Beauty Treatments on a Small Budget

We always try to find the best way to stay healthy and beautiful whilst on a budget. What you really need to know when trying out products is how your skin will react to the ingredients. Not only do we need to know what will work for us but also what won’t cost us the world.

Touch of Pearls is a lovely soap that anyone in the household can use. It has amazing remedies that cleanse the skin with soothing effects. Certain soaps can remove oil from the skin which cause pore blockage.

It’s important to remember that when you wash your face, you have to moisturise afterwards in order to avoid the face from becoming too dry. Use a cream or moisturiser that is either aqueous to soothe the skin of the previous treatment or one that has natural ingredients. Ponds Vanishing Cream helps with the healing process but keeps that oil from leaving a shine on your face.

Certain hair types and scalps are extremely sensitive to shampoo and quick-fix remedies. The substances contained in the shampoo must be mostly natural or aqueous in case something stronger causes a reaction. Isoplus Naturals is a good product that will assist with the hair treatment process. The main ingredient is olive oil or tea tree oil. These are two oils that are highly recommended by many hairdressers and dermatologists as it keeps the follicles hydrated and healthy.

When you shampoo your hair you also need to use a conditioner. Even if the shampoo states that it is a moisturising formula, it will still dry out the hair because it is a type of soap. Conditioner allows the sealing process to keep the healthy ingredients contained in the hair. Most shampoo products come with a conditioner that complements each other. Shampoo and condition that you will always need so it might be a good idea to go to a cosmetic wholesaler to stock up on the ones you use regularly.

The alternative way to look after your body is by eating or drinking healthy. Never eliminate healthy foods and drinks as they are the main reason why many people don’t need too many remedies. When it comes to drinks, natural tea is the best way to detoxify your body of any unhealthy particles. It would be wise to avoid too much sugar and caffeine as they can cause breakouts on the skin.

Take good care of your body now as you never know what strange conditions you might have in the future. Your future self will thank you for the good decisions you make today.

How Pollution Affects Your Looks

Face up to the ugly facts!

City living presents us with a classic Catch-22 situation. It demands you look your best – even as the environment thwarts you at every turn. The grime and dust get into your skin and under your hair. The very air works against you.

How do you put your best looks forward?

Everyone is worried about what modern technology is doing to us. This is especially true in cities, where car exhaust, industries and waste disposal facilities spew pollutants into the air.

Of you live or work in a city, the dirt you notice settling on your skin, hair and clothes may make you wonder about the contamination you can’t see. There’s evidence that city pollution can affect health – and that’s of primary concern to scientists and lay people alike. Many individuals also worry about the impact of environmental ills on appearance. But, surprisingly, scant research has been done on the subject. Until scientists focus on the effects of bad air and water on looks, the jury remains out. In the interim, it’s wise to adopt some defensive beauty techniques of your own.

THE CITY AND YOUR FACE

Pollution settles on the skin almost the same way it settles on the windshield of a car. Some fairly potent acids in the atmosphere of large cities may act like a chemical peel on skin, slowly dissolving and breaking down the stratum corneum, or outermost layer. As a result, this important layer is less able to protect against harmful bacteria and other environmental culprits and could make skin and body more vulnerable to irritants and infections.

“City pollution is a problem,” agrees Jerome Z. Litt, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. “It gets on exposed skin and hair and greases them up, creating an excessive amount of oil that can cause blemishes and make hair limp.”

Adds Paul Lazar, M.D., professor of clinical dermatology at Northwestern University School of Medicine, “What may happen is that air pollution in major cities may create a ‘mini-greenhouse effect’, trapping warm air and contributing to increased heat and humidity. The result is that you perspire more and end up with more oil and dirt on the skin’s surface.”

He adds, “The only pollution I know of that’s toxic to looks involves serious chemical leaks, like dioxin, which can cause acne if it gets on skin. But this could only come from, say, the derailing of a train with chemical taker cars. You don’t have to worry about dioxin while walking down a city street.”

