How To Look Good From Head To Toe

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always looked a mess. I was overweight with cystic acne all along my jaw and down my neck, my hair was always a frizzy mess, and I sometimes suffered with b.o. I would always look up to the beautiful women who always seemed to have it together. They were poised, confident, so fashionable and cool. Everyone wanted to be their friend. I always knew though that I had it in me to be just as great. So from the age of 12 years old, I started my transformation. It has been 10 years in the making but I now can share with you all how I’ve learned to look good from head to toe. Here’s how I learned to be the most confident version of myself:

  1. We’ll start from the top and work our way down. So first thing is your hair. You’re going to want to learn how to style it. Whether you want to use hot tools or keep it au natural is up to you. Just learn how to work with your hair and style it in a way so it doesn’t look frizzy. I personally like to use hot tools for my hair. I only do it twice a week and wash my hair every 3 days. I’ll usually use a curling iron for voluminous waves but when I’m in the mood for it, I’ll use a straightener. You’ll also want to make sure to take good care of your hair too. Do deep conditioning treatments once a week, use a protectant when using hot tools, be kind to your hair, not rough. Damaged hair does not look good and there’s not much you can do when it’s severely damaged except grow it out. There’s also no way of hiding damaged hair so make sure to prevent it and take good care of it now. Also, only dye it a color that is compatible with your skin tone and that is only 3 shades lighter or darker than your natural hair color. That’ll help prevent extreme damage and will help your hair to look more natural. But of course, you don’t need to dye your hair at all. The key is healthy, smooth hair.
  2. Next we’ll move on to our face. You’re gonna want to go to YouTube for this one and start watching some makeup tutorials. I only had to watch a few to get some game changing tips that have helped my makeup to look more professional. What I’ve learned too is that your products make a BIG difference when it comes to the way you’re makeup will turn out. I never thought so. I always thought that they were basically all the same. For example, you might think you have no eyelashes, but it may just be that you’re using the wrong mascara. At least that was the case for me. I always thought I had bad lashes but after switching my mascara, now my lashes are the main thing people always compliment me on. My favorite brand is NYX for makeup. They give you professional results at drugstore prices and I’ve recently learned that if you buy them on amazon, they’re always cheaper…like 50% so! So there’s a little tip for ya 😉 I’ll make a separate post where I get into all my staple products so you don’t have to waste time and money trying so many different ones and you can skip right to the good stuff. But trust me, upgrading your makeup routine is a game changer! It’ll make you look so much more put together and will make you feel so confident- it’s a must on my list!
  3. Next we’ll talk about your ears or more specifically, earrings. You don’t have to wear earrings, but I always do. I never leave the house without them. I personally am a big hoops girl (it’s just the Latina in me lol) But I feel like even if you have small little studs in, they can help you look so much more fashionable. I’ve also been getting into hair accessories. I like cheetah print head scarves or scrunchies with bows on them. It’s so simple but those little touches really help level up your outfit and tie everything together. I think dainty necklaces are another really nice touch. They’re so feminine and delicate and really spice up any outfit. Don’t be afraid to experiment with scarves or different handbags too. You can find such a great variety and for really cheap too.
  4. Since, we’re working our way down to the underarm area, let’s talk about b.o (other wise known as body odor). So it’s simple: take a shower everyday, wash your clothes weekly and don’t wear anything that has a foul smell. You’re clothes don’t have to be expensive to look good. What’s most important is that they’re clean, smell fresh, don’t have stains, and preferably wrinkle free. Please use deodorant and don’t forget it. Carry a travel one with you as a mid-day refresher. we all need it sometimes, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. And as a bonus, a body spray or perfume helps for you to have a nice feminine scent that people will smell when you walk passed. It’s a nice touch. Also, please moisturize any dry, visible parts of your body (legs, knees, elbows) and please, oh please, if you’re feet are going to be exposed, moisturize those as well. I can’t stand dry, cracked heels. I’m sorry, it’s just a pet peeve of mine. It’s so easy to fix too and does not look good at all when you walk around like that. So please, for my sake, don’t do it. And I know all this sounds pretty simple, but you’d be surprised by how many adults have b.o. Oh and don’t forget to brush your teeth, carry mints or gum with you as a mid-day pick me up to freshen up. And if you always have bad breath, talk to your doctor. It may be something you’re eating or an underlying issue that your doctor may be able to help you with.
