Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Tag: pink (page 1 of 9)

Self-Care: Part 3 – Weight Loss

Well, I’ve been putting this one off, but I guess the time has finally arrived to talk about what we all probably think about first when it comes to self-care: weight and nutrition.

If you didn’t know me in college or grad school, you might not know that I’ve lost about 30 pounds since I graduated in 2007. 30 pounds may not sound like a lot, but I’m only 5’3″ – a couple pounds difference on my frame is noticeable. 30 pounds at the time of my heaviest weight was 15-20% of my total body weight. Now, it’d obviously be an even larger percentage.

I’ve thought about talking about my weight loss for a long time, but I’ve always waited. I wanted to get to my “perfect weight” before I did a big dramatic reveal. But, perfect to me is Carrie Underwood, which will likely never be attainable, unless I suddenly have a job that literally pays me to look beautiful.

So, in the interest of being transparent, and with the hope that my experience can be encouraging or helpful or at least relatable to anyone, here we go. (Warning, this is long – I have a lot to say.)

In 2007, I looked like this:

I wasn’t morbidly obese, obviously. But, I was an unhealthy and uncomfortable weight for my frame. And, I wasn’t really happy with how I looked.

But, I was in school, and I was a good student and kid who did nothing but study and eat ice cream while watching the Bachelor with my best friend and her mom. There were no liquid calories for me all throughout school – it was very real, very permanent food calories.

Once I graduated, though, I had the time and interest to get a little more serious about being where I wanted to be, so I got to work.

Weight loss was not a new topic to me. I think I had my first Slim Fast shake in 8th grade. In high school, I packed my own lunch and took an apple, an orange, and carrots every day. That’s it. It was the early 2000s – I don’t think most of us knew a lot about nutrition then. Fruits and vegetables were healthy, so I thought I was doing great.

Part of my issues with weight at such a young age stemmed from a health class in 9th grade in which we learned about obesity, and the boys selected me to be the lucky girl they called an “obese fat cow.” I knew they were calling me that because I wasn’t fat – they weren’t quite mean enough to call the actual larger girls that. But, still – at 14, a nickname like that leaves a mark.

I can’t blame it all on them, though. Being worried about your body is an almost universal issue among American women, and as a girly girl who was way more into boys and shoes and school than I was running around the soccer field, I was no exception. I also come by it naturally. My grandmother – the mayor’s wife and the best dressed woman in Fort Thomas, Kentucky – was worried about her weight until the day she died, just shy of 92 years old.

Of course, none of my efforts had really been successful prior to this point. I did manage to avoid the Freshman 15 in college, but I made up for it with the Sophomore 20. I would try various fad diets now and then but was never very good at sticking to them. I’m still not.

But, at 22 years old with a master’s degree, I was ready.

The first thing I did when I moved to Virginia Beach was to join a gym. There, I had a few sessions with a personal trainer who helped me learn the importance of weight training, instead of just the cardio I had been doing. Apparently, lifting not only burns calories while you’re doing it, but muscles burn more calories than fat, even when at rest. That sounded very efficient to me.

She also helped me get on board with eating more frequently throughout the day. I’d always been afraid that eating 5 small meals would really end up being 5 large meals (portion control wasn’t one of my strengths), and I’d end up consuming even more calories. But once I started, I found that I actually wasn’t so hungry that I needed to eat that much in each setting.

I lost a few pounds over the next several months, and then I plateaued.

I wasn’t yet where I wanted to be, though, so I decided to change something up. This time, I joined a group training class. I didn’t have the money to continue personal training, but I also knew I didn’t know enough about weight lifting to really be effective on my own. Group training was a cheaper alternative.

I lost a few more pounds, and then I plateaued.

I was getting closer to where I wanted to be, and I was certainly much happier with how I looked and felt. But, every now and then I’d get a wave of motivation and decide to change up something else.

For a while, I was going to the gym two times a day, but that was mainly because I had a crush on a guy working there (shout out, Hot Trainer!), and I really just spent most of my time talking to him. The next weight loss came from me getting a little more serious about what I was eating.

They say abs are made in the kitchen, and while I doubt I will ever have abs…I do think what you eat is far more important than how much you workout, unless maybe you’re a professional athlete (or a “tactical athlete”, as the special ops guys call themselves (insert heart eyes emoji)).

So, I began shopping at Trader Joes and finding ways to incorporate more fresh foods into my diet, while still maintaining the convenience that I value most of all.

At this point, I was down about 20 pounds. It’d also been about 6 years.

I say that to emphasize that this was not an overnight thing for me. Sure, it would have been nice to lose the weight much quicker – to not have so many plateaus.

