Becoming Who You Are

An enduring quote tells us:

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

Post-illness you can recover yourself along with your mental health.

My persistent belief at mid-life is that you shouldn’t stop doing new things until you’re carried out on your last day.

Make every day a celebration.

I wanted to talk about the necklace in the photo in the last blog entry. The woman took it out of the counter to show me. The tag read Murano.

“I’ll take it,” I snapped because Murano is a famous glass maker from Venice, Italy.

I had bought a Murano millefiore glass bead necklace on a tour of their factory.

The point of this blog entry being that you should not hesitate to give yourself little perks to feel better.

“The Road to You” should be paved with kindness and compassion.

Be not afraid to act and dress a little bolder to make a statement:

“I’m here. I have breasts. Get over it.”

You owe it to yourself to be happy. By expressing yourself through how you style yourself in clothes you can also make others happy.

I’m the resident Fashionista at the poetry readings.

You can absolutely reclaim the good from your life before illness and discard the rest.

I’ve decided at 53 that I want to channel the time when I was a disc jockey on FM radio in the 1980s.

This reinvention started by wearing the outfit in the photo in the last blog entry.

In the coming blog entry I will talk about in more detail about reclaiming yourself after illness strikes.

I’ll talk about exerting your power to be who you are without fear of reprisal.

Tying this in to setting goals in mid-life to get more of what you want out of life.

You can absolutely use your personal history as the springboard for making changes at mid-life.

It truly is never too late to be what you might have been.

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The Makeup of a Confident Woman

green photo

The photo shown above proves the premise of beauty pioneer Trish McEvoy’s new book The Makeup of a Confident Woman.

Not wanting to start taking an antidepressant, I was willing to try any healthy non-chemical option for sparking joy.

I’ll quote from this guide because I think you should go out and buy it:

“There is no vanity in taking advantage of makeup in order to get more of what you want in this world…Makeup is a tool–just like exercise classes are for staying in shape..It facilitates the release of endorphins and can be your champion to the next level.”

You don’t say? Trish McEvoy does.

I put her theory to the test by applying a full face of makeup. The author gets it right: wearing makeup instills confidence.

It’s trite yet true: you feel better when you look better.

Ladies: even though I have a photogenic face I don’t look so hot not wearing makeup.

I’ll be 54 in the spring. I could use a little help.

There are genetic wonders among us who have creamy flawless skin without wearing foundation. More power to them for being able to rock a bare face.

It took me just about 10 minutes to apply this makeup. That’s not a lot of time to give yourself.

The products used:

Foundation: Lancome Teint Idole 260 Bisque N

Blush: Bobbi Brown desert rose

Lipstick: Bobbi Brown hibiscus

Eye shadow: From Naked2 Basics – the 2 lightest shadows on the left of the palette (darker on eyelid lighter on brow bone area)

Eyeliner: Lancome Chocolat

Mascara: Diorshow black

The photo of the book cover is below.

In coming blog entries here I want to talk about other things you can do at mid-life to feel better and have fun.

All of this can be adjunct treatment in addition to taking any medication you might have to take.

confindent woman book.JPG

 

 

Meeting Your Match

Years ago I had the dubious distinction of logging onto Match to see what that online dating website was all about.

The featured Profile on the Match homepage–the first thing you saw–was that of a guy who wrote: “I won’t date fat women.”

Really, buddy? How fat is too fat for you, I wanted to ask. What if you married me and I gained 5 or 10 pounds? Would you divorce me because I was no longer skinny?

It turned me off from joining Match after reading this guy’s profile.

Chris’s Adventures in Dating Wonderland aren’t that funny even today.

I have a distaste for revealing personal information on a dating website.

In recent years I’ve met people who have met their girlfriend or boyfriend via dating websites. Now they’re husband and wife.

This hasn’t been my experience. I’ve simply been “ghosted” by all the guys I’ve sent messages to. There’s so much competition online that it’s hard to compete.

A pretty good book about online dating is Love at First Click by Laurie Davis.

I’ve read a number of matchmaker books. This book is the best by far. Reading it you can edit and revise your Profile.

The fact is you might not click with a person and it can have nothing to do with your mental health issue.

You might reject them or they might reject you for another reason entirely.

It takes a sense of humor to make the dating scene.

I say: do stand-up comedy about your experiences looking for love.

