Look AMAZING in your clothes: Part 1 – Which Gorgeous Shape are You?

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Photo credit

As a stylist, I get asked a lot by people, “Can you help me look good in my clothes?”  or “How do you always look so cute?  You must have the perfect figure.”  (After which I proceed to choke on whatever I’m eating, because, well, I’ve had four kids for one, and for two, there’s no such thing!  But continue reading…) Or, “I tried caring about how I dress, and then I just couldn’t figure out how to look good, so I gave up.  It’s tee-shirt and jeans for me!” Or some semblance of these comments.  And behind all of those statements is the common theme of every woman’s heart: “I want to look my most beautiful, but I just don’t know how to, and I’m a little afraid to try and fail.  What if I’m not as beautiful as I hope to be?”  Ahhh… The heartbeat of EVERY woman.  We desire to be LOVELY.  Truly lovely, a true source of beauty for mankind.  God made us that way.  It’s at the core of our nature.  And in that struggle FOR beauty, many women are frustrated at their inability to portray the inward beauty they feel, onto their external dress.  And because of that, I have decided to do a series of blogposts meant to help the average woman figure out how to look and feel amazing in her clothes!  Yes, there is so much MORE than your clothing to being or feeling beautiful.  Beauty is more about your essence than your wardrobe ensemble, but at the same time, the way you dress is both an influence to your essence, and a reflection of your inward self at the same time.  But for the sake of limited time and space, we will forsake all the other aspects of true beauty to focus on one narrow, very practical topic: Dressing yourself well!  So go grab yourself a cup of tea, and join me in this fun little journey!

Getting dressed can be quite a challenge if one is hoping to not just cover all the things, but LOOK GOOD too!  There are a few things to consider in this process, but they are fun and simple, and equally important!

This is Part 1 of our Series: Look Amazing in Your Clothes!

Step 1: Determine your Shape! 

Every woman, including you, has a shape, and that shape determines 100% how clothes will fit, lay, and look on her!  I mean, your body shape is your canvas when we are talking about dress!  Now, realize every woman’s shape is uniquely different to her, but there are five BASIC shapes that most women’s bodies can be categorized into in order to help understand how to relate to her body in regards to clothing.  These shapes are:

Apple                 Hourglass            Rectangle                   Pear              Inverted Triangle

body shape illustration

Photo Credit

Look at this photo and see if you can determine which one might be the closest to your silhouette.  If you can take your body measurements, this makes it the easiest to see your basic outline. If you don’t have a tape nearby, here are some key principles about basic body proportions that can help identify your physique:

APPLE SHAPE: Most common shape among women

  • Typically carries weight around the middle.
  • Has lean arms and legs.
  • Tends to be busty
  • Does not have a distinctive waist.

HOURGLASS SHAPE: Most coveted shape among women

  • Bust and Hip measurement are close to the same
  • Very defined small waist (Typically around 9+” less)
  • Weight distributes pretty evenly throughout the body.

RECTANGLE SHAPE: Also called “boyish”, was epitomized in the Roaring 20’s

  • Bust, Waist and Hip measurements tend to be similar.
  • Not very curvy.
  • Weight distributes evenly throughout the body.

PEAR SHAPE: Every Disney princess, particularly the Fairies 🙂

  • Weight is carried in hips, butt, thigh region.
  • Bust measurement is narrower than hips.
  • Has a defined waist.
  • Tends to have lean arms and legs.

INVERTED TRIANGLE: Often referred to as an “athletic” build

  • Tends to be lean built, but if heavy, may tend toward busty.
  • Broad shoulders, Narrow hips.
  • No defined waist.
  • Not curvy.

 

Are you getting closer to deciding which is yours?   If you’re still unsure, that’s ok!  Try this fun little quiz that may help!  Determining your body shape can be a little daunting, but as you get more familiar with yourself you’ll figure it out!

FUN LITTLE BODY SHAPE QUIZ

If you have figured out your shape, give yourself a big hug!  Self-discovery is a beautiful thing!  Now, give yourself permission to love YOU, and celebrate that this is how God Himself chose to make you in all of his Wisdom!  The first step toward loving the way you look in clothes, is embracing the shape you have, and not wasting another SECOND wishing you had a different one!  If you are a Pear, then rock those hips!  If you are an Apple, then appreciate the great legs & bust you have!  If you’re an Hourglass, then appreciate all your curves!  Rectangle?  Rock all those cinched waistbands you’ll look amazing in!  Triangle?  Show off your fabulous shoulders!  You are PERFECT just the way you are, and LOVING the shape that you have discovered is the FIRST step to looking great in your clothes!  A confident woman who values herself is a beautiful woman.  Now, stand tall, appreciate YOU, and check in next week for Part Two in this series: Dressing for Your Shape!

