When Your Winter Body Didn’t Get the Memo: How to Kickstart That Summer Confidence into High Gear

Let me start by saying congratulations, you made it through the Winter in the middle of a Pandemic. Winter months in Canada are already tough if you live in any Province with the exception of British Columbia. As if the frigid blustery winds and hazardous icy roads aren’t enough to keep you home, the government Covid-19 lock downs reinforced that. Then if we weren’t already up against enough with the isolation, our bodies took a further beating as we still indulged in a series of holiday meals. In Alberta, gyms and recreational facilities were closed for almost 2 1/2 months which would be the nail on my coffin for myself, as my weight ballooned upwards rapidly. Seeing as this was my first winter in a pandemic, I admittedly was not prepared to cope in the best way, but I should be thankful that the worst that happened to me was a doughy belly and a double chin. I’m blaming my inability to adapt accordingly and find alternative ways to motivate and prioritize better nutrition and exercise.

Home work outs have never been my thing, but as I’ve come to find out, sometimes we need to force ourselves out of the familiar. It takes some time, especially if your stubborn like myself who gets discouraged easily when I lack the presence of reinforcing elements. One of those elements is having an active presence in the outside world, where our interactions can often validate the hard work we are putting into our personal fitness and appearance. My interactions have been mostly with clients who are for the most part strangers and have an already pre-existing sense of loathing towards me as child welfare worker. I’ve also admittedly been using my mask to hide my fuller chipmunk cheeks. So with less social outings happening under the current circumstances I feel it is more important than ever to authentically find validation from within ourselves, namely Confidence.

Transitioning to a place of practicing personal validation through other means is no simple feat. I imagine this could be a lot harder for my generation as we are far more cognizant of the differences between what is sincere interaction and the superficial world of likes and followers. I would never typically support the idea of subscribing to the practice of validation through selfies and half naked thirst trap photos, but a fluffy blonde like me even has her breaking point. If I hadn’t become totally bored through the first wave of my social media feeds I may have just likely began an OnlyFans for some compliments now and again. But for the most the most part, many of us adults aspire to channel our energy and attention to a small few so that to not distract us from our goals and responsibilities that absorb much of our time. The majority of my network uses social media platforms mostly to post pictures of their animals, new furniture, DIY projects or children. Which leaves me with the conclusion we need to work even harder to tap into that self love and confidence at all costs, and here’s my How To Guide to get yours rolling!

1. Get Your Butt Outside

You don’t need to be the outdoorsy type or the adventurous weekend warrior-while these for many seem to be perfect opportunities for Social Media Content. The art of being outside doesn’t actually always have to be about gruelling hikes up mountains or even overtly physical at all. This time of year always offers up ways to draw you outdoors whether its doing yard clean up, gardening/planting, washing your car at home, or enjoying the dog park which by the way you don’t need to have one to still enjoy those playful paws. Take a book on a lunch break and have a coffee on an outdoor patio, or simply just people watch. Exchange smiles with new faces you pass by while you take in a new neighborhood stroll, popping in and out of local shops. How about dusting off the ol’ cruiser bike and taking it somewhere scenic outside your neighborhood, or organize a squad bike beer tour through downtown? You can even cook all your meals outside by BBQing as much as possible. There is movement and social interaction happening in all of these options that are sure to get your that much needed vitamin D and Dopamine back into that ailing spirit of yours.

2. Make your Meals Colorful

Spring and Summer months invite a broader range of delicious produce options, and there is a need to support our local farmers and markets even more than ever. According to the Hello Fresh Blog, our brains respond to light energy, aka color, by stimulating the pituitary and pineal glands. These endocrine glands regulate hormones like serotonin, which is responsible for making us feel happy. Research has shown that different colors also affect blood pressure, pulse, and respiration rates as well as brain activity and sleep/wake cycles. These color triggers set the mood for us to feel more energetic, happy, and relaxed and are strong enough to even have an effect on people who are blind!

Additionally it is mentioned that we are also influenced by the visual cue of color when it comes to our perception of how something will taste. Colorful food can influence our brain to create an expectation that specific colors will taste a certain way. For example, the more vibrantly colored a food is, the more intense we expect its flavor to be.

If you are even somewhat of a meal planner, aim to prepare meals that have at least 5 or more colors in them. Whether it be a pasta salad that is loaded with spinach, red onion, cherry tomatoes, orange peppers and Hemp Seed- the challenge of not duplicating color can offer a variety of nutritional benefits that boost your energy as well as fill you up with all the good stuff!

