Monday, August 27, 2012

Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition

Normally I don't watch the show but something about Sally grabbed my attention. Maybe she reminded me of so many women I've known. Weighing in at over 300 pounds was shocking. I don't know why since we've all seen this type of show in the past. Maybe it was the sadness in her eyes as she spoke about her three year old son. She wanted to be alive to raise him with her husband. Her story was a bit different from most. She was not an overweight child. She gained weight after a terrible accident that broke her leg and ankle in several places. After being examined by her physician she was cleared to proceed with the personal trainer, the star of the show. I don't know about you but if I had come home from a trip away for extensive personal training I probably would be thinking about the comfort of my home and being surrounded by all the things that I love. While Sally was away the trainer's "team" renovated her living room and kitchen. They removed her sofa, TV and other items, painted the walls bright blue and moved exercise equipment into the space. They had cleaned out and organized her kitchen so there was nothing left that wasn't on her meal plan. I can't imagine how difficult this must have been for her husband and son. To top it off there was a camera mounted in the ceiling pointed at the exercise equipment so the trainer could log onto his computer and see what she was up to. Sally could never reach her weight loss goals so everyone was very disappointed in her. She had plenty of excuses...some of them legitimate. Eventually she was sent to see a counselor to get to the root of her food issues. In my opinion the counselor should have been the first stop not the last. Many people overeat to comfort themselves because they have not successfully dealt with emotional traumas and issues. Self-loathing is usually lurking underneath the surface from one diet failure after another. It took Sally a year to lose the weight through regular, daily exercise and eating fresh foods in proper proportions. She qualified to receive surgery to remove 6 square feet of loose skin. Recovering from that kind of surgery must be very painful. The show ended with her looking very beautiful and happy. I hope that her husband, who didn't look very supportive in the beginning, will help her keep the weight from coming back on. It's important for anyone living in the home of a morbidly obese person to do their part by not bringing fattening foods and beverages into the home. No one has that kind of willpower day in and day out and will eventually fall back into unhealthy behaviors. Here's the episode on ABC:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"Burgundy is the New Black"

Nina Garcia of "Marie Claire" magazine and the TV show "Project Runway" says "Burgundy is the new black."  I've noticed some very beautiful burgundy clothing and accessories in magazines and on the Internet recently.  There have always been burgundy lip and nail colors but I caution women over 50 to be careful when wearing them.  Dark lipsticks can bleed into the tiny lines and wrinkles around the mouth.   If you plan to wear them be sure to buy a lip pencil in the same color.  After lining and filling in your lips, dust with loose powder to set the liner in place.  This will keep you from having a dark line around your lips as your lipstick wears off.  After applying your lipstick blot the excess off with a tissue and add some clear gloss just to the center of your lips.  This will make them appear wider.  Dark lipstick on thin lips will make them look even thinner so if you don't want that look opt for a nude or pink lipstick to wear with your burgundy clothing.

Burgundy nail polish will be high maintenance. If you don't use a lot of top coat on the edges it will chip off very easily.  As your nails grow out the area next to your cuticle will show.  You will have to touch up that area by applying another coat of polish to your entire nail.  The negative side of dark nail polish is that it will accentuate age spots on the back of your hands. If you don't like the appearance of your hands then opt for a nude nail polish.  Nude will make your fingers and nails appear longer and will not draw attention to age spots, veins and freckles.  Always apply sunscreen to the back of your hands so you won't get additional spots.

I'm sure there will be burgundy hosiery for sale this season.  I think it will be hard to coordinate that color with anything other than black.  If you choose burgundy opaque tights for instance, don't wear a burgundy dress or skirt.  It would be better to wear black and add a touch of burgundy close to your face with a scarf or jewelry.  Garnets are a beautiful stone to wear next to the face and are not very expensive.