Experts are still examining the effects of environmental nasties such as exhaust-produced sulfurous acid on skin and hair, but most scientists concur: Pollution, no matter what its source, puts more dirt into the atmosphere. And dirt can wreak havoc with your looks.

The solutions, says Robert M. Bernstein, associate professor in clinical dermatology, Columbia University, are simple:

Wash your face often, using a soap or cleanser that’s suited to you skin type.

Avoid alcohol-based products that interfere with the protective stratum corneum.

Don’t clog pores with oily products.

And have bumps and blackheads treated by a dermatologist.

In some instances, acne is triggered by touching your hands to your face during a hectic workday, or keeping cosmetics on for long stretches without giving skin a breather.

Last but not least, don’t overlook the protective power of sunscreen. Although your darker pigmentation gives you some extra protection against the skin cancer-causing, ultra-violet rays of the sun, the fact is that unremitting pollution is depleting the protective ozone layer of the atmosphere, thus letting more and more ultra-violet rays penetrate.

According to Joseph P. Bark, chairman of dermatology at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Kentucky, Miami Taxi-drivers often develop skin cancer on their left arms, as a result of driving with that arm leaning out of the rolled-down window. “The same risk is probably true for drivers in any potent-sun region,” says Bark.

CRIMES AGAINST HAIR

Even hair can’t escape pollution fall-out. Urban life makes hair dirtier and greasier, requiring more frequent cleansings; in fact, frequent washing should be the norm in heavily-polluted areas.

Also helpful: alcohol-free styling lotions that act as a buffer between hair and pollutants in the air.

VISIONARY TACTICS

Eyes are especially vulnerable to pollution, which can cause redness, itchiness and discomfort. “Particles of sulfurous acid from exhausts and other common city pollutants dissolve in the tear film,” explains Richard Koplin, director of the eye trauma center at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. People with an existing ocular problem or who wear contact lenses are even more prone to irritation since their eyes are usually more sensitive.

Pollution is hard on anyone who’s getting older, but particularly on women. As estrogen diminishes, so, too, does the eye’s natural tear film, making it easier for toxic materials to accumulate. Contact-lens wearers should try to use their lenses for shorter periods of time to prevent irritation.

While glasses won’t shield eyes from all pollutants, they can help keep larger bits of dirt out of eyes. And a good pair of UV-protective sunglasses, worn whenever you’re in the outdoors (even when you don’t see or ‘feel’ the sun), will prevent ultra-violet rays from reaching the eyes and causing cataracts, cancerous growths and other serious damage.

5 Things to Know Before You Cut Your Hair

If you have medium to long hair, you may choose to chop it off in summer. But before you go ahead and get a haircut, we suggest that you take into account a few things. Given below are 5 pieces of advice from experts that you may want to keep in mind before getting a haircut. Read on.

Face Shape

First off, a short haircut may flatter the majority of face shapes, according to Jordi Martinez who is a great hair stylist. Generally, if you have an oval, triangle or diamond face shape, you may want to avoid cuts that may make your face look longer, such as a haircut that will make your hair fall below your chin.

On the other hand, if your face is short but round, you may not want to let a hair volume go beyond your ears. Aside from the hair length, if you have a circular face, a straight fringe may make your face appear even smaller. However, a blunt bang may be suitable for an oval face.

Texture Matters

If you have slippery but straight strands or tight coils, any cut may suit you. Actually, the choice of a cut boils down to your texture and balance. Whether you have straight or curly hair, the volume of your beautiful hair will look bigger if you go short. On the other hand, if you have long hair, the gravity will play its role, according to DiMaggio.

Choose a color

Here, it’s important to keep in mind that what works for short hair may not necessarily work for long hair, according to Amanda George at Jonathan & George Salon in LA. This is true especially if you have those highlights that look misplaced or choppy when cut. What you need to do is choose a color that may match your new style.

Know Yourself

According to professionals, if you bring in a picture, it will help your stylist a lot. However, you may want to make sure that the picture is realistic. You should look for images and references that match your hair and then you should let your stylist see the pictures. Your stylist will see if the hairstyle will suit your face. You have to let him know your daily routine.