3. Dance to your Favorite music

I know I can’t speak for all, but as a result of my vegetative state along with the extra pounds I’ve packed on; movement can feel sometimes painful or uncomfortable. My joints and body need some time to recuperate and I can quickly become fed up if I take on something too rigorous. Additionally when the body hasn’t done any kind of significant exercise its not uncommon for you to experience muscle tightness and soreness that can also prevent you from being active the next day. Consistency is key when developing a habit, and getting active again can be admittedly hard enough without being reminded how out of shape you’ve allowed yourself to become. So start with movements that don’t feel like work, and help to loosen those hips and shoulders. Throw on a belly dancing tutorial, or flail around like I do to some House Anthems like its 2005 again. Many fitness apps offer short dance movement classes that are easy and fun to follow. If you are an Albertan like myself maybe you need to brush up on your line dancing and prepare yourself for Calgary Stampede festivities we have been missing.

For Classes Check out the Peleton App

History of Country Line Dancing That You Probably Didn't know - Dance Poise

4. Ditch the Scale

Just like our beloved Aaliyah sang how “Age Aint Nuthin But a Number”- so is your weight. Because just like age, you are as old as you feel and same goes for your weight. Our bodies listen to our negative self talk and also revolt when we put it under too much stress. Stress can significantly impact your ability to maintain a healthy weight. It can also prevent you from losing weight. Whether it’s the result of high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, unhealthy stress-induced behaviors, or a combination of the two, the link between stress and weight gain is glaring. Hovering over numbers on a digital scale completely derails and undermines the idea of being good to your body. Numbers on a scale can never reflect the fun we experience and sense of achievement when doing our bodies good. If you are not convinced then perhaps use how your clothes fit as a means of measurement, but whatever you do stay off the digital confidence killer.

Get off the scale!

Or consider an alternative like the Shapa Scale that keeps the positive elements of the scale while removing the negative ones. This unique system gives you feedback about your weight, but not in pounds.

Instead of sharing a number that provides little to no insight, Shapa gives you useful feedback through a more meaningful 5-point color system.

Blue = losing weight
Teal = starting to lose weight
Green = maintaining your weight
Light Gray = starting to gain weight
Dark Gray = gaining weight

Shapa looks at your trend over the past few days compared to the past few weeks to determine your color and lets you know if the changes you’ve been making recently are getting you closer to, or farther from, your goal.

5. Wear The Bathing SUit

There is no prep involved here. If its cute, wear it. If its a bikini, wear it. Then finish it off with some Sexy Sunnies to block the haters.

Plus Size Bikini Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

6. Don’t forget your Vitamins

Focus Supplements and Vitamins for ADHD: Zinc, Iron, Magnesium

I have a tendency to learn things the hard way, just like when I failed to get regular oil changes on my BMW. I came to find out after a very expensive lesson that things can’t run optimally without the combination of chemically engineered elements. Turns out our bodies are the same and can pay the price if we don’t fuel it properly with the nurtients and minerals it needs. Vitamins that support weightloss such as Vitamin B, Magnesium, Vitamin D, Iron, and Green Tea Extract all have vast benefits. Vitamins and Herbs that support energy are Vitamins B12, CoQ10, Rhodiola, Citrulline and Beetroot powder also compliment the need to fuel an increase in activity and movement.

Spring Showers Bring Babes Who Wear Flowers: A Dolce & Gabbana Spring Summer 2021 List of Must Haves

I don’t know about you all, but for this gal, it’s the time of year I indulgingly buy myself the gigantic bag of Cadbury Mini eggs and find some quiet corner where I can be left alone to eat them. How they faithfully fulfill my taste buds with their unwavering and familiar mixture of textures, both crunchy and creamy. The powerful sacchariferous flavor ignites a bouquet of cocoa and sweetened condensed milk that dulls the pangs of the sugar coated shells slicing into ones gum-line. The bag continues to seduce the senses until all is gone and your left sitting their with a tummy ache with no one to blame but yourself. Chasing the mini egg dragon can lead you into a diabetic coma if your not careful.

But for someone as visceral as myself, it is the pleasingly soothing collaboration of pastel colors that make holding them such a blissful experience. To watch them roll about in your hand as they begin to soften from the warmth, each shade starts to compliment the other so effortlessly. Their shape also hold such a disarming presence, and if you place them down, watch how they wobble their cherub like bodies.

