Posts Categorized: recommended reading

Lovely Links: 6/5/15

Weekly Kitty:

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A rare shared nap.

“Don’t wait for that magical moment to arrive because as far as any of us knows, it may never actually get here. If you want to try something, you should go ahead and try it. If you want to have an experience, go ahead and have it. You don’t need to wait for your body to be a certain way before you try cool, exciting things. Your life is yours to lead and yours alone, and the hell with anyone who tells you otherwise.”

This quote from Emmy-winning actress Gina Rodriguez is so inspiring.

Alice does matchy in the best possible way by using her printed top to create an outfit color scheme.

I’m tempted by these Custom Cover Drops – you add them to your own moisturizers or other products to create as much or little coverage as you want.

Some of these are old news, but this post has a few interesting tips for saving stained, scratched, or nearly ruined wearables.

Folake is the queen of midi dresses, and looks positively ravishing in this poppy-printed sleeveless frock.

The body is not wrong. The body is not immoral, dishonest, or unjust. The body is just the physical representation of ourselves in the world, and the body looks different for every individual. The body can be fat and healthy or thin and unhealthy or the other way around or anything in between. The body can be a lot of things – and if we were to legislate about how a body should look, it would be because we’re afraid of the associations we have with our own deeply rooted socio-religious beliefs, not because the body is actually harmful to others.”

I’m finding that some of the longer crop-tops on sale now are the perfect length to wear untucked with high-waisted skirts. This long-sleeved one from Topshop is affordable and versatile.

A reminder that culture is not a costume

In my most recent Star Tribune column, I talked about rocking pale skin, doing ankle boots for summer, and the basics of petites.

In case you missed it: The Cannes Film Festival won’t allow women wearing flats to walk the red carpet. Heels only.

Imogen offers some great tips – including ones about contrast, texture, and color – on how to dress for hot weather if you prefer to stay covered up.

On About.com, I suggested a few places to shop for the “athleisure” trend and rounded up swimwear shopping suggestions that include petite, mastectomy, retro, plus, and maternity options.

Kali muses on perfectionism, minimalism, adequacy, and the trap of attempting to curate the perfect wardrobe.

An interesting layering formula: Short, long, longer

Or just cropped with super-long. Also creates unexpected proportions.

This post digs deep into the causes of curly hair bias in the workplace, and offers a handful of ways to deal with it.

Erin told her daughter that wearing makeup was a choice. Then she realized she was wearing it every single day without fail, and contradicting her words with her behaviors.

A man wearing a dress and a transgender woman are both human beings. Slandering us as a group does not make us dangerous; it makes it dangerous for us to be ourselves.” (Via Unordinary Style)

Prepare to giggle: If Actors In Famous Movie Scenes Were Costumed From My Wardrobe

Eloquii is now stocking sizes 26 and 28, and the fabulous Sarah Conley of StyleIt was both the impetus for this change and the model for the new pieces.

Still loving all things fringed, so both Cathy’s show-stopping fringe jacket and Carelia’s vintage caftan caught my eye.

This article provides a fascinating peek behind the scenes of Buffalo Exchange, Beacon’s Closet, and other consignment stores.

Jewelry designer Eddie Borgo creates some fabulously edgy designs, so I’m thrilled to he’ll be doing a customizable line for Target that launches in July.

If you’re going to ComicCon in July, you’ll be able to purchase Tina Fey and Amy Poehler action figures. And I’m jealous.

Well, what do ya know: Fashion editors are starting to declare the comeback of nude hose.

Stephanie shows us how to make ankle boots work in summery mixes. Gotta try something similar myself soon!

“There are so many myths and rumors about the need for bras, and most of them are based on what people prefer to see, not what’s most comfortable for a girl or woman … Whether women need bras is debatable to some, but what’s clear to me is the need to shift the conversation from a focus on bras to a focus on our actual breasts.”

What are the differences between BB, CC, and DD creams?

Alison speaks candidly – and from personal experience – about the ever-changing landscape of retail.

Red accents make any black and white mix just a bit livelier.

On the GoDaddy blog, I wrote about whimsy versus clarity in business names.

Danielle Brooks created the role of Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson on “Orange Is the New Black” to thunderous critical acclaim in 2013. Here, the 25-year-old Julliard graduate (who also was the first black actress to play a starring role on HBO’s “Girls”) shares a very personal lifelong struggle to self-acceptance and love.

Such a perfectly laid-back summery look: Floppy hat, arty sunglasses, graphic tee, and midi skirt. LOVE.

Yet more dress-code shenanigans, this time telling graduating seniors to keep “the girls” covered and that “we don’t want to be looking at sausage rolls.” Naturally, these messages were for girl students only.

And from the Department of Random: Prepare to get weepy.

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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An Interview With Traci Mann, Author of Secrets From the Eating Lab

secrets from the eating lab mann

This post discusses dieting, food restriction and eating.

