Weight Loss Wednesday #4 – The Buddy System

I’m insecure. I’m self conscious. And because of this, I only allow a few people into my inner circle. One of those people has become my personal trainer Karen. With her guidance I’m working towards overcoming both my physical and emotional insecurities.

The reason why hiring a personal trainer was the right decision for me is because I can’t work out in a group setting. It’s too much for me. At least it is right now. I don’t like feeling uncomfortable. Hell, who does? But working out in a class or a gym terrifies me. Perhaps it’s even a little bit of ego getting in my own way. What makes me think that everyone in the gym is going to look at me? They’re not. They’re focused on themselves. But you won’t be able to convince me of that when I feel like an elephant in a room filled with cheetahs.

This week I took one step towards overcoming an emotional obstacle on my weight loss journey. Like I mentioned, I allow only a few select people into my inner circle. Meet Alexis. My fellow displaced Michigander. My bestie. Dare I say it? My workout partner?!

Ellen Tailor Alexis SmithAlexis is an athlete. She played sports in high school and maintains a healthy active lifestyle now by running more than any normal person would ever imagine doing. I cheered her on at the finish line of the Seattle Half Marathon last winter and was envious of her runner’s high. No. I was jealous. Jealous that she made it look so easy. Jealous that she could finish such an amazing race. One that I couldn’t even dream of doing. She inspires me.

Throughout our friendship, we’ve gone on a few physical adventures including hikes around Western Washington. I huff and I puff and she never judges. Over time I’ve become comfortable around her. Comfortable enough to let her see me uncomfortable.

I invited Alexis to workout with me on my terms. Or should I say Karen’s terms. Early Sunday morning we headed into the gym to meet Karen and she put us to work. I couldn’t believe what happened during our session. Sure, there were some things Alexis was better at than me. But holy crap, there were some things I was better at! While Alexis can easily kick my ass in cardio, I’ve got her beat when it comes to weights.

While I’m not going to be the best at everything, I’ve discovered a bit of confidence both in working out and allowing people in. A guy friend suggested a group of us get together for a hike this weekend. A month ago, I would have come up with an excuse. Today, I quickly said, “I’m in!” As my measurements shrink, my confidence grows. I like that. I like that a lot.

Many of you have asked and yes, my personal trainer, Karen, is taking on clients. Comment below and I’ll pass along her contact info. I couldn’t do this without her!

Weight Loss Wednesday #3 – The Change Begins

I’m two weeks into my training with Karen. The scale hasn’t moved nearly as quickly as I’d hoped but I’ve never been more motivated because something better has happened. I’m noticing my body changing.

Ellen Tailor Weight Loss Wednesday

Fourteen days ago, I walked into the gym insecure, nervous, and not really sure if I was ready to let go of my security blanket of extra weight. Today, I can honestly picture what I’m going to look like when I achieve my goals. Losing weight changes your life and it’s something you’ve got to get in the right head space for. Mentally I think I’m finally there. Physically, I know I’m there.

On Day #1, I was struggling just to get through 20 step-ups. (Imagine stepping up onto a bench then coming back down again. Sounds simple, right?) Today I can power through more than I can count while holding 20-pound dumbbells. On Day #1, I was able to dead lift 55lbs. Today I was able to add 10 more pounds.

Hands down, my favorite things to do are squats and push presses. It works out my legs and ass not to mention I’m really good at it! So good at it, in fact, that I’ve been able to add THIRTY POUNDS onto each exercise in just two weeks. On Day #1, I was squatting and pressing 35lbs. Today, I cleared 65lbs!

I want to work harder because if I’m already seeing results, imagine what would happen if I gave 150% percent?! With that in mind, Karen had me run. Ugh. I hate running. But if it’ll get me to where I want to be, I’ll do it. Before I could barely keep up at a 4.7mph pace. Today I was able to run at 7mph.

