Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"You don't need to diet..."

I was browsing Shine this morning and came across this article... I'll be back with my thoughts on this after reading again (I only had time to skim) and finding more info.


Monday, February 23, 2009

So I looked at the 4-day diet...

Last Monday while off work, momma & I went to the bookstore, so I figured I'd look at the 4 Day Diet book to see exactly what it was talking about. Now that I did... I dunno if I can do it! :(

The setup was clarified for me (its the "4 day diet" because each module is to be done for four days). But the detox module (the very first one) has me like, "Ummmm, I dunno." There is no meat the first four days. None! Instead, you can only have fruit (I could do that), leafy green veggies (well I could have my raw spinach.... not sure what else), a salad as long as it had no meat, eggs, and (I think) salad dressing (which means all I'd have is lettuce and carrots T_T), and beans or legumes (I don't do beans, save blanched green beans). On top of this extremely restricted diet, the portions that are allowed are tiny. Don't they know I'll pass out eating so little?! (Okay, I've never actually passed out from not eating, but dammit it felt like I would. That's my story & I'm sticking to it.)

I did not get the book. I said I would look around some more to see what fits me best. Momma suggested once again that instead of doing one of these "name brand" diets, I should just focus on eating smaller portions and watching what I eat. I've tried that a couple of times, but I usually fall off after a couple of weeks.

I've got to make a decision soon. May 16 is quickly approaching.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I Heart Pretty Undies! (or, "Why the BAPP hate big girls?")

I have a question, a question that has plagued me for years.

Why, why, WHY do the Bra and Panty People (BAPP) think big girls only want plain underwear? Why are my main options black, white or "nude"? (I won't even go into the fact that nothing on my nude body is even close to that ugly beige crap.) Why is it that I have to pay out the ass to cover my ass in something cute? It ain't right I tell ya!

Fortunately I've been able to stock up on Cacique stuff at Lane Bryant. I love hitting up those 5 for $25 panties and bogo 1/2 off bras. (Found some cayute lil Valentine-y panties today for the low! ^_^) It's the best.
But I always see sooo much cute stuff at Victoria's Secret that I know the girls would look great in, if only they made them bigger! But alas, Vickie tries to relegate me to those less-than-sexy black, white, "nude" options. Bleh.
I've heard that Frederick's of Hollywood is great, but there's no store within 100 miles of Jackson. I could order offline, but I dunno bout that... I wanna see stuff like that up close before buying. Besides, I've found out that although Cacique says I'm a 44DD, that's not necessarily the case with other brands. So... meh.

My point is, the BAPP is in a conspiracy against me. But I will not be defeated! I will have sexy separates, dammit! Viva la fat girl!

It's been one month, and I've lost a grand total of...

Zero pounds!

*does the opposite of the happy dance.... which i guess would be the sad slump*

This means that it is time to find something new to try to move the pounds. I'm not sure what I want to do, but I've got to make a decision fast. My short term goal was/is to lose 30 lbs by May 15 or 16 (wanna be a lil slimmer when meeting the future in-laws). That's doable, right? I mean, I still have three months to get there. But I still gotta get a move on. At least I'm not starting out with any more weight now than I did when I first started this. *sigh* Updates on that decision coming soon.

Oh yeah, I welcome suggestions! If something worked for you, a friend, family member, coworker, whoever, let me know! I need to know what works and what doesn't!

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Four Day Diet

So I was perusing brownandbridal.com and came across a post about Dr. Ian's Four-Day Diet. She said that she's been on it since Tuesday and has already lost 8 lbs. I'm assuming that's with exercise. I may try this out, but I need to skim the book to see if it looks like something that would "fit" me. The link is to a video where he talks about the diet and the book. The book deals with both the emotional and the physical aspect of dieting. The diet itself is broken up into different modules:

Induction (detox/cleansing)
Transition (to reintroduce all food groups)
Protein Stretch (to avoid plateaus)
Smooth (when you can have some formerly forbidden foods like pizza and French fries)
Push (the sprint just before the final stretch, back to a stricter eating plan)
Pace (a comfortable module for you to catch your breath)
Vigorous (the final module to lose those last few pounds)

I'm not totally sure if all these modules are supposed to be completed in four days (that wasn't explained too clearly in the little video clip) but he did mention that you switch up the food every four days. Like I said, I'll check the book out to see what he's really talking about. In the meantime, here's that link.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Michelle O on the cover of Vogue

So... this was not meant to turn into an "OMG I love Michelle" blog. In fact, I said I would refrain from (or at least limit) posting about her. But I appreciate some of the statements she made in the Vogue Spring Fashion issue as it relates to style, and her seemingly natural grace and elegance really come through.