  5. Next, we’ll move on to your bra. You’d be surprised at what a difference wearing the right bra can make. If you wear one that’s too small, you may have spillage in the cup area or back bulge squeezing out around the straps. If it’s too big, then it can cause a lot of weird gaping, especially around the cup area. So get sized. You can do it yourself at home. I finally, after about 10 years or so of wearing bras, have finally figured out my correct size! So now my bra outline can’t be seen through my shirt and it’s so much more comfortable to wear.
  6. Now, we’ll talk about clothes. I always feel it’s best to have a certain color scheme with your wardrobe. I tend to have more of an autumn skin tone so in my closet you’ll see a lot of peach, burnt orange, burgundy, olive green, brown, ivory, mustard yellow, blush pink, tones. Having a color scheme with your wardrobe means that you’ll easily be able to mix and match certain pieces since they all work well together. So you’ll be able to have a few pieces but make many outfits from them. Try to find clothes that flatter your figure too. Of course you don’t have to, but there will be some pieces that will look better on you than others (just like with anyone else).
  7. Next we’ll move onto your legs, or more specifically, body hair. So you’l want to make sure you’re shaving often. Everyone’s hair grows at different rates but for me, I pretty much start shaving whenever I see that stubble is starting to form. I want to be as smooth, feminine, and dainty as possible. That means no body hair (including facial, underarm, leg, thigh…you name it.)
  8. Next, we’ll talk about our feet. I think it’s important to have your feet freshly pedicured year round. That doesn’t mean you have to get it done professionally or even that your nails have to always be painted (if that’s not you’re thing). But it does mean that your nails should always be cleaned, trimmed, dead skin and callouses removed, file down anything that needs it, and overall just have smooth, clean feet. I think uncared for feet are very unattractive to just about anyone. And it can be something fun to do. I like to do mine in the night when my daughter’s already asleep. I put my show on, relax, and paint my nails my favorite color of the moment.
  9. Now we’ll touch on weight and fitness. I know that this can be a touchy subject. So this part will just be for those who already do want to lose weight. I personally have always been on the overweight side as I’ve mentioned. I’ve lost 40 pounds as a teenager. I always held on to 10-15 more even after that though. And after I had my daughter I had like 15 more that I had gained. So of the 25 that I’ve held onto after having giving birth, I’ve already lost 15 of it during these past few months and am working on losing the 10 that remains. I have simply been counting calories with the my fitness pal app and doing HIIT workouts 3x a week. But let me just tell you, losing weight is what really makes me feel the most confident of everything on this list. If you’re overweight, you can’t really hide it. No matter what you wear, people will be able to tell if you have a fit and trim body or if you don’t. You can’t hide it. So above all I think if you are overweight, then losing it will make you feel the best about yourself. And I’m not saying to do it in an unhealthy, obsessive way. There are healthy ways of doing it (in my opinion). I’ve been losing just one pound a week and although it’s painfully slow, I know that it’s working so I just need to be patient and stick with it. It’s when people start to become impatient and want to rush the process that they start going about it in an unhealthy way, with crash diets, laxative teas, and the like. And also I’ll just say, I’ve been working out for 10+ years doing everything from heavy weights, Pilates, cardio machines, etc…, and I just have to say that HIIT has been the best by far. You get quick results, you’re able to lose fat, keep your curves, and put on muscle, all while only working out 30 minutes max. So if you’re looking for a new workout routine, I would start off with trying that.

