Wednesday, April 28, 2010

the driver's seat

Wow, thank you for the great response to my last post! To continue along with a similar motivational theme, I'd like to tell you about Tuesday when I had the pleasure of meeting Cathy Alter. Cathy is a writer, a journalist, a copywriter, an author, and a really amazing woman. She's cool too, like really cool. Can you tell I enjoyed listening to her speak? I wish her and I were friends.
She shared a lot with us, but what I'd like to focus on is her most recent book, Up for Renewal, a memoir of her year of rediscovery. The book sprung from a self-imposed challenge to spend 365 days improving her life based on advice from women's magazines. The ideas was that success is made up of smaller victories... victories, however, that she believed she'd reach from listening to advice from Cosmo, Glamour, InStyle, Real Simple, etc. For instance, a couple of tips from my own mag stash (paired with old photographs from a Parisian fashion exhibition in honor of my fashion design friends that will be displaying their original designs on the SU runway today and tm)...
Get Stimulated - 12:30 p.m. - "Get some sun: According to several studies, a majority of Americans are running low on vitamin D, a nutrient that protects against osteoporosis, cancer, depression, heart disease and--yes-- fatigue. Since sunlight stimulates the body to produce D, get outside for 10 to 20 minutes of sun exposure on bare arms and legs. Too chilly to show some skin? Take 1,000 to 2,000 IUs of vitamin D3 with food, suggests Babb. 'Some people will feel a significant increase in energy as soon as they start supplementing with vitamin D,' she says." Natural Health, December/January 2010. Too bad there's hardly any sun in Syracuse.
Great Hair All Season: "To instantly add body, work a palmful of volumizer... into damp roots. Then pull hair up from the scalp with a round brush as you dry, says Jessica Tingley, a celebrity hairstylist in Los Angeles... A quick easy way to stop midday frizzies: Lightly smooth a dime-size amount of hand cream over unruly strands." Fitness, February 2010. I'm pretty sure I heard all of it before. Except for the moisturizer one, that one is clever. Will do! 
Big Job, Bad Health: "Scrambling up the corporate ladder? A high-ranking job may be unhealthy. A Social Science & Medicine survey found that managers have more conflicts with coworkers and more work interferences with their home lives--both of which can lead to headaches, irritability, and psychological distress. But recognizing the downsides of big-time roles can help you set healthy boundaries so there's no need for you to stifle your ambitions." Women's Health, March 2010.  I'm not sure if that's a warning or a piece of encouragement, hmm.
Going Granola: "6 cups old fashioned oats, 1 1/4 cups nuts, 1/4 cup seeds, 1/2 cup flaxseed meal, 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, 3 large egg whites, 3/4 tsp. salt, 3/4 cup honey, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, and 1 cup dried fruit..." Body + Soul, April 2010. The recipe is simple, the instructions simpler, and the three blends, sweet + tart, crunch, and tropical, sound yummy. There are even tips and variations for those who prefer chunky, vegan, and/or freezable. If I liked granola, I might actually make use out of this information ;).
Workout Motivation: "Exercising outside may encourage more frequent physical activity, a new study suggests...the restorative quality of the environment was linked to how often participants workout. This doesn't mean that all exercise should be moved outside though, says study coauthor Terry Hartig... Simply "making exercise settings more attractive" may increase incentive to work out..." Allure, May 2010. 'Tis an interesting find although I'm not particularly impressed. I've always enjoyed being active in the great outdoors. 
So yes, they are mostly centered around health but that's what I like to read about, don't tell me you're surprised. The point is, is that magazines, especially those for women, are a business of service; they are the voices of experts, best friends, and role models. The magazines were helpful but what Cathy Alter found is that she ultimately didn't need them. "When you take an active role in your life, no matter what you're doing, it's going to be good." Another two questions for you now: What's the best/worst piece of advice you've ever received? Where from?
Speaking of the driver's seat, I don't think I ever introduced you to Philbért my new car. Isn't he pretty? :) G'night to you both!


  1. I devour magazines, but I admit that a lot of the times I'll mentally consider the advice but barely ever follow through.
    Best advice I've ever received- probably everything my mother has ever told me :)
    Oh and the cliche- to just be yourself.
    Philbert is beautiful! Felicitations :)

  2. sprinkledwithcinnamon: Oh don't get me wrong, so do I. I'm am a mag-obsessed magazine cynic :). Most clichés are actually pretty damn helpful, thank you!

  3. great post, I love mags, esp cause it was my major and my internship made me realize that although I do love them a lot, they don't define us but help build us. When I interned at bazaar, I found that it was everyones life who worked there (none married or with kids) and they just thought about fashion mostly, and the ones who didn't weren't taken seriously. I still love the guilty pleasure (I don't really get guilt from it though!) of reading mags in a coffee shop or bed but I don't feel the need to read every issue as I once did to keep up. That wasn't relaxing...

    But I have learned so much from them and they are a great escape!

  4. and yay for the new car!

  5. Ooh! Love all the polka dots!
    I just got a new car too, but I haven't gotten a chance to name him yet:) Enjoy yours!

  6. afreshdille: Oh, of course! I completely agree with that entire paragraph... get out of my head! ;) thank you!

    BroccoliHut: Me too, the dresses were incredible. Yay, congrats, good luck with the naming process, and thanks!

  7. How cool of you to write about me and my book. We are totally friends - you rule!!!


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