But, because my weight loss was so slow, I’ve never regained any of it. If I notice that a pound or two has crept back on (which I notice by how my clothes fit; I hardly ever actually weigh myself. It usually makes me feel worse.), I just readjust slightly and it’s gone again. I’ve never yo-yo’ed, which is something trendy diets usually can’t promise.

The next several pounds came off while I lived in Georgia. I had almost no friends, so I ate out a lot less, and worked out a lot more. I also was depressed, and while I can be an emotional eater, that emotion is usually happiness. I don’t advise living somewhere that makes you miserable for two years to lose a little weight, but at least that was one silver lining.

While in Georgia, I also really started focusing on eating more protein. My brother is a power-lifter and big on getting in your macros. I tried it for a while and hated tracking everything. But, it did give me a good idea of how to balance my meals better and the importance of enough protein when it comes to body composition.

And now we arrive to my current weight. The remaining couple of pounds I’ve lost have been since moving to Nashville. I had a personal trainer here for a while, who helped me immensely in working out more effectively. (I also was talking to Bradley Cooper during that time, who was in perfect shape. I was very motivated.)

I’ve become more aware of what my body likes to eat. I saw a naturopath for a while, and we discovered that I don’t do well with night shades (RIP, Chick Fil A waffle fries. I will forever miss you), or gluten. I can handle gluten – I don’t have celiac’s disease, so I don’t want to belittle the experience of those who really suffer. But, I feel MUCH better when I avoid it.

Turns out, eliminating white potatoes and flour from my diet makes a big different in my waist line. Imagine that.

So, tl;dr:

The secret to my weight loss is…diet and exercise.

I wish there were a magic formula we could all apply and immediately be the size we wanted to be. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.

I have friends who have found success with strict Paleo or keto or counting calories or macros or whatever. But, for me, it’s really been a process of figuring out how my body works, and tweaking what I’m doing accordingly – while still maintaining balance so I can actually enjoy my life.

Currently, I try to eat mostly clean. I sub sweet potato fries for french fries – I don’t like them as well, but they’re the better overall choice for me. But, I love a burger, and it’s not the same without the bun. So, I usually get the bun – gluten and all. I’m currently drinking a frappucino, but every morning, I eat hard boiled eggs for breakfast. I don’t love them, either, but they’re easy and a good source of protein.

I try to make sure I go to the gym 3-4 times a week. Sometimes it’s 1-2. But, it’s a priority for me, and I chose a gym I enjoy going to, to help motivate me.

I still eat several times throughout the day, but I only buy snacks that are good for me – almonds, La Croix, apples, etc. It’s hard to make healthy choices when I eat out, so I make it as easy for myself at home as possible. I can’t choose poorly there.

I eat a lot of REALLY dark chocolate. Like 85% dark, dark.

I intentionally have not used any specific numbers here, other than the 30 pounds that I lost, because I don’t think the numbers are that important. A girl I follow on Instagram lost 20 pounds, but her starting weight was my current weight, and it made me feel bad. I didn’t think I needed to lose 20 pounds, but after seeing her posts, I suddenly thought maybe I did. I don’t want to do that to anyone else.

What’s most important is being healthy and taking care of your body in a way that will sustain it and allow you to enjoy life to its fullest. It’s being comfortable in your clothes and your own skin. It’s not the number on a scale.

So, now, 11 years and 30 pounds later, I look like this:

I’ve never regained any of the weight, and I don’t expect to. I’ve learned so much about my body. Maybe another wave or two of motivation will hit me and I eventually will achieve Carrie Underwood status. But, if not, I’m happy to say that I’m just that – happy. And I hope you are, too.

Thank you for reading my most vulnerable post I’ve ever written. I love you all.

<3,
SB

Self-Care: Part 2 – Self-Love

Writing a blog only once a week makes me feel a lot of pressure to actually say something meaningful. Telling you about why I put a certain shirt with a certain pair of pants is fine when I’m producing content several times a week, but if I’m only saying something once every 7 days, shouldn’t it be something worth hearing? Aren’t all the other bloggers saying significant things on important topics, like faith and (successful) relationships and politics? Or even how to ship lap?

But, I suppose that’s the problem – bowing to pressure and comparison. I can only be me. I’ve always only been able to be me, and any attempt to do otherwise has failed miserably (cue awkward memories of high school and college). And you can only be you. Sure, we all want to be the best versions of ourselves, but I actually just read an article about how our culture’s obsession with self-improvement leads to even more depression and anxiety. We’ll never fully arrive – there will always be room to become an even better best, and it can be exhausting trying.

