Sunday, February 20, 2011

Video Blog: Reader Questions, Installment 6 (Personal Style)

Before I get to today's video, I want to mention two things. First, I uploaded a poll yesterday asking what you wanted me to video blog about today. The 4 options were for topics I've been hearing a lot of questions/comments about lately. The poll was open about 24 hours. These are the results:

Video Blog Poll 20110219

The question that won (narrowly) was about my personal style. I get so many comments and questions related to my style, but I usually avoid answering them on this blog because I feel they are not weight-loss related and I really like to keep things on topic here. However, since there seems to be such a demand for it, I'm going to address a few of them. Again, I apologize that this is off topic, it will not be the norm.

And for what it's worth, I do plan to address those other topics in the future. Eventually. (I have so much stuff drafted, I feel like I'll never get to everything, but I will do my best. And I'll probably use a poll again to find out what you want to hear about.)

Here's this week's video (click this link to go to Flickr if the embedded video does not appear):

These questions are answered in the video:

1- Sarah Davies I lve your style, you are truly inspirational. I would love to know what led to the transition from goth to pin up? Cos i am naturally very nosy. That's why I love blogs. I agree with the bike helmet. It is a MUST!
Short Answer: It wasn't planned, it just kind of happened. If you see enough photos of me in my 20's, you can see the transition happen. (most notably when I chopped off my hair at 25 years old) But for what it's worth, my makeup barely changed at all throughout that transition. The only thing that changed was my eyebrows.

2- Future Bombshell (aka Cortney) said...

Sheryl, I know it's not related to weight loss, health or fitness but if you ever feel inclined to discuss it in a blog post or video, I'm sure many of your readers would love to know more about your style - what inspires it, who your style icons are, etc. I too rock a pin-up/retro look and only got into it a few years ago when I discovered the rockabilly scene and started seeing all the glamorous women at the shows. I'm curious how you came to adopt this style as your own, especially since from your previous pics, I can see you used to favor a more goth look. You have always looked fabulous, BTW, but I think this style really suits you!
Short Answer: I don't have any particular icons or inspirations. I love the aesthetic of the period and over time, just figured out how to make it work for me.
 3- Lizzy Derksen I think I'd most like to know why you make it a priority to always looks your best (if that's not too personal a question). I don't think I know anyone else who does - and I admire you for it.
Short Answer: Lizzy, I saw your photos on Facebook and you have a great look! That being said, for as long as I could remember - since I was a little girl - I was very particular about my appearance: my hair, my outfits. I always loved dressing up. And I still do. But it's more than vanity - I feel like everyday you are alive is a day worth celebrating, so why wouldn't you want to look your best? Besides, when you look good, you feel good. And don't we all want to feel good? I have tremendous pride in my appearance and couldn't imagine not making that a priority. (also, I apologize, I called you Lizzy in the video, but then I called you Lindsay - I had her on my mind since she had also asked me a question...)

These question were not answered on the video -
1- * Ashleigh * said...
Happy Sunday Sheryl! Thanks for answering reader's questions with real answers. I must say, I'd love to learn your beauty selections since I absolutely love make up, and how you use it always looks amazing :) Since you disclosed about the Urban Decay glitter liner/shadow, I checked it out at Sephora here in San Jose, CA and noticed almost all of it was gone! Sheryl effect per chance?! Have a great week and God's speed with tracking :) You rock!
Short Answer: Thanks, Ashleigh! I wrote a post a while ago with the products I use. Some have changed, but most are the same (and since people have been asking, I've slowly been replacing non-vegan cosmetics with vegan but I'm not 100% there yet). It should give you a good idea what I wear, even if the products are not exactly the same.

