Is It Time To Give Tough Mudder A Go?

It’s the season to create some personal goals. Well, it could be any season, as I say that all the time! Right now, I‘m contemplating a Tough Mudder. I fancy a challenge. I fancy new exercise clothes. And I fancy myself as a strong woman fighting through the mud to victorious applause.

What Is Thing Called A Tough Mudder?

Quite simply put, it’s a hardcore military-style challenge. More than likely, the hardest you’ll ever undertake. You’ll be put you through 10-12 miles of muddy terrain and taxing obstacles just so you can prove how tough you are. What I like about this event is that they don’t have winners and you’re not racing against anyone’s time. You have to have team members and it’s starting to make sense why. The idea is to support each other, fundraise for good causes and prove to yourself that you can rise to the challenge. The obstacles are team orientated (read heaving each other up through thick mud and dirty water) and really freakin’ hard. They promise 500,000 gallons of grade-A mud, 40 tons of ice, Electroshock Therapy and over 20 world-class obstacles. Are they insane? It would appear so. But they seem to be in good company. The founders of Tough Mudder call it a “butt-kicking” experience. And after my soul-destroying Soulcycle experience, perhaps it’s time for a new focus.

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Image found on Flickr

Am I Tough Enough?

I guess none of us know until we get there. Figures say that only 78% get over the finish line. But if we do sign up to a Tough Mudder, we can definitely say we are brave. Running such a challenging course is going to take some preparation. And I don’t just mean buying some nice new gear that, let’s face it, is going to be too grubby to take home anyway. I’m talking about endurance training, weight lifting, healthy eating and trial runs.

Preparation is Key

What prep can you do? As we know, the event is all about teamwork and helping your own team and new friends up and across all those obstacles. You’ll need physical strength and mental stamina. Before doing such a challenge it’s worth training for at least three months. This is serious stuff! Incorporate running, jogging, weightlifting, skipping, push-ups and boxing into your new regime. Experts say that nootropics can give you more mental energy and focus, so it may be worth adding these to your diet too. Look out for classes near you that do circuit, obstacle and military training. You don’t want to be the only one at the event that can’t even lift one sack of sand. Try training outside, in the rain and on all different terrains. Use kettlebells, do quick-fire rounds of squats and work on your flexibility, agility and balance.

Is it Worth It?

Well, over $6.5 million has been raised for charity so far and over 2 million Tough Mudder participants seem to think it’s worth it. The question is; will you dare be one of them too?

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Sure-Fire Ways to Lose 8 Pounds in 4 Weeks

When trying to lose weight there are lots of questions we have to ask. What are our lifestyle habits like? Do we live a relatively sedentary existence? Could we fit more exercise in each week? We also need to look at our eating behaviours. Do we tend to consume a lot of sugar, bread and pasta? Do we go for fast food rather than the healthier option? When answering these questions it often helps to keep a diary of our actions to see where we are falling short. But what we all really want to know is; how can we shift 8 pounds in 4 weeks? Below, I’ll go through some sure-fire ways to drop the pounds.

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Image source: Public Domains

 

Let’s get your shape out of the way first. You can work out which body type you fall into by following a simple chart. Once you know where your problem areas are you can start tackling them head on. You then need to work out realistic goals. Can you commit to four days in the gym per week? Would you rather go swimming? Can you adopt the HIIT approach?  Are you able to drop 1,000 calories off your food intake each day? You need to ask yourself; what works best for you?

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Image credit: Commons.Wikimedia   

 

How can you lose weight in a healthy, natural way? How can you keep the weight off permanently?

Ways to do this include:

1.)  Hard but sure-fire – cutting out sugar, bread and pasta

2.)  Aim to consume no more than 1,200-1,500 calories per day

3.)  Amp up the exercise – from walking and running to yoga and Pilates

4.)  Ease up on the alcohol

5.)  Drink more water and only snack when you need to

6.)  Go steady on portion sizes and eat most calories before noon

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Found on Free Stock Photos

 

I wrote a blog post this year about small changes to make, and you can read it here to get motivated. Some people prefer to take baby steps on their weight loss journey and others prefer a hard-hitting approach. Do what works for you. The best diets for some people are aided by natural weight loss supplements that can be used in addition to a healthy eating plan. These supplements help to break down and block fat, suppress appetite and speed up the metabolism. Celebrities, trainers and bodybuilders often use these to aid weight loss. But you also have to put in hard work and dedication for a weight loss plan to work. One of the hardest parts of dieting is staying motivated and breaking habitual cravings. You can do this by getting a friend on board to encourage you along the way or perhaps keeping a photo diary of your results. There also lots of Apps out there that help you with your progress and keep you on track.

