• 30
    Apr 2015

    Waiting to buy clothes when you lose weight? Why that is the worst idea EVER….

    I have a very special treat for you today:). People are always telling me how fashionable I am — just kidding, no one ever says that, haha. Even though I don’t strive to be a fashion icon, my clothes are very important to me. Slipping on jeans that fit me just right and having that perfectly casual, yet cool shirt in my closet just makes me feel like I could take over Google. But this wasn’t always easy or available to me…

    I spent many years feeling like I had nothing to wear. I either felt like my clothing was so last season or was convinced it would look perfect if I could just lose fifteen pounds. Every morning I would open my closet and would feel like my clothes were saying, “lose some weight you fatty!” Of course, I never considered going out and buying new clothes, why would I when going on a 21 day juice cleanse seemed so much easier? Well, you know that story… I never lost the weight because as long as I was spending my days feeling uncomfortable, unconfident and uncool, I was a grumpy a–hole. And Ben and Jerry were the only friends who could soothe my bad mood.

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    When I decided to start living more to weigh less (instead of the other way around) I did all the things I was waiting to be thin to do and a big one was to invest in my wardrobe. A few weeks ago my personal stylist and dear friend, Melanie Kluger, founder of The Confident Closet and the popular style blog, Head Over Heels with Melanie came over to help me clean out my closet because I still had some lingering pre-baby clothes I had a death grip on that were taunting me daily. I knew that in order to fully embrace my new body, I needed an intervention.

    Today, I invited Melanie to walk you through how to clean out your closet and create a great wardrobe with what you already have, so you only need to spend money on a few keys things. Don’t worry, this isn’t about going out and spending thousands of dollars, it’s about finding the gems in your wardrobe and creating an environment in your closet that promotes feeling confident in your clothes and falling in love with your body.

    Look, I totally get how you could feel like spending time on how you look is a waste of time right now, I’ve totally been there. However, from personal experience, and coaching hundreds of women through this exact conundrum, I know that spending some time cleaning out your closet and curating a small wardrobe that makes you feel amazing is the best investment you can make in your health.

    And don’t worry, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, we’re going to walk you through how to do this step by step right now.

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    From Melanie:

    Hello ladies! I’m Melanie Kluger Founder of The Confident Closet and I’m so happy to be here to help you with all your closet clean out woes. This is something that is near and dear to my heart. I have spent countless hours with women cleaning out their closets and helping them find new clothes they adore. I absolutely love how a new outlook and wardrobe can have such a lasting impact on a woman’s life. It’s preeeeetty awesome. I had such a blast helping Sarah, and I want you to know, I’m here for you too!

    Step 1: Defining Your Vibe

    Defining Your Vibe – Defining your look is one of the most helpful ways to gain confidence in your personal style. When you are trying to dress like someone else (sometimes even a younger version of yourself) it can be challenging to really know what your style is. Your personal style says a lot about you and gives you a really fun and interesting way to say “This is me.” Have fun with it, learn that it will change and grow with you, your lifestyle and the times. Otherwise we would all still be in Kelly Kapowski inspired dresses, and if that’s still your jam, you go forth and rock that side pony girl!

    “If you are looking for ways to learn how to define your vibe and feel a little lost, these three things will help.”

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    Step 2:

    Remove the clothes you don’t wear right now (don’t worry we aren’t throwing it away yet!).

    There are a ton of questions that will help you clean out your closet… but there is one question that beats alllll the others out, hands down.

    Do I love it?

    If you don’t love it, get it out! If it’s something like a t-shirt that feels functional and in good shape but it’s not a LOVE, think about ways that would make you love it? Accessories, layers etc. Also, do you love how it feels? Do you love the fit? There should be things you love about your basics just as much as your favorite special dress.

    Here’s the deal, when your body is going through a transition (gained weight, lost weight, had a baby, etc…) we have a hard time getting rid of our clothes. Sometimes we keep them for a loooong time just based on principle. We spent money on it, or we used to love it, or we even think we are supposed to like it! Whatever the reason is, sometimes we aren’t ready to throw these items away. That being said, it is REALLY important that you remove the items from your closet. Staring at things you can’t wear adds SO MUCH FRUSTRATION when getting dressed. It’s a constant reminder of a former self… and well… your new self is pretty rad.