When I was growing up we wore Bass Weejuns that were called "Oxblood." This is very close to Burgundy, maybe not as dark.  If you like to shop in vintage and resale shops look for Oxblood loafers.  They look great with everything from jeans to wool plaid skirts.  They are comfortable for wearing to work especially if given a fresh coat of polish.  Loafers can usually be re-soled at a shoe repair shop.  If you find old ones take them directly to a shoe shop to have them reconditioned. If you cannot find loafers in the women's shoe department check the men's shoe department.  Men have always worn loafers and you might be surprised by their comfort and style.

Burgundy dresses of every length are elegant and beautiful.  They look just as good as an LBD (little black dress) for special events.  The nude and metallic shoes you wore all summer will look beautiful with burgundy.  Unless the colors are identical don't try to match a burgundy dress, skirt or slacks with burgundy shoes.  It will make you look very "dated" and old fashioned.  Black shoes would be better if you don't own nude.  Look for nude shoes every time you shop.  You never know when you will find the perfect pair that comes close to your skin color with the perfect heel and style.  A nude pump is a good investment because it can be worn all year and with just about everything in your wardrobe.  I believe if you have black and nude shoes in your closet you don't necessarily need other colors.  Nude shoes make your feet almost disappear in photos unlike white shoes that almost always make your feet look larger, especially in photos.

A little burgundy can go a long way.  Only wear one piece at a time.  It's a nice color to add to your accessories if you don't want to invest in clothing or shoes.  Check out the collection of scarves in consignment and resale shops.  It was popular in the early 1970's so I'm sure there are scarves still in circulation from that time and made of very nice fabrics like silk and wool.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Have We Become Desensitized?

I love watching old movies and by "old" I mean from the 1930's, 40's, 50's and 60's.  I like them because they usually depict old standards of morals, values, modesty and respect.  The good guy or gal wins because they have taken the right path even if it was full of challenges.  They win because they are supported emotionally or physically by family and friends.  They are given support because they are doing their best to right a wrong, make order out of chaos, clean up what has been soiled, heal the sick, tend to the wounded in body, mind or spirit and save the good people from the evil ones.  If a character is an evil person it is shown at the end of the movie how that person didn't win because the good guys and gals stuck to their morals and values and things turned out right.

Movies are usually works of fiction not documentaries.  In the past the only movies with guns were depicting cowboys or wars stories.  Hollywood excelled in movie making during the Great Depression and World War II that helped people get through the hardships of their daily lives.  The movies made after the attack of Pearl Harbor were meant promote patriotic feelings. Americans were busy supporting  the war effort through rationing and needed an emotional boost from time to time.

There was a change in the way Hollywood made movies in the following decades.  At a time when women were struggling with equality, the movie producers began to depict them in less than flattering ways.  Instead of women's costumes being modest they began to show more and more skin.  Some female movie stars refused these costumes and insisted on modest clothing.  They knew they were role models for women and didn't want to depict a woman who had loose morals.  A woman's body should be sacred and not be used to entertain others.  How will young men learn to respect their female peers if all they see are scantily clad women and how they are used and abused by the male characters?

We have become so desensitized that we no longer notice when girls and women are depicted in the media as "things" rather than human beings.  I'm paying more attention now and when I feel uncomfortable watching the way a woman's character is being played I pay attention to the advertisers that sponsor the show.  I vow not to purchase whatever they are selling.  My husband and I have walked out of movies due to the violent content and refuse to see movies that are full of gratuitous violence, especially violence against women.  We will not support movies and TV shows that try to desensitize us into accepting whatever is put on a screen.

I've noticed a lot of low cut women's clothing on the racks.  I've seen women in the workplace wearing these garments.  They have to adjust their tops frequently to cover their cleavage which is never appropriate in the work place.  It's difficult to dress appropriately when the clothing is of such poor design.  The fabrics are too thin and cling to the body in an unflattering way.  Women, especially plus size women, are frustrated by the lack of good quality, conservative clothing for the workplace.  We need to stop buying inferior garments so the stores will have a surplus at the end of a season.  Maybe then their buyers will get the message.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Handmade Jewelry from Arizona

This is a beautiful handmade necklace.  It's sterling silver with black glass beads.  To see all of Annelle's jewelry please visit her website: