Hey, welcome to another episode of the Courtney Sanders show. Super excited about this one today because this one is kind of like reporting from the field. So there is less fear, sharing an experience that I’ve recently gone through and that is becoming that girl.
So what is that girl? I felt like if you’ve listened to my podcast for a while, you should have some familiarity with the concept of that girl. Actually, look through my archives. I don’t know if I have another episode titled that girl. Your girl is getting up there with all these podcasts episodes to the point where I’m starting to forget like, did I talk about this before? What is the title? But I know I’ve mentioned this concept of that girl.
I think I even talked about it in my powerhouse series, but essentially that girl is essentially the woman who is always polished, always put together, the kind of woman where you’re like I don’t know if I should like be your best friend or hate her because she’s so fabulous. Just kidding. I don’t believe in hating other women. We should always lift each other up.
But you know, this could be the type of woman that comes to work and she’s just bad. Like she’s always flawless, super cute shoes and dresses really well. Makeup on point, hair on point, nails on point, like just one of those women where you’re like, goodness gracious. Like every time you walk into the room, my dear you are a vision. How do you do this? So I felt like I’ve kind of been in and out of this lifelong quest to become that girl.
If you can believe it, cause I know people look at my Instagram and be like, oh your hair. And you know, you dress frilly when you want to, when you’re not in yoga pants. People might not believe this, but growing up, as a child, before I got into preteens, I was very tomboyish. I felt kind of like awkward and gangly. I was always taller than everyone in my class. I was like five, five at like, I don’t know, 10 or 11. I was tall, I said bigger feet and I was just taller than the boys in my class. Also, another thing which helped me now even with this podcast , but it was awkward growing up, which is my voice.
I have always had this voice at an early age, but when you’re young like 11 and pigtails, it comes off as really deep. I felt super self-conscious because I don’t know why I have this grown adult voice and I’m like 11, and taller than everybody. I don’t know how to dress. I didn’t have braces yet. My teeth were, you know, it was just a quintessential middle school existential crisis. I was not that girl for sure.
So I got on this quest to become that girl. I first started with my hair because my hair for the most of my life has been natural, meaning I haven’t had a relaxer, but when I was 13 is again, I’m in this middle school, existential crisis. People were making fun of me at school because they’re saying my hair is frizzy. I really want her to relax her. And my mom was tired of doing my hair and my sister’s hair anyway, so we did it. We got the relaxer. So I got to relax her at 13, and I had pretty long mid back length hair and it proceeded to break off over the course of a year where my hair barely grazed my shoulders. And at the time my idol was Aaliyah, the singer, rest in peace Aaliya, she’s fabulous. I wanted to have that side swoop bang and sunglasses.
I was heartbroken that, not only am I taller than everybody, I got this deep voice and acne and all this stuff. Now I can’t even do my Aliya impression. I don’t even have long hair anymore. I got on this quest to learn about how to grow my hair out, still keep a relaxer and grow it long. And that’s when I discovered the world of hair care for
Around my freshman year, there were these forum threads that started popping up that were titled “That Girl.” So it was basically somebody on the forum was asking a question like, how do you become that girl? How do you become the woman that is always on point? You walk into a room, all eyes are on you, just graceful, just got it all together. How do you become that? It seems like a lot of work and it takes a lot of time. And so all these women who are self-possessed started sharing their best advice. And I was hooked on this thread and it became this reoccurring theme every year on the forum. And I think it’s still going strong. Even to this day, if you ever want to become a member of the forum, check it out.
So in today’s episode, I want to share the changes that I made, how I found the time to make them, because I know many of you listening to this like me are busy moms or maybe you’re not a mom, maybe you’re a college student or maybe you’re just busy, you’re single, but you just work really hard at your career and you feel like, you know, who has time for this?
Notes from the Podcast:
I want to cover the changes that I experienced both internally and externally because it’s just been very, very interesting. So yeah, let’s jump into the changes that I made.
Focus on my hair because I felt like when my hair is not done, that was the most restrictive to me.