From envisioning a more inclusive White House to embracing fearless fashion, Michelle Obama is poised to become the most transformative First Lady in history.

André Leon Talley reports. Portraits by Annie Leibovitz.

"Do you see our new house?" Michelle Obama asks, walking to a corner window of the reception suite at the Hay-Adams and drawing back the white curtains. It is a wet, chilly Tuesday afternoon in Washington, D.C., two weeks before the Inauguration, and the Obamas have just moved into the hotel so their daughters can begin the new semester at Sidwell Friends. Through the window we can see armed security men in black walking around on the White House roof.

"They tell me they do that a lot," she says.

Mrs. Obama has a hug—a sincere and friendly embrace—that has become familiar to countless supporters from coast to coast. And when she talks to you, she focuses all her calm attention on your face. For a passionate supporter like me (someone who, like millions of regular American citizens, volunteered in the campaign trenches and basked in the glow of glory at the Inauguration), being the focus of this reassuring gaze is akin to hearing a chord from John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme." Or maybe Ralph Vaughan Williams's "The Lark Ascending": All is well and right and real.

With her long, lean, athletic frame, she moves as if she could have danced with Alvin Ailey in another life. Curled up in the corner of a huge taupe velvet sofa, wearing knee-high boots as she nestles into the cushions, she almost seems like any other mom recently relocated to a city because of her husband's new job.

The work-life balance that this particular mother struggles with is not typical, but the early-days challenges she faces are remarkably ordinary. Getting her bearings, checking out churches to join, helping her kids adjust to unfamiliar surroundings—these are her top priorities and preoccupations. The First Lady puts her family first.

"I'm going to try to take them to school every morning—as much as I can," she says of Natasha (a.k.a. Sasha), seven, and Malia, ten. "But there's also a measure of independence. And obviously there will be times I won't be able to drop them off at all. I like to be a presence in my kids' school. I want to know the teachers; I want to know the other parents."

By now, everyone knows that Mrs. Obama's mother, Marian Robinson, has moved in with her daughter and son-in-law to help keep the kids on an even keel; we've all heard how she basically reared Sasha and Malia while their parents were on their two-year journey to the White House. Mrs. Robinson will, she says, be there to help in any way she can. (If you could put a word to how she is feeling about the whole thing, it would be bemused: "I laugh now because I always taught Michelle to step out of her comfort zone in life," she tells me. "But I never thought she was going to step this far out of that zone.")

Just as Hillary Clinton took Chelsea along to Europe and Africa when she was off from school, Mrs. Obama anticipates traveling with her own daughters during school breaks. "I've been grateful that my girls have been able to see parts of the country that I'm just seeing at the age of 44," she says. "It's not only seeing Paris, London, and Rome. It's also the remote places…exposing them to what we hope all kids will have: a feeling that they are citizens of the world."

I had a chance to ask Jill Biden, the wife of the vice-president, about Mrs. Obama's parenting style, and she put the accent on how real the new First Lady is. "During the convention, my grandchildren and her children had a sleepover, watching movies, eating pizza and popcorn, just having fun hanging out," she said. "And I think that's what's special about Michelle—she maintains a normal life in an extraordinary time. You only need to be around her girls for a few seconds to know what an incredible mom she is."

Caroline Kennedy has shared with Mrs. Obama fond memories of living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. "My mother always told me that the happiest times we spent as a family were in the White House because we were all together," Kennedy says. "After years of campaigning, I am sure the Obamas will feel the same way."

For all the sleepovers and pizza parties, will Michelle Obama be a traditional First Lady in the cookie-baking, housewife-in-chief mold? Of course not. Those days are probably over for good. First Ladies have always been held like specimens under a media microscope. Some 200 years ago, when Abigail Adams stepped into the role, she was cast as the New England bluestocking. Dolley Madison is still considered the White House's most fabulous hostess: She wore flamboyant turbans spiked with ostrich plumes, held evening gatherings nearly every Wednesday, and wowed guests with dishes of ice cream as pianos tinkled and guitars strummed. Mary Todd Lincoln hosted regular public receptions, with a gridlock of visitors herded through the eastern gate and ushered out through the western gate. President Lincoln and his wife shook hands with everyone in the receiving line, standing there for two hours if necessary.

It's been an awfully long time since strangers off the street could wander right into the presidential mansion, but Michelle Obama's intention is to open up the White House again in a spirit of diversity and inclusion. She speaks of her future there as almost a collective experience. It's never "me" and "mine" and "some," but "we" and "our" and "all." She's like the neighbor organizing a block party: Everyone is invited.

No doubt this attitude owes a lot to the sense of community she drank in as she grew up in a modest house on the South Side of Chicago, where her parents carved a bedroom out of the living room for her and her brother, Craig Robinson, to share. She doesn't come from a culture of exclusivity, and she doesn't appreciate a "members only" attitude. "We like to joke that the South Side of Chicago is our Kennebunkport," she says. She'll be guided by another lesson of her upbringing: "We learned in our household that there was nothing you couldn't talk about and that you found humor in even some of the toughest times. I want to bring that spirit of warmth, openness, and stability to my task."

Any notion that the White House will be more welcoming to black Americans above all others is unfounded. "She will reach out to the full spectrum of American people," says Valerie Jarrett, a special adviser to the president and a longtime friend. "That's what she's done throughout her whole life—embrace all ethnicities. I believe there will be a special connection with the African-American community, because she's the first African-American First Lady. Michelle's heart has plenty of room for everybody."

Mrs. Obama herself describes it this way: "We want entertaining in the White House to feel like America, that we are reminded of all the many facets of our culture. The Latino community, the Asian-American community, the African-American community.…Hip-hop, spoken word—we want to bring the youth in, for them to hear their voices in this."

She sees the White House as a national classroom. "We want to make sure that our young people remember and understand what classical music is, who some of the great American artists are," she says, to give one example. And: "I am excited about the potential of the White House kitchen being a learning environment for the community. The current chef, Cristeta Comerford, is the only female chef in the history of the White House. She's a young Filipina woman, a mother with a young child, and I am excited to get to know her and for her to know us as a family. If you think about all the kids interested in finding out about all of the inner workings of the White House—I'm hoping that we can build a team to reach out."

Like Hillary Clinton before her, Mrs. Obama has always been a working woman. She is a lawyer turned hospital administrator turned political right hand. It is a unique résumé. What we know for sure, so far, is that children will be one focus of her formidable brainpower.

What Michelle Obama is less focused on—in direct inverse proportion to the focus of the public—is fashion. Which isn't to say that she doesn't appreciate good clothes. Or that the fashion choices of a woman whose image will shortly be—or already is—among the most recognizable in the entire world aren't iconic. And thus far, those choices have been fearless. Every moment she sallies forth, she will be scrutinized, then alternately set on a pedestal or skewered. Which, thankfully, hasn't put the brakes on her enthusiasm or originality—so markedly different from, but for an exception or two, previous presidential partners who shrank from matters of style or played it safe. Her self-possession is an inspiration. "I love clothes," she admits. "First and foremost, I wear what I love. That's what women have to focus on: what makes them happy and what makes them feel comfortable and beautiful. If I can have any impact, I want women to feel good about themselves and have fun with fashion."

What makes her feel good are clean-cut American clothes with a youthful vitality: At a fund-raiser I cohosted in New York last year, she showed up in a tunic and palazzo pants by Isabel Toledo (who also designed the lemongrass ensemble she wore to the swearing-in ceremony), with a necklace by Tom Binns. The day of our interview at the Hay-Adams, she wears a soft, silk-crepe accordion-pleat dress by 34-year-old Thakoon Panichgul; Jason Wu, who designed her Inaugural ball dress, is only 26.

Mrs. Obama's lithe frame—an uncommon figure for an American First Lady, let's be honest—and her ardent championing of new names in American design have induced many to describe her as a potential "new Jackie Kennedy." But that really isn't her. Pragmatism, not glamour, is what matters when she gets dressed.

I first met Mrs. Obama at an impromptu dinner at Oprah Winfrey's house in Santa Barbara, California, on the eve of the divine Ms. O's Legends Ball in 2005. I was seated between the then Senator Barack Obama's wife and Tina Turner. Do I remember what Michelle was wearing? Not at all. What I do remember was how informed she was on so many topics. And when she said she actually knew who I was, I was so flattered my jaw dropped.