2- Lindsay Beeson wrote:
your natural body & face shape seems to pair so well with the ideal-lady-images of the era that inspires you. happy coincidence?
Short Answer: Yes, actually, I think it is a happy coincidence. That or I was just destined to have this look. Either way I consider myself lucky (and thank you for the lovely compliment).
3a- Julia Schmedes You used to have longer hair - how did you make your curls stay in there, without your hair liking al fizzy? I try and try and always fail... The curls are either gone after half an hour or it's all a frizzy mess if I don't straighten my roots before... I'd also like to know how you get your hair cut
3b- Jenna Bouchard I would love to see a vlog of how you do your hair :)
3c- Evelyn Hardie I second that Jenna! And how you apply your makeup! :-)
Short Answer: Regarding my hair, I posted a step by stop blog to how I do my hair years ago. The products have changed, but the process is the same. Although, hair washing night is cut down to about 1.5 hours. And I don't think I mention it in there, but daily hair curling takes only 10 minutes. While the curlers are in my hair, I do my make up. So the total time for daily hair + makeup is 20-25 minutes.
4- Becca Polard But it DOES have to do with weight loss. I uuuused to have style...but then I got chubby and I had to settle for wearing clothes that fit...but that weren't ME. I long to have my style back. So...seeing you is awesome because it makes me realize that, once I get healthier, I can reclaim my awesome self-image. Tada!
Short Answer: Becca, I hope you do not wait to 'get your style back'. You should do what you can to find clothes that make you feel great *now* - no matter where you are in your weight loss journey. Because like I mentioned above, when you feel good about the way you look, you will project that. It affects your mood & attitude. Don't wait to feel great!
5- Andrea Macaluso Gaspar Where did you shop, pre-weight loss? 
Short Answer:  I've always been a mall girl. At my heaviest weight (size 16), and from about the year 2000, I shopped mostly at Ann Taylor Loft, Lord & Taylor, Old Navy, Target and Ann Taylor. It wasn't until 2006 that I started shopping at Banana Republic (I was a size 14 in their dresses & skirts at the time). And Banana is where the majority of my wardrobe comes from today. Regarding style and shopping, I have blogs for that too!
  1. Where I shop
  2. Shopping Strategies
  3. Style Philosophy
And because my life is like an episode of Seinfeld and all my worlds have finally collided...
If you haven't heard the amazing news, Project Runway's Tim Gunn (who knows my Dad - seriously! And who told my Dad I'm "gorgeous" - YES, SRSLY!) is now part of Weight Watchers! Check him out, giving fashion advice on the WW website. (and even more world's colliding - check out my autographed Tim Gunn book - I blogged this over at Fred Flare a while ago)

I'm going to leave with a really great compliment I received from my friend, Joe Vincent, when I asked for your style-related questions. I met Joe at a barbeque in Brooklyn in the summer of 2006, just a few months before joining Weight Watchers. I remember him thinking I was beautiful even then. And in fact, I have a photo of that day - It's one of my before pictures (he's in the background of the photo, on the right)- That's a strapless dress from Ann Taylor, size 14, and the shrug is also Ann Taylor, size XL (I wouldn't have dreamed of revealing my upper arms back then)-

June 2006, Around 190-195

Joe left me this comment -
Joe Vincent I have always known that you have the greatest style! You always stand out in a room of 100 people. You are an amazing woman and you will have my admiration forever!
Thank you, Joe Vincent. And thank you to all of you for your interest in my look and your endless compliments. I hope that answers your questions and inspires you to embrace or enhance your own style!


  1. Hey! I'm also somewhat shocked at the question about why you make it a priority to look your best. WHY wouldn't you? If you look your best, then you FEEL your best, I think! And I think it's so awesome that you're always doing that, even for your races, rides and workouts. That is sooo like me, to be honest! It makes me happy that I'm not the only one who always cares about how she looks. I just think it means you care about YOURSELF! Keep it up, girl!

  2. Thanks for addressing my question, I really appreciate the link to that post. :) You're absolutely right about style - doesn't matter what size you are, you can make it your own. Have a great week and keep on' running! :)

  3. This was my favorite video blog you've done so far, hands down! Your saying, "When you look good, you feel good" resonated with me! I often don't take the time to look my best, staying with the same easy hairstyle and minimal make-up look. I'm not saying au natural is not beautiful, but it is also nice to put some effort in and really make yourself shine! I'm so glad you brought this point up in your video because when you said it I could tell you really believe it and its truth rang out loud and clear =)

    You look absolutely amazing! I read a lot of your archives and got to see *some* of your transformations so far. But of course more important than that, it's easy to see what a delightful and sweet person you are. Good luck with your upcoming racing events!!

  4. I bought a new bra today; supportive and comfortable yet very pretty. Even though it is under my clothes and no-one can see it (except in the improved contours) it is making me feel prettier.
    I don't dress up or wear much make-up. Maybe I should.

  5. I have been reading your blog for a while and now seeing your video's and all the questions you receive and the massive following you have, around the world, I think your dad is so right and you need your own TV show!!

    P.S Thanks for the inspiration- whilst reading your blog over the past year I have lost 90lbs and developed a LOVE of exercise

    Sam xxx

  6. Oh my god, I love your accent! I adore your dress sense and I love that you make it a priority to look your best.

    I love 1950s and early 1960s, and I too am lucky to have a hourglass figure.