I was focusing on things that I felt like was the most restrictive to my life if they weren’t taken care of. And the first one was my hair because you know, even if I’m wearing yoga pants every day, which I should, I can still leave the house and yoga pants, I can still go to the grocery store. Like I still have clothes on my body, I’m not going to get arrested for indecency.
If I don’t wear makeup, that’s fine. I don’t have to, but I like to because I felt like it adds a level of polish. But I’m just saying no one’s going to arrest me, if I’m not wearing makeup or it’s not a big deal. I can still hop on a live stream or do a podcast or even meet someone, even if I don’t have makeup on. But I felt like that hair, oh boy, my hair. If my hair is not done and by done, I don’t mean like salon quality. I just mean, is my hair washed and conditioned? Does it look like it’s not dry? If I don’t, my hair is not at least in a maintained state.
It’s difficult for me personally to leave the house because now I feel like I’m looking like “who shot John”? Like again, it’s one thing to be in yoga pants, that’s another thing not to have any makeup on, but it was a whole another thing to be in yoga pants and not have any makeup on and have your hair dry and like all over your head, especially when you have naturally curly hair.
So basically the first change I made was just simply to do my hair more often, which I know sounds weird because if it takes you a long time, you’re procrastinating, then you know, why would you want to spend that time more often?
But the thing that I noticed was, and this is just a reoccurring thing is that when I did my hair more frequently, the sessions were not as long because my hair was not as tangled. It was not as dry, it was easier because my hair was still “done.”
So I do that every three to five or three to four days. It takes me less time each time because I’m doing it more frequently. I found was a cascade effect because once your hair is done, your hair looks good, then you can’t wear yoga pants, like my hair is too nice for yoga pants, I need to put some clothes on. That’s when I got into my clothes and not wearing yoga pants.
And the changes I made with that was before, I was in extremes where I was either wearing yoga pants or I was wearing like ultra-stylish super dressed up clothes that I typically wear on stage for speaking engagements and stuff.
Not focusing on not being fashionable so much and just being stylish and like basic looks.
So I asked myself what are some basic looks that work for my lifestyle, that worked for running around with my son. I mentioned we’re a part of a tennis club. We run up there frequently even just for me to like work and for him to play in the child’s area or whatever, and then of course, maybe to go to the pool or to go play tennis or whatever. What are some looks that are appropriate for my lifestyle? So, a nice shorts. I’m not denim shorts or denim cut, but I found some really nice Diane von Furstenberg navy shorts that they almost look like dress pants, but they’re shorts.
So that, with some flats and maybe like a short sleeve button down or a silk tank top What are some basic looks, dress, shorts, a skirt and a top. And then I just asked myself instead of how can I be ultra-fashionable and have a thousand accessories and bright colors and all these things, I ask, how can I just spruce this stuff to where this looks luxe, looks stylish and I could just like get out the door. I just swapped. So instead of maybe a cotton tank top, I found a silk tank top because silk automatically makes you look, a little dressier and more luxe. Again, instead of having denim shorts, I found like trouser shorts instead.
That’s been super helpful with the clothes because it’s taken a lot of the pressure off of trying to be like ultra-fashionable. And I find that I look better. I get more compliments because it’s very simple.
For my nails — out with gel and dip powder polish, in with basic manicure.
So it’s like, oh my hair is too good to wear yoga pants, let me get some nice clothes and I have nice hair, nice clothes. And I’m like my hair and my clothes are too nice but my nails are not done. You know, I can’t have chewed up nails or chip nail polish and I’m guilty. I would let my nail polish chip and not do anything about it. Because I’m running around with a baby, who has time to sit down and do a manicure. Or I would go and get like gel nails or dip powder nails. But the problem with that is the manicure last longer, but after two, three weeks it grows out and you have that weird gap on your nails and if you don’t have time to go back to the salon then it looks almost as bad as just having like chip nail polish.
So I made a commitment and I’m just going to make sure that my nails are done. So now on Saturdays, I just go and get a basic manicure. I don’t do gel anymore. I don’t do dip powder. I just do it regular like Opi Nail Polish. And what I try to do is buy the nail polish and then have them put on the nail polish that I own. That way when it starts to chip at home, I can touch up my nails myself. And if ever I’m running late, or busy, I can just do it at home after my son goes to sleep and just use a quick dry top coat before bed and sleep with my hands outside of the covers and then they look good in the morning.