So, I guess that leads me to my second point on the topic of self-care. Self-love. I think you all know me well-enough to know that I’m not what you might call a hippy…. I have a pretty traditional view of Christianity that includes words like “sin” and “righteousness”. I think there are moral absolutes and definite rights and wrongs.

But, I also think there is a lot more room for grace than we give ourselves. I’m not just talking about faith matters – I mean, grace to eat a cupcake if we’ve had a really bad day and just need something to cheer us up. Or grace NOT to eat the cupcake, if we are in a season where prioritizing our health is important. Grace to say no to things that we genuinely don’t want to do, or to put ourselves (our families, our sleep, our health) first, instead of feeling obligated to do what we think society might expect of us.

I don’t pretend to be an expert on self-care, let’s be real. In fact, I’ve never been sick as often as I was the first year I moved to Nashville. I blamed the allergens, but honestly, part of it was learning how 30-something year old me needed to operate. And part of how I need to operate is just to say no. Sometimes, that means saying no to staying out just a little bit later, when I know I’ll be exhausted the next day and more susceptible to getting sick. Sometimes, it means saying no to eating fast food for the 4th time that week, because I know I’m not feeding my body well, for either the short or long-term. Sometimes, saying no is listening to that Still Small Voice who always knows what’s best for me – even when I can’t see what’s up ahead – and making my decisions accordingly.

Do I do this perfectly? Good lord, no. Do I do it well? Even that’s debatable. But I’m trying.

So, what’s the takeaway here? Well, there are a few practical things I regularly try to do to take care of myself. These include:

  • Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night. And sometimes taking a nap in my car at lunch if I need a little extra boost. No shame in my game.
  • Eating healthy foods. I’ve learned what my body likes and what it doesn’t, and in 2018, I don’t think any of us are really confused about what’s healthy. I try to keep this in mind at least 75% of the time.
  • Friendships. I’m such an extrovert, if I’m not around people at some point during a 24 hour period, I start to go crazy. But, even for those who are less extremely extroverted than me, fellowship, laughter, and companionship is always good for the soul.
  • Down time. Because of my extroverted nature, it’s really easy for me to just go, go, go. I’ve learned, though, that a little time to decompress – read, binge TV, do chores, or otherwise just exist – is good for me and gives me the opportunity to be still with my thoughts.
  • Daily devotional time. Spending time in prayer and reading the Bible (as well as other inspirational books) keeps me centered and focused on the things that truly matter, and it’s the most surefire way to find peace in stressful times. Non-Christians can also benefit from a daily reflective practice, but for those who adhere to a faith, I think this step is crucial.

Those are some of the ways I stay healthy – physically, emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually. Yours may be different. You may be someone who needs time in nature on a regular basis. Or maybe you’re an introvert who needs to protect your alone time. Maybe a relaxing bath and a glass of wine is all you need.

But whatever it is, be sure you make time for those things. Self-love isn’t selfishness. Even the Bible compares Christ’s love to how we as humans nourish and cherish our bodies (Ephesians 5:29). By being sure that we stay healthy, we’re then much more equipped to do the things that we need to do, and to be a blessing to other people.

Another way that I take care of myself is by fostering my creative side through clothes, so with no further ado…

It’s already that time, y’all. My first sweater of the season, although I paired it with white jeans to help ease the transition from summer to fall – never an easy task for me.

The sweater is actually a sweater dress, I think, and at some point in the season, I may wear it with leggings or tights. But, for now, I just did a half tuck in the front to make it seem like it’s a normal length.

I’m also trying to work on my poses, and this not-looking-directly-at-the-camera thing seems to be the way to go. How am I doing?

What are some of the ways you stay healthy by taking care of yourself first? Let me know in the comments – maybe we’ll all get some other good ideas!

<3,

SB

On Wednesdays, We Wear Pink

In honor of last Friday’s showing of Mean Girls at a local brewery (seriously, if you want to sit outside, eat a delicious pizza, and watch a recent classic movie, come visit me! This happens every Friday. Because, Nashville is the best), here is my best pink outfit.

Pink striped pants, pink sweater, and some silver accents to keep me from looking too much like the girl’s toys aisle. The thing about my office is that there is no predicting whether it will be hot, or cold, or completely seasonally appropriate. So, I just wear whatever I feel like (a sweater when it’s 85 degrees outside. Sure, why not!), and hope for the best.

If you can, zoom in on the pants – they’re pink and white striped, and I love them.

Sunday Best

Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!

Happy Easter, y’all! I hope everyone had a beautiful Sunday celebrating one of my most favorite holidays.

