Losing the extra weight: What I have learnt

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Being someone who has always experimented with weight loss, I have my own observations that I would like to share. With the exception of my post pregnancy weight where I had to shed around 28kg or 62 pounds, my main concern has always been the last stubborn five kilos (10 pounds), the result of love for food, loss of motivation and ignoring the caloric value of certain foods. I have never consulted a nutritionist or a dietician, (even when I successfully shed those 28 kg) but I always had a good general idea of the things I should and should not eat and I made my own diet plan according to my personal judgement.

Disclaimer: When you must lose  more than 6-7 kg it is best to visit an expert and get a a professional diet plan. The dietician will give you the right food combinations to cover your nutritional needs while cutting down on calories, and inform you about your personal ideal pace of weight loss.

However no dietician can make you thin, you are the the only person that can do that. Your motivation is your best friend in your weight loss journey, your driving force without which your goal cannot be achieved.

Below are some tips that I hope will help you keep it up and succeed.

Honesty with the scales: I myself have noticed that the times I tend to put on weight are those that I avoid stepping on the scales. Even though you should avoid obsessing over a number (numbers can lie) you still need to be honest about weight gain. No you are not “bloated” every day and it is impossible to gain significant muscle with little or no weight training, so just  be brave enough to admit that those pizzas and buckets of pop corn have turned into body fat that you now need to get rid of.

And now what? Relax.Once you get a cleat picture of the amount of extra weight that you want to lose, take a long deep breath. Success in weight loss requires that you are focused, yet relaxed. Stress, obsession, worry and impatience are only obstacles. The popular role model of the lycra clad  woman in a constant obsessive fighting mode against fat is likely create more stress and waste of your vital energy. Acknowledging that these extra pounds do not change a thing about you being a beautiful, sexy, intelligent person, but you would feel  so much better without them, is the way to start your journey.

Weight loss journey. Weight loss in a journey whether you need to lose 4 or 64 pounds. It is a change of attitudes and the realisation that healthy eating and exercise is a way of life. In fact, you need to accept that excessive eating and, unhealthy foods will always make those extra pounds creep back on. Unfortunately, the older you get, the more you have to watch your diet and eat clean.

Weight Plateaus: Embrace the idea that they exist. If there is one thing to be said about weight loss this is that is is not linear. It might appear that you are dieting for one or two months and the scales has not moved. The truth is that your body fat is a result of long term eating habits and what you need to do is to readjust these habits- in the longterm-to eventually find your weight where  you want it to be.

Learn to say no: Myself being Greek means that I come from a culture where throwing food away and not emptying your plate is the gravest of sins. I still remember as a young child my mother coaxing me to eat the last piece of bread “because children in some places in the world die of hunger”. Having this attitude makes it hard for you not to transgress, especially if you have a partner or child that orders pizzas and heaps of french fries and then does not finish them.Take responsibility for yourself and learn to say no to food. Are you willing to eat all the food available in the restaurant or all the food sold at the supermarket to rid the world of hunger? I thought so.

So do not give up. Weight loss is above all an attitude and a mental state . If you get there with your mind, the body will follow.

Kate Moss inspired fashion advice

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If you like fashion and you are always on the look for smart tricks to look good, model Kate Moss is a good example to take inspiration from. The secret behind Kate’s good looks, (apart from the fact that her bone structure is close to what some describe as the golden ratio of beauty), is that she never seems to try too hard. And if you look closely she has a specific personal style to which she stays faithful most of the time. Kate Moss has given the world some fashion advice which is not much, but then again there is not much to tell about fashion anyways. In reality it is not that complex.

The reason why I suddenly look to Mossy as a good stylistic example for the fashion-confused like me is that the more I grow up the more I find it hard to understand fashion. The other day I ventured a trip to Zara – one of my favourite fashion retailers for my kind of budget— and for the first time I did not find a single item that I felt I could wear. Everything looked like it was designed for tall and willowy girls and channelled a certain 60’s/faux vintage persona with an artsy, jet set-aspiring lifestyle. The clothes charmingly looked like they had “a story to tell” but after inspecting for the tenth time every single cloth rack in the hope of finding something that “made sense” I had to sadly admit was not my story.

The general factual truth with fashion trends is that the more women wear them-copying the example of models, actresses and other celebrities- the more they normalise the trends, so they gradually stops being edgy, over the top or even ridiculous and become conventional. Furthermore, our fashion conditioning sponsored by the same high street powerhouses wants us to think that a daring outfit equals a daring or confident personality. For instance take the popular Mtv show Plain Jane whose job is to transform “plain” looking girls to modern goddesses with the noble purpose of giving them enough confidence to ask their school crush out on a date. The show host Louise Roe, a woman who would ,no doubt, look good in a bin bag, is a fierce advocate for high street fashion. Louise encourages “Plain Janes” ,who would rather go out in jeans and a t shirt ,to try instead bright colours and bold prints, statement earrings , bling necklaces and sexy high heels as an exercise to learn how to radiate confidence and femininity. The show is very entertaining and surely only does some good old high street promotion, but the truth is that no girl should take its tips too seriously.

Here is why: In real life nobody over age 25 has the time, the energy and the necessary “talent” needed to figure out whether the orange bare midriff dress combines with the turquoise scarf and 5 inch platform heels, let alone actually put them on and walk down the street feeling no doubt uncomfortable and slightly ridiculous. No woman should be made to feel like that on fun her night out when she should above all feel comfortable and relaxed and allow herself to have a good time. IT IS NOT A CRIME TO BE IN YOUR COMFORT ZONE. (Also, in real life it takes more than mustering up the courage to ask the guy out to make romance happen, and at the end of the day if he was into you he would not wait around until he was asked).