Some critics made noise about the plain black cardigan the First Lady-to-be wore on November 4 in Grant Park over her Narciso Rodriguez dress. She is unrepentant: "I'm not going to pretend that I don't care about it," Mrs. Obama says of the criticism. "But I also have to be very practical. In the end, someone will always not like what you wear—people just have different tastes. Some will think that a sweater was horrible, [but] I was cold; I needed that sweater!"

I lived the American Dream in Grant Park that evening, too. That November night felt like spring, yes. But not balmy enough for a woman to martyr herself in a sleeveless cocktail frock!

Mrs. Obama reflects back on that night among nights: "I was proud as a wife, amazed as a citizen," she recalls. "I felt a sense of relief, a sense of calm, that the country I lived in was the country I thought I lived in."

So Michelle Obama isn't cut from Dolley Madison or Laura Bush cloth, and this isn't Camelot. Maybe the predecessor whom we will most often be reminded of is Eleanor Roosevelt. Tireless in her dedication to human rights, Roosevelt was a First Lady with no peer. She was an early U.S. delegate to the United Nations. She drove through the night to the very heart of Ku Klux Klan country to attend a civil rights rally. And, of course, Eleanor served the nation, as Mrs. Obama will, in times of economic hardship. If Eleanor Roosevelt was a grandmother of the women's movement, Mrs. Obama is a daughter of it.

Remember that when the Obamas first met, she was his boss and mentor at Sidley, Austin, the Chicago law firm where they both began their careers. This is a new dynamic in the history of First Families. It's doubtful the president of the United States of America wields executive authority within his primary relationship. You can tell from the way Michelle teases Barack in interviews, the way she's not afraid to disagree publicly, that although she loves her husband, she isn't in awe of him. (When he helped paint a room at a homeless shelter on Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, she said, "Now that I know he can do this, it's another thing he can do at home.") They have maintained their autonomy and mutual respect yet clearly delight in each other's company. When I saw them dance at the Legends Ball, rocking the party with their moves until a slow number came on, their genuine affection for each other was palpable. The woman he so publicly declared "my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family, the love of my life" on Election Night has been a true partner in every sense of the word. "I'm extremely happy with her," he told Mariana Cook in a 1996 interview with the couple recently published in The New Yorker, "and part of it has to do with the fact that she is at once familiar to me, so that I can be myself and she knows me very well and I trust her completely, but at the same time she is also a complete mystery to me in some ways.…It's that tension between familiarity and mystery that makes for something strong, because even as you build a life of trust and comfort and mutual support, you retain some sense of surprise or wonder about the other person." Thirteen years later, his remarks have never rung truer.

That is something we have to look forward to, too: Mrs. Obama will continue to surprise us. "Michelle Obama is a full-blown, grown-up woman," Oprah Winfrey tells me. "An authentically empowered real woman who looks and feels like a modern woman in the twenty-first century, allowing us to see the best of ourselves in her. [She's] bringing a sense of connection and accessibility to that position that no nation has ever witnessed."

Three days before the Inauguration, I boarded the Obama Express at Philadelphia's 30th Street Station, a whistle-stop tour headed with unstoppable momentum toward the three-day blowout in the nation's capital. The press corps was assigned to the caboose, but I lucked out and found myself seated in the car reserved for family and friends when a troika of Michelle's best friends from back home adopted me: Yvonne Davila, who runs her own consulting firm; Cheryl Rucker-Whitaker, M.D., cardiologist and assistant professor at Rush University Medical Center; and Sandy Matthews, an executive at a children's-advocacy firm.

"Michelle and I co-parent our girls, who shared cribs," said Davila, wearing Armani. "When she needs a girlfriend to lean on, or when she wants her daughters to sleep over, this is where they go."

At one point, the president-elect and his wife worked their way through the narrow aisles along the length of the train to meet everyone in each car. Mrs. Obama sat down among her friends. Knowing I had to ask what she was wearing, she graciously divulged that her lavender jacket—worn with leggings and sexy, flat black-suede boots—was by Zero + Maria Cornejo. "This jacket was supposed to have a belt," she said. "I love a belt, but we forgot it."

Somewhere on the way to Union Station, there was an explosion of noise as Sasha and Malia and their playmates from Chicago burst into our car and started singing "Somebody once told me the world was macaroni…" to their mom, who was celebrating her forty-fifth birthday that day.

