Three Ways Jawbone’s UP MOVE Taught Me to Get Healthier

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Photos by Kourosh Karimkhany

This post was sponsored by Jawbone UP MOVE

I mentioned a few months ago that I gained some weight over the holidays. Somehow that’s half a year ago now and I still haven’t lost the pounds. In fact, to my chagrin and astonishment, I have gained a little more. I weigh more than I ever have before in my life, including post freshman-15. I think I’ve officially hit that age when losing weight has become ridiculously hard.

Or, maybe it’s the fact that I have zero willpower, and now that we have food in the house requested by our teenager—Cinnamon Toast Crunch,  Nutella, cheese crackers (you know the delicious, ingrediently ambiguous sandwich kind)—you can imagine what’s happening when I come home famished after a dance class. Especially when no one else is home to witness my immoderation.

Or, maybe it’s because I tend to only get myself out the door a couple times a week to exercise?

Who knows? Actually, I do, now. The mystery is being solved  by Jawbone’s UP MOVE. The timing was perfect for a collaboration with them, because I really didn’t know what to do about the continually rising numbers on the scale.

Now I know exactly what to do, because I’ve been wearing the UP MOVE watch-like device for a few weeks, and the corresponding UP App let’s me know where I’m killing it health- and fitness-wise and where I need some work. So far, here are the top three things I need to do to get healthier and finally lose that weight.

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1. Move more. On days when I go to dance class (usually Monday and Wednesday), I get all the movement I need. UP MOVE helps you count the number of steps you take every day, and my goal is 10,000. On dance days I get there easily. But on other days, I barely get to 3/4 of that. But, as UP MOVE has suggested, all I’d need a 20 minute walk and I’d reach my goal.  That’s easily done, and getting outside has lots of other benefits including helping me think more creatively and granting a dose of much-needed vitamin D.

2. Sleep more. I started using UP MOVE on a weekend, and thought I was a rockstar sleeper. The UP App was congratulating me left and right for sleeping more than most other women in my geographical region, as well as for getting some good sound sleep. But then Monday struck, and I discovered I stay up way too late and get up way too early Monday through Friday. Some nights I’m sleeping less than six hours, and I’m not going to bed at a consistent time. The UP App tells me that women who get more hours of sleep and go to bed at a consistent time have less body fat. That’s enough motivation for me to make a concerted effort to get more Zs—plus I’ll be more patient and in a better mood, which I’m sure my teen and toddler will appreciate!

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3. Eat smarter. I’m a calorie counter, so I tend to focus more on quantity than quality of food. But the UP MOVE device and app have taught me that’s not the best approach. After logging all my meals for the past few weeks, my score has been consistently around 5 or 6 (10 is the best), and the cause seems to mostly be BREAD AND SUGAR. But seeing that number go down from 9.5 to 6 because I added sugar to my oatmeal is helping me make better choices—i.e. now I put mango chunks in my oatmeal instead. Another favorite tip from the app: use avocado instead of mayo. I like avocado better anyway, I just always forget to buy them!

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I’ve only lost a pound so far, but I FEEL like I’m on a good trajectory. My goal is not to be skinny, just to be healthy so I’m around for these two kids for decades to come. I’d also prefer not to outgrow all of my clothes, you know? Stay tuned for my next installment in a couple weeks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Sky and Blue Jeans

DL1961 Jeans stylenik
Photos by Jennine Jacob.

When I was little, I begged my mom to wear jeans every day starting in second grade. But she felt strongly a little girl should wear a dress to school. As soon as I was free to choose my own outfits, guess what I wore every single day? I had some NICE acid wash pair, high-rise pleated (anyone remember Zena jeans? Those were my fave.), I had classic Levi’s, and I even had some denim skirts I didn’t mind wearing.

Now in my 40s I wear jeans less often, partly because my style has changed, partly because I can’t really abide tight clothing anymore. But this pair of (tight) DL1961 (they’re the Florence style in Thornton), is different. The jeans make me feel secure rather than like I’m letting in all hang out in a way that should be saved for the club, which is a thing I never frequented and still do not. I did have a short-lived rave phase but no one wore jeans to raves.

