Monday, August 16, 2010


I posed a challenge to my family last week... well, not really a challenge, just a little inspiration to workout. I vowed to lose 5lbs by Labor Day weekend.  Pretty much everyone followed my lead, and we're all planning to announce our SUCCESSES when we meet up for Labor Day.  I'm doing a pretty darn good job so far.  For me, all it takes is a watching my calorie intake & eating the right foods.  I have the workout part down.  It's not a problem for me.  I love to exercise... it's generally my favorite part of the day.  I've already lost 4lbs, so 5 will be no problem.  Between you & me, I really plan to lose 10lbs... so we'll see how it goes.  My motto for my birthday was "Eat, Drink & Be Merry", so I'm making up for it now.

The picture above was taken this past weekend at a wonderful luncheon I was invited to.  It was a celebration of Fifty Fabulous Women... and I must say it was incredible! I met some great women, and it was such a beautiful day, as you can see in the picture.  As you can also see, I wore a strapless dress... let me tell you, JoLai does not do strapless!  One, I am well endowed, and it's just weird to not have bra straps... two, I never liked showing my arms.  When my trainer, Claudine, saw me at the luncheon, she was soooo proud of me.  She's been working my arms & shoulders to death!  I asked for it, and she's giving it to me.  The dress is from The Gap... and I'm pretty sure I've had it for a decade.  LOL.  I was digging through the closet & found it.  Cheers to me!  It'll be too big soon, so someone else can enjoy it next summer... unless I take it to my tailor to have it nipped in... I kinda like it.

With my girlfriends, Nichol & Stacy

The view was amazing!

Oh, before I go, I wore one of the dresses from my last post... it's the one I wore to Jon & Leslie's wedding.  It's definitely gonna be too big soon.  I wore it to a bridal shower last weekend... with my Calvin Klein wedges that I love...

FYI, Leslie's blog is back up & running at:

That's all for now.... next post I'm considering sharing my "before" pictures.  I look at them & thank God that He positioned me to be READY to make this change in my life three years ago!!!


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Right To Bare Arms...

Before I start... I want to say THANK YOU to my sister, Dr. Kimberly Manning, for writing about me in her fabulous blog... here's the link to the post: Reflection on Tuesday: No Excuses

Okay... here we go!

I've never been a super girly girl... I'm much more at home in jeans and a t-shirt with flip-flops... or sweats and sneakers... My job is very casual, and when I do wear a dress, it's like the talk of the whole floor.  LOL.  Because I don't wear dresses & skirts to work very often, I like to wear them when I go out.  I love to buy dresses, and I love to wear dresses.

Here I am again in my signature pose... haha!

One change that has happened in the last year is that I've become a bit more confident about showing my arms.  There is probably no part of my body that I struggle with more than my arms.  When I was on heavy doses of prednisone for my colitis back in 2001, my body swelled up like a balloon.  And my arms GREW (along with everything else), so I have some stretch marks on the back of my arms that I really don't like.  After a lot of soul searching, I have learned to accept all of my "battle scars" from my struggle with ulcerative colitis.  As I've worked out & lost weight, my arms have gotten smaller.  Now, I don't mind showing them.  I'm still not super happy with them, but I'm not gonna wear a shawl all night to cover them either.

In the coming months, I have a LOT of events to attend.... my BMFF's wedding, luncheons, holiday parties, etc.  And I have a LOT of dresses to wear.  I'm just about confident in a size 10 these days (especially if the dress has some stretch to it!), so a lot of my size 12 dresses are about to be too big.... which means I need to wear them before the end of the year!

I've taken some pictures of some of the dresses I'll be wearing in the coming months... and you'll see that many of them are sleeveless :-)

Love this one... it's definitely a summery dress... may save it to wear to my BFF's wedding in Hawaii next June... but, I will probably find something else before then :-)

This is such a great little black dress I got from Ross. It has side pockets & ties in the back.  The current problem with this dress is that is is SHORT... shows a bit more thigh than I'm comfortable showing (right now), but it might be great for a holiday party if I work extra hard!

You can't really tell from the picture, but this is kind of iridescent.  It fits great right now... will probably be too big in the top soon.  I love it enough to take it to my tailor & get it nipped in on the sides.  Looks short on the picture, but it's a good length for me.  I'm pretty sure it came from Ross or Marshall's.

A recent purchase from Banana Republic.  I'm pretty sure I'm wearing it to my BMFF's wedding in a couple of weeks.  It's silk, and I love it.  Kinda proud of myself for choosing color to wear to this wedding instead of playing it safe in black.

Also snatched this up at BR.  It's kinda thick, and would be great for a holiday work function.  

You guessed it... BR!  Shirt dress with a slip dress underneath.  Thinking of wearing this to a luncheon I'm going to in a couple weeks... It's super cute.  I see my Calvin Klein wedge sandals going with this perfectly...

This dress is pretty old... in fact, I know exactly when I got it, because I wore it to Jon & Leslie's wedding. LOL.  It's just about too big now, but I may be able to get one more wear out of it.  It's brown and white.  By the way, you can check out Leslie's fashion blog at FASHION du jour.  It's a great site with great fashion tips & ideas!

This is a chocolate brown dress... simple... and cap sleeved.  I am not a cap sleeve girl at all.  Nothing is more unflattering to my arms than a cap sleeve... I have a feeling this one will be given away.  By the time I'm okay to wear it... I'll be too small for it.

This is a black dress... it is a semi-heavy satin-like fabric, but it has print as well.  It's really cute from one of my favorite stores, White House/Black Market.  I definitely need to wear this one to a holiday party this year, because it will FOR SURE be too big in a few months.

Finally... I just added this one because it's in my closet.  I am sure I got it at Ross/Marshalls/TJMaxx, and I'm sure it was probably about ten bucks.  It's actually very cute, but right now it is too tight.  I'll step out in this one next year... for someone's 40th birthday party... in some hot gold sandals... :-)

There you have it.... looking at all these sleeveless dresses makes me want to do some more pushups & triceps kickbacks before I hit the hay.... Toodles!!!