This Easter weekend was a little rough for me, but what better holiday to have a rough weekend before than Easter? It is so full of joy, and hope, and expectation. And brunch and pretty dresses! No matter what’s going on in your life, it’s pretty hard not to have your spirits lifted on Easter.

And, it DID NOT RAIN in Nashville for Easter. This is remarkable for two reasons: 1) it rains all the time here. 2) Rain was forecasted all day. You never know the miracles that will occur on this blessed day.

I’m posting this picture with my friend Hannah because although it’s a little grainy for some reason, it was taken much earlier in the day and is therefore a much better picture of me than the official outfit picture below. So, keep this one in your mind, and then proceed with caution and a forgiving eye.

I debated off-the-shoulder for church. Is that appropriate? I still don’t know. But, I figured since it wasn’t a LOW off-the-shoulder, I had my hair down, and most of the time I was wearing a choir robe, I could get away with it. Judge if you must. But, I know you can’t/won’t judge me for the florals – or at least, you shouldn’t, because I gave a very clear disclaimer that I am obsessed!

I usually love to look out in the congregation at church on Easter and see all the pretty colors, but I sort of forgot this year. Plus, I did notice a lot of white being represented. Even my own dress is more neutral than the usual bright yellow or coral I tend to be drawn to for Easter.

So, since I didn’t pay attention to people’s outfits at church, show me yours! Did you buy something new specific for the occasion, or recycle an old faithful?

Whatever you wore, I hope it was a beautiful day.

NYE 2017

Well, we have arrived in 2017, y’all! I’m excited for the new year, as I am every January. I don’t have anything in particular that I know will happen this year – but I have hopes for lots of good things!

One of those good things is to grow this little blog of mine. I love it so much, and I’ve heard from many of you who read it, that you love it, too. (Thank you for that!)

To that end, I’ve launched a new Instagram account, dedicated solely to all things fashion. I’ve long thought hashtagging my way to a wider audience was the best method of growth for me, but I didn’t want to annoy other friends who aren’t as interested in that aspect of my life.

Now, I don’t have to worry about irritating those people, while I can also focus on meeting more insta friends who share my interests!

So, if you’re in the not-likely-to-be-annoyed category (as you probably are, if you’re reading this), please feel free to add me: Tastefully Trendy. Should be pretty easy to remember.

Now, to the matter at hand. New Year’s Eve! In my adult life, NYE has become one of my favorite holidays – in part, because it is such an optimistic night. In full reality, because I get to wear sequins.

This year, I couldn’t find ANYTHING shiny in stores. I guess I waited too late and all the sparkles sold out. So, I was forced to wear one of the three sequin skirts I already owned…and I actually was very pleased with the result.

dsc_0029-2Off-the-shoulder: check. Choker: check. Cute furry hot pink clutch (that’s actually an Ipsy makeup bag): check. And of course, sequins and shiny shoes: check and check!!

Here’s a close-up of the off-the-shoulder detail (and my makeup! My secret is great highlighter and NYX’s matte setting spray!).

1-nye-off-the-shoulderAnd the rest of the outfit (sans ring, because I forgot to take a picture of that).

1-nye-sequinsSadly, one of those cute pearl earrings were a casualty of the evening. I somehow still had the back, but the pearl itself was nowhere to be seen (insert sobbing emoji). Oh well. On a happier note, can we talk about how good my new camera is? I mean, look at those silver shoes sparkle!

Did you all have a good New Year’s Eve? Any fun plans? My party was Y2K themed, so you know it was amazing. I hope yours was, too, and that it sparkled and shined with all the magic and promise of a new year! Send me your outfit pictures – I’d love to see your shimmer!

Getting Choked Up

I debated mixing in some of my older good-camera outfits with these phone camera pictures, but I thought we’d just rip the band-aid off and get them all out of the way now. That way, whenever I do get my new good camera, we can just have all good outfits, not marred by this embarrassing photography.

My favorite trend right now is chokers, and its one that I was scared of trying when they first came back around. First of all, the last time these were in style, I was 13, and I really didn’t wear them much then. Second of all, my neck is kinda short and I was afraid they’d cut me off weird.

But, I was happy to discover that with an open neckline, and a choker of just a modest width, I could actually pull these off quite well. My middle-school self would be so proud.

Since I discovered I could wear them, I’ve fully embraced the trend and wear one several times a week. I especially like layering them with other necklaces, which, although not demonstrated in my outfit below, is the modern spin on the old trend. I think they look a little edgy, which might be part of the reason I like them. But, they also make me feel like Cinderella, let’s be honest.

cinderella-choker-necklaceSo, here’s to the choker, even if it makes me feel super old that styles I distinctly remember wearing are already back for their 2nd go-round.

