Sunday, March 9, 2014

Linking up to blog lovin'

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Messing with your mind (again), why diets don't work and Louis Vuitton

Quite a while ago now, I promised my friend List_Addict from Fur Earwig fame (20.000 hits and counting, congratulations List_Addict) that I would write a post on why diets don't work.  It has taken a while, but she has inspired me to get back to the laptop with a recent post inspired by Louis Vuitton.

I loved the look so much, I copied it myself, although, due to my recent thyroid surgery, I have added a scarf to it.  Needless to say, scarfs will be a standard feature of my look for the next few months, and depending on how well the scar heals, may perhaps become a permanent feature.

I loved the mix of silk, wool and (fake) fur, not that you can make out the fur collar in this picture.

Back to the psychology, and bearing in mind a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, here is my theory on why diet's don't work.  It stems from the theory of "cognitive dissnance", which, basically says that people feel highly uncomfortable holding two conflicting ideas at the one time, so they adjust their attitudes to bring everything into alignment.  So here's my theory:

The events:

1. we read / hear about a diet that makes you lose weight quickly and easily - we see pictures, we hear people (possibly people on TV that we have never met, possibly people who are trained actors paid to recite a script) talking about how much weight they lost, etc, etc, etc;

2. we get excited about the diet and commit to it and for a week or two all goes well;

3. we then get really, really hungry and stray from the diet, possibly at a social outing;

The result:

1. On the one hand we "know" this diet works and is easy to follow, but

2. on the other hand we have not followed the diet.

We have these two "facts" that conflict with one another - we are in a state of cognitive dissonance.  Then, for some reason, we hold tight to the first thought, that the diet works, and conclude that there is something wrong with us because we cannot stick to the diet.  We have no willpower, we are a "fat person".  This leads to a downward spiral to eating poorly, dieting - which makes us feel worse, then eating poorly and so on.

The last diet I went on was the Michelle Bridges 12 week body transformation diet.  You are provided with a 1,200 calorie per day diet and are then required to do one hour of exercise a day with a target to burn 500 calories.  I stuck to it for a few weeks and got to my lowest weight in years, but I was so hungry I was ready to eat my own arm off.  Needless to say, I put all the weight back on in no time at all and felt like a failure.

Then I heard about the idea of cognitive dissonance and some suspicions started creeping into my mind.  What if it's not me, what if it really is true that diets don't work?  Recently, I listened to a podcast in which David Allen of Getting Things Done fame interviewed Charles Duhigg, an expert on habits, who said the absolute worst way to try and change a habit, the method that is absolutely bound to fail, is to say "I'm going to start doing this" or "I'm going to stop doing this".  For example, if you do no exercise and you say "from now on I'm going to get up early every morning an exercise", you will most certainly fail.

So what does work ... well I did come across another podcast with a possible answer, but I'm going to have to test out the theory before I can confirm that it works.  That will be the subject of my next post.

In the meantime, here's a song I really like, "Pride" by Syntax:

Oh, and because it happens to be Monday, I'm joining up with my favourite blog link up party over at Not Dead Yet Style.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

"Clothes maketh the man" or why you should wear skinny jeans if you want to loose weight

So I started this blog and then I went missing. I went missing because I did a fabulous course over at called "A Beginners Guide to Irrational Behavour", which I got quite carried away with and on which I spent all my (lack of) free time.  If it runs again I highly recommend you do it, and not just because I scored 99.5% (don't you like the way I just casually slipped that in there).

As part of the course there were bonus videos by guest lecturers - one by a fellow called Gavan Fitzsimons, who does research into how consumers are influenced without their conscious knowledge.  He has found, for example, that people subliminally exposed to the Apple logo were more creative than people subliminally exposed to the IBM logo.  His advice is to use this to your advantage, for example, if you want to swim faster, find out what jacket Michael Phelps wears and buy one for yourself.  On an unconscious level, you will be inspired to swim faster - at least that's the theory.

I decided to test this for myself.  I'd put on a couple of kilos and was no longer game to attempt to fit into my skinny jeans.  I'd got to the point were I was once again thinking "skinny jeans are for skinny people, I'm not a skinny person, might as well toss them and get back to where I belong in my boring boot cuts".  However, using Fitzsimons theory, I should put on my skinny jeans and miraculously everything would turn around.

And that's pretty much what happened, strangely enough.  I put on my skinny jeans and about a hour later, rather than thinking "here I am at my normal, too-high-for-skinny-jeans weight", I found myself thinking "gotta lose those extra couple of kilos and get back to my normal weight so these jeans aren't so tight".

Odd the way the mind works.  Anyway, the two kilos are now gone, and this week I got back to the gym after three months absence and have now exercised four days in a row.

Here's me at Healsville Santuary, on the first day I decided to put my skinny jeans back on:
I don't know what that expression on my face is about either.

And rather than my usual music video, here's some video my husband took of the red-tailed black cockatoo from the fantastic bird show at Healsville Sanctuary. (Fantastic? Yes, surprised me too.)

The Stats:

Time: 2 minutes, just brushed it
Tools: Kevin Murphy Smoothing Brush

Time: 2 minutes
Moisturiser: YSL Forever - stayed tuned for product review in coming weeks

Hat: Straw cowboy hat from the Rye Market
Zip Up Top: No name brand from a shop in down town Cowes, Phillip Island
Top: Ferris Buller T-Shirt my husband bought me in the Black Friday sales (gotta love online shopping)
Jeans: Nudie Jeans bought at the local Salvos (ooh, that officially makes me an op / thrift shopper)
Belt: David Lawrence, from back when they stuck to their knitting
Sneakers: Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star Lo, can't explain why I love these shoes so much

I'm joining the party over at Not Dead Yet Style for the 100th Visible Monday. Whoo Hoo! Congratulations Patti.

Monday, April 15, 2013

When in doubt, just spray

The hubby and I headed up to Brisbane pre-Easter for my friend Suzanne and her fiance Troy's wedding.  Suzanne & Troy had a whirlwind romance, meeting less than a year ago, and Troy bought a tear to everyone's eye when, in his speech, he told us all that he is in love for the first time in his life.

Suzanne wore a beautiful backless halter-neck dress, the first and only wedding dress she tried on, and deservedly so.  (I was a little concerned when she told me this back when she bought the dress, if only because trying on wedding dresses was my favourite part of my wedding planning.)

Wedding Dress, Bridal Gown, Halter Neck
Suzanne: The Beautiful Bride

I wore a Leona by Leona Edminson dress (ya gotta love it when designers do "diffusion lines" (read: "cheaper") ranges for department stores) and my favourite and highest (read "most painful") shoes and scarab beetle clutch purse from Mimco. Jewelry-wise, it was a wedding so I went for pearls, but being me, they came with a slight twist - the two flowers in the necklace have tiny skulls at the centre (from Cue).

I was determined to master the beehive so had another go at it, this time incorporating a french roll, which turned out to be far easier than I feared after watching a youtube tutorial. At least that's what I told myself until I saw pictures from later in the night that showed a large lock of hair had fallen out.

Wedding outfit,
All ready in my wedding finest.

 The Bride chose the same hairstyle, but done professionally with a double french roll, beautifully arranged to make the most of her highlights, not to mention hardy enough to withstand a night's sleeping on it - still looked perfect the next morning.

Note: Beehive for the Bride

Here's the song Suzanne and Troy walked into the reception to - "Going to the Chapel"

The Stats:

Time: 20 minutes (not including washing and drying)
Product: Hairspray and lots of it - hence the title of this post.
Tools: Round brush (forgot my teasing comb)
Comments: The trick is to keep the sections small when teasing.  I'm still not happy with the height, or lack thereof, but I think it's just a matter of having the patience to tease quite a large portion of your hair.  Here's the video tutorial I watched to learn how to do a beehive and french roll, although I only attempted a single french roll.

