New Year: New Changes, New Discoveries, New Plans

Hello lovelies, and happy belated New Year!

It’s been so long since I’ve posted anything at all (about 7-8 months to be exact). During this time, I’ve moved, gotten myself a little job, started GETTING HEALTHY & just been exploring everything I can with my family when we have the chance. Since I’ve moved, things have changed a little. I’m still obsessed with beauty, I think I just grew tired of updating and taking photos of everything that I buy or try. Plus, the room that I have my vanity in doesn’t have the greatest light (the one window that’s in there peers directly across into my neighbor’s window.. so much for privacy), so that doesn’t help either. I may still do some beauty reviews, but probably not as many as before.

The most important change that has happened in my life since I last blogged, happened in June of last year. I made some big changes in my life and started getting healthy. In a previous post, I wrote about how discouraged I was with getting healthy and losing weight, how I had absolutely no motivation whatsoever to work out even though I absolutely hated my body.. And no matter how much I tried, I could not get up and move. I just couldn’t. But I think maybe the big move we made had some sort of effect on how I felt. I think maybe I just needed a change of atmosphere. I hated the state we were in before which may have done something to my psyche that I wasn’t aware of at the time, but about a month after we moved here something FINALLY clicked. It just came out of nowhere, and I was ready to make that change! I’ve lost almost 30 lbs. since then and I’m still going because I have quite a bit more to lose, but I haven’t stopped since. I owe a lot of it to myfitnesspal – I’m one of the laziest people you’ll ever meet, so tracking information all day was one of the last things I wanted to do.. Who wants to track eeevery single meal or snack that you eat every single day? But it’s really just too easy to do and it’s become such a habit for me, I couldn’t stop if I wanted to. It’s like an addiction. I love seeing where I’m at during the day. In fact, I need to or else I’d never know when to stop. Of course since I’ve been doing it for months now, I’ve become a lot more conscious of the calorie content within many foods that I eat, which is nice to know when you’re trying to track these things. I’m not “dieting”, I’ve changed my life style. I watch what I eat and I work out 4-6x a week for at least an hour each sesh. I’m not perfect, though, you can check my MFP diary to see that! Some advice I did take from Youtube videos and blogs and things was that it can be very hard to completely remove certain things from your diet for good and it’s wise to not put those kind of restrictions on yourself because it can really make your journey a lot more difficult. I would never make it if I said I was cutting out all unhealthy food for good. I still eat pizza. I love sweets and desserts, I can’t help it. It’s in my blood! But I limit my intake now, whereas before I could (and would) eat a whole package of Chips Ahoy in a day! Things are definitely looking up for me and I’m so happy I’m on this journey now. It truly is a lifestyle change. If any of you have myfitnesspal, please add me! My name on there is koofers.

I also discovered within the past year that I have a condition called Lipedema, sometimes referred to as Lipoedema (you can learn more about it here if you’re interested). I’m not good at explaining what it is because I’m still learning about it myself, but basically it’s an adipose tissue disorder that literally makes my legs (and those who are effected) look like tree trunks. The arms can be effected as well. It can cause a lot of pain within the legs, certain foods can cause them to swell up more, and it can take a toll on overall mobility, depending on the severity or stage of the case. I may post a photo here one day just so people can see what I’m talking about, but it’s not something I’m completely comfortable with yet. However, I do think it’s extremely important to get the word out about it. There are so many women who are just starting to figure out that they have this disorder since it’s not something that many doctors are aware of. Most women weren’t even aware it was a known disorder, so finding out that it actually has a name and an existence is very comforting to know. Insurance companies in the US are not currently covering treatment, whether it be compression stockings or WAL liposuction, because it isn’t a current disorder that’s recognized in the medical/coding system here in the US. Lipedema is more known about in Europe and has been  treated in Europe (especially in Germany) for some time now, but the word in the Western world is getting out. Many of the women who have had treatment have been fighting hard with their insurance companies for reimbursement, and from what I’ve seen, it’s no walk in the park. For me, the condition started when I was probably around 12 years old. That was when I realized that my legs were “fat” and definitely abnormal. I haven’t worn shorts, skirts or dresses since then. It’s unfortunately something those of us who have it can’t control. I could become as skinny as a twig, but my legs are never ever going to be proportionate to the rest of my body. No matter how hard you work out or how much you change your eating habits, that extra fatty tissue is not going to budge. There is lots of research on the internet, information that you can find on Lipedema if you’re interested in finding out more. There’s also a great Facebook page that I’ve recently discovered for Lipedema-havin’ ladies like myself. It’s been so amazing to finally have an answer to my problem after years of not knowing or understanding why my legs don’t look like everybody else’s. I plan on flying out to see a specialist in October, but until then, I’ll be getting labs ready and will be doing productive things in the meantime while I wait.