These numbers to an athlete probably don’t sound that fantastic. To me, the girl who spent a majority of her 20′s saying, “I’ll start tomorrow,” this is a game changer. I’m achieving many non-scale victories that are boosting my confidence. I can’t wait to embrace my 30′s as the woman I’ve spent the last 10 years dreaming about. I’ll get there! I know it!

Shoe Mistake Turned Buried Treasure

Do you know how hard it is to smile into the sun and still look normal?! I should post the outtakes from this mini-photo session because I look completely ridiculous.

I’ve been trying really hard not to buy new clothes since I’m losing weight and getting into shape. But sometimes, mama she just needs to shop! I was at Nordstrom Rack to make a return and spotted this bright tank. With the 90 degree heat in Seattle (No, it doesn’t always rain here) I knew I had to have it.

Ellen Tailor Neon Green Fringe Boho Sandals Wedges

The neon green tank was paired with my new favorite accessory. The emerald jewel necklace is handmade from 616 Couture. I believe I found them while browsing Instagram and I’ve been eyeing this necklace for weeks! I was drawn to this Etsy shop because I grew up in the 616 area code, too, but all of their pieces are beautiful. Below is a better photo of the gem. (My friends say this is my Iggy Azalea face.)

Ellen Tailor 616 Couture

Now these shoes were a complete accident. It’s no secret I love to shop using the HauteLook appHauteLook is a branch of the Nordstrom brand and offers luxury products at a discount. I love them because anything I purchase online, I can easily return to any Nordstrom Rack location. Also, shipping is free with a purchase of $100 or more. Cue these shoes.

Ellen Tailor Neon Green Fringe Boho Sandals Wedges

I needed just $10 to meet the $100 free shipping requirement so I added these boho fringe sandals knowing I’d just return them once they arrived. Strangely, out of the 6 items I ordered, these sandals were only one of two things I kept! The pictures online didn’t do them justice. What a fun and fashionable mistake that I can pair with jeans, shorts, dresses, whatever!

Ellen Tailor Neon Green Fringe Boho Sandals WedgesNew deals are on the HauteLook site daily at 8am PT and be sure to check them out because the goodies often sell out pretty quick. Check out HauteLook for yourself by clicking HERE. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. ;)

Weight Loss Wednesday #2 – Meet My Trainer

Karen Before

Meet Karen. A woman who walked the same path many women are struggling to simply get on. The path of health, fitness, and happiness. This was Karen at 260 pounds. She made the choice to change. She trained herself down to a healthy weight, losing over 100 pounds, and is now a Cross Fit coach and personal trainer. There’s no one better to coach me than a woman who’s been there and done that. If she can do it, I can do it.

Karen After

Look at her! To say she’s amazing is a true understatement! After hearing my story on the radio, a Fitz in the Morning listener suggested I meet with Karen and so I did. She opened her mouth and the cutest British accent came out. But more than that, she gets it. She knows where I am because she’s been there.

Together we made both scale and non-scale goals. She took into consideration the fact that I don’t like running. I’m self conscious of my boobs bouncing around! (We’d have to run a mile every Tuesday in high school and I remember the boys would finish then wait just to watch me. Little pervs.) Considering my hang ups, we’re focusing on a weight focused cardio workout. I don’t want to be thin. I want to be fit. I’m talking big booty hoe! I’m talking curves! I’m talking hour glass figure! I’ve got the shape, (somewhere) so move over Kim Kardashian, I’m coming for you!

As I chomped down on my salmon salad while having dinner with a friend last week, I explained to him that I’m not where I want to be but dammit, I’m going to accept what I do have and love what I’ve got. All of it. For the first time in my life, I believed it. And it scared the shit out of me.

I left dinner that night feeling great but the next morning I woke up and thought, “Why are you confident? You don’t deserve it. At least not yet.” Cue the downfall. I went off the grid. I didn’t fall off the wagon but I fell back into bad habits. I didn’t eat. I didn’t do the homework Karen had assigned. (aka I didn’t go to the gym on my own.) Sure, I didn’t binge but not eating was just as bad.