We all have outrageous tales of romantic partners found and lost on this ultimate road trip.

I’ll end here with this:

You’re not ever alone when you enjoy your own company.

Take a vacation to Italy without a love interest. Remodel your kitchen. Paint your bedroom walls pink.

It can be easy to fall into a funk.

Yet we ladies must hold our heads high and be proud of ourselves with or without a partner.

Using Mental Health to Sell Products

too face

The tag line under Different is: It means I’m not like anyone else.

Below right it lists the woman as: Filmmaker, Mental Health Advocate.

On bottom left it reads: Elyse is fearless like that. See why at Olay.com/FaceAnything.

I’m conflicted about using mental health to sell products.

On the one hand using real people models to sell products is an improvement. The standard airbrushed bearers of beauty like Karlie Kloss could use some competition.

On the other hand is it really progress that we’re viewed as consumers to sell products to?

The one specific trend I hope this advertisement heralds is a new openness to talking about mental health issues. Even if the bottom line is selling a product I think this is okay.

We need people like Elyse Fox the model featured in this advertisement who are making a difference in speaking out about mental health.

A lot of women will be motivated to plunk down their dough on Olay’s whipped cream after seeing this advertisement.

I’m OK with doing what makes you feel good about yourself. If buying a cream is going to make a person feel good, that’s OK for them.

What I don’t like mostly is this:

Beauty companies take women with naturally photogenic faces and use them to make the claim that buying the product will make you look as good as the models do.

Will this really happen? Maybe. Maybe not.

Readers: sometimes I don’t like how my natural face looks.

At 53, I could use a little help with foundation and makeup. As said, I don’t leave the house without wearing lipstick.

Yet I’ve stubbornly refused to plunk down my hard-earned money on miracle wrinkle creams.

I’m one of those genetic anomalies who looks 10 years younger than she is.

The most I can manage is some kind of Body Shop Vitamin C Glow moisturizer. I apply this after washing my face with Neutrogena Hydroboost cleanser.

I haven’t gotten on the K-Beauty bandwagon or resorted to a 5-Step routine with multiple products.

The real deal is: having an openness to talking about mental health should be encouraged.

I salute people like Elyse Fox who are turning their lens on this topic.

Dare to make a difference–I tell you–dare to make a difference.

Nothing will change in society if everyone’s too scared to rebel what passes as normal.

Accepting ill treatment from others isn’t the way to live. Treating others in an ill way isn’t normal.

Yet too many people don’t have the balls or breasts to speak out against this.

The time has come to tell our stories.

In the coming blog entry I’ll start to talk again about mental health.

 

Fresh Lipstick

In extolling fashion and beauty in this blog it’s not my intention to dwell on fluff and not substance.

In my Visionary way I simply wanted to branch out from the typical standard mental health reportage because there’s so much more to life than the pain a person can be in.

If dressing up and wearing makeup is going to make a person feel better I’m all for this. It’s precisely when we’re in pain that we should do what gives us joy.

From my view today I understand what it’s like to be going through “the Change” or menopause.

Our bodies and our looks are evolving. Some of us don’t like that the direction everything’s going in is south.

There are genetic wonders among us who have creamy flawless skin and look good without makeup.

There are other women who simply choose not to wear makeup at all.

I honestly believe that everyone living on earth is beautiful.

I admire women who can rock their natural face and look good without makeup.

I say: to hell with what other people think of you, your body, or your face.

Living in menopause is precisely the time to tell our critics: “I’m hot. Are you blind? Can’t you see I’m hot.”

We need to look in the mirror and like what we see by the time we hit mid-life. If we agonize over our looks or our bodies now it’s only going to be worse when we turn 60 or older.

I’m a 53-year old woman. I don’t feel so hot going out without wearing lipstick. My new favorite tube cost more than I care to admit.

This week I checked out of the library Fresh Lipstick: Redressing Fashion and Feminism.

The book flap inside Fresh Lipstick:

“Argues that wearing high heels and using hair curlers does not deny you the right to seek advancement, empowerment, and equality.”

In here I will argue too that dressing in your own authentic way and taking pride in your beauty can empower you to take risks to achieve other goals you have in life.

It’s a double-edge: looking good to feel good and feeling good to look good.

Let’s face it: post-50 most of us aren’t going to have bodies that are Thin AF.

This is precisely the era in our lives when we should think about remodeling ourselves from the inside.