On another note, something that I am very passionate about right now (nothing new) is my desire to travel. I’ve never been outside of the US unless you count Canada, when my siblings and I went with my mother years ago for like a day. I recently discovered that I have access to some very discounted flight tickets and plan on making a trip out to Europe this year if all goes as planned! My heart races every time I think about it! I’ve been doing loads and loads of research, checked out lots of library books, just trying to figure out where I want to go and how I’m going to do it in X amount of days. I’ll be traveling alone which is scary to me. Of course I’d much rather travel with a friend, but I don’t have any that are able or willing to go, so I’m forced to go it alone! I’m a very shy person so I’m not sure how this is going to work out , but I will find a way. I’m also not sure what to choose, between creating my own itinerary or possibly doing some sort of tour. I want to be able to do everything that I dream of doing, but A – I don’t have the money, nor time for that in one trip and B – I’m not willing to drive in Europe (not yet anyway) so I think that limits things greatly for me. I don’t have a huge budget to work with, otherwise there would be no question, I would definitely create my own itinerary. I really want to visit London, Scotland, Germany, Austria and France, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to find a way to afford all of that if I decide to go the tour route. I may have to settle on just the UK for now and hope that I have another chance to visit the other countries I’m wanting to see another time.

If any of my Euro buddies out there have any tips or advice, please let me know!

Blog Change + Net-a-porter & Charlotte Tilbury

It’s been a long time again. I’ve been wanting to start blogging about makeup. I’ve been thinking about it quite often, but haven’t brought myself to do so yet. I think we need more beauty bloggers of color – because whenever I search for reviews/swatches, they’re almost never on someone of my skin tone, so it makes it a bit hard to figure out what it’ll look like on me. I wonder if other girls have this issue as well, so I’d like to start doing that soon! I’m no expert by any means, but if I can post looks and swatches with the makeup I have and buy, it might do somebody some good.

With that said, I’m so excited for my biggest (or most expensive) ever haul yet! I finally scooped up some Charlotte Tilbury makeup! I’ve been literally dreaming about her makeup for months. Net-a-porter was offering free international shipping (I couldn’t bring myself to pay £25 which is a whole ‘nother product that could be bought) so I took advantage of that pretty much the second I got that e-mail. It took me a few hours to decide what exactly I was going to get, but I finally settled upon a few lovely products. They didn’t have the exact blush & lip colours I wanted so I had to settle for different ones, but I know they’ll work out perfectly. Maybe once she starts shipping internationally through her site (depending on the cost), I’ll be able to pick up some more. I’ve also been eyeing a couple of her brushes, but I’m not willing to buy a whole set right now. I took a few pictures of the packaging (so cute!) and will have more to come once I purchase my vanity & get that all set up, hopefully this weekend. My package literally only took TWO days to get here from the UK (take THAT, Sephora!). I ordered it on Monday and it WOULD have gotten here Wednesday, but I wasn’t home to sign for it so I had to wait a WHOLE EXTRA excruciatingly, painfully long day. When I received my package it was so cutely & efficiently packed. It came in a sleek black Net-a-porter box (they even sent a complimentary tape measure! I get excited about the most ridiculous things) with black tissue paper and all the products inside a zip-locked bubble wrap package. The only downfall is that my Bar of Gold came crumbled to bits. 😦 I e-mailed them pretty much immediately, so I hope it’ll be able to get resolved quickly & efficiently. I’ve read a few nightmare stories about their customer service, so I hope it goes smoothly. Anyway, here are the teaser pictures and I’ll have more to come (hopefully with swatches and looks) soon!