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Image source: Pixaby  

 

The biggest and easiest start to weight loss is the simplest. Keep moving.  Our lives are ever more sedentary – from desk jobs and commuting to hours in front of the television and on social media. We’re never going to stop these things, but we can certainly balance them out with movement. Do something you enjoy and you have more chance of sticking at it. That could be rock climbing or weight lifting, samba dancing or tap. You’ll find your groove, and you’ll feel all the better for it. If you’re not inclined to sign up for gruelling exercise regimes, the best thing you can do is walk more. It’s an easy and rewarding way to burn up to 450-500 calories a day. If you can walk 10,000 steps a day (5 miles), you can burn up to 450 calories. Walking not only aids weight loss but is also beneficial for combatting mental health, dementia, diabetes and high cholesterol.

These are just a few awesome tips that can change the way you live and help you on your path to losing 8 pounds in 4 weeks. It is possible, and you can do it!

I Need To Think of a Title First.

After reading some of my new posts since re-launching ThriftyFashionista a good friend of mine announced that she wanted to start a blog as well. “DO IT!” I exclaimed. “I need to think of a title first”.  “No!” I told her! “That’s the least important part of starting a blog!” She just laughed and that’s the last we spoke on it.

So here we are. As a non-professional blogger, with multiple Tumblr accounts and close to 100 unfinished blog posts in the “notes” app on my phone , I have decided to speak about the art of blogging when you have no idea where to begin. All of these tips are my own opinions based on things I have done right, and things I have done wrong in the 9 years since ThriftyFashionista was conceived.

1.YOU DON’T NEED TO BE A “WRITER” TO WRITE

Over my 31 years on this planet I have called my self many things but “writer” was not one of them. Even though I have always been one. My obsession with writing began before I could even read when I would dictate stories to my mom and she would fill notebooks for me. When I was old enough to fill my own notebooks I couldn’t have enough of them. To this day nothing is better then a fresh blank book with lined pages. They are stacked around my apartment. Full, half full, and never used. Writing is the therapy I never thought I could afford and writing thoughts down (instead of speaking them out loud) has saved many a relationship in my life. If you have a thought or an opinion on something, anything, you can have a blog. My favorite blogs are full of stories and thoughts from the mind of the person writing them. Even with fashion blogs, I love the story behind the outfit, the inspiration, etc -but that doesn’t mean I don’t love a blog full of beautiful photography. Some of the best are the ones with an equal balance between the two. Point of all this: You can have a blog if you have a thought. Just sign up, and start writing to see where it takes you!

2. WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW 

Yes, this is so cliche I know, but it is so very true. When I started blogging it was at the beginning of the fashion blogger boom. I read Fashion Toast and other bigger fashion blogs everyday wanting to be just like them, so I tried to emulate their posts. The way they talked about their clothes and fashion. Their play by plays on NYFW, etc. When really my heart was wrapped up in things like thrifting, flipping clothing for profit, styling, costuming, theatre,and health and fitness. A wide range of topics? yes! All what made me ME? For sure! It took me 9 years to realize that it was okay for me to talk about my feelings in my “fashion” blog. That just made it more of a “lifestyle” blog.

3. BE CONSISTENT

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Do as I say, not as I do.

