Pictures Don’t Lie

BoM selfie

Hello Lovelies,

Oh, I am a bad blogger! I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I posted anything, but I HAVE been busy! First off, I went home to Michigan for a couple weeks to surprise my dad for his birthday – and was he surprised! Between myself, stepmom, best friend, and aunt, we pulled off an awesome surprise party! I’m so happy I was able to do that for him and spend time with people I love. It’s hard to be so far away.

One of the things that’s hardest to do when going on vacation or seeing your friends and family is sticking to a healthy routine. When I left for Michigan on June 14, I weighed 207 (17 lbs down from my heaviest in March). I watched portion sizes, how much sugar and fat I ate, and avoided simple carbs. I did some “power walks” in the mornings to get my cardio going. Coming back, I was 205. Now I am 202! That’s 21 lbs. gone.

Though I’ve seen progress on the scale, sometimes it’s difficult to truly see it in the mirror. However, going through some pictures gave me true perspective of what I’ve done. Here I am at the start of my journey in March (at 223 lbs):

When I began to take control of my health!

When I began to take control of my health!

March 2016 223

Here are my latest pics from the first week of July:

Dress, Just Fab. Belt, thrift store find.

Dress, Just Fab.
Belt, thrift store find.

Bag and sandals, Just Fab.

Bag and sandals, Just Fab.

Though I look and feel healthier, I am not going to put down the Melanie in the “before” pictures. That’s something I don’t like seeing people do who’ve lost weight (“Look at how fat I was!, What a slob!, How ugly! etc.). I don’t think it’s healthy for my soul to “name call” myself. Who I was then has brought me to now, so I am thankful for that.

I’ve also put in 500 lifetime miles on my FitBit! I had to celebrate my getting these cute black sandals from JustFab.com (unfortunately are now sold out!).

Blk JF sandals

Though I’m entering (what is horribly named) “middle age,” I find that the key to staying and feeling youthful is to surround myself with people who love to have fun and bring out the best in you. I am blessed to have several people in my life who do this, especially my best friend of 40 years, Debby. She may not be my blood sister, but she has been one to me in every sense of the word!

All dressed up to see the hilarious musical, THE BOOK OF MORMON.

All dressed up to see the hilarious musical, THE BOOK OF MORMON.

BFFs Forever!

BFFs Forever!

Question for you all: Is age “just a number?” Are there things you should stop doing at a “certain age?” Please comment:)

Until next time!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo Melanie.

 

 

 

SHOP LINKS: Black T shirt dress (up to 3X)

Bag (available in cognac only)

Advertisements

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.

 

Time for a Makeover: Body, Mind, and Hair!

Hello Lovelies!

I’ve been quiet on the blog lately, mostly because I’ve been busy making myself and my life over! 

You know when you get the feeling that something needs to change? I’d been feeling a bit stressed lately, and as a result my rosacea flared up. Ugh! Nothing I tried was helping to keep the redness and the little breakouts down…until my friend Lisa turned me on to Rodan & Fields. 

The curse of the Irish, rosacea!

The curse of the Irish, rosacea!

Lisa suggested the Soothe regimen, which included a mild cleanser, treatment lotion, moisturizer, and a gentle SPF. After about two weeks, the rosacea has calmed WAY down. Plus, my skin is super glowy and soft! Rodan & Fields also has skin regimens for acne and anti aging. THESE PRODUCTS ARE WORTH EVERY PENNY!

No makeup, and NO PHOTO TOUCH UP. My skin looks so much better!

No makeup, and NO PHOTO TOUCH UP. My skin looks so much better!

I also decided to get a better makeup to keep my complexion looking fantastic, so I bought the Bare Minerals starter kit. I’ve got primer, the mineral foundation, a warming bronzer, and the finishing Mineral Veil. Here I am with just the foundation & bronzer, then a full makeup look:

With the Bare Minerals products on.

With the Bare Minerals products on.

My "done" look. Love the glow!

My “done” look. Love the glow!

ANNNND….I decided it was time to tackle my weight. I’m in my 40s dealing with back issues, and it’s not going to get any better if I don’t take better care of myself. So, I started changing my diet and made exercise a priority. After about three weeks, I am 6.5 lbs down with 3.5 inches off my bod! 

A great workout day!

A great workout day!

THEN… I had to change the hair, of course! So I went to my favorite color, purple. I just love the hue and makes me feel happy:)

Out for Girl's Night!

Out for Girl’s Night!

Are YOU making changes to your life? I’d love to know. I’m planning on sharing food and exercise tips I’ve learned on The Divine Mz M as well. Let’s get out of our cocoons and become the butterflies we are meant to be!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo Melanie.

 

Are We Thankful, or Shopaholics?

Hello Lovelies!

I hope you had a great weekend! Though Thanksgiving is a US holiday, I’ve noticed that many countries do some kind of “giving thanks” celebration around this time of year. Even if they don’t do the big dinner, SHOPPING has definitely become a big tradition!

Yes, I’m a shopper who loves a great deal, no doubt. However, I’m not crazy about the Black Friday frenzy. Getting up in the middle of the night to go stand in a long line to MAYBE get a discounted item is not my idea of a good time! In the States, the Black Friday mayhem has gotten so crazy that many stores open on Thanksgiving night! Sometimes fights break out, prompting extra security to patrol these crowds. Have we gone too far?

What happened to spending time with family and friends? Going to a movie? Passing out after gorging ourselves?

For me, I try to find balance between finding meaning in the holiday season while finding a good deal for gifts. Most of all, I think it’s fun to be creative when coming up with a gift for a friend or family member. Since I can’t go home for the holidays, I want people to know that I put some real thought behind what I chose.

Right now, I am thankful for the good health the Hubby and I have, a safe and lovely place to live, careers which challenge and make us happy, and for the love we share. I am especially proud of him today, as he just got promoted! Of course, I had to look fierce for the ceremony!

Dress, Forever 21 Plus.

Dress, Forever 21 Plus.

Heels, GX by Gwen Stefani, Shoe Dazzle.

Heels, GX by Gwen Stefani, Shoe Dazzle.

F21 blue 2

I mentioned in my last post that I got a Fit Bit. Not wanting to take it off today, I decided to create an arm party and dress it up! Not bad, huh?

Just add sparkle!

Just add sparkle!

Lovelies, I am thankful for YOU! I am still running my “My Beauty Faves” giveaway until Dec 12, so scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the Rafflecopter icon on the RIGHT! 

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.