EXTRA: If you want a little fun extra reading, this book is a great one that talks about the nature of a woman to want to be seen as truly, truly Lovely.  It’s called “Captivating“.  I have friends who’ve read it who have said it set them free to embrace the struggle in their own soul for TRUE beauty.  It’s an amazing book!

HCG diet journey… finally losing that post-baby weight! (Part 1)

Have you ever struggled with your weightloss like me?  For some its a struggle of 75+ pounds, for others, the last 20 that just won’t come off is equally frustrating.  For new (or seasoned) mommas, the babyweight is always a daunting chore.  Well, you are in good company!  Welcome to my post-baby-weight weightloss journey on the hCG diet!!!  This entry and a few entries following with be carefully following my weightloss journey with the HCG diet.  First, I am not aiming to lose astronomical amounts of weight.  Only about 20-25 lbs.  After having my fourth son almost four years ago, I was lazy during breastfeeding and did not work to get the baby weight off, and have struggled ever since to get back down to my pre-baby size.  I have tried a number of different approaches, all healthy options, but I don’t think I was motivated enough to do something strict.  Finally, it dawned on me, I have been whining and complaining about this struggle for nearly four years now, and have given a half-effort to about six different methods, and have seen no sustained progress.  Enough is enough!!  There is no excuse for whining.  If I have a goal, I will find a way to reach it.  So, as I was shopping last week I came across some HCG drops on sale and thought, “Hmm, these are cheap, I’ll just buy them, research and see if it’s worth trying.”  I got home, opened them up and read the diet plan and was like, “hah!  yeah right!” and put them away.  But as I did research and came across friends who had had great success on this diet, I saw that doctors were giving it the thumbs up (in fact it was designed by a doctor), and the food prescribed in the diet is very healthy, I thought, “Well, maybe I could just buckle down and work hard and see some results.”  So, that’s what I did.  I bought the necessary food, prayed for grace ;), and jumped in a week ago.  And I have been so excited by my results!  So excited in fact, I thought I’d share on here with ya’ll in case any of you have found yourself in a similar frustrating situation.  First, let me give you an overview of the diet.  (If you’re looking for a good book to really understand it, this cookbook is excellent.  It explains the diet AND gives you recipes.  Two for one!)

 

Below are my BEFORE photos… Check out Part 2 to see my Week 1 results!  Keep reading to see a summary of the diet.  

 

Phase 1: Loading phase.  Two days.  

  • Take HCG drops three times per day before meals; don’t drink or eat within 15 minutes of taking the drops so as not to dilute them in your system.
  • This phase is two days of eating as much FATTY foods as possible.  These fat stores help your body more gracefully adapt to the next phase which is the Very Low Calorie Diet phase (VLCD).  I didn’t take this phase very seriously and wish I would have.  My first three days, especially the third were tough.  Plus, who doesn’t like an excuse to eat every fatty food you ever wanted?  No food is off limits.

Phase 2: Very Low Calorie Diet with weightloss. Day 3-40

  • Again, you will be taking the HCG drops three times daily, not within 15 minutes of water or food.
  • This phase of the diet focuses on putting your body into Ketosis state, which is where your body is living off your own fat stores.  You can lose 1-2 lbs of fat per DAY.
  • The calorie goal these days is to stay within 500 calories.
  • On these days you typically skip breakfast but spend the morning drinking herbal teas, black coffee or water.  At least 32 Oz of liquids is your goal.  It is good to go the way of decaffeinated drinks so you don’t get jittery.  Lunch and Dinner is created from the selected foods in the lists below.
  • No exercising for these days.  Activity should be kept to a gentle stroll.  You need all the calories you are taking in!

Foods For The HCG Diet Phase 2

This is a list of foods you can eat while doing Phase 2 of the HCG Diet.
Use this list as a quick reference when shopping and preparing meals.

VEGETABLES
– Any kind of lettuce, spinach, beet greens, chard, cabbage
– Any kind of onions
– Any kind of tomatoes
– Fennel
– Cucumber
– Radishes
– Celery
– Asparagus


PROTEINS
Your meats/poultry cannot be cooked on the bone. All meats should be trimmed of all fat (and skin)
– White Fish
– Lobster
– Crab
– Shrimp
– Extra Lean Beef (steak, 96% premium lean ground beef, pot roast)
– Chicken


FRUIT


– Apples
– Blue Berries, Blackberries or Strawberries
– Lemons


DRINK & OTHERS
– Herbal Tea
– Bottled Water
– Melba Toast
– Sugarless Gum
– Steevia (natural sweetener, any flavor)
– Braggs Liquid Amino (this is a soy sauce type of product)
– Mustard
– Apple Cider Vinegar
– Any natural herb or spice, salt and pepper, garlic