After You Get All Your Hair Cut Off

If you get all your hair cut off, make sure you wash it a few times so that it can take a natural pattern of growth once again. Also, you need to change your hair regimen as well. As a matter of fact, short hair tend to get greasier, oilier and dirtier a lot faster than long hair. Therefore, we suggest that you wash your hair more often.

Tips To Choose The Right Hairstyle

If you have been wondering if you can get the same hair type and color as your buddy or favorite actor, you are on the right page. This guide can also help if you have been thinking why a hairstyle that looks great on your favorite actor doesn’t look great on you. Actually, it all boils down to the type of face shape you have. If you have no idea how you can check your face shape, all you have to do is trace around your face with a lipstick or eyeliner. Now, read the tips given below to know the right hairstyle for your face type.

Oval-Shaped

Actually, what determine your face shape are your wider cheekbones, broad forehead and a tapering jaw. Each of your facial point is proportioned equally, so you can go for any hairstyle that you like.

Since an oval face tends to be on the longer side, your longer, thicker cuts may help to make your face appear rounder. On the other hand, if the strands tend to be on the thinner side, you may want to consider getting a shorter cut.

Heart-Shaped

If you have a heart-shaped face, you may want to take a look at some pictures of Miz Witherspoon. This type of face is broad at the forehead and tends to taper in-ward at the chin. If you want to embrace that small, v-shaped point of hairline, you should get that center-parted look.

Round-Shaped

Now, let’s talk about the girls or women with round faces. If you have a round face, your face doesn’t have any wide points except that tapered chin. As a matter of fact, this type of face is an ideal choice for side-swept bangs and layers that break up the round face symmetry.

You have another great choice: you can go for a choppy textured crop. For reference, you can check out some pictures of Ginnifer Goodwin. You will know what we actually mean.

Square-Shaped

If you have a square face, all of your face points including jawline, cheekbones and forehead will have the same width. For references, you can take a look at the hairstyles of Mandy Moore, Olivia Wilde, and Jessica Chastain, just to name a few.

Almost all hair lengths may work for your face shape; however, if you want to get a short cut, you should consider the texture. What you need to know is that straight, sleek lengths may make your jaw more prominent. We suggest that you opt for those bouncy curls, waves and sexy layers.

Diamond-Shaped

If your cheekbones have the widest points of your face, you have a face that is diamond-shaped. But your chin and forehead will be narrower. For reference, you can check out the hairstyle of Victoria Beckham. Then you should ask your hairstylist for a haircut that will make the widest point look narrower on your face. Since sleek and straight hair tends to fall against your cheek, you may want to go for wavy texture or soft curls.

12 Top Tips for Success With Your Grapefruit Diet

When you think of a grapefruit diet, you may think that it’s a diet of only grapefruit. However this is far from the truth; you need to in fact eat various foods for the diet to succeed. Like any diet, you can lose weight while on the grapefruit diet if you follow healthy eating habits and follow a regular exercise program.

There are in fact some rules to follow for higher chances of success with the diet.