"Did you sing it for Dad?" she asked.

As a surprise, the girls had decorated their car with streamers and balloons and banners and had deputized their young friends to hand out Hawaiian leis and party hats to the adults in an adjacent car. ("Nice," Mrs. Obama said later, "but I looked at Barack and said, 'They've got to clean up! We can't leave this mess for Amtrak.' ") After being serenaded with "Happy Birthday," she led the children in a stomp dance.

As we rolled along, I thought of my own journey. How many among the crowds gathered to watch us pass were like me—an African-American who grew up in the Jim Crow South, whose father drove a taxi, whose uncle Lewis was a barber, whose grandmother was a maid her entire life—and turned their eyes to the Obamas not just with hope but with recognition?

If the great expectations weigh heavily on Michelle Obama's shoulders, it doesn't show; this is her enigma, this is her grace.

On Inauguration Day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi invited Diane von Furstenberg and me to sit front row in the bleachers directly above the former presidents and vice presidents. I felt blessed to be at the swearing-in ceremony looking out at a sea of 1.8 million people on the Mall. Incredibly, there would not be a single arrest. After Chief Justice John Roberts had sworn in the forty-fourth president, the new commander in chief's first steps were toward his family for a kiss. Both daughters were done up in custom Crewcuts by J.Crew: Sasha (who gave her father the thumbs-up) in sorbet shades and Malia wearing a violet-blue wool coat and a soft ribbon sash. Then came Mrs. Obama, in Toledo's Swiss wool lace coat and sheath, green Jimmy Choo pumps, and J.Crew jade gloves. "She exemplifies this moment of great transition," Toledo says. "Such an optimistic start to a new era."

That night, I saw them again at the Obama Home States Ball, she in her angel-white one-shouldered gown, he in white tie, his first new tuxedo in fifteen years. After acknowledging the euphoric guests, the president said, "Excuse me while I dance with my wife," before leading her in a slow swirl to the strains of "At Last," a song about beginnings.

"Leading Lady" has been edited for Style.com; the complete story appears in the March 2009 issue of Vogue.

More Cushion for (more?) Pushin'


Okay so this is an old article, but I was thinking about the conversation that ensued on a message board I'm on. The opinion of a lot of people seems to be that the reason this study finds that big girls have a lot of sex is because of low self-esteem. Basically, they theorized that a fat girl would be so flattered and overwhelmed that someone would pay her lowly butt any attention (because who actually likes fat girls like that?) that she would thank them the only way she knew how: by dropping the draws. (In case you can't tell, this is full of sarcasm). It was also mentioned that if a guy wanted a "guaranteed fuck" that he would approach the big girl out of a group of women.


As a big girl with a lotta self esteem who's had a lot of sex (ssshhh! don't tell anybody lol), I was pissed. I'm the type of person who sees what she wants and goes after it. (Well actually, I don't have to go after it; it comes to me.) Because I'm not some petite little thing that means I must not love myself?

Please, spare me that BS.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Am I Unhappy as a Big Girl?

I had to pose this question to myself today after reading a snide remark about my size. (After another person's rather unfunny joke about me being fat, someone else chimed in with "Your self confidence must be really high. I could never pull off your figure." smirk) I'm not sure if this was a thinly-veiled insult or a backhanded compliment from a dumb broad who just didn't think, but either way I was kinda hot. But why? I mean, it's not shocking that I'm a big girl, nor is it a surprise that people act like it's suuuuch a huge burden being anything over a size 8. And I do have pretty good self esteem, although it falters from time to time (like after these comments; they sent me straight to the vending machine for some Oreo comfort). So why am I bothered? What is the real motivation behind trying to lose weight? I've already admitted that health isn't it. Wouldn't anything else mean that I was unhappy with the way I am? I never thought the occasional lamenting over my gut or wishing this double chin away translated into some sort of self loathing, but maybe it does.... And if that's the case, would being smaller make me happy? Or would I still have body image issues?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I'm Back with a Quote of the Week!

It's been a long time, I shouldn't have left you without a single post to read through...

It has been a while since I've written, but this time it was due to technical difficulties. However, I will be back and better than ever! In the meantime, here's a little something to ponder. It's pretty straightforward, so no extra discussion is needed (at least, for now).

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” -Leonardo da Vinci