Vegetables Portion Calories
Asparagus 4 ounces 20
Beet Greens 1 cup 25
Broccoli 4 ounces 30
Brussel Sprouts 1 cup 50
Raw Cabbage 1 cup 25
Raw Cauliflower 1 cup 30
Celery 1 stalk 5
Collard Greens 1 cup 25
Cucumber 8″ 15
Dandelion 4 ounces 50
Endive/Escarole 1 cup 10
Green Beans 4 ounces 40
Raw Kale 1 cup 40
Leeks 1/2 cup 16
Lettuce 1 cup 15
Romaine Lettuce 4 ounces 25
Green Onions 6 small 25
Raw White Onions 4 ounces 40
Green Sweet Peppers 1 medium 20
Red Sweet Peppers 1medium 25
Radishes 4 small 8
Spinach 1 cup 10
Squash/Zucchini 1 cup 40
Tomato 1 medium 20
Turnips 1 cup 55
Turnip Greens 1 cup 45
Watercress 4 ounces 25

Fruit Portion Calories
Apple 1 medium 80
Grapefruit 1/2 40
Strawberries 1 cup 55
Black Berries 1 cup 62
Blue Berries 1 cup 83
Lemon 1 medium 17

Phase 3: Stabilization phase.  3 Weeks.  CRUCIAL TO YOUR SUCCESS!!

  • The first three days of this phase you keep eating the VLCD but withOUT HCG drops so that you can give your body time to get the hormone out of your body before introducing new foods.
  • On the fourth day you can begin introducing new foods SLOWLY back into your diet.  The reason for this is because your body has trained itself to such limited calories and types of foods that to go back to regular eating straight away would shock your system and put the weight right back on.
  • In this phase you bring your caloric intake up to 800-1000 calories, gradually working your way up to 1500 calories.
  • Go to this page for a detailed food list.  http://www.hcgdietdrops.com/hcg-phase-3-other-food-list.html
  • This phase is characterized by three daily habits:
    • you must weigh yourself every day
    • you must remain within 2 pounds of your last injection weight (over *OR* under) and,
    • you cannot eat sugars and starches (which is carbohydrates minus the fiber)
  • Exercise: You can re-introduce exercise in this phase.  Your goal should be 30min-1 hour 3-4 times per week.
  • For more details on this phase, go here.
  • For success tips and menu samples, go here.

Phase 4: Maintenance phase. The rest of your life!

  • This phase you can bring your calorie intake up to 1800-2000.
  • In phase 4 when your weight has become consistent and stable you will start to re-introduce sugars and starches back into your diet. Starting off slow is always good. Don’t go binging!
  • To maintain your weight, you will have learned a lot of healthy alternatives, so use them in this phase!
  • For the first three weeks you are watching very carefully and very slowly working sugars, like chocolate or bread, into your diet.  But do only one per day to see how your body responds.  As your body gets used to this foreign object and learns how to metabolize it, you can settle into a nice little routine.
  • Use your natural sugar subsitutes and develop a habit of having a splurge meal only once or twice a week.  Be careful still though, as you can rack up on calories if you’re not mindful of how much is going in.
  • Focus eating still on fruits vegetables and proteins, and let grains and sugars be the smaller portions of your meals.  Keep sugar in moderation.

Links to help: 

Phases 3 & 4:

So that’s the overview of the diet.  The first few days are the most challenging, but as your body adapts, it will become much easier.  Let your thinking about food change WITH the food, so that after you’re done, you don’t return to old habits.

Below are my BEFORE photos… Check out Part 2 to see my Week 1 results!

 

 

A few outfit ideas…

I’ve been über into the whimsy maxi skirt personal decor lately, as well as drapey sweaters and headbands. Here are some outfits I’ve put together and documented for my own sake. I tend to have a hard time getting it on camera but here are some I managed to get. I also snuck in a good second-day natural curls up do for ya!! Forgive the apparent similarities between outfits… I’m obviously obsessed right now!

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Mixing black and brown, stripes, plaid

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Here is another outfit I put together today for going to the “farm at the fair” w my sons class. I thought boots and plaid would be fitting! I didn’t plan on a scarf but it was so cold I threw this one on and was relieved it matched!

So, when you want to mix black and brown, gold and silver, go for it!! It falls under the rule of balancing warms with cools and vice versa. Here I have a lot f warmth in the outfit (brown plaid, yellow shirt, brown leather) so I intentionally threw on the silver earrings and black/silver ring, and later added the grey and white striped scarf. The cools balance the warms and make it more aesthetically appealing.

I am convinced the scarf can go w the plaid shirt bc the stripes are subtle and not bold. Remember, when mixing patterns, they can’t both compete for center stage. One must be subtle while the other is bold.

There ya have it! Can’t see too well but the boots are a black/brown leather. Makes them great to wear with either color.

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