I am the least consistent person I know (well, maybe not the least). In any case I have so many ideas running through my head at all times that more often then not I get absolutely nothing done. My goal is to post to this blog every other day, but does that happen? Hell nah. Other things get in the way. This is something I have struggled with my whole entire life and something I have been working towards fixing more and more over the last couple of months. Working for yourself can be a challenge because you have to create your own structure and there is more often then not, NO ONE around to make sure you are sticking to your planned schedule. The struggle is real in this aspect. So what has been helpful for me? When I have a “down” moment (this can be when you are waiting for the subway, driving somewhere, in line at the grocery store) I think of a few topics I want to talk about on the blog then as soon as I get home I create “draft” posts for these topics. That way when I have a moment to write* I already have something to write about that I have thought about already. Ideas that just need to be fleshed out. This also leaves more time for fun things like taking pictures!

*More on this in a “moment”

4. DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS

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This is just a great, everyday life lesson. Just another thing I need to practice everyday in my own life. For this particular topic I will use myself as an example.

Truth be told I have been contemplating coming back to fashion blogging for a long time. I love having multiple creative outlets. It’s what makes me a whole person . Over the past 3 or so years I have had no where to go that I actually needed to get dressed for. In fact I spent, and still spend most of my time in gym clothes and sweatpants. I liked the idea of picking out outfits and taking pictures again, really talking about my love of thrifting, etc. After looking through some popular fashion and lifestyle blogs I started to get discouraged. These days lots of girl’s hire professional photographers and take photos weeks in advance to use for their blog. Their content is meticulously planned and less spontaneous. They have real photo shop skills and great lighting in their apartments. 2 things I do NOT have. After a particularly rough year I said “F-IT”. My blog didn’t need all of that. I would write for myself with my own voice – and sometimes with NO photos *gasp*. This was MY BLOG. If it was too wordy then no one had to read it. All that mattered is how I felt about it. These days I choose to focus on how lucky I am to have a voice at all.

5. TAKE A MOMENT

 

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Depending on your type of personality you might choose to write and schedule many posts on advance, or you might choose to just write when the feeling moves you. The best part of blogging is that you are taking a moment for yourself to reflect on something. If you feel like you don’t have the time I can guarantee that you do. Log off of Facebook and put your thoughts into a place that just belongs to you.You can even turn your comments off.

So is there an art to having a successful blog? I’m sure there is. For now I am just focused on the 5 points I have written about above, and hope that maybe my voice and experiences can inspire of help someone else.

 

 

 

THE PURGE: A 3 PART SERIES

Because I have been buying & selling clothes and accessories FOREVER  on every shopping trip I wind up picking something (or many somethings) up for myself. While these items basically become free after everything else is sold that doesn’t mean that all these items don’t take up a massive amount of space in my apartment.

While I am blessed with 2 floors, I still have all my comic con stuff, my Poshmark stuff, 4 animals, and a husband in here as well.

*Whew*

I do a fast closet clean every month and a big clean out between seasons, but lately things have gotten out of hand. I have too much.

The upside? I am inspired to write this 3 part series about how to purge your closet and life, and how to make room for new items so that everything you own is something you LOVE.

Imagine that?

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Throwback Tuesday// Plastic Hanger Closet Purge Circa 2008

The first post will be up tomorrow and will focus on Clothing

We will then move into Part 2: Bags & Accessories

Part 3: Jewelry

See you tomorrow!

Life Update: POSHMARK (Shop My Closet)

Since I stopped selling vintage full time I have been jumping around between a few different gigs. My most favorite at the moment is doing television background work and I have had so much fun working on some of my favorite tv shows. I love television and spending a full day behind the scenes on set is as fun as it gets! My love for clothing and fashion has not wavered one bit and while working for a buy and sell website last year doing their social media I was lucky enough to (re)discover Poshmark (if you are thinking about downloading this awesome app PLEASE use my code: BPIL you get $10 to spend and I get $10 when you make your first purchase!) I had shopped on Poshmark in the past but within hours of putting up my first few items (from a bag of clothing I was about to donate) I started to make sales! Since Poshmark is also a social app it’s easy to get addicted to it. I have curated so many amazing gently used items into my “closet” and am so excited to use this blog as a place to show off my new available items, and also to show off some of my amazing finds!

If you have been reading my blog for any amount of time you know how much I LOVE a good deal and poshmark is truly guilt free shopping!

I hope you will take a look and join me on there.

Also, Poshmark did NOT ask me to write this post. I am just so excited about my new venture I had to share!

