud of that age.  When it comes to my face and body, that number scares me. “Age is just a number” is a mantra I practice, yet, the reality is I AM GETTING OLDER.

At 34.

At 34.

At 44.

At 44.

What will getting older mean for me? Will I fight gravity? Or will I embrace what is happening? I don’t know.

Susan Sarandon perfectly expresses my hopes for aging:

sarandon quote

I think the secret is, enjoying the now and letting go of the worry will show from the inside out.  Here’s to remembering that idea when I cringe at another crow’s feet!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xoxo

Melanie.