Last but not least - I've joined the party over at Not Dead Yet Style for Visible Monday.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Mixing it with the real fashionistas

If there is any advantage to working down the big end of town, it's the "corporate jollies".  Hence, I scored an invite to the L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival on Thursday before last, including dinner at the Woolshed, drinks at the Rekorderlig Lounge (including goodie bag) and Runway 04 show

While I'm often heard to say "you can never be overdressed", going to a fashion festival, one can't help but be excited about the prospect of being able to really dress up. The ante is well and truely upped, so I turned to the trusty Harpers Bazaar and came across this ad for Jimmy Choo:

Inspiration from Jimmy Choo

Love the 70s aesthetic and in particular the hair - it's a beehive gone hippy and we all know how much I love a beehive. Best of all, it's a hair style I thought I could pull off with only 20 minutes to get ready in the Ladies at work.

Clothes-wise I teamed a v-neck sweater (not quite a low as the plunging neckline shown above), a pencil skirt, fishnets and my highest high heels.  I had the pleasure of catching a real live model* checking out my outfit (I've never felt so proud in all my life) as I walked into the Woolshed.  Unfortunately, I don't have a picture to show you of the outfit because while they were taking photos in the entrance to the Rekordlig Lounge, which they said could be viewed on facebook, only a select few were deemed worthy to make the cut. So all I have is this head and shoulders shot, taken after the wind has had its way with my hair so it bears no resemblance to the Jimmy Choo ad in the slightest.

Drinkies at the Rekorderlig Lounge, L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival

As for the fashion, I would sum it up as a return to fashion that actually flatters the female form (at last!). Translation: big shoulders, plunging necklines, cinched waists, pelhams, a-line skirts (short) and fishtail skirts (long) with feathers thrown in now and then just for fun.

I didn't recognise any of the music being played, but here's The Potbelleez "Don't Hold Back" because it would have fit and I love it:

The Stats:

Time: 10 minutes  (hair washed and straightened in the morning before work)
Tools: teasing comb
Product: Hairspray
Comments: Part hair in the middle, tease at the crown and smooth back 

Face - Going Out Face
Time: 10 minutes
Moisturiser: [still searching for good one]
Concealer: Mac Select Cover-Up
Foundation: Tom Ford Traceless Foundation (best foundation I have ever found")
Blush: Lancome Blush Subtil Rose 30 Rose Melba
Powder: Neutrimetics nc Velvet Finish Mineral Foundation Powder
Mascara: [still searching for a good one]
Lipstick: Tom Ford Scarlet Rouge
Eyeshadow: Rimmel Glam Eyes Quad Smokey Brun (use all four colours)

Top: from Kookai many years ago
Skirt: Pencil skirt from Faster Pussycat
Stockings: Fishnets from Target
Shoes: from Mimco

 *How did I know she was a "real live model" you ask?  There's no way a normal chick would be that thin and that fashionably dressed and not be a model.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Buzz Buzz

First it was Tom Ford

Now it's Louis Vuitton

As far as I'm concerned, it's two strikes and you're in - THE BEEHIVE IS BACK!

The last time I attempted a beehive was at my husbands 40th birthday party. (I am not prepared to tell you how many years ago that was). I had printed out instructions from the Internet (yes, therefore pre-YouTube tutorials, that's how long ago it was) and after spending an inordinate amount of time getting no-where, my mother-in-law managed to tame my tresses into a perfect piled high ensemble in about three-minutes flat. She explained that back in the day she wore a beehive to work everyday (oh if only that was an option now, but I fear that would prove a career limiting move in my conservative corporate environment down the big end of town).

Back to the present, I have a wedding coming up on Friday, so I attempted a trial run this weekend.  I have negative 20 minutes to do the trail run (translation, I was already supposed to be somewhere else, I did mention I'm always late), and I took the advice to not wash your hair on the day, but really, my hair was in real need of a wash - both of which I believe contributed to my beehive turning into a quiff (an a fairly tame one at that), so I threw on a rocker t-shirt and ran out the door.

Here's a picture from our destination, after my husband presented me with some tatoo sleeves* to complete the look. (*Stockings for your arms printed with tatoo pictures.)

And here's Dusty sporting an original model bee hive:


Time: 15 minutes  (not washed)
Tools: Pin tail comb, boar bristle brush, bobby pins, hair tie
Product: Hairspray and lots of it.  In retrospect, should have used mousse first.
Comments: If you're new to this, watch a few youtube tutorials and give youself plenty of time.  Based on my mother-in-law's comments, this could become an actual school-run do, but not without serious practice under your belt first. 