When I do my nails, it doesn’t look quite as good when a professional does them. But I found that when I was doing the gel nails or the dip nails, I was letting my nails look worse because I was waiting for the time that I could go to the salon because you have to go to the salon in order for them to redo gel or dip to take that stuff off. So now I just do basic manicure even though they don’t last as long, I’m able to touch them up at home a lot easier.
Get back in the gym.
Once all that was together, then it was like, well, you got to get back in the gym because you know, you’ve got these nice clothes and you’re starting to look polished. I noticed that in my yoga pants, this is another issue when you’re wearing yoga pants all the time, you can gain a little bit of weight. You don’t notice as much because yoga pants are spandex.
So I was carrying maybe an extra five pounds, which is not a big deal. But I was like putting it off. And once I get back to the gym and I’m going to be able to lose this easily, and it didn’t feel urgent because I wasn’t wearing real clothes. But once I started putting on my real clothes, I noticed I started to feel uncomfortable because my midsection and my stomach area felt kind of like pudgy, and a little more bloated than what I was used to.
And I was writing that off. It’s kind of like, oh, you know, whatever, maybe some postpartum changes. And I just had to come to terms with the fact like, no, it’s because you’re not working out. You’re sitting at home in yoga pants all day and you’re just eating whatever you want. So I started to work on my fitness and my eating. And again, I find that simple done more frequently is a lot better than like these big Herculean efforts done every once in a while. So what I’ve been doing lately, which has been working wonders for me, I started doing intermittent fasting, which is crazy to say because I thought that I would never be the person to do intermittent fasting.
But I tried it because precisely because people are like, oh, you do intermittent fasting for the most part, you can eat what you want and you’ll lose weight that you have to lose and you’ll maintain a good weight.
So I was like, well, I’m willing to try it because I’m not willing to cut calories and I’m not willing to cut carbs. And so now I’m doing 16 eight meaning I’m fasting for 16 hours a day and then eating during an eight-hour window. My preferred eating window is from 11 to seven.
so I just eat normal. If I want dessert, I eat dessert. If I want a little Trader Joe’s has these amazing little apple pies, or like personal size. I love eating those with a little bit of ice cream. I don’t need it every day, but if I have it once a week like it’s not a big deal. I found that intermittent fasting has been great. And then for my workouts, I now work out 20 minutes a day, almost every day. I work out five or six days a week. I have a bike at home. I’m a member of Peloton. I do Peloton bike rides. I love the Nike Training Club app. They have like 20-minute workouts on there. I have weights at home, sets all the way up to 15 pounds.
Which I find is perfect. So I’ll do upper body, lower body, whatever. And I find that that’s just so easy because a lot of times, honestly I can’t work out until my son has gone to bed and even though we’re members of this tennis club that has a great fitness and they have childcare and all these different things, I find, honestly when I’m up there, I prefer to get my work done.
So I find doing a 20-minute Peloton ride or a 20 minute Nike Training Club ride is like way better. So that combined with intermittent fasting, I kid you not, within five days of doing this, my stomach went down. I started to see muscle definition in my arms again, started losing weight in my face. Instantly I started to see results. And so I’ve been doing it now for about a month and I just feel so much better. I love the way clothes look on me now.
My mom has given me this skincare routine from heaven’s thing because her skin looks great. She’s in her 50 she’s like aging backwards. She literally looks better now in her fifties and she did in her forties and it’s not just me family members, we’re stopping her asking her what is she doing? People stopping her on the street. And so she gave me her top secret, you know, a skincare routine. However, I am going to share it in my more than one club. So if you’re a member of more than one club, don’t worry, I’m going to share it with y’all.