What I wanted

@Khloekardashian

VS. What I got

@cece_a_broadtalez

Nonetheless…my fingers now make me want to eat them.

But my admiration for all things Spring, colorful, and soft, don’t end with just the nails. I’ve come across so many beautiful and creative fashion and accessory pieces along the way. This spring one of my favorite fashion houses Dolce & Gabbana have launched a kaleidoscope of passionate prints and whimsical pieces that call my name.

Dolce & Gabbana- Spring/Summer 2021 Faves

Lets start with this Floral Appliqued Flower Headband- You can channel your inner Eva Perone in this easter bonnet!

Dolce & Gabbana appliquéd flower headband
Dolce & Gabbanaappliquéd flower headband
$3,160

Quilted nappa leather Devotion mules
Quilted nappa leather Devotion mules C$1.410
beautiful-life
Beautiful Life Collection
High-waisted patchwork jacquard and denim jeans
Long-sleeved chiffon top with camellia print
dolce-and-gabbana-perfume-Fruit-Coll-bottle_DG_03
Zesty Lemon, sweet Orange, and exotic Pineapple: the Fruit Collection is a fresh and playful trio of eaux de toilettes. Each fragrance of the collection is focused on a singular fruit, yet composed of a complex blend of rare and carefully crafted essences. With its lively colours and vivid scents, the collection perfectly captures the effervescent vitality of a Mediterranean orchard in full bloom, bringing a contemporary vision to fruity fragrances. Sleek and streamlined with fruit-shaped caps: inspired by the motifs of Sicily’s renowned maiolica ceramics, the flacons are enriched with precious tops, turning the Fruit Collection fragrances into collectible pieces of art.
dolce-and-gabbana-make-up-face-gloriouskin-perfect-luminous-creamy-foundation
A Hybrid skincare-make up formula enriched with the Mediterranean Glow Complex, Gloriouskin illuminates, comforts and hydrates the skin for a healthy radiance that lasts all day. Its weightless, sensual texture comfortably protects the skin from pollution, oxidation and sun damage, offering medium buildable coverage. A nod to the luminous foundation within, Gloriouskin’s packaging features a luxurious design with delicate, ornamental touches of baroque gold decoration.
 
RECOMMENDED FOR
Designed for women who want a bright complexion that lasts all day.
 
BENEFITS
– Extra-sensorial weightless creamy texture and care-infused formula
– Mediterranean Glow Complex that hydrates, cares and perfects the skin
– Ultimate comfort
– 8 hours hydration and all-day healthy radiance
– Skin protected from pollution, oxidation and sun damages
• PRODUCT DETAILS
Dolce&Gabbana Classic Cream Lipstick offers intense colour with rich moisture for long-lasting seductive lips. Embrace your mood with an array of feminine shades, from delicate nudes to vibrant reds.
 
• RECOMMENDED FOR
Created for the woman desiring long-lasting lip colour in a wide palette of shades.
 
• BENEFITS
– Long-lasting lip colour
– Rich moisturizers and intense pigments retain moisture without feeling oily
– Delicately scented with Dolce&Gabbana’s signature powdery rose fragrance
– Available in an array of colours, from vibrant reds to delicate nudes and soft pinks

Special Mention to the Khaled x Khaled Collection- Its Absolute Fire!

dj-khaled
@DJKHALED

PLANNING OUTFITS IN ADVANCE WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE: 8 Benefits that Will Make the Difference

☁️ Spoiled Princess ☁️ | Spoiled quotes, Quotes, Queen quotes

Let me begin with saying that this Chica misses getting dressed for the office as I have been a part of the millions who are now working from home for the most part. While my job still requires me to leave my home, it often doesn’t make much sense to carry out the full routine for only a short period of the day. Getting dressed up now is often coupled with comments from my boyfriend suggesting I either have a hot date or I’m meeting the girls for happy hour.

This is a comical considering neither have happened in far too long. *Ahem*

I am long over the initial online shopping frenzy of the early pandemic days when I had imagined coming out of the pandemic lockdown and sporting a new #ootd every day of the week in celebration of re-entering society. Those dreams are long gone, washed away along with the 28 inch waistline I intended to have by the end of the summer. As I sit here eating Nutella from a spoon wearing my boyfriends oversized Alabama Crimson Tide Sweater, paired with Monday’s Yoga Pants my sadness deepens. And not because my waistline isn’t 28 inches but rather 34 inches, but because the outfit does not reflect my creativity and personal style when it comes to expressing myself through fashion. I wish I could be as forgiving as the stretch in my Yoga Pants on the matter, but I simply cannot take this laying down any further.