 

You Keep Sayin’ No, No, No, No, No – When It’s really still No No No No No

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This is my second time writing this post. The first version was poetic and filled with mystery. “Was she really talking about what I think she’s talking about?”.

I’m on the subway now. I am on my Iphone working to try and flesh it all out but I re-read it and I hated it. WTF am I even talking about? referencing the Phoenix and the death of dreams. I honestly ask myself who I think I even am a few times a week. Maybe when I started writing I was still in pain and couldn’t find my words. Let’s go with that.

Well I have found them now. I also have found the purpose of this post ( besides publicly bitching to make myself feel better – let’s be real).

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When I began the process for auditioning for Soulcycle (December 2013) I googled A LOT. What was the process like? How did people succeed? How did they fail? There were a few blog posts* and articles. A search now will yield even more information including a New Yorker article published early last month with interviews with much of the training team who I had spent the last 3 years taking class with.

What’s missing out there is MY story.

Not that my story is unique – there are a lot of people out there (I’m sure?) who have auditioned as many times as I have but there is no one writing about it. There is no one out there letting all the others know that it’s okay to fail and to put yourself out there as many times as you can actually stand it – and still not succeed in getting what you want.

*sigh*

First of all let’s not pretend for one second that I am over any of this. I had to physically unsubscribe from the email list, and unfollow anyone who works there off of Facebook to stop the sting. I don’t want to say I’ll never go back to class but I’m an overly emotional person and it hurts so much I need distance.

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I am breaking up with you Soulcycle.

You never wanted to be with me anyway.

(DRAMATIC)

Here is the number:

I auditioned for the SoulCycle training program 6 times over 2.5 years.

I am not going to take this space to speculate on the WHY’S I never made it to the second round of interviews or the “callback”- because that sends me down a rabbit hole of self doubt. Instead I’m going to just accept that I am not what they wanted and don’t expect I ever will be since I don’t plan on changing any part of myself (except maybe my hair color).

But Here is the good part: I auditioned for Soulcycle SIX TIMES!

I did not give up after 1,2,3,4,5 Rejections emails ( The same email in fact)

I kept going. I kept riding, I kept trying to improve my body and in the end I rode front and center in every class. I had strangers telling me how good I was, how much fun I was to ride next to, and how I helped them keep the beat.

For someone who grew up not knowing right from left ( I have dyscalculia – directional dyslexia to put it simply) this is one of my greatest accomplishments. Soulcycle became physical therapy… for my brain. No rejection email can ever take that away from me.

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This is some Instagram Real-ness

There are few dreams I’ve had that I’ve wanted as badly as to be a Soulcycle instructor:

1. To be Mimi in RENT ( luckily I still look young so still a chance)

2. To be with Adam ( we are married, check)

3. To get into NYU & FIT (check,check)

Because I learned that working hard and showing up can often yield positive results that’s what I did, and I fell in love. I used every positive affirmation, candle spell, manifestation trick in the book and here I am with another rejection email in my trash folder. Maybe there is something else I need to be doing right now, and I should just accept that. I can say with 100% confidence that I tried as many times as my heart could handle.

If you had asked me 2 years ago I would say

NEVER STOP

NEVER GIVE UP

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But at 31 years old I have reached a point where if something is not working I need to try something else- or go a different way. I have no more energy, anger or tears for this.

If you have auditioned for Soulcycle (or anything really) and gotten that email. With no explanation and no why’s – don’t give up. Keep going until you physically can’t, keep trying until you can’t breathe. Put every ounce of your energy and life and soul into your dreams until they come true in the way you want or in ways you never even thought possible.

Put yourself out there! Even if it’s to the same people all 6 times and they know your name. Show them how you shine even when you’re terrified of failure.

My heart is full because I know I did my best and because of all the support and love around me and that helps the sharp stabs of pain I sometimes still feel. Is it sadness? Is it ego? Is it envy? Yes for sure, all of that, but I wouldn’t go back and change a thing

xoxo

*Hallie Wilson Is a Chicago based Soulcycle Instructor who runs the awesome fashion blog Corals & Cognacs. I had the pleasure of auditioning with her in August 2014 and she made it through on her second try. Her story is awesome!