    I talk more specifically about this in my free training series “The Top Three Mistakes Women Make in Their Closets (and what to do about it). If you are someone who is having trouble letting go, there are certain questions to ask yourself to help guide you through this process that I talk about in this free training, you can click here to see it.

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    Quick note from Sarah: these questions were super helpful for me when cleaning out my closet and helped me get really clear on what I truly loved, and what I was just holding onto because I spent a lot of money on it.

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    Step 3: Separate into 4 piles

    After asking yourself if you love every item in your closet, you are bound to have a lot of clothes that you don’t know what to do with. Take the clothes that have made their way out of your closet and categorize them. You can also do this as you go along. It’s up to you and how your brain works! Cleaning out your closet is a lot about instinct and what works for you.

    A very important reminder is once you make the decision I want you to automatically put it into a bag. No one wants a tough decision lingering and staring them in the face. Make your piles and then immediately put them into labeled trash bags for the appropriate place!

    Pile 1 – Toss    ||   Pile 2 – Donate    ||   Pile 3 – Sell    ||   Pile 4 – Give to a Friend


    Step 4: Create new Outfits

    There may be a few items that you just don’t know how to wear. You feel like you love them, but they don’t seem versatile or functional. I’d like you to step out of your comfort zone with these items. Maybe take a trip back to your Pinterest board and get the creative juices flowing. For example, Sarah had a green shirt that she loved the color of, but she couldn’t button it up. I asked her to try it on open as an extra layer (perfect for San Francisco!) and we created a few outfits based on her new opened up button down.

    I also helped Sarah style this cute “fancy sweatshirt” which still had the tags on it because she didn’t feel comfortable in it. You can see how we did a casual look with sneakers and a scarf, and a more dressed up look with fun accessories. If you feel totally lost about how to give clothes you’ve had forever a new look, you’ll love these videos.

    Step 5: Go Shopping

    As you are going through your closet, I’d like you to make a list. Every time you see an item that you want to get rid of, but you have held onto it because you need SOMETHING, I want you to write iit down. This will become your shopping list. I find it much easier to let go of old clothes if I know the goal is to replace it with something better.

    Once you have your shopping list, you’ll be much more focused in the stores. Also realize that depending on the season you may have to order things online or hold off buying them until there are more options. For example, you aren’t going to have a lot of options for new winter coats in the middle of summer… but that’s ok! You won’t need your winter coat in the middle of summer!

    Look, we both know this can be a lot. It’s like a mixture of going down memory lane and facing some difficult feelings around overspending, gaining weight and procrastination. In order to get through this, I’d like you to keep three things in mind:

    ONE

    Ask yourself: “How can I make this a party?” – By making the process more fun for yourself you are way more likely to enjoy the whole experience. Make yourself a snack you like, invite a friend over (only one who will stay focused with you!), or even create a playlist.

    TWO

    Focus on the end result. Omg… the feeling of a cleaned and organized closet full of clothes you love is HUGE. It’s a game-changer. When I have a closet that is easy to find things in and I like everything in it, I literally function better. It changes my mood, my whole day and my mindset. Let that be your motivation!

    THREE

    You aren’t in this alone. A lot of times we put off a task like cleaning out our closet because it brings up a lot of emotions. I want you to know that you don’t have to do it alone. I have tons of resources for you including a free challenge called The Confident Style Challenge which starts on May 4th, which will guide you through doing small things everyday to help you build confidence and discover your personal style. And as I mentioned, I have the free video training series The Top Three Mistakes Women Make In Their Closets (and what to do about it) which will help you to realize we all have these same habits but that doesn’t mean we need to be stuck with a closet we hate! If you are reading this post and you really want more support, I hope you use one of these free resources.

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    Sarah and I both know first-hand what amazing things cleaning out your closet can do for your self confidence! I hope we can stay connected, so I can give you that added boost you need.