Literally I cannot…I have bruised ribs from a Snowboarding Fall. Laying down hurts. And so does breathing.

This cracks me up and I'm thinking I will wear comfy clothes 24/7 now. Lol

I had intended on photographing more of my #ootd and I think we can call agree Yoga Pants will not cut it. I continue to watch and admire Instagram Feeds and admire the flow of beautiful content being produced and wonder how are you all staying so motivated? It often makes me feel like I’m living in parallel universe and I’m on the side of the fence where everything is going to shit. I’m not travelling anywhere in which would provide opportunities for exotic photo ops, and frolicking down a cute cobble stone road whimsically holding a basket of fresh flowers. There are no glamorous nights out capturing me in all my glory popping the Champagne; my perfectly outlined Chanel Red Lips beaming with Dom kissed elation. It’s Winter here in Calgary where I’d typically be sporting some beautiful knee high boots with rich sweater dresses and holiday sparkled ensembles. But things just aren’t happening in my world that would even warrant the kind of effort I typically have applied in the past to a Wine Wednesday evening out. In addition we as a Province just entered a State of Health Emergency so I’m really not going anywhere.

But I still managed on Sunday to get back into the habit of planning my outfits for my work week. This is something I used to do habitually which I feel has often made my life so much easier. There are so many benefits to laying out your outfits ahead of time.

No description available.
No description available.
  1. You get to sleep longer since you don’t have to mess about trying to find or put together an outfit. Who doesn’t love an extra 15-20 minutes of beauty sleep. Pre-planning outfits means you don’t have to think about what to wear after the alarm rings.
  2. You avoid Outfit Blunder Frustration that creates “Morning Stress”- Ever start your day upset because you cant find something to wear, cutting into your ability to stop at Starbucks drive thru. It just spirals down-hill from here. Why do another task in the morning when there is already so much to do? It can be a mad scramble getting you and your family out the door as it is. Don’t spend precious moments reconsidering what goes together, what is appropriate for the day’s activities and what is clean. Why empty your closet as you toss things about, trying to find where you put that nude-for-you camisole, or those shoes you thought you put in the bin under your bed? Alternatively, if you gather all the parts of your outfit the night before, you reduce that morning craziness.
  3. You Get Noticed-When you are well put together people appreciate the efforts you take. Confidence can be contagious. When you can put what you are wearing at the back of your mind, you feel happier about your clothes. If you are not irritated by the clothes you yanked on at the last minute, unhappy with the forced, early morning decisions you had to make, you will be more content with the clothing you already own. Stylish people look put-together. It’s easier to look put-together when you’ve spent some time and thought putting an outfit together. If increasing your stylishness is your goal, outfit planning is a sure-fire way to get there.
  4. You are more likely to wear things in your closet that have been tucked away gathering dust. Generally, we have a tendency to wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. This seems like a bit of a waste of clothes, dollars and closet space. Make a plan to figure out how to wear those items that you never seem to wear. Put your closet to work for you. You are less likely to feel like you have nothing to wear if you spend a few extra minutes building an outfit around some of the clothing items you haven’t been wearing.
  5. When you have a visual reminder of what you have you are far less likely to shop for things you already have, and saving your money!
  6. Finding new ways to wear things in your wardrobe can be so fun and provide you hours of music fueled entertainment during a time that we are spending much more time at home.
  7. Advertising your gift of style in your personal life as well as via social media could lead to side jobs like being a personal shopper, stylist, or closet consultant.
  8. Going through your closet allows you to get rid of stuff that is ready for donation and no longer serves purpose taking up space in your closet. As Marie Kondo would say “By acknowledging their contribution and letting them go with gratitude, you will be able to truly put the things you own, and your life, in order.”

Above I have what I’d call a Casual Friday Outfit that’s ready for the Happy Hour Girls that keep it going long after Happy Hour is done. I like that you can either strip the blouse and wear the body suit with some high waisted booty hugging jeans, or strip the body suit and wear a sexy black bra under the floral blouse for an equally seductive look.

Above I can mix and match jackets, tops, pants and shoes. I’m in love with a Chanel inspired look that again can shed layers interchangeably.