I hope that these tips were helpful for you guys and not at all offensive. I try to be honest while at the same time being sensitive to the feelings of others. This is the truth, this is how i got to be to where I am today. It’s not to hurt anyone’s feelings but to give you the answers that many have asked me. Which of these tips did you guys find the most useful? Which ones would you add? I’d love to hear from you.

Till next time,

Paula Moral

Weight Loss Journey Update: How I’m Eating To Lose The Weight

*Disclaimer: I just want to start off by saying that I am not a doctor. This is just my personal experience and what has worked for me. The information I share with you is what I have learned through trial and error and my own research. But of course, if you have any questions about any of this, please make sure to discuss it with your doctor first.*

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If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, then you’ll know that in May of 2018 I decided to start my fitness journey. I wanted to update you guys because I know articles like this can help encourage and motivate others who are on a similar path.

Today is now July 1st of 2018 and I am happy to say that I am still on my fitness journey. This would be my 7th week of working out at the gym and eating portion controlled meals. I am so proud of myself though for really sticking with it this time. It’s funny how you can have so many times that you tell yourself, “This is it. I’m finally going to lose the weight!” But then you just end up quitting. Honestly you guys, I had been saying for about 6 years now that I was going to lose this weight. I would try so many different things that ended up just not working or I didn’t like it so I’d quit. So I find it so crazy that this time around I am sticking with it. I am serious about losing the weight this time and there is nothing that’s going to stop me. I am just that motivated and determined. But I feel like the reason why this way of losing weight is working is because it’s not hard to me or dreadful at all. I don’t feel starved or deprived or anything like that.

For the first month of my weight loss journey I just focused on portion control and it worked, but only during that time. After a while I noticed that my weight had plateaued. I tried to wait it out to see if it’d work itself out. But after 3 weeks of being the same weight, I decided I’d try calorie counting. I just didn’t want to be wasting my time doing something that was no longer working. And I felt like 3 weeks was long enough to wait. So I went online and tried a few different calorie calculators to see how much I should be eating for weight loss. I tried about 3 or 4 different ones. They all tend to give you a different number so I just took the average of all of them. I ended up with about 1600 calories. I think that is the perfect number for me. I still nurse my toddler 4 times a day, I tend to be moderately active, and I workout at the gym 3-4 times a week for an hour each session. I also have a good amount of muscle mass on my body. So all that needs to be taken into consideration when determining your calories. One calculator tried saying that I needed to eat just 1300 calories which I already felt was very low for me but I thought I’d give it a try. When I did, I was very hungry all day, felt light headed, exhausted, and irritable. So I knew that I needed to eat more. The crazy thing too is that before I thought all those symptoms were normal to feel when losing weight. But let me tell you, they’re not! That was a big reason why I never stuck to losing weight before: because I didn’t want to feel like that for months while trying to lose weight. So if you find yourself feeling miserable at all when trying to eat less for weight loss, try increasing your calories by a few hundred, Most likely you’re body just needs to eat a little more.

A really simple tool I’m using for calorie counting that I’m sure you heard of is the “My Fitness Pal” app. It’s free to download and so easy to use. I’m not getting paid or endorsed by them at all. This has just really helped me and I think it”ll help you as well. I have always hated counting calories. HATED! But this app is seriously so quick and easy to use. It even has a bar code scanner so if you have the package of the food you’re eating, you can just scan the bar code with your phone and it’ll upload all the nutrition information for you and then you’re done. If you tend to eat the same meals (like I do. I eat the same breakfast everyday.) you can log all the ingredients for it on your phone and then save it on the app. So next time when you’re eating that meal again, you don’t have to log each and every little thing again, you can just click on the saved “meals” button and it”ll have it all ready to go for you right there. If you’re going to a restaurant, it’ll already have the menu and calories on your phone so you can literally just click on what you ordered instead of having to log it all in yourself. I honestly love this app (especially the bar code feature 🙂 ). So even if you’re someone like me who has tried tracking your calories before but hated it, try giving this app a try. You might just like it 🙂

I also don’t restrict myself when it comes to cravings. If I really want to eat something, I’ll let myself have it. I just make sure to keep it within my calorie intake for the day. I feel it’s best to eat what you want in moderation now, than to restrict and deprive yourself for so long until you can’t take it anymore and you end up binge eating hard. Also, eating in a balanced way like this will help you in sticking to your weight loss plan long term since there are no rules as to what you can and cannot have.