  1. You should follow the right food combinations. For example, a meal of bacon with salads helps burn fats. So if you omit one food group from your diet, you only end up sabotaging your diet.
  1. Like any other diet, water has a very important role in the success of the diet. You need to drink at least 64 ounces of water every day to lose weight.
  1. Those successful with the grapefruit diet promote being careful with your caffeine intake. You should take no more than a cup a meal as too much of caffeine can affect the body’s fat burning process and insulin balance.
  1. You actually have to eat right to lose weight with this diet. In fact, you need to double your vegetable and meat intake for each meal.
  1. Though you have to eat well, you shouldn’t cheat and eat between meals. With such a large variety of foods to choose from and eat, there shouldn’t actually be any reason for you to cheat during the diet!
  1. The specialty of the grapefruit diet is that you have to actually eat more to lose more weight. You just have to be careful to eat only the right foods, and avoid eating the wrong foods.
  1. Of course, while you can eat larger amounts of meats and vegetables, it’s important you eliminate sweet potatoes, desserts, breads and white vegetables from your diet.
  1. If you look at the good side of the grapefruit diet; though you have to give up some delicious foods, you are permitted to use butter in vegetables and while cooking while on the diet.
  1. While grapefruit juice plays an integral part in the diet, it’s important that you drink the exact amount of juice or grapefruit suggested. Even if you don’t like the fruit much, you need to drink/eat that much of the fruit and its juice as it helps in the fat burning process.
  1. Grapefruit diet shouldn’t be followed continuously. You need to stick to the diet for about 12 days, and then leave it for two days and restart the diet again after the two-day rest.
  1. The good foods to eat on the diet are red onions, coleslaw, green vegetables like cucumber, green beans and leaf spinach, carrots, chili without beans, radishes, tomatoes, fish, cottage cheese, lean meats, hot dogs, fish, tuna, pork chops, chicken, bacon, regular salad dressing, eggs, squash, condiments and spices like ketchup, pepper, salt, soy sauce and herbs and of course, grapefruit
  1. The foods you cannot eat are celery, peas, jam, starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn, desserts, peanut butter, jam, chips, cereal, low-fat salad dressing, pretzels and pasta.

Fad Diet Dangers

Quick weight-loss or fad diets don’t work. These usually come with dramatic promises of weight loss in a set time. The weight you lose at the beginning is mostly water, not fat. This does not result in long term weight loss. In fact, some of these diets are actually harmful to your health. If you are evaluating diets now, be aware of these sales pitches and stay clear:

1. Guarantees you lose a certain number of pounds per week, especially more than two pounds.

2. Recommends supplements to make up for loss of vitamins and nutrients.

3. Omits a whole food group like a no carb diets. Remember fruits and veggies are carbohydrates.

4. Rationalizes its diet is healthy according to a new or complicated theory.

5. Suggest a daily caloric intake of less than 1200 calories unless you are under the supervision of a doctor.

Everyone wants to lose weight as fast as possible with as little effort as possible–that’s human nature. But, everyone who has lost weight just to gain it back is aware of how frustrating and complicating it can be. You certainly don’t want to risk malnutrition or short term weight loss that quickly returns from dieting. You certainly don’t want to set yourself up for failure anymore.

When I was teaching the psychology of eating at the weight reduction clinic, weight loss was introduced as a healthy lifestyle change, not a quick fix. This involved evaluating your entire life to see where unhealthy behaviors occur. Some people had foodie friends or family that needed to adapt to healthier ways. So, they became involved in the support part of the program even if they don’t diet themselves. Our diet program encouraged a mind set for positive adaptability to a new diet, an exercise routine, and social support from friends and family. The team approach proved to be much more successful than going it alone.

My two favorites diets are the Mediterranean and the Okinawa diets because of the longevity qualities–a particular interest of mine. But, today’s diets are designed for your individual physiological needs. Nutritionalists construct diets to address cancer, cardiovascular illness, diabetes, and even things like anemia. So, the best diet for you is not whats in vogue today.

Best Diets for Weight Loss – The Fruit and Vegetable Diet

Weight loss is certainly among the most extensively talked about matters on TV programs and between buddies and colleagues. Folks are interested in reducing their weight–and reducing it rapidly. A popular weight loss technique is the fruit and vegetable diet plan. While this encourages fast weight loss, it might position you for fat gain without the appropriate measures.

The Way It Works

The fruit and vegetable diet plan encourages quick weight loss by stuffing you with lower calorie choices. The objective would be to achieve nine portions of vegetables and fruits every day within two weeks or so, with five from the vegetable grouping and four from the fresh fruit grouping. Over seven to fourteen days you slowly exchange the foods you usually consume with the fresh fruit and vegetable choices. You keep eating the nine portions of vegetables and fruit every day until the wanted weight loss is accomplished.