Tips on How to Make It Happen

  • When you are putting together an outfit, think about using a completer piece. Pick out the completer piece first and build the outfit around it.
  • Some will pick out their shoes first and build the outfit around them. Shoes do a great job of setting the tone for what you will wear. Also, shoes are one closet item that bring a lot of people closet joy.
  • If you plan your outfit ahead, you are more likely to wear accessories. Accessories go a long way to looking stylishly put-together. Accessories are like the icing on the cake. It’s hard to ice a cake when you’re eating bites of breakfast in between blowdrying and demands to sign permission forms.

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The Beautiful Truth: The Bewitching Qualities Behind the Filters

Let me start with being perfectly honest since the title of the post has the word Truth in it. I use filters ALOT in my social media postings. In fact I deleted Snap Chat a few years ago after finding myself somewhat addicted to the pretty filter…you all know the one. The one that gave you symmetric noses, perfectly big bright and centered eyes, and flawless angelic skin. For me my break up with Pretty Face came swiftly and with no warning. It occurred when I was amidst an internal chat with myself where this voice appeared and said “I hated how my pictures looked.” I was like who’s this bitch and who invited her insecure ass to the party in my head? I didn’t recognize that human inside me that was being so terribly cruel to a girl just trying to love herself no matter what. I had to make a decision to either get rid of that shitty uninvited insecure biaaatch or the filter, so in true CeCe style, I got rid of both the beasts. I’m aware this topic has been discussed time and time again yet here we all are, using some level of photo modification at any given time. I’m not oblivious to how products are marketed, and people are products themselves when they are selling beauty. We are no different than the products in commercials with Glistening Hamburger Patties that are actually painted with acrylics and high gloss epoxy glue’s to appear more Juicy and Appealing to the customer. If you have no impulse control like me, one may find themselves driving on over to Fat Burger at the speed of light. But we know damn well that Burger is not nearly going to look as perfect as it was in the commercial, but all in all, still pretty damn satisfying when it touches your lips. Different visual, but same sensation of pleasure depending on how Hangry you were.

That’s kind of how I feel without camera filters. I’m still a delightful meal, and my ingredients haven’t changed. I still come with the lettuce, tomato, onion, all the sauce and 1/4 lb patty flame broiled. Substance wise- What you See is What You Get and More if you look real close by opening the symbolic bun up more.

Are you hungry yet? I am.

You see sometimes what one person finds appetizing another may not. The Vegans reading this right now are probably gagging on my imagery as we speak. And how would you know what qualities that others admire unless you take off the veil from time to time. You see, I’ve often admired beauty within the physical sense in many smaller and more peculiar aspects of a person’s face. Such as the slight curl of a lip, or how their cheeks ball into little tight chestnuts when they smile. I’ll notice the little cute freckle under their eyes that gives them a sexy yet playful air of mischievousness. Even skin tones where the richness and texture of their skin, can be so inviting to the visual sense. The little goose bumps on their chest or arms that tell a story of their current emotion- all sadly get blended into one boring and consistent hue behind a filter. Tousled beachy hair that is carelessly flipped about that perhaps is on day 6 needing a good wash yet looks Sexy AF. MUAH! I love it all!

I think the textures, contrasts, variations of color in life are what ignite the senses far more than a “pretty” and uniformly symmetric picture. Consider how many magazines we have flipped through, or social media timelines, and I imagine if you are like me I cannot remember one face or specific image. I do follow quite a few artists and photographers that do capture the raw beauty that I find mesmeric. Suitcase Joe did a series on L.A.’s Skid Row and found beauty that was intoxicating and memorable.

Photos By: Suitcase Joe. Skid Row street photography. Downtown, Los Angeles California.
suitcase-joe-captures-the-unfiltered-beauty-of-skid-row
Photos By: Suitcase Joe. Skid Row street photography. Downtown, Los Angeles California.

Beauty Filter Nemesis Cosmopolitan Magazine even did a feature on body positive photographers to watch out for and follow. Very noble of them considering! The photographer coined as “BODY-POSITIVITY CRUSADERS” are seemingly redefining ‘BEAUTY’ by portraying women of different shapes and sizes through an inclusive lens. And while I love and subscribe to the body positive/self image movement its still often only viewed as art. In which you are a subject of someone’s “Art” or shared in an artistic platform with the hashtag #bodypositive the simplicity of the beauty is often missed.

Four Body-Positive Photographers Who Are Redefining Beauty

1.Roshini Kumar @rosh93 (All photographs are from her series BARE)
Photos by Roshini Kumar @rosh93
Four Body-Positive Photographers Who Are Redefining Beauty

In conclusion I urge you to take some time to admire all the ravishing intricacies that you have within your unique beauty and share it courageously like I did below!