A Fashion Moment: Gladiator Sandals

First of all, before I get into my new fashion segment post I call “A Fashion Moment” – I need you to head over to Ebates and sign up now! I never, ever shop without it because you get cash back just from buying stuff – it goes right into your Paypal account every 2-3 months as cash. This is tottally relavant to what I am about to post because one of my favorite online stores Shopbop.com is having it’s friends and family sale right now  (ENTER CODE: INTHEFAM @ checkout) and on top of 25% off your purchase Ebates is offering 6% cash back! Discounts like these make me feel like I am getting away with something. (But I’m not).

So coupon code in hand (or e-mail) I was ready to pick out the perfect pair of gladiator sandals to complete every spring/summer outfit of my dreams. For those of you who don’t know Spring/Summer are my favorite months of the year and I LOVE buying clothes for them. I love dresses, I love jackets, I love tank tops and I love the sun.

I try to pick a theme every year to help myself out when I shop. Mostly because then I have an excuse to put together a pretty extensive Pinterest board. I have been doing these wishlists for YEARS. Some of them are pretty embaressing, but that’s okay because I’m sure I will always be embaressed by something. This summer is all about rocker boho. I have a denim obsession but I am also obsessed with hippie mini dresses, fringe, leather, etc. I will now have to find the happy medium between all these thing and I do believe my gladiator sandal purchase is the answer to it all.

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I decided on the Free People Mesa Verde Gladiator in Black ( I have my eyes on a nude color pair on Poshmark by a different brand). What’s more rocker chic than black? Plus Free People is by far one of my favorite brands. I could just see in my mind all the amazing outfits I could make with these amazing shoes. In fact I created a little collage for you all:

 

Boho Rocker

 

Vintage Levi’s , simple boho jewelry, fringe backpacks (I LOVE Backpacks), denim jackets, and perfectly soft vintage t-shirts.
Win, win, win, win, WIN

That New New (New New)

Confession Time:

I have like 12 blogs.
I have so many Tumblrs I cant locate the password for one of them because I think I deleted the domain the e-mail address was associated with.

*Le Sigh*

I have so many abandoned blogs because in the past I wanted to keep all the elements of my life sectioned off and separated. How could all the weird things I love and love to do mesh together and make sense? Well I guess they must mesh somehow because they are all the elements of what make me who I am.

I let fashion blogging fall to the wayside and filled these “pages” with sponsored posts, school assignments, and left draft post after draft post pile up. Unfinished and un thought of. I started a Tumblr dedicated to Game of Thrones, a tumblr of book reviews to fulfill 2015’s goal of reading 100 books (I think I read 10 or 15?), a fitness blog where I waxed poetic about spin class and my dreams, and lastly an emo blog full of private posts regarding my feelings. Mostly so I just had a place to let them out and then cry about it all afterwards.

Then 2015 happened. What a shit-show. I tried to combine three etsy stores and a fashion blog into one cohesive website/store then everything just fell to the wayside as I dealt with dental issues, and Etsy issues, and failure after failure. By the end of the year I was just trying to keep my head above water. Treading along, generally not being able to breathe. I don’t want to talk about all that lotus growing in the mud crap but all that mess led to some much needed clarity and by January of this year I finally felt able to purge.

#1: I let my vintage business go. My store was not working anymore and I had begun to hate everything about doing it. I tried a re-vamp this and that but I was left with no desire to pursue it, especially when new projects started to pull me away. Listing became a chore that I did not want to do and that meant productivity as a whole was down. I got rid of my storage space and sold off the last of my inventory. It felt sad and terrifying and liberating all at one time.

#2: I am letting my witchy flag fly. Tarot, candles, mediation, crystals, sage. the whole 9 yards. It works for me and it always has. This is my spirituality and it belongs to me.

#3: HAMILTON I spent 3 days around Thanksgiving  listening to the Broadway Cast recording of Hamilton and it changed my life. (This deserves an entire post so I’m just going to leave it at here for now and know there is an entire post to come)

#4: I’m back to acting. This ties in with #3 – coming soon

#5: I started to work on my family tree on Ancestry.com complete with a DNA test.