1-pink-leather-trendWhat styles from your childhood have you seen come back around – that you’re either happy about, or wish had stayed in your childhood?

C’est La Vie

In college, I was a French major, something I think many people are surprised to learn about me. I have no typical-French major qualities. My home is not decorated with the Eiffel Tower (well, there are a couple, but you might not notice them next to my Reagan and George W. Bush coffee table books); I am not artsy at all; and my master’s degree is in American History, which probably fits my healthy patriotism a little better.

But, I was, and although I’m not a fan of their politics – or their fashion, for that matter (I know, that’s sacrilege, but I studied there and was not impressed) – France does and will always have a special place in my heart.

This Eiffel Tower belt my mom gave me was the basis for my outfit. I don’t have a lot I can wear with a pink canvas belt with landmarks on it, but I think the stripes lent themselves very well to the French theme. The shoes are just to match the pink, because you know that little strip of color would not be enough for me. And, I bought them in India, so I’m full-on international in this outfit.
1-stripes-and-towersWhat do you think people find most surprising about you? Is it intentionally a well-kept secret, or just a unique hobby/talent/interest no one saw coming? Let’s chat about things that make us, us, and have a great weekend, everyone!

Endless Summer 2.0

I should have done a two-fer Tuesday with my skirt, since I basically highlighted this same outfit on Wednesday. Unfortunately, I’ve lately had to do my makeup in the car, which means I’m not getting many blog photos before I leave (both because of time, and because, let’s be honest, no one wants to see my #Iwokeuplikethis photos. I’m convinced everyone who looks good on No Makeup Monday is 15 or used an awful lot of filters).

Anyway, I wore this outfit on my first day of work at my new job, and my boss told me I didn’t have to dress up so much. I laughed because I had intentionally tried to find something toned-down but professional, and I thought a cardigan and flats accomplished that. Maybe I should have skipped the hot pink.

Regardless, I like this take on my floral skirt, too, and while I’m ABOUT ready to retire it for the season, I’ll get excited to wear it again next season. That’s the best thing about the changing seasons, really – finding the clothes you’d forgotten you owned and feeling like you have a whole new wardrobe!

1-pink-cardigan-floral-skirtI know I’m way behind the rest of the world in switching out my clothes. So, what pieces did you find in the seasonal transition that you’d forgotten about? What are you most excited about wearing this fall? Enjoy your scarves and PSL this weekend, y’all. And happy Halloween!

Endless Summer

Y’all, we’re having the never-ending summer here in Nashville, and it’s amazing. No humidity, warm temperatures, cool evenings – perfect. Last week, we were almost to 90 degrees but with the fall breeze, it was delightful.

All that to say, I’m still wearing sleeveless shirts, and you know I make florals go at least 3 seasons. So, this outfit was not worn as long ago as you might assume.

I’ve always struggled with this blouse; it just hangs oddly. But, it’s pretty, so I keep trying, and the half-tucked trend lends itself well. Caveat: I’m not sure why half-tucked is a trend, but I like it, so I won’t ask questions.

1-pink-and-floralThis is the time of year that I really like to brag about living in the South (I’ll do it again around March). So, what’s the weather like where you are? Still sleeveless and floral, or have you fully embraced the Uggs? (J/K, I would never advocate wearing Uggs.)

Ode to the Woman in Dillard’s

I like a lot of things about this outfit, but before we get to all that, can we please talk about how tan I look in this picture? It’s an optical illusion, but it goes well with the summery vibe of the look, and for that, I’m grateful.

So, these perfect, neon pink, Jessica Simpson heels were a recent purchase from Dillard’s on extreme clearance (and tax free, which in Tennessee is a significant savings) – I think I paid $22. And when I say perfect, I mean perfect. Seriously, look at them! (editor’s note: I’m a little disappointed with how the color appears in this picture. The shoes are really a true pink, rather than the coral they seem to be here.) 

Of course, neon shoes kinda dictate the rest of the outfit, so I started at my feet and worked up. When I was trying these on, a woman in front of me was giving me all kinds of styling ideas for them – and they were bold ideas, not the obvious little black dress suggestion. I was super impressed with her vision. One of her thoughts was a bright blue, which of course I loved. So, to the woman in Dilliard’s, thank you for today’s outfit inspiration. And don’t sell yourself short – you could totally pull these off!

1 - blue shirt pink pants and shoesMy pants are a narrow pink and white stripe, which is hard to see in this picture. I’m glad wide-leg cuts are back, because they’re very flattering, especially with leg-lenthening heels like these. I mean, my 5’3″ build looks like I have legs for days!

What is the boldest pair of shoes you own? Do you wear them often, and how do you most like to style them?

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