And I just wanted to touch on something that was very hard for me losing weight this time around, since I know other people may be experiencing the same thing. I have lost 40 pounds in the past when I was at my heaviest but back then I was able to drop the weight so quickly. There were times where I’d lose 7 pounds in a week and it wasn’t even like I was trying to. But now I lose 1 pound a week. It was very frustrating at first to see how slow the weight was coming off. Especially since now is the time that I’m working my hardest at the gym and eating less, and yet I’m losing the weight much slower than when I was heavier and wasn’t trying nearly as hard. I had to remind myself though of how my body is going to try and hang onto these vanity pounds so it is going to take longer. I also reminded myself that progress is progress. That has basically been my motto throughout this fitness journey. Even if you are losing the weight so incredibly slow, just be happy that you’re going in the right direction. You’re still losing weight, even if it is slow, and that’s bringing you one step closer to your goal. It’s that mindset that has helped me to keep going even when I become impatient and wish that I could drop the weight faster. Before I would be so upset that my progress was so slow that I would just quit. But how is that helping the situation?  At least before you were making progress. If you quit, then you’re not getting any closer to your goals.

To sum this all up for you: track your calories (but don’t go too low), eat what you’d like but just in moderation, and keep in mind that progress is progress. I hope this article has helped you guys. I just really don’t want you to waste your time like me doing all the wrong things when you can just get it right the first time and finally reach your goals. Please give this a “like” if you enjoyed it and comment down below a weight loss hack that has worked for you. We could all use each other’s help.

 

How To Stay Motivated On Your Fitness/ Weight Loss Journey

I’ve just started on a fitness journey of my own and I can say that one of the hardest things about it can be staying motivated. In the beginning it’s real easy because you know exactly why you’re doing this, you’ve got momentum, and you just go. But after a few weeks, that all starts to wear off especially if you’re not seeing results as quickly as you’re wanting to. So you have to keep yourself motivated if you’re going to stick to your fitness journey long enough to get the results you want.  As someone who has been in need of motivation from time to time, I have some tips I’d like to share with you. They’ve helped me to keep going strong and I’m hoping they’ll do the same for you. So let’s get right into it:

  1. Get yourself some cute fitness gear. This is probably my #1 tip. I don’t know about you but when I look good, I feel good. It gives me more confidence and makes me just want to kill it at the gym. It also motivates me to even want to go to the gym in the first place. I’ll just feel so cute that I just have to show myself off…lol. But you know what I mean, I’m not going to look this cute and have no one see me.
  2. Reward yourself throughout your fitness journey. I think it’s nice to give yourself little gifts every couple of weeks or just once a month for reaching your fitness goals. It gives you some extra incentive to push through and continue working out even if you’re not yet seeing the results you were hoping for.
  3. Buy some beauty products that you only allow yourself to use at the gym. I use some good smelling soaps and lotions for my post workout shower but again, I tell myself that I can only use those at the gym. So if I’d really like to use them, I have to go workout. Just keep in mind too that when I talk about buying all these things, it doesn’t have to be expensive. I am not rich by any means so all of these things (fitness gear/ clothes, soaps and lotions) are very affordable. There are many stores that can sell all these things at very affordable prices. I tend to just buy a few things at a time anyways.
  4. Save your favorite songs for working out. I try not to listen to music during the day and save it for when I workout in the evening so that it gives me something to look forward to. So just like with the last point, if I want to listen to my music, I have to go workout in order to do so.
  5. Look up some before and after transformations online. On days when I just don’t feel like going to the gym or am already feeling tired, I look up weight loss transformations. I love to see just what a huge difference people can make in their appearance in just 12 weeks or so and it reminds me that if I just stick with it, I will soon have my own transformation. 12 weeks is really not a long time either to see such a drastic change.
  6. Remind yourself of why you’re doing this. This kind of goes along with the last point, but you need to remind yourself why you embarked on this weight loss or fitness journey in the first place. For me, I was tired of feeling so self conscious of the way I looked, not feeling good in the clothes I wanted to wear, and acting like everything was OK when it really was not. I’ll go more into my reasons in a later post. But sometimes when you’re just focused on the moment and thinking of how much you really don’t want to workout, you need to stop and think of what it’ll mean for you in the long term.
  7. Keep in mind how great you’ll feel afterwards. I love the feeling you get after you’ve just kicked butt at the gym and gave it you’re all. You end up feeling so good and confident about yourself. I love knowing that I’m actually working towards my goals and not just sitting at home feeling sorry for myself. I know that with each day I go out there and give it my all, I’m making progress towards my goals and that is very empowering.

These are a few of the tips that I’ve been using to help me keep going on my fitness journey. I hope they’ll help you too. Please let me know in the comments below if you found any of these especially helpful and please let me know what things you do to stay motivated. We could all use each others help 😉