Going back to Kate’s advice, here are some personal observations/inspirations that could help fashion conscious women keep their sanity.

Kate wears denim most of the time, especially her trademark skinny black jeans. Of course she frequently switches to vintage super glam looks for special occasions such as celebrity parties, receptions, official premieres and other paparazzi worthy events that the average woman most likely will never attend so she (you, me) should rather invest her money in things she will actually wear on a daily basis. So yeah, that party dress might look fantastic on you but better resist the urge to decorate your closet with yet another cute outfit.

KM wears what flatters her body shape. She of course is super skinny and all that, but she does not have the typical model body. In fact she is a bit shorter. She still looks better than you and me but also sticks to things that show off her slender frame and make her look taller. So if you have already found what looks good on your body shape don’t feel pressure to experiment or switch to something different because you “have to” wear a certain dress or skirt. Why wear it if it is not flattering? Stick to what flatters you. Use that as a basis to work your variations on that.

Invest in your basics. Better pay three times the price on a piece of denim that will last 5 years than one third on the one that lasts less than 5 months. This way you will spend less time worrying about what to wear.

Combine old and new from your favourites and be creative if you feel like it. You don’t need to look like the exact copy of the Topshop mannequin. It may earn you the respect of the 15 year olds but to all the rest you will look like you are trying too hard.

Finally, (like Kate), don’t bother too much. Life is too short and maybe you were not born to be a fashion genius. (like Kate) Maybe you will never pull off a sophisticated vintage look. It doesn’t matter. Change your hair or change your make up. Do something that makes you feel good about yourself and show some attitude. At the end of the day the most attractive thing about your clothes is your personality. (and not lack thereof)

True Detective Season 2: Cheer up you 2! A True fan rant.

cheer up you two!

cheer up you two!

I have one episode left to finish watching season 2 of True Detective and I have now lost almost all hope the show will take an interesting turn to vaguely produce the spine chilling effect of season one. The motel sex scene took place and it was as sexy as witnessing an AA meeting. I for once did not see it coming and how could I? There had been no sexual tension building up in the Velcoro-Bezzerides relationship so far, and neither had there been any real chemistry between them. The two main characters have been too-superficially- preoccupied with being hopeless, weak and frustrated to blossom. Kinda like two caterpillars who fail to become butterflies. Sorry, correction, I meant three caterpillars. Vince Vaughn is another promising actor of this season that was doomed by the comatose dialogues and strange facial expressions.

Why did the directors feel they had to express this darkness so literally is beyond me. Take Colin Farrell for example, an actor which is naturally very intense in expression. You cannot go wrong with Colin Farrell, he can be intense. If however you put him to express a character so monotonously and persistently gloomy and desperate you burn him out. This way Velcorro becomes way too weak to the point that he almost becomes a parody of himself. Velcoro-Farrell’s misery should have been significantly toned down to allow the character to develop, just like Matthew McConaughey’s character in season one. I mean how can you make a boring sex scene with Colin Farrell?? Hellooooo??????

Rachel MacAdams also. I read somewhere that her character looks like it was meant initially to be a man and there was a last minute change to female. i couldn’t agree more. Ani is tough in an awkward way. She drinks like a man, talks like a man, acts like a man… Only that she is is a woman. Shame not to give her a chance to be tough-as a woman. She would probably have a better chance having some chemistry with Velcorro if she did not constantly look like she is ready to burp in his face.

And finally the storyline. The complexity of it makes it hard to follow. And then you simply give up trying to follow -there is no reason after all since many elements are not relevant- and you are just pondering how you could alter the storyline, had you had the chance. Like I did last night.

Here are randomly some of my quick “alterations”:
a) Velcoro’s personal drama is not the rape of his wife and the ambiguity of his son’s paternity (too complex and the actions of his wife do not fully make sense and come across as an attempt to victimise him and make her look ridiculously mean). He rather has a daughter that his wife has decided to keep away from men after her daughter’s school molestation case triggered her paranoia against men. She has divorced Velcoro to live with her girlfriend and gradually finds ways to push him out of his daughter’s life. This way Velcoro has some common ground to connect with Ani, apart from the fact that they are together on X case. And perhaps this way Velcoro’s depression can be explained in terms of feelings of failure as a husband and the traditional male that he is supposed to be. Velcoro has attacked and killed the molestation suspect only to find out afterwards that charges against him have been dropped by the student who faced psychological problems.

b) Ani’s character has dark long very curly hair. She is tough as a woman who has tried hard to get somewhere in her life. She emotionally connects with Velcoro after hearing stories about his personal drama (explained above). The conflict in his personal life becomes the ground on which they connect in a non romantic way (non romantic just like the show clearly intends with the stiff dialogues and naff energy between them.) The man who had assaulted her still works with her father as a respectable lifestyle mentor (she has until now repressed all memories of the event) but is illegally involved in human trafficking. Things work out this way that Velcoro gets to face and kill Ani’s molester.

c)Taylor Kitch character would be out. (why is he a main character anyway?)

d) Obviously some drastic changes on Frank’s character that are the equivalent of brain surgery. Still working on it.

Shame for all the great talent in the season. Nevertheless I still look forward to the third season of True Detective. Who knows, next time we might be pleasantly surprised.