Went au natural, did warn you I'm quite lazy in the make-up department.

Top: Route Sixty Six T-Shirt, probably purchased at Devil Kitty
Jeans:  Diesel Jeans bought years ago
Sneakers: from Jigsaw, again years ago
Comment: Yes, it's true, I rarely shop, all my clothes are old.

P.S linking up again for Visible Monday on the great Not Dead Yet Style - see here:

Friday, March 8, 2013

My Art Adventure

Those who know me, know that I'm always late. Thus it came to be that I got stuck in a vicious cycle of "I'll just do this before I go" at work on Thursday night when I was supposed to be attending the opening of She 2013.  The opening started at 6:30pm.  I didn't notice the time until 7:45pm, meanwhile I was in the city (Melbourne) and the Walker Street Gallery was another country away* in Dandenong.

Pulling up google maps to find the way I thought "surely after only two hours the party will still be in full swing". Pulling up at the Walker Street Gallery at 8:30pm I found that artsie types just don't party like corporate types and everyone had gone.  (Everyone that is except the gallery director, Dave, who was being interviewed for TV, so that was cool to see).

But that was not the real problem.  The real problem was that I have been invited by my friend Bernii Wood, one of the featured artists, to attend the opening and catch a bite afterwoods.  Unfortunately, due to internet interference I didn't know where to find her.  Meanwhile, I'm in Dandenong. Dandenong has a reputation.  That's all I'm going to say about that because I'm too scared to offend anyone from Dandenong.

What to do.  Bernii is one of those rare individuals who doesn't have a mobile phone, so I called her house mate Charlii (who's excellent blog you can read here).  Charlii tells me that Bernii has gone to an Afghan restaurant.  Excellent, surely there's only one Afghan restaurant in Dandenong, quick google and I'll be there.  Yes? No. There are at least eleven Afghan restaurants in Dandenong.  Meanwhile, I'm in Dandenong, at night.

The two most listed restaurants are both on Lonsdale Street, the main drag of Dandenong.  So I pop Charles Mingus on Spotify as his music seemed the perfect soundtrack for this artsie caper and head down Lonsdale Street to do some foodie curb crawling.  I found both restaurants but as it was now after nine. Both were bereft of people in general, let alone a group of inner city hipsters.

Did I mention I was in Dandenong, at night, alone.  I decided to call it a night.  At least I got the see the exhibition and got a blog post out of it - and an inaugural blog post at that.    

Charles Mingus - Solo Dancer

Down to brass tacks, the inspiration for my "look" on Thursday was the Calvin Klien cover of Harper's Bazaar Australia's 15th Birthday issue.

Here's my interpretation, in a photo taken by my beautiful three year old:

Not sure it quite suits me, but I enjoyed channelling my inner Calvin Klien model for a day.


Time: 5 minutes  (hair washed and straightened previous day)
Tools: comb and hair tie
Product: Schwarzkopf Taft Curl Defining Mousse Strong Hold (left over from when my husband had long hair)
Comments: The Calvin Klien version looks like the hair was plastered down with Brylcreem, I tamed this down and just patted down my hair with the mousse to keep it in place (although you'll note the left side has come loose in this picture). 

Face - My Bare Minimum Face**
Time: 5 minutes
Moisturiser: [still searching for good one]
Concealer: Mac Select Cover-Up
Blush: Lancome Blush Subtil Rose 30 Rose Melba
Powder: Neutrimetics nc Velvet Finish Mineral Foundation Powder
Mascara: [still searching for a good one]
Lipstick: Clinque Butter Shine Lipstick Raspberry Rush

Top: Howard Showers top bought years ago
Skirt: Rhodes and Becket

*The greater metropolitan area of Melbourne is so large I am convinced that if it was in Europe it would extend over several countries.

**Actually, most of the time I'm too lazy to wear make up so the name is a touch of a falsehood. As I was going out, I tought I better put in some effort.

P.S. I'm joining in Visible Monday on Not Dead Yet Style - love that name.