SuperCity: Shedding more than weight

Jul. 17, 2013 | 1 Comment

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BY CHRISTA WITTMIER / Special to the Star-Advertiser

It’s weird how a random text can change your life.

I know for my sister Honolulu Pulse blogger and rockstar musician Erin Smith, it wasn’t meant to be so heavy. We were supposed to take a simple trip to the mall to hang out and try on clothes.

At BeBe with rockstar Erin Smith in my standard uniform of a grey v-neck t-shirt (Courtesy of Christa Wittmier)

At BeBe with rockstar Erin Smith in my standard uniform of a grey v-neck t-shirt (Courtesy of Christa Wittmier)

What she didn’t realize is I recently lost a lot of weight and suffer from self-image issues that leave me not able to really shop for myself, or even know what clothes to wear.

Eight years ago, I was at Bebe every Friday to pick up a new outfit for the weekend. But a few years (and Chinatown bars) later, I was just pulling on a good pair of jeans and Nike SB Classics to go out.

Why? It was never about me. I wasn’t trying to be anything but my own, comfortable self. All I wanted to do was lurk everyone else, not be the person being lurked, so to speak.

Also, I never had the confidence to strut my stuff. I got my boobs when I was in fourth grade. That is the age when boys don’t know what to do, so they make fun of you. I was living abroad at the time and the German boys at the pool learned how to say, “Give me a bottle of milk from your chest,” just so they could taunt me. It’s why I still have poor posture to this day.

Self-image is a very powerful thing, and I’m only realizing now after trying on tight dress after tight, colorful dress last weekend with Erin that I need to do something about it.

My poor friends. They have all done their best to let me be me, using gentle encouragement whenever I actually did dress up.

“You look so great in a dress!”

“You should wear a dress more often!”

I appreciated the positive feedback, but it wasn’t getting through my thick skull. I just wanted to be functional.

So, I spent a few hundred dollars at Bebe with Erin. I even wore one of the dresses the next day. The feedback was all positive and I was able to bank it into a well of confidence that I should have had six months ago when I went from a size 12 to a size four.

It’s funny how losing weight is easier than programming your mind to be confident.

On the red carpet in my standard t-shirt and jeans. (Courtesy Elliot Takane)

On the red carpet in my standard t-shirt and jeans. (Courtesy Elliot Takane)

For anyone feeling like they would be happier having lost a few pounds, I’ll tell you how I did it. The main factor was an iPhone app called LoseIt. There are many out there that do the same thing, but I liked LoseIt the best because they have “motivator” groups you can join to stay on track. Since the weight loss is such a simple formula of burning more calories than you consume, it’s so like many of us to over-complicate things.

The easiest way I found is to set a goal. LoseIt makes it so very simple. Once you start tracking everything you are eating you already will lose some weight. You just need to focus. You need to really want to do it.

Remember, your mind is so very powerful. You really can do anything you put your mind to.

Also, get one of those Hydro Flask water bottles and keep it filled. Drink water all day. When you want to snack, drink that water. The food intake, of course, needs to be healthier, but weekly trips to a farmers market not only save money, but they’re also a soothing break from the stress of everyday life.

Left: at the Diane Von Furstenberg Ala Moana Opening in 2011 Right: At the Moana Surfrider BrunchON 7/12/13 (Images Courtesy Mark Ramelb and Dayna Kalakaua)

At the Diane Von Furstenberg Ala Moana store opening in 2011, left, and the Moana Surfrider on Sunday, July 12. (Courtesy Mark Ramelb and Dayna Kalakau)

And as much as people laugh about my fixation with kale, it’s one hell of a vegetable. It’s so abundant and powerful and rich with vitamins, and tossing a pan of it with some olive oil every night for dinner with some turkey or tilapia was a feast.

The workouts are not as hard as you think. I put them in my calendar as meetings that I scheduled around. Saturday and Sunday mornings I would wake up and go straight to the Waikiki 24 Hour Fitness. The view from their cardio machines of the beach was like I was at the beach instead of the gym.

During the week, running out of my office at 10 a.m. for the Mililani 24 Hour Fitness to zone out to music on an elliptical for 45-50 minutes as often as I could eased so much stress that I found it to become very addictive.

The trick is good music. Look up Mick Boogie or BeeFowl’s “Indie Anna Bones” mixes or follow my “Cleaning or Running” playlist on Spotify if you aren’t sure where to start. It’s a lot easier than shopping.

As for shopping, I still don’t know where to start. I have no idea what clothes look good on me and most often I will spend a few hundred dollars on things that will just sit in my closet until I throw them out to make room for more heather grey v-neck t-shirts.

I am trying though, and thanks to friends like Erin I have the encouragement that is so necessary. Thank you sis.
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Christa Wittmier has chronicled Honolulu nightlife since 2004. She is senior marketing director at Young’s Market Co. of Hawaii and executive director of music for POW! WOW! Hawaii, and also helps promote the popular “Bacardi Pool Party” on Oahu. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.

  • Dayna Kalakau

    <3 <3 <3