The reason these are not only tolerable but my current favorites is because of the 4-way stretch. As I’ve mentioned, it sucks you in but still feels soft. You feel solid but not like you’re wearing a girdle. DL1961 uses a new fiber in their denim (along with cotton and Lycra) called Lenzing proModal, which is so absorbent that they’re testing it in diapers. For jeans, that extra absorbency means the dying, washing and treating process is cut in half, conserving water, dyes, energy and time.

I’m also wearing a top by Amourt Vert and booties from Kurt Geiger (they are surprisingly walkabale despite that treacherous-looking heel) and a clutch by Hayden Harnett. Also, the weather in Pacifica has been amazing. It was a perfect day at Pacifica Pier.
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My New Favorite Jeans: DL 1961 High Rise Ninas

On Balmy Alley in the DL1961s

On Balmy Alley in the DL1961s


Photo by Jennine Jacob

The thigh gap is my unicorn. The space betwixt my upper thighs remains stubbornly dark and gapless as a playback and will, I’m certain, remain so until the day I die. I accept this, even as discussion of the proverbial thigh gap reaches a fever pitch. The Beyonce gap flap made it household terminology—even my husband knows it now. (“Me: Do my thighs look huge in this photo? Husband: No, you have a thigh gap. Me: How do you even know what that is? Him: I read Huffington Post.” And for the record we were discussing the photo above, and I do not have a thigh gap. It’s the way I was standing.) My favorite line in Mary HK Choi’s Kindle Single Oh, Nevermind: “My mother is 63 years old, and her thigh gap is righteous.”
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Four Poisonous Facts About Your Style That Will Make You a Greener Shopper

A summer 2014 look from Amour Vert

A summer 2014 look from Amour Vert

As I mentioned on Instagram, I had the pleasure of interviewing Greta Eagan, author of a new book called Wear No Evil, at Amour Vert’s beautiful new boutique in SF’s Hayes Valley on Saturday. She was lovely, and knowledgeable on a topic I’ve always been interested in but often been lazy about: ecologically-responsible fashion. I sat down with her book when I got home and was shocked into caring again by these four facts:
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So I Got Fired Yesterday

Yep, I got canned. It’s kind of the worst feeling, and it’s embarrassing, and my first instinct was to not let anyone ever know this really humiliating thing happened to me. In fact, I fibbed to one of my closest friends yesterday when I told her I couldn’t make it to the girl’s night out we’d planned because I’d “quit” my job and was upset about it (really sorry, Shadin).

Then I talked to my husband, who also got fired last year. He decided then not to take his employer’s offer to say it was a mutual agreement, not really a firing. I asked him why he would not take that opportunity to save face, and he said because it’s liberating to tell the truth. The job wasn’t right for him, and he got fired, why sugarcoat it? That got me thinking about my own hesitation to admit the truth of my shitcanning.

Then we picked up our daughter from daycare. As I waited for her caretaker to open the door, I was overwhelmed by the feeling that what’s on the other side of that door is what’s most important. Then it opened, and she gave me that smile and ran to me like I was the the most awesome person on earth.

I see quotes about how failure is good and necessary all over social media every day.

Here’s a great one from Maya Angelou:

“Courage allows the successful woman to fail-
and learn powerful lessons-
from the failure-
so that in the end,
she didn’t fail at all.”

Various outlets publish tons of lists of quotes on failure every year—but hardly anyone talks about their actual failures (Here’s one exception).

While reading the quotes makes me feel not as terrible, facing what’s real feels even less terrible. I want to live up to that awesome-person status, which would seem to require being an honest person. I got fired yesterday, y’all. I did some good writing at that job and I’m proud of my work. In the end it wasn’t enough, and it’s time to move on. So here’s to what’s next… omg what is next? I’ll try to figure that out over the weekend. Check back Monday, won’t you?

This Is My Skin on Technology

Just a picture of me and my face.

Just a picture of me and my face.