I’ve known Traci Mann for almost seven years now, and have admired her work for much longer. After earning a Ph.D. in psychology from Stanford University in 1995, she was a professor at UCLA for nine years before moving to the University of Minnesota to found the Health and Eating Lab. There, she and her associates study how people control their health behaviors after deciding to make a change. As her bio states, “She does not run a diet clinic or test diets, and she has never taken a penny from commercial diet companies, sat on their boards of directors, or endorsed one of their products. Because of this, her livelihood, research funding, and reputation are not dependent on her reporting that diets work or that obesity is unhealthy.”

Traci’s new book, Secrets from the Eating Lab: The Science of Weight Loss, the Myth of Willpower, and Why You Should Never Diet Again, explores her research and its results, and also talks about simple, reasonable regulation strategies that can help you reach and maintain your leanest livable weight. Husband Mike is just finishing the book now, and I plan to dive in soon, but wanted to talk with Traci about her process, observations, and motivation for getting this book out into the world. Read on to find out more!

* * * * *

How long have you been researching food, diets, and the psychology of weight? Why were you drawn to these topics?

I have been studying these topics since halfway through grad school, twenty years ago. I was studying other things entirely, but then to prepare for a scary oral exam in which the questioners could ask me anything, I decided I better learn a little about obesity. And when I started looking at journal articles about obesity, I was completely shocked. Nothing in the articles was remotely what I had always assumed to be true. For example, I read studies showing that obese people didn’t eat more calories per day than non-obese people. I read studies showing that when you diet your metabolism changes, which makes it harder to lose weight. I read studies of identical twins raised in separate homes which showed that your weight is 70% genetic. All of this was eye-opening, and yet nobody was talking about it. Why wasn’t the general public being told that in many respects, your weight is not under your complete control?

Can you list the top three most surprising things you’ve learned about dieting?

  1. Dieting makes dieting harder. Does that sound weird? Well, it’s true. When your body senses not enough calories coming in, it thinks you are in danger of starving to death. So it makes changes to keep you alive. Those changes make it possible for you to live on fewer calories than you used to, which means you have more calories left over to store as fat. And that means that even if you eat the same thing you were eating when you were losing weight, you won’t keep losing weight, and you may even gain weight. Your body also makes changes that make you less likely to feel full, make you more likely to notice food when it’s around, and make you completely preoccupied with thoughts of food. That makes it harder to resist foods when they are there.
  2. Not surprisingly, given the first point, within three years of starting a diet, the average amount of weight dieters have managed to keep off is 1 pound.
  3. If you lost weight and gained it back, it’s not because you didn’t try hard enough, or didn’t want it enough, or have no self-control. You probably got by on fewer calories and used more willpower than any people who would accuse you of not trying hard enough.

Do you believe that all efforts to lose weight are bad and/or doomed?

People have a set weight range. That is a range of weights that your body tries to keep you in, and that you body can stay in without a ton of effort. People can lose weight within their biological set range without difficulty. But when people try to live at a weight below their set range, that is when the trouble begins. That is when that biological starvation mode kicks in. A small minority of dieters lose weight to below their set range and manage to keep it off, but that means their body is biologically the same as that of a starving person. I don’t think it is right for us to expect people to live as if they are starving in a famine, just to look a certain way, when their body, genetically, is more comfortable at a higher weight. Instead I encourage people to aim to live at the lower end of their set range, not below it. That is a weight that people can be healthy at, and that they can attain and maintain without dieting, with some simple strategies I describe in the book.

What do you think needs to change in order to reroute (or obliterate) our culture’s obsession with thinness?

People need to understand that genetically, we are meant to be all different shapes and sizes, and we can be healthy at all different shapes and sizes. It doesn’t make sense to try to force everyone into one weight category when that isn’t where their body is meant to be. We need to get our heads off of this thinness thing and onto this healthiness thing, which, I’ll say again, does not require thinness.

You mentioned at your book launch event that you tried to get this book written and published years ago. Why do you think the time was right for it to get out into the world now, but not back then?

When I first tried to get a book deal to write a book about why diets don’t work, I was told that the topic was bad news and that nobody would want to read it. I found this crazy, because it isn’t bad news to learn that it is not your fault if your diet doesn’t work. Plus, I believe that people want to know what is true, and my book was going to tell people the truth, rather than promise things that nobody can promise (like “you will keep the weight off forever”). The funny thing is that the bestseller at the time was the worst bad news ever: “He’s Just Not That Into You.”

I was also told that diet books were the bread and butter of the publishing world, and that no publisher wanted to put out anything that would conflict with the many diet books they were publishing. Scary.

I think the time is right for Secrets From the Eating Lab to be published because people are catching on to the diet industry’s lies and false promises. It is getting harder and harder for people to believe it when the diet industry says that diets work, since we are all surrounded by people who are losing weight and regaining it. But also, I now offer strategies for healthy eating in the book, which were not a part of the original plan ten years ago (because at that time I hadn’t done that much research on strategies). But over the last ten years I have studied strategies extensively, so I had a lot of helpful positive information to add.