    You rock, Sheryl!

  7. Your blog is incredible. You have a great story!

  8. I think your answer and philosophy about looking your best everyday is part of the foundation of why you are such a WW success. I totally agree with you- Presenting your best, most confident self does affect how you go through your day and it does affect others around you. You are "generous" to present your most confident self to others.


  9. I love you. Simply put. You are more inspiring than Oprah.

  10. I haven't been around for a while so this is the first vlog I've seen you do. Love it. What a great idea.

  11. I just discovered your blog this weekend, and you've inspired me to bust out of my winter slump (I live in MN and another f-ing blizzard is in progress) and get back into working out! Thank you so much!! I hit the gym yesterday, and again today for a cycling class. Screw the snow. You truly are a classy woman with so much valuable information to share. :) Hope you have a fabulous day! :)

  12. Hey, Sheryl!

    I was just wondering what are some of your favorite tunes to run to??
    My self-proclaimed "chubby months" [Nov/Dec/Jan/&Feb] are finishing up, and I'm so excited to get back into my workout groove!!
    My three most recent jogging tunes:
    1) Dog Days Are Over by Florence + The Machine
    2) The Time (Dirty Bit) by The Black Eyed Peas
    3) Take Over Control by Afrojack [<--super fun]

    Classic favorite:
    **Lose Yourself by Eminem** ... good for pushing through last mile and keeping pace

    Have any others for me?? :)

  13. Love it! Thank you for answering my question. I knew I couldn't be the only one wanting to know more about your (fantastic) style. Also, I love the white dress in your "before" pic. I know you didn't love your body at that time but you look great in that dress - something that not many "bigger" girls can pull off. I know I sure can't!

  14. First of all, let me say that I was thrilled to bits to see and hear you respond to me directly. Secondly, I have taken both your compliment and your imperative to heart - there really isn't any good reason not to feel and look as great as you can all the time. Thank you!

  15. There are a lot of reasons of why you wouldn't make looking best your priority. I'm not saying it's good, but I'm just climbing out of that way of thinking myself. Sometimes there are no dollars to invest on your look, and you take what you can get. Sometimes there are others depending on you, there isn't enough time in the day, and you put them first and never get to yourself. Sometimes this goes on for so long you forget and don't even realize it's happening, until you wake up one day horrified and feeling really bad about yourself. Then fighting that becomes a trial.

    I'm glad to know that many don't go through this, and I hope that all will be kind and gracious to those stuck in such a rut. Trust me: They are very harshly judged.

  16. OOPS! One more! SHOES! I have grown too big to wear the kind of shoes I like, as they really, REALLY hurt my feet. I am hoping to that shrinking will enable me to wear nice shoes again, but I have a long way to go to get there.

  17. You're absolutely awesome and an inpiration! Maybe you should do a "Saturday Style" column... or a another website on just style! I would read.

  18. Terrific. I was wondering about your makeup and especially your eyelashes. :)

  19. Hello! I just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a women's health blog contest. I said "Cheryl discusses weight loss struggles, successes, fitness, nutrition, and life with a sassy, strong, and confident voice."

    You've been such a powerful and influential part of my weight loss. I just feel like the more people who discover your blog will be blessed and helped along their journeys.

    Last thing- I am running in the prospect park qualifying race on saturday so I'd love to meet you! I will be the redhead blog reader calling your name.


  20. Hi Sheryl,

    You are such a great inspiration. Since starting to read your blog about a year ago I have started to take my fitness really seriously for the first time in my life. I am working out 6 days a week and have entered a 5k race in June and am about to enter a stair climb challenge - all due to you. Your willingness to share your journey is exceptional and wonderful. Thank you...... I am a Sport and Exercise Psychologist and appreciate the value of the example you set.

    You are awesome by the way - your body rocks!

    I have a question that might seem a bit trivial..... How do you knot your tee shirts???? My boyfriend gave me a load of Nike tees due to them shrinking - or him expanding!!!!! They are slightly baggy and I attempted to knot one half way through a Body Pump class and couldn't pull it off!! Thanks, Sheryl, hope you don't mind me asking.

  21. TIMM GUNN! No way! That's fabulous! Now make it work!
    And hold onto that compliment from your friend Joe! Pull it out when you need it.

  22. You got it all because you deserve it. I'd read some of your article about losing weight. And indeed, I find it very interesting.Thanks.