    Love,

    Melanie

    Photos by Rosa Delgado

  • 24
    Apr 2015

    Why skipping your vacation could be sabotaging your success

    Today I’m going to tell you how sipping pina coladas poolside can save your life.  As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the past few months have been stressful.  Running a company, being the primary parent, bringing home the dough, being pregnant and never seeing Jonathan was really starting to wear me down.  I was at the point where I knew that if we didnt take some time for us, our marriage, my sanity and my work were going to take a huge hit.

    I know I’m not alone in feeling this way.  I’m guessing you’ve felt this way before, and maybe do right now.  Well, we’re going to handle this together.

    My family growing up was always great at taking vacations, even if it meant piling in the car and driving 3 hours to our friends weekend house in New Hampshire on a random weekend, so I’ve always understood the power of getting away.

    I also know how taking a vacation can fall to the bottom of the priority list.  How we can feel selfish doing something so extravagant for ourselves.  How it can feel too expensive or that we just don’t have the time.


    Did you know that 40% of Americans only take half of their paid time off?  And 60% of Americans work while they are on vacation?  If this doesn’t surprise you, please keep reading.

    Most people think that working hard and putting in the extra facetime will lead to greater success later, but the reality is that the opposite is true.  Today, I want to tell you why not taking a vacation is actually sabotaging your success (in work, relationships and your body) and what to do about it.

    While I was in Mexico I read Arianna Huffiington’s “Thrive”, a fabulous book that clearly shows through copious research how critical it is to tend to your well being when it comes to your success as a person and a business woman.  The statistic that blew me away the most was that women who have stressful jobs have a 40% increased risk of heart disease and 60% greater chance of diabetes.  WHAT!? That is crazy.

    She also goes onto to show how taking time for things like meditation, sleep and vacation significantly increase your overall earning ability, disproving the commonly adopted belief that the harder we work the more we will make.

    The truth is that, especially as women, the more rested and grounded we are, the more focused, productive and creative we are.  I bet as you are reading this you’re thinking, “Duh Sarah, of course.” But are you actually living by this truth?  I’m guessing no.

    I talk a lot about how to push the reset button by bringing in little breaks and bits of fun during the day.  I actually have a whole free challenge devoted to this practice, which you can sign up for here: The Live More Weigh Less Lifestyle Challenge.

    And today, I want to help you push a BIGGER reset button on your well-being: vacation.  As you know, I am completely obsessed with you and the other women here taking action, so grab a pen and a piece of paper and I want you to answer the following questions….

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    Now, going through this process is really important, because a lot us can start planning the wrong vacation!  Jonathan and I were supposed to go to Israel last week to see his extended family.  We were all set to go and a few months ago I had a full fledged panic attack.  24 hours of travelling pregnant with a toddler, a 10 hour time change and needing to deal with jet lag after the trip during the first week of Live More Weigh Less would’ve been debilitating.  I love his family so much, and if we could teleport there for a few days it would be amazing, but it was just too much for us, so we opted for a more low key week.  We’re excited to make the trip next year when work is slow, and we can have a few days after to sleep and introduce both of our kiddos to the Israeli pack.  So, I want you to take a second to make sure that the vacation you are planning is really perfect for you right now.  I know it’s not easy to cancel things and let people down, but we have to be so deeply committed to our own soul and well-being because no one else is going to.

    Here are some pictures from our trip last week:

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    So here’s what I want to know, what is the best vacation you have ever taken?  Share it below so we can all get some great ideas.  And I would also love to know what your dream vacation is and when you are going to take it, so we can help you figure out the details and hold you accountable.

    I can’t wait to hear about your big plans.

    Love,

    Sarah

     

  • 09
    Apr 2015

    The real reason our daughters hate their bodies… plus we’re having a…..

    I wanted to let you know that Jonathan and I just found out that we’re having a GIRL!!!!!!  I couldn’t be more excited, but also to be honest, I’m nervous.  It seems like young girls these days are growing up so fast, feeling the pressure to be thin at a young age and basing their worth on what they look like. It scares the crap out of me.