I had a training session scheduled with Karen the next morning which happened to be the 4th of July. (Remember that Karen’s British and doesn’t care about an American holiday hence the 7am workout.) I had mentally pushed aside what happened the day before but the second I saw Karen, I started to cry. All of the sudden I’m one on of those pussies I see on The Biggest Loser or Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition. There’s more to this weight than the physical and Karen is quickly becoming more than my trainer. She’s becoming a mentor, therapist, and friend.

Yuck. I hate being mushy gushy. I hate crying. I hate showing feelings other than a happy-go-lucky girl. But apparently I’ve got to get in touch. Do I use my extra weight to build a physical wall to keep people out? I don’t like letting people in. Hence why I shut Karen out. Even if it was just for a day, that was one day too long.

I cried through that workout not because it was hard but because I finally realized I am going to do this and that scared me. I’ve got my head wrapped around eating right. I’ve got the right trainer. My body is responding great to the workouts. All of this stuff is everything I wanted! Everything I tried so hard for years to achieve. And now that it’s here, I want to crawl into bed and hide. What?! That makes no sense!

I’ve been this way for so long and I’ve only dreamed of being in shape. Being in shape is months away. Granted months of hard work. But I’ve dreamed of this for close to 10 years, if not my whole life. To realize life as I know it is going to change is terrifying. Even if it is a change for the better.

We’re focusing on a strength training cardio regimen. I’ve realized I’m really good at squats. I love the way my butt looks after doing them and more importantly, I’m good at it so it helps boost my confidence! I suck at running so we don’t do it. Karen is showing me ways to get my heart rate up by doing things I actually like. Wait, there are things I actually like in the gym?! Never thought I’d say that.

Ellen Tailor Day 1

The day of my crying workout, I found peace while doing squats and asked Karen to snap a few photos. I posted this on my social media sites not because I’m proud of where I’m at. Not because I want attention. But because I need to accept what I am now. I need to love me now. I’m not saying be complacent but I’ve got to love myself. And let’s be real, this will be a great “before” photo. I don’t want my ass to get smaller but I want it tighter. And I want that weight on the bar to increase, a lot! I want to be a beast!

It’s not about the number on the scale anymore. Although yes, it does need to, and will, come down. But I want to look like I’m healthy. No. I want to be healthy! And fit! And thick! (With a tiny waist, of course. HaHa!) And with Karen’s guidance, I know I can do this.

My Chihuahua Bites

Thanks to the loyal reader who reminded me bout this perfect summer polish color! Ellen Tailor OPI My Chihuahua BitesOPI’s My Chihuahua Bites has been sitting in the back my polish collection for so long I really did forget about it. What are your go-to colors for summer?

Unboxing: Birchbox June 2014

Hello Birchbox. It’s nice to meet you. I’ve heard a lot about you. Birchbox is similar to IPSY in the sense that it’s a monthly subscription box that is delivered to your door for just $10. If you’d like to try Birchbox for yourself, click HERE. But without further adieu, my first Birchbox review for the month of June.

Ellen Tailor Birchbox 4

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser Starter Kit - This. Is. Awesome! This alone is worth the price of the Birchbox. You apply the gentle cleanser onto your dry face and neck then wet the 100% cotton muslin cloth and use it to wipe all of your makeup off along with dirt and grime. It’s so much gentler than a scrub and still exfoliates. LOVE!

Ellen Tailor Birchbox 2

Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo, Conditioner and Treatment - The shampoo is a healthy sized sample and I’m glad they included the conditioner but I personally don’t like the smell. It’s a little too flowery for me but I can see other people liking it. I’m definitely going to try the hair treatment though because that’s been my new favorite beauty product lately.

Ellen Tailor Birchbox 5

Harvey Prince Hello - Ugh. A perfume sample? When you initially fill out your Birchbox profile there’s an option to receive only 6 perfume samples per year. This is my third box and third perfume sample. Meh.