It occurred to me recently that my vanity is crowded not only with makeup, nail polish, curling irons, and various skin creams, but also quite a few items that can be reasonably categorized as technology. It also occurred to me that I love not having to go to a spa to use these devices. That’s exactly how lazy I am: going to a spa is even too much work. Luckily, if you throw a little money at the situation (though less than it would likely cost for a few spa treatments), you, too, can use these treatments in the comfort of your own home. Here are my tried and true beauty technologies. Note: when my husband looked at this post, he said: “They all look like pain machines.” I promise only one of them hurts (only just a little).
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Work in Progress

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Some bloggers, writers, designers (fill in creative-type person here) have a strong voice and solid point of view at a young age. Take Man Repeller, for example. She was in her ’20s when her blog, with it’s great photos and confident, hilarious writing, became huge. Or Alexandar Wang. He was a youngster when he saw major success as a designer. But for the majority of us, it takes a little longer.
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Procrastinators, Unite


local take



You can order these cute Maggie Hurley giclee prints on wood and have them delivered on the same day with Six Doors

I am probably the worst procrastinator I’ve ever known. And despite limited scientific evidence that procrastination might actually help you get things done, I’ve always felt it’s mostly a bad trait of mine, especially around the holidays. Baking, decorating and, of course, shopping, end up getting done under duress. But it doesn’t have to be that way anymore, thanks to the amazing advances in shipping speed our civilization has seen in recent years. Case in point: Six Doors lets you ship on the same day as you order from a slew of  San Francisco boutiques, including Aldea Home + Baby, A&G Merch, Local Take, Urban Mercantile and tons more.

The folks at Six Doors asked me to curate a collection for them, which you can check out when you download the app. It’s entitled: “California Cool: Gifts cool kids of all ages will love.” It includes a beer bottle belt buckle, antler bottle openers, a really cute toddler dress, a terrarium, and lots more. All of these things you can not only have delivered on the same day as you order, but Six Doors will DELIVER FOR FREE in San Francisco until Christmas Eve—if the store’s open, they’ll deliver. Don’t you feel super ahead of the game all of a sudden?

Buying a Diamond? Take This Test First!

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‘Tis the season to get down on one knee. It’s so romantic! Yet so fraught with nerves and uncertainties. Will your love say yes? What if she/he HATES THE RING?! Relax, I can help. 1. Of course she will, you’re awesome! 2. She is 90 percent (non-scientific estimate) more likely to LOVE the ring if you take Blue Nile’s Leave Nothing to Chance quiz first.

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Science of Style Friday: Do Horizontal Stripes Make You Look Fat? The Debate Rages

I’ve written about the science of stripes before, but new research has emerged and it’s time for an update. Especially since it’s summer, when nautical vacations call for sporting nautical blue (or red, or whatever) stripes. 

It’s a long-held belief that stripes going across the body will make you look short and fat. But a researcher in the U.K. seemed to have proven that’s empirically untrue. He showed that quite the opposite is actually the case. 

In 2008, Peter Thomson, a “perception expert” at the University of York took up the issue. He showed study volunteers 200 sets of pictures featuring women, all the same size, wearing horizontal and vertical stripes (in two separate outfits, of course). The vast majority of volunteers perceived the horizontally-striped women as thinner. He dug even deeper and found that even women wearing horizontal stripes who were 6 percent larger than those wearing vertical stripes could appear to be the same size. Audrey Lustig, who studies cognitive neuroscience, breaks the matter down even further at Ionpsych, if you’re interested.

I know you ain’t callin’ my baby fat. 

The idea (which is counter-intuitive today) that vertical stripes make you look wider and horizontal stripes make you look thinner goes all the way back to Hermann von Helmholtz, who theorized as much in the 19th century. But we’ve been ignoring the “Helmholtz effect” for more than 100 years. Isn’t that that is just rude? But we may have good reason. 

Last year, a woman named Val Waltham won the BBC Amateur Scientist Award for showing exactly the opposite. She put women in vertically and horizontally-striped outfits, took them out on the street and asked 500 passersby what they thought. In this case, the majority thought the horizontal stripes made women look bigger. 

The difference between the two studies is that the 2008 version used images, while in 2012, Waltham used real women. It would seem the latter is a more accurate way to judge. But, as scientists always say, a single study doesn’t prove anything, and more research is needed! 

Personally, I love Breton stripes and I feel strongly that if you find a stripe you like, you should wear it. Mama is Haute says even the French don’t find them too cliche to wear oftene—so you know they’re très chic. 

Published with Monogram