#6: I am letting one of my biggest dreams die. (Dramatic right? This is also getting it’s own post)

Somewhere in there I decided I wanted my blog back. I started this blog almost 10 years ago to show off my daily outfits and thrift store treasure finds. It went off the rails when I started to sell vintage full time – mostly because I didn’t want people to know where I got my stuff. The world of vintage selling can be a supportive one but it is also crazy competitive. I tried to keep up with my outfit posts but it wasn’t my favorite part. I grew bored (just kidding, it’s cause I only wear sweatpants every day now), but still had (and have) an attachment to this little space I have created on the internet. So here it is being resurrected! At first I started drafting posts more of the same ol’ crap until I had an epiphany last night. I had created a tumblr (yes another blog) to talk about the research I am doing into my family’s history but I decided that maybe it belongs here as well. Maybe it all belongs right here in the little space I have already created. Where you can catch a glimpse into the weird shit I do all day, and who I am, and why I am that way.

So this is the new new me in the same old space.

 

xo

Spring Icon: LISA BONET

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After re-watching both Sister Act movie’s last month I am having a serious 90s moment. Truthfully I have been having a 90s moment for the last 5 years. During a down moment on the last shoot I was on (I am doing background work on tv shows now…more on that later) I pondered the idea of growing dreadlocks…mostly because I can. When I think dreadlocks, I think of Lisa Bonet. This led me on a bottomless Pinterest search…of awesomeness.
This spring it’s all about vintage t-shirt’s, high waisted Levi’s and my Adidas superstars. We already know I have too many backpacks so they will of course be part of this daily uniform. Dark red lipstick and we are good to go.
What’s on YOUR spring wishlist?

How To Decide If Plastic Surgery Is Really For You

There’s no denying that plastic surgery is becoming more and more popular. This is likely because of the sheer amount of celebrities having work done. You have to admit that if you were constantly in the spotlight, it’d be difficult not to become obsessed with the way you look. But is plastic surgery really for you? Here’s how to decide:

 

You’re Happy With Yourself As A Whole

 

If you’re happy with yourself as a whole and there’s just one thing you’re not happy with, plastic surgery could be for you. If you’re unhappy with lots of different areas, it’s unlikely you’ll stop at one procedure. It can be addictive!

 

You Don’t Want To Change A Whole Bunch Of Things

 

If you want to change lots of different things, it might help you to look inside yourself instead and work out what it is you don’t like exactly. You may not be happy with yourself because of false negative beliefs you hold about yourself. Before you change anything, work on self love.

 

You’re Not Relying On A Procedure To Make You Happy

 

Do you think that this procedure is going to make you happy? You’d be wrong. No outside source can make you happy. The only thing that makes you happy is yourself and the thoughts you think. This procedure will not suddenly change your entire outlook on life. It might make you a little more confident and give you some self esteem, but it can’t make you happy in every aspect. Certainly not forever!

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You’ve Thought About It For A Long Time

 

If you’ve thought about surgery for a long time, it might be worth going to a consultation with a place like Belcara health to get an idea of what to expect. You should never get surgery on a whim!

 

You Don’t Think Surgery Will Change Your Whole Life

 

Surgery won’t change your whole life. It won’t make you a more confident public speaker, it won’t improve your relationship, and it won’t get you a raise. That’s all down to you!

 

You’re Not Trying To Please Somebody Else

 

If you’re having surgery to please somebody else, you should definitely rethink your decision. Trying to please your other half by having surgery is a definite no! This decision needs to be for you.

 

You’ve Explored Other Avenues To Achieve The Look You Want

 

Have you even explored other avenues to achieve the look you want? For instance, if you’re thinking of lipo, have you even tried eating right and exercising first? If not, you should! Doing things naturally like this is cheaper and way more satisfactory. Of course there are some things you can’t change, like the size/shape of your bust or nose. You can contour them with makeup, but this isn’t always enough.

 

Hopefully these tips will help you to decide if surgery is right for you. Going for a free consultation should give you some idea too. Just make sure you’re realistic about what to expect!