Ellen Tailor Birchbox 3

Supergoop! Everyday SPF 30 - This is a small sample and also something I don’t really use. However, this is a good little size to pack in your purse and for travel.

Cynthia Rowley Beauty Eyeliner - I’ll never complain about eyeliner! While this is half the size of a normal stick, the formula is quality. I used it last night and it didn’t smudge or travel down my face. I like!

Over all the verdict is still out on BirchboxIPSY has more streamline brands while Birchbox is a little more high end. If Birchbox can lay off the perfume, I’d be a much happier customer. I’m still keeping my subscription and if you’d like one too, click HERE.

Weight Loss Wednesday – #1

In order to move forward, we must first look back. I’ve got to understand and accept why and how I’ve gotten to this point. Sad, lonely, insecure. A little over a year ago, I wrote an unapologetically real and uncensored post about exactly what raced through my head. Actually, I shouldn’t use the past tense. These words still race through my head. Below are a few exceprts from that post. (To read it in its entirety, click HERE. My Personal and Private Struggle with Weight, Body Image, and Self-Confidence)

  • The extra pounds I carry might as well be a neon lit sign shining brightly that screams, “I’m not in control!”
  • I’ve put off life experiences because I think I’ll be able to enjoy them more without this extra weight.
  • My weight is a physical barrier for the emotional wall I’ve put up, especially with men.
  • My confidence shield is just a show. Yes, I have a lucrative job. Yes, I’m an independent woman. And yes, I’m funny from time to time. But don’t mistake any of that for confidence. I’m not confident at all.
  • My outside, my fat exterior, screams that I’m scared, unhappy, and extremely self-conscious. That makes my inside ugly and weak and no one wants to be around that, including me.

Truthfully, I can’t bring myself to read the entire post. It takes me back to a place I never thought I’d be at again but after a rollercoaster of emotions during the past month, here I am. In my own personal hell.

I got in the right mindset. I got my diet right. I got back together with a trainer I trusted. A friend who I could I let my guard down with. But after less than a month, he stopped showing up. He stopped answering my calls. He completely stopped.

It makes me so sad. Why did he give up on me? I worked hard. Why didn’t he? My nightmare came true. Not only was he my trainer. He was my friend. And he dropped me. He didn’t care. He doesn’t care. Screw him. I care.

Below you’ll hear a clip from the morning radio show I co-host. This is the most real radio I’ve done, ever. Listen as I share about my recent disappointment and my cry for help.

So what now? After that clip aired, I was bombarded with messages from friends and strangers alike. I read every tweet, email, and text. I was overwhelmed but through it all, I discovered a couple of new potential trainers. This week I’ll be meeting with them and planning my new route to success.

This journey is about making yourself happy. The only way to be happy a week, a month, a year from now is to simply start today. Be happy with one day. Go to bed tonight knowing you accomplished one day because that’s all it takes to start! Just one day.

Please stay tuned for more “Weight Loss Wednesday” posts and in the meantime, you’ll still get what you expect from this blog. More “What’s Ellen Tailor Wearing” photos, favorite beauty products, and more.

Thank you for sharing this journey with me.

Unboxing: IPSY May & June 2014

Wow. So I’m late. (If you ask my friends, there’s nothing surprising about this.) Below you’ll see what was in my IPSY bags for both May and June. Stop back on Thursday for my first Birchbox unboxing!

If you don’t know, for $10 a month IPSY sends 4-5 beauty products (think make-up, hair, lotions, etc.) that are customized just for you and delivered in a super cute GLAM BAG.

Here’s what came in my May bag:

Ellen Tailor IPSY MayOk. Honesty time. This was my least favorite IPSY bag I’ve ever gotten. The theme was “fresh picks” and I can appreciate what they were trying to do but it’s not what I expect from them.

Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask - I’m ALL about hair treatments. More so now that I’ve dyed my hair lighter and it’s become a little dry. I’ll probably give this a shot but the fact I’ve had it for almost 2 months and haven’t tried it yet is a sign, right?

derma e Microdermabrasion Scrub - I love scrubs like this! But again, I’ve had it for a while and still haven’t thought to use it.

Hey Honey Take It Off! Exfoliating Honey Peel Off Mask - Another product I’d like in theory BUT what the heck?! There’s no directions on how to use it. Instead there’s a website that I’m supposed to visit so I can figure out how it works? No thanks.

Jersey Shore Sun – Sans Tan Anti-aging Sunscreen - Meh. Sunscreen might as well be a throw away product for me. 1) I have an olive complexion and rarely burn. 2) I live in Seattle.

Pacifica Mineral Eyeshadow Duo - Everything about this shadow is wrong. The colors are gross. It’s chalky. And it broke!

After that horrible bag, could IPSY redeem themselves with their June bag? See below…

Ellen Tailor IPSY JuneDing! Ding! Ding! The Rebecca Minkoff Glam Bag alone makes this month’s bag WAY better than lasts! What’s inside was great, too, including my favorite lip gloss ever.

NYX Butter Gloss - omg. My lip gloss drawer (Yes, I have an entire drawer) is filled with this stuff! NYX is, hands down, THE BEST lip gloss ever. The pigmentation is amazing. It feels great on your lips. And it’s super affordable! NYX is sold at Nordstrom Rack and Target but just recently my local Fred Meyer started carrying it. The best part? This gloss is only $5! Do yourself a favor and try it out.

Skinn Olive & Enzyme Cleanser - Another cleanser. I’m never opposed to them because it saves me from buying full size products and these are great to travel with.

Marc Anthony Dream Waves Beach Spray - This came at the perfect time of year. Who doesn’t want those gorgeous beach waves for summer?? With my new lighter hair color I’m excited to try this out.

Jesse’s Girl Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner - I’ve gotten this brand before from IPSY but this was the first one I really liked. The liner isn’t runny and it’s quite manageable.

Be A Bombshell Lash Out Mascara - I can never have enough mascara! This is another brand I wish IPSY would take a break from but I like mascara so I’ll forgive them this month.

All in all, I’m still in love with IPSY. Not every bag is going to be my most favorite but that’s the point of this! Try out new products you wouldn’t normally try out yourself. And honestly, it’s not like I hated May’s bag. It just wasn’t my favorite and that’s ok.

If you want to try IPSY out for yourself, which you totally should, click the link here — IPSY. What’d you get in your bag? Also, remember to check back on Thursday for my first ever Birchbox review.


Boy Toys & Hip Hop

What else needs to be said for this “Throwback Thursday” post? Sunshine, maxi skirt, and a shirt that says it all! Boy Toys & Hip Hop. Comfy, casual, and cute. This is probably my favorite outfit of the summer so far.

Ellen Tailor Boy Toys & Hip Hop Zumiez Maxi Skirt

Top – Zumiez

Skirt – JCPenney

(Click the links to purchase online! The skirt is currently on clearance, too.)

Note: I’m continuously adding items to my Poshmark closet. There you can purchase items, most of which were featured on this blog. Click HERE to shop my closet. If you haven’t signed up for Poshmark yet, use the code HFZCI for a $5 credit!

Super Bowl Ring Selfie

Ellen Tailor Super Bowl Ring Seattle Seahawks Greg ScruggsI think I took more selfies with the Super Bowl ring than Greg Scruggs has! Greg is a defensive end for the Seahawks, my co-host on the Beauty & The Champ podcast, and most importantly, my friend. Listen to our podcast for an inside look about what really happened the night they got their rings. Go Hawks!

PS. New Beauty & The Champ podcasts are up every Monday and Thursday. Please rate, review and subscribe on iTunes or listen here! And follow us on Twitter @G_Scruggs & @EllenTailor

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