What was your biggest challenge in getting this book researched and written?

I was just doing my job, which was doing research and teaching classes, and suddenly ten years had gone by, and then twenty, and I found myself with a lot I wanted to say. The hardest part was getting the book deal. Once I was free to sit down and work on the book, it was an absolute joy. I hope I get the opportunity to do it again some day.

* * * * *

Find out more about Secrets From the Eating Lab here and purchase it on Amazon!

 

Author photo by Richard Wadey-James
**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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Lovely Links: 5/29/15

Weekly Kitty:

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How does she DO that?

“When you’re 25 you don’t wish to dress exactly how you did at 18. And likewise at 40 you tend to not really want to dress as you did at 25. You will change, naturally, almost imperceptibly, as the years go by, unless you are into some sort of niche clothing or whatnot. Right now, in this space and time, there are no real rules. I haven’t personally felt any pressure one way or another. It’s all so subtle, and quite painless, really.”

Kudos to Frankie for launching SHE Unleashed, a site and series of workshops/activities designed to help women find their power and passion through style.

Still adore the graphic tee-full skirt combo, and Chioma throws in a classic leopard clutch for good measure. Love Sheila’s take on the look, too.

Just like Tina Fey, I refer to my shapewear as “contraptions.” We must be long-lost sisters after all.

Vaguely related and mostly just included because she’s another of my crushes and besties with Tina, a heartening interview with Amy Poehler about her plans to revolutionize how women participate in the entertainment industry.

Now THAT’S a fabulous refashion. Well played, Melanie.

Some of you have asked for stylish solutions for work badges and ID cards. This Etsy shop has some really cool options. Or try this one for gemstone strand lanyards.

This chart offers some simple advice on finding a great shade of red lipstick based on your hair color and skin undertones. You lipstick lovers, do these recommendations ring true to you?

I’m a little chagrined to identify with so many entries on this complete list of insecurities.

Sometimes all you need to feel pulled-together is a floaty dress, long pendant, and killer sandals.

On About.com, I rounded up some great online consignment resources and talked about where to shop for normcore staples.

Old Navy has started carrying some high-necked tanks, which are fantastic if (like me) you’re trying to let a chest breakout heal. This one is a little lower in back, and this style has an A-line shape. Petite and tall included in some of those, plus versions here and here.

Such a fabulous neutral mix on Carelia. Those paperbag-waist pants are killing me.

What does SPF really mean?

Audrey accents her kick-ass white jumpsuit with a skinny red belt and pop-art clutch. Perfection.

The ever-awesome Kristen Schaal responds to the hypocrisy of the “dad bod” trend (with a little help from Jon Stewart).

“Every time a woman admits to having gained a few but to also not really giving a damn, the algorithm changes ever so slightly. And it’s these incremental shifts, these tiny victories, that will rescue us all from the time-consuming vacuum of hypercritical comparison. Every time one of us—famous or not-so-famous—balks in the face of a physical ideal, the myth that there’s only one way to be sexy takes a hit.”

This tutorial shows how to make your own map necklace, a piece I’ve seen everywhere lately. (Via Dollar Store Crafts)

Always say yes to houndstooth and bright red.

Gobs of scarf-tying and scarf-styling inspiration in this post

Gracey interviews Dan Lawson, costume designer for “The Good Wife.”

Great advice on looking past both specific model figures and collection-specific styling while shopping. Chastity points out that many plus-sized clothes lack hanger appeal, but spring to life when tried on.

“As a woman, I have learned that pretty is what we should all strive for. At the same time, being pretty is something we should never admit to and never strive for in public. We are supposed to be effortlessly pretty, and yet it is considered egotistical to ever say that we are.”

Darlene experiments with using a nude cami to make a plunging neckline less revealing on her full-busted figure. She also acknowledges that many women loathe this look and technique. Anyone else employ/avoid this technique?

There are some really solid points in this post that offers advice to people who are just becoming interested in fashion and aren’t sure where to start.

This black and gray printed dress is a perfect example of the soft, summery badassery I’m aiming for myself. (More inspiring images on my Pinterest board of the same name here.)

A pattern mix that’s practically perfect, and accented with a pretty turquoise tote

Just looking at those heels makes my feet ache, but damn these three pairs of shoes from Donna Karan’s Fall 2015 collection are stunning.

Blackout Day did not claim that non-black people are immune to body image issues, or that others don’t face societal pressures. But, without fail, any time a historically oppressed group asserts their equality by boldly denying any inferiority to someone outside their group, some member of the un-oppressed majority takes it personally.”

Black and white is an eternally chic combination, and Maria shows us a an elegant formal black and white look while Annette goes edgy with hers.

Mary’s tips for how to glorify obesity properly are both hilarious and astute.

Reminder: You are not a number

This outfit shows how bright primaries work beautifully together when done up in classic shapes.

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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