Further proof I suck at selfies.
I’m the kind of girl athleisure makeup was meant for. I always wear mascara (Too Faced’s miraculous Better Than Sex, let’s get real) and usually a bright pink lipstick to the gym (I tend to go for Barbie pink with a blinding blue sheen). No matter how much I sweat, I’ll be damned if I’m not pretty. My sin is vanity and the first thing I put on in the morning, even before clothes, is a good bold lip. Purples, oranges, burgundies, berries, nudes, shimmers, reds, and the Holy Grail – pinks – I wear them all. I have literally about 600 lipsticks right now and counting – it’s the one addiction, besides books, that I feed. Some of my favorites are Milani’s Amore Mattellics, Essence’s Blush My Lips Moisturizing Lipstick, good old Kat Von D’s matte and metallic Studded Kiss Lipstick, and of course Colourpop. I swear by Wet and Wild’s 99 cent lipsticks you can get at Walgreens and despise Yves St Laurent’s heavy metal casing and lack of pigmentation – what looks fancy proves very disappointing.
I don’t talk about makeup, clothes, and beauty much but it’s a huge part of my life. I usually prefer dresses to pants and only resort to sweaters in the cold winter months, and as an hourglass silhouette, they suit me a lot better than jeans that seem to think everyone’s waist is the same size as their hips. I love going to DSW and getting good deals on designer shoes – shoes are another one of my weaknesses, the higher the heel the better! – and I adore buying cute leggings and socks. For my regular makeup routine, I don’t wear much in the way of skincare as I am acne-free with good pores – no powder of foundation, just some coverup if I happen to get a singular zit – but boy do I make up for it with blushes of all kinds – Colourpop Super Shock Cheeks, Urban Decay’s funky Eggplant blush, Physician’s Formula, Maybelline, and various cushiony blushes from ShopMissA, which I adore.
I have hooded lids and deepset eyes – while my eyes are large, there is no space to play with eyeshadow, so I usually stick to Kat Von D’s black Ink Liner or one of Colourpop’s bright shades like Teaspoon or, of course, liquid gold. I alternate between Benefit’s Lash Blast Mascara, Too Faced’s Better Than Sex, and Spider Mascara for clunky lashes when I’m feeling like a wild child. The last thing I do is my lips – soon I will be broke and have only lipstick left to eat – and I’ve even worn blue lipstick to work once, and black. I have everything from yellow to gold to green to gray but those are more for novelty’s sake. I like to make a statement with my lips, and am infamous amongst my friends for being the lipstick queen.
Working out and eating right is part of my routine – I weight lift about three times a week and do light cardio every day, with High Intensity Interval Training about three to four times a week, usually on the Curve treadmill, which is electricity free and has about a 20% incline. I also do the rowing machine and lots of planks. I’m pretty curvy naturally with a large frame and lots of muscle, so even though I’m 165 lbs at the moment I fit into size 8 clothes for the most part (Sometimes a six, sometimes a 10 – measurements are 40-30-43, so close to hourglass). I have abs and solid biceps and am working on lowering my body fat percentage and getting more ripped. My goal is endurance, as I like to go on 50 mile bike rides when it warms up and am trying to work my way up to bikinh 100 miles in a day. I’m not super fast but after losing 50 pounds thanks to weight gain caused by antipsychotics I can say I’m faster than I was when I was obese and over 200!
As for diet, I eat low carb at home but treat myself when I’m out, usually sticking to meat and veggies. My favorites are green tofu curry, chicken tikka masala, and soups like pumpkin bisque. My friends joke that if you eat with me we always end up at a Thai place, which is very true. Other than that it’s going to be dim sum, Korean grills or pastry shops, Chinese restuarants, Mexican, or Indian. I do like a good burger or pizza though, like anyone, Tune Inn is one of my favorite dive bars ad I love going there and getting a coffee and talking with other jaded Washingtonians. Hunan Dynasty unfortunately had a kitchen fire so they’re closed into January – they know me by name I go there so often. Nothing warms me up in the winter like egg drop soup!
As you can tell I love food, but the secret to not gaining weight when you’re out to eat is to eat half the portion they serve you and fill yourself up with veggies and liquids. I’m trying to lose my last ten pounds to be at the ideal weight for someone with a large frame at my height with lots of muscle on their makeup – muscle weighs more than fat, and when I started weightlifting I got smaller but heavier! The more I could lift, the more tone I got, and the trimmer I was. I was in this backward mindset where I was trying to get down to my high school weight of 135 – I got to 145 but was starving myself on 700 calories a day, so not ideal. Some people are just naturally curvy and muscular, and you gotta own that. I firmly believe everyone is beautiful whether you are 100 lbs or 300, and as an artist, love body diversity of all types. As long as you exercise and eat right, don’t worry. I will say though that losing about 10% of your body fat if you are obese or morbidly obese is proven to protect you from life threatening diseases – you should experiment with what your bodies set point is and how many calories you burn naturally – men tend to burn more than women, and I burn about 1,500 a day if I were doing nothing (my basal metabolic weight), so I try not to eat over that. You have to accept that holidays and certain times of the year like cruises or vacation, you might gain 5-10 pounds, but it is just so easy to lose it.
When I was over 200 pounds, I never thought I’d be fit again, and I despaired. Then I got a personal trainer and started eating what was right for me and exercising every day – I lost 50 lbs in 6 months! All it takes is willpower and strength. Whatever your goal, know you are beautiful already, but if you’re not happy with where you are, you can change! It is all within your control. When I stopped caring about how much I was as a number on the scale and started focusing on how long I could run or how fast I could bike or how many kilos I could lift, I felt beautiful. I felt powerful. When I fed my body with the proper nutrition but still treated it, I felt joyful.
You have to be the change you want to see in not only the world, but yourself!