Advantages

Consuming low-calorie vegetables and fruits enables you to eat more frequently and stay away from crashes and temptations between daily meals. Prevent food cravings by crunching on carrot sticks or fruit slices or defeat the heat by gulping down frozen blueberries. You can eat a lot more and eat more frequently when vegetables and fruit are the core of your diet program. After achieving your ultimate goal, you can sustain the weight loss if you eat five to seven portions of vegetables and fruits every day.

There are actually health advantages as well. Vegetables and fruits are full of nutrition and dietary fiber. Consuming a fresh fruit and vegetable diet is known to reduce LDL cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Research has shown those foods decrease the chance of certain kinds of cancers, stroke and heart problems.

Disadvantages

As effective as they are, vegetables and fruits are not nearly as gratifying as carb or protein abundant foods. You might feel really famished within one hour or two of consuming a vegetable and fruits only meal, making it a lot more appealing to overdo on prohibited food items.

Not all vegetables and fruits have the same weight loss advantages. As mentioned by Travis Van Slooten, founder and editor of Men’s Total Fitness, avocados are rich in fats and the wonderful banana and grapes are rich in sugars. Consuming those responsibly is okay. However, eating too many can derail quick weight loss. To get the most from the fruit and vegetable diet consume fruit uncooked and veggies uncooked or steamed. Including higher calorie salad dressing, butter or oil removes almost all the advantages of eating the lower calorie choice.

Set yourself up for good results by planning meals and munchies ahead of time. Fill up baggies with portions of uncooked fruits and vegetables which are cleaned, sliced and all set to consume.

Do not restrict yourself to vegetables and fruits solely. Doing this is just like ensuring that you will fail. Stay away from becoming victim to abrupt urges by introducing little amounts of your preferred starches and proteins into your eating regimen.

Boost your willpower by including a wide variety. When you have strawberries for your morning meal, have a melon for a noon time meal.

Successful Diets

Successful Diets and Why Most Diets are Doomed to Failure

Is there a reason why some people go on successful diets while the majority are doomed to failure? The reason most diets are doomed to failure at the outset could be because of a simple mistake. This simple mistake is made by millions of people worldwide; millions of people, who have no idea why they struggle, week after week, while others seem to do well and achieve their goals.

No doubt you’ve been there, we probably all have. I was one of those people who made this simple mistake, the mistake that stopped me from losing any significant, or meaningful, weight without a gargantuan struggle. It wasn’t until I understood, really understood, the very literal way the subconscious mind, the part that runs our body, reacts to the way we think and speak, that I stopped making it.

If you’ve ever been on a successful diet in the past you somehow avoided making the mistake and that’s why you succeeded. Then, if you put the weight back on again, and most people do, and you went back on the original successful diet, only to find it didn’t work this time, you made the simple mistake.

The Simple Mistake that Stops Successful Diets in their Tracks

So, what is the simple mistake made by millions of unsuspecting dieters? The simple mistake they make is, they ‘go on a diet,’ or, ‘start a diet’ and when they ‘go on a diet’ that’s what they get, ‘a diet.’ What is a diet? Everyone who has ever been on a diet or on lots of diets knows what a diet is for them; this information is already downloaded into their subconscious mind.

For most people diets are hard, they comprise deprivation, calorie counting and denial. When you go ‘on a diet’ you will get all of that, and whatever else a diet means to you, and that may be all you’ll get, because going on a diet is as foolish as going on a journey.

Imagine setting off in your car, ‘on a journey,’ without a destination? A journey means travelling and so you would, on this journey, just drive round and round. You’d have to fill up with fuel every so often and probably you’d sleep in the car. The journey would go on until you decided on a destination. However, the idea of anyone being foolish enough to do that is so bizarre that you cannot imagine any sane person setting off on a ‘journey.’