    I was just sitting with a dear friend of mine, Amy Ahlers co-author of Inner Mean Girl Reform School, on my couch talking about body image and parenting. I told her how sad I was listening to the women in the Real Talk Series talk about when they learned their body was “wrong”.  Almost all of them were under the age of ten.  

    Have you spent time with a seven, eight or nine year old recently? They are the most wide eyed, sweet, curious girls. And they are still very very young. Way too young to hate their bodies and to believe their worth is measured by how thin and beautiful they are.

    Amy has a seven year old and asked me, “how do I stop this from happening to my daughter?”  I looked at her knowingly, because I knew this wasn’t the answer she wanted to hear, it’s not what any of us want to hear…

    “Her opinion of her body, is completely determined by your opinion of your body.”

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    She laughed, because she knew I was right, and since she is also a Live More Weigh Less Alum, I have mentioned this to her before in the program.

    It’s easy for us to blame the media and all of the images our young girls see in magazines and on TV.  But who are they spending more time with? Their mothers.  I believe that with a strong role model at home, girls can grow up learning that the media is just one way of looking at beauty, not the only way.

    We can tell our daughters what to eat, encourage them to play sports and tell them that they’re beautiful until we’re blue in the face, but if they see us, their mothers, hating our bodies, they will too.  There’s just no way around it.

    So let me ask you… do you want your daughter growing up learning that it’s OK to scowl in the mirror at her reflection, to call herself fat, to have a raging inner mean girl (as Amy calls it), to go on diets, to strive to lose weight before a big event, to believe that life will be better once she loses weight?  I didn’t think so. So why are you putting up with this for yourself? And why are you risking your daughter’s happiness by not handling it?

    I know I am being serious here, but I hear so much jibber jabber about the horror of young girls hating their bodies but no one is actually getting to the root of the problem. US!!!

    Changing the way we relate to our bodies and dealing with our Inner Mean Girl is the only way to solve this toxic issue and save the next generation from body hatred.  Until we do, the issue is only going to get worse.

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    It may be hard for you to spend money on yourself, and enroll in a program like Live More Weigh Less, but if you won’t do it for you, do for your daughters, or future daughters.

    I love what these two women have to say:

    Being kind and loving to my body has changed the way that I mother my daughter. Having a healthy relationship with food has changed everything. I want her to never talk to her body the way that I have. The only way to do that is to model how I want her to live.  ~ Bree Hester

    Since I have been doing live more weigh less my daughters have really been wanting to know what I have been up to.  I told them I got lost and I found myself again.  I want them to enjoy their life and try new things,  They look toward me for their support and guide in loving their bodies and the way they look.  I have been teaching them to be confident and to be beautiful inside and out.  I have been teaching myself and my daughters to love themselves for just the way they are. I have been also learning and teaching them to enjoy each new day and have lots of laughter and joy.  ~Paula Palmer

    (Some of the women from Live More Weigh Less and their daughters are pictured above.)

    I believe in this program, I believe in you and I believe that together we can stop the pattern of body hatred and putting our life on hold so the next generation can experience freedom, beauty and confidence at any shape or size.  You can enroll in Live More Weigh Less here: LiveMoreWeighLess.com

    Amy and I continued our conversation about how to lead by example on video.  We also talked about my inner mean girl (I get super vulnerable here and I helped Amy change an eating pattern that was leaving her feeling insecure, stuffed and out of control.  There’s a great example of how I will coach you in Live More Weigh Less at 13:12 in this video.

    Live More Weigh Less is only open for a few more days so now is the time to enroll.  If this is the fire you needed to finally make a change, I hope you’ll answer the call. You can enroll right here: LiveMoreWeighLess.com

    My very best,

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    You can take the free Inner Mean Girl Quiz to discover your Inner Mean Girl archetype here.

    If you want to dive deeper into working with your Inner Mean Girl, get your copy of Reform Your Inner Mean Girl: 7 Steps to Stop Bullying Yourself and Start Loving Yourself here.

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Design: Jane Reaction. Development: Brandi Bernoskie.