If you want to know, you can join, you can get two free two-week free firstname.lastname@example.org that’s m, O, r, e t, h, a, n one o n e clubs, Club Dot com. Because it’s like involved and in-depth and she made me promise, she was like, don’t be sharing best secrets. I’m going share with you and y’all say your sister cause y’all my kids. I’m like okay mom. But I’ve been following her skincare routine. I will say it does involve vitamin C which is a vitamin C topically, which has been really great.
I have been drinking tons of water, I’ve been taking collagen supplements. So yeah, I’ve been doing all of that and friends are starting to note, people have been commenting, oh you have this glow your skin, you know your skin is good when people get all up in your face and they’re asking you specifically like what’s on your face. They’re like, are you wearing foundation right now? And I’m like no. That’s another thing I noticed my skin has been doing so good that I don’t even feel the need to wear foundation anymore. I usually only wear foundation if I’m going to be like going to an event or speaking somewhere. But if you catch me like running around in the streets of Houston, I don’t have foundation on, I do wear a little concealer and wear lipstick or lip gloss, mascara, I’ll do my brow, that kind of thing, but some bronze or on or some blush, and some rouge on my cheeks.
But in terms of the base of my skin, my skin looks fine. I don’t need foundation anymore. And it’s all because of this I’m skin care routine. So all that coming together, you know, hair, skin, nails, clothing, working out in the course of a month, which is not a long time, has made crazy, crazy, crazy changes.
People just being really receptive to me. Like in person, I’m talking about strangers, me walking down the street. Now I’m a friendly person and when I had my son with me, people tend to talk to me because they’re like, oh your kid is so cute, you know, that kind of thing.
But I’m finding that both men and women are just stopping and they’ll comment on something like, oh, I love your hair, you have gorgeous skin. And then I’m like, thank you! And we stop on the street and we can get into these conversations or whatever. I’m finding that men are making like small talk kind of give them a side eye a little bit. Cause guys, I’m married, I wear my wedding ring. Nothing too intrusive, I’ve only had a few instances lately where somebody is like actively hitting on me. Because you know, I’m wearing a ring so it should be obvious. I shouldn’t be able to do that. I will say that since, you know, gusting up, I have had more instances where someone is like actively hitting on me despite being married, which is not cool.
People know I’m married because I’m wearing a ring, but they are just more inclined to speak to me, which I use to my advantage because I’m an entrepreneur and I’m looking to break into the scene here in Houston. I’ve talked about how I’m looking to get corporate contracts because people are making small talk with me now, you know, we get into a conversation.
Who knew that simply wearing trousers instead of jeans and a nice top, and some flats when you run to Starbucks, you know, we’d have people talking to you, but no one was asking me questions about my work. No one was asking me. No one was having like an adult conversation with me. It was just like really structured around like my child and being a mom and that kind of thing. But I find like being dressed up, even if I do have my son, the conversations tend to shift more into like what brought me to Houston, what do I do.
We’re exchanging information, email addresses, business card. Those things happen. And it’s literally all I’ve done is what I’ve talked about, make sure my hair’s done, make sure my nails are done, don’t wear denim shorts, wear trousers or shorts or wear a skirt, wear a dress, whatever.
I’m not trying to be ultra-fashionable, just being stylish and basic clothes and that’s been great. So it’s been great for networking now at actual networking events, I find that also I’m having an easier time, breaking into circles and speaking with men and women who are like strangers or maybe really busy.
So I think that’s one of the things, and this is especially why I wanted to talk about becoming that girl for women in a business context. Because if you’re not confident about the way you look, it can be difficult to muscle your way into situations cause you know that goes back to my femininity talk. I think it really goes back to this like attraction thing.
I don’t mean attraction like romantic attraction or anything like that, but if you make yourself attractive, not just from the way you look, but also like approachable, where people are like, she takes care of herself, I’m going to take her seriously. Let me hear what she has to say. I find that people will give you time, even if it’s just 30 seconds or whatever. It’s easier to command someone’s attention without having to do anything without having to tap them on the shoulder without having to wait around.
Humans are humans and it is like people, again, both men and women do tend to judge you based on how you look. And so there is value even in a professional setting to make sure that you show up as your best self. I said this in episode 65 and I was talking about femininity or whatever. It’s not even about like, you don’t have