We benefit from asking ourselves now:

Where do I want to be tomorrow? What can I do today to get closer to that goal?

Is there a habit holding you back? Are there negative thoughts persisting in your head?

Changing what we’re able to and accepting what we can’t change–the Serenity Prayer–is a good solution.

At 40, at 53, at however old you are, this isn’t the time to give up on yourself.

I say: make your own happiness a priority at mid-life. Do what gives you joy.

If that’s swiping on fresh lipstick or putting on your dancing shoes, by all means go for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Not Wanting to Be Thin AF

In the September issue of Glamour Jameela Jamil “Is Done With Advice on How to Look ‘Thin AF.'”

She is an actress, activist, and writer who excoriates the focus on women’s looks and bodies.

Jamil weighs herself in “achievements and experiences, not pounds.”

She started the I Weigh movement “So that we stop and look closely at what is rightfully ours to celebrate.”

Taking pride in your appearance shouldn’t cancel out everything else that makes you who you are, according to Jamil.

Her contention is that we shouldn’t berate ourselves with harsh words we wouldn’t use toward a friend.

To wit: “Would you tell her she didn’t deserve love or happiness because she had cellulite or some wrinkles?”

Spending every waking hour of your life trying to become Thin AF isn’t the way to go.

The fact is every person you meet–particularly a romantic partner–is going to have their own idea of how you should look, act, dress, and think.

To continually try to makeover ourselves each time to satisfy every new person that comes on the scene is a mistake.

You and I aren’t octopuses to be pulled in different directions.

It’s far better to please yourself than to deny your nature and pretend to be someone you’re not.

I’ll end here by saying:

Being Thin AF isn’t the goal. Not ever is it the goal.

Running a 5K marathon? Serving on the board of a company?

Or just simply living your life without any superstar achievements?

This all counts more than how much a person weighs.

The Number on the Scale

I want to write about how following trends in fashion is a mistake.

Not every item of clothing offered in stores or online will fit and flatter every person’s body. This shouldn’t deter us. In the Bobbie Thomas book The Power of Style she has a section on determining your body type and the clothing choices that will flatter it.

Now Loft and Banana Republic online have Plus sizes as well as Petites. It has been a long time coming for this victory.

Repeat after me: the fit of your clothes is what counts not whether the clothing is popular this season. Going to a tailor for alterations will perfect the fit of your clothing.

If you’re in a store trying on clothes refrain from attempting to squeeze yourself into a smaller size because it’s “your” size. Size doesn’t matter: only the fit of the clothing item does.

To wit: I have four different sizes of pants and jeans hanging in my closet.

It’s also a mistake to rely on a single number on the scale as a barometer of how healthy you are. Some experts believe each of us might have a “set point” where our body stays in a certain weight range.

This is undoubtedly true. I’ve been lifting weights for over 7 years so far and I’m the same weight I was as before I started this intense exercise regimen.

The difference is I dropped one pant and skirt size because I gained muscle.

If you think you have to be or should be “skinny” that’s a mistake too.

I’ve excoriated Bethenny Frankel in here before for writing a book that claims you can be skinny forever.

It might not be realistic to want to weigh 127 pounds when you weigh 200 pounds now. Even losing just 10 or 20 pounds to start can be perfectly fine if you ask me.

Improve your health by exercising in some fashion and you’ll feel better even if you don’t lose a significant amount of weight (according to research).

Thinking in terms of having “functional fitness” is the way to go.

I’m happy that I’m fit, energetic, and can carry packages home from a store.

Yes–I’m not naturally thin. I’m “thin” because I exercise and eat mostly healthful food.

In my twenties I used to be 20 pounds overweight. By changing what I ate, seeing an M.D. that had a private nutrition practice, and starting to exercise consistently, I lost the weight in six years and kept it off.

You’re going to be miserable if you aspire to be “skinny” because a reality TV housewife star tells you it’s possible to do this by adhering to her latest scheme.

I’ll end here by telling you: relax. You shouldn’t feel or be made to feel guilty or ashamed because you’re not a certain acceptable number on the scale.

When I was 20 pounds overweight in the 1990s, I wore nothing but Esprit mini skirts.

So there–your weight shouldn’t deter you from dressing in style.

Buy clothes with the perfect fit or that can be made perfect with tailoring.

Doing so you’ll look and feel like a million bucks.