Going, ‘on a diet’ without a final destination is just a crazy, for the same reason going on a journey without a destination is mad. When you get up to go somewhere, you have to have a destination in mind, don’t you? Even if it’s just the kitchen or the toilet you are going to, you have to direct your actions. That’s why, simply going ‘on a diet’ is utter madness yet that is what hundreds of thousands of otherwise intelligent people are doing, worldwide, every day.

On their ‘diet’ they turn down cake and treats, they count calories, cut out carbs, and increase exercise and then, when the diet doesn’t work they tell themselves they lack the willpower needed to succeed. Yet, what if, just what if, it wasn’t so much the lack of willpower but the lack of a final destination that was creating the problem? Your subconscious mind will take you unerringly towards the focus of you attention, if your attention is on ‘diet,’ then ‘diet’ it is.

You’ll never get slim by going on a ‘diet’ but you may get slim if you ‘diet’ to reach your goal of your ideal size and weight and that’s what successful dieters do.

I help people to create their final destination and give them tools to keep it in mind, and keep walking towards it, until they arrive there. Successful diets seem to be out of the reach of most people but they no longer need to be for you.

Beating the Calories With Wise Dieting

How important is your diet for weight loss?

Your diet is the cornerstone of your quest for weight loss. You should not rely solely on exercise when it comes to torching fat because it is your diet that has the biggest impact on your weight.

Certified fitness trainers, despite the nature of their work, agree that exercise only accounts for 15%-20% of the total effort needed to achieve a weight loss goal. The remaining 80%-85% of the outcome depends on what you eat every day.

Every meal and every snack counts!

A single meal will not make you overweight… But a month’s worth of junk food can affect your weight. There is a significant relationship between what you regularly eat and your present weight trend. There are 3 kinds of weight trends: static or unchanging, upward and downward.

How much weight will drop off when you start eating healthier foods?

Ideally, you would modify your diet so that you are on a consistent downward trend. A total weight loss of 1 pound a week is considered healthy and sustainable.

2 pounds per week is considered the higher average for men and women. If you are already dropping as much as 2 pounds a week, do not be tempted to overdo your dieting and workouts. Too much physical exertion can be bad for you.

What are the best ways to lose weight through your diet?

The Caloric Deficit – Your daily caloric deficit will determine how much weight will come off in a week or month. One pound of body weight is equal to 3,500 calories.

To lose 1 pound per week you need to have a deficit of 500 calories every day. There are 2 ways to produce your daily/weekly calorie deficit goal: through exercise or through dieting.

I highly recommend that you create the deficit by using both weight loss components equally.

Try reducing your daily caloric intake by 250 calories and then work out at home or in the gym to burn off another 250 calories or so. This way, you will not be pressure to exercise or reduce your food intake too much.

If you can only manage to create a caloric deficit of 200 calories or less, don’t be discouraged. We all experience low points during our weight loss journeys. The important thing is that you stay motivated and you make an effort to bounce back so you can start losing that weight!

Avoid Hidden Sugars – Refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup are commonly added to commercial foods and beverages as sweeteners. You will be shocked at how much sugar manufacturers put in their products. A small cupcake can have as much as 24 grams of sugar!

High fructose corn syrup is becoming even more common in food because it’s cheaper to produce than sugar, which is derived from sugarcane.

Simple carbohydrates like refined sugar and HFCS are to be avoided as often as possible because they bog down your metabolism and also affect how your body responds to insulin.

Insulin is a natural hormone in our bodies that facilitates the absorption and utilization of blood glucose. How your body responds to insulin has a direct impact on your metabolism.

Excess sugar in your diet (especially in the form of HFCS) has been shown to cause some degree of insulin resistance, which affects how your body responds to excess blood sugar.

Refuel with Vegetables & Fruit – Hunger is an old enemy that often beats even the toughest ladies. When hunger pangs are not addressed properly, you may feel fatigued and cranky.

This can affect your mindset regarding exercise and further dieting. To avoid this scenario, increase your consumption of vegetables and have fresh fruit to sweeten the deal.

Protein-rich vegetables like white beans and lentils are excellent “hunger busters” as they provide a moderate amount of carbohydrates in addition to lots of protein.

Plant proteins can help stop hunger pains and keep you focused on your calorie deficit goals. Green leafy vegetables on the other hand, are naturally high in dietary fiber which helps fill up the stomach when digested.

How much fruit can you eat?

There is a general belief that you can eat as much fruit as you want because it’s wholesome, natural food. Fruits are great in making a diet balanced and nutritious.

Diet Shmiet

I’ve searched my entire life for the perfect diet and tried just about every single one, from Atkins to Paleo, to the 4-Hour Body, to fasting. I’ve never been more than about five to ten pounds overweight at any given time, but the thought of letting it go beyond that scares the crap out of me, so I have become obsessive about diet and good nutrition.

I have a pair of brown corduroy cutoff shorts from when I was eighteen. Those shorts have become my guideline-my measuring tape, if you will. For the most part, I don’t go near those bad boys if I’m feeling fat. It’s only when I’m starting to feel skinny again that I pull them out. The big test is whether I can zip and button them-even if they’re tight.

I tend to lose weight when I’m depressed, like when I went through all three of my divorces. Each of those times, I probably weighed in at about 110 lbs. My sisters and my daughter would all yell at me about being “too skinny,” but I loved being that skinny, and I fit into all of my clothes-even the brown corduroy cutoffs. When I was that skinny, some of my “fat clothes” were so loose that I could pull them off without unbuttoning them (ahh, those were the days).

Ideally, I’d like to weigh 125 to 130, since I am only about 5 ft 3. I refuse to get on the scale, since I’m sure I can tell how much I weigh by how my clothes fit. I look at the dust-covered scale hidden under my bed with disdain, believing somehow that it holds the key to my happiness. Whenever I feel fat, I pretend all my jeans still fit because they have a touch of lycra in them so the stretchiness lies to me.

Most women can attest to the fact that buying jeans is one of the most stressful things in life. Who hasn’t tried on at least ten to twenty pairs before finding the only one that compliments your butt? I hated it when hip-hugger jeans came back into style. Whoever said those were flattering? Okay, so “Mom” jeans look goofy, but let’s face it, they flatter a womanly shape much more than hip huggers, which display “muffin tops” on anyone over thirty-five with hips or a butt. Nevertheless, I jumped on the hip-hugger bandwagon, but I found myself tugging the back of my jeans whenever I sat down, lest I reveal the dreaded “plumber’s crack” or my thong underwear (but don’t get me started on those).

“Someday I’ll be confident enough to get on it again,” I think to myself. But it has been years-I don’t even let my doctor weigh me. It’s my right, after all, to refuse, although they always make you feel that you have to step on the scale. I have this secret fear that there is a scale hidden under the examination table. And yes, I realize it’s probably just a table…

I know by how my clothes fit that I have not been below 130 lbs. since my last divorce, about seven years ago. And that was the last time I tried on those corduroy cutoffs.

It’s the little things, like when you throw on a pair of capris that have always fit comfortably and are now tight, or when your favorite sundress is hard to zip up the back, or when you notice you have bra overhang and back fat. BACK FAT! That’s a new one for me, and I’m having real trouble with it.

When those things happen, I throw on my sneakers and start running again, and I pick up the latest fad diet and go at it with gusto.

“Hmm, THE WHOLE30® PROGRAM. That looks new and interesting!” You only have to give up sugar, grains, dairy, legumes, and alcohol for 30 days. But wait, isn’t it just like the last one I tried? The new name intrigues me, and my daughter is doing it, so why not!

I am always dedicated to my diets, but, invariably, once I lose the weight, I go back to being relaxed and careless about what I shove into my mouth.

“Kale, schmale-are those Doritos you’re snacking on?” I say to my husband, as I lick my chops. Suddenly, the rules of healthy eating fly out the window as soon as I “feel skinny” again. And thus the wheel turns. It never stops. But I have realized that my carefree non-diet, if you will, is an indication of my happiness, so I think I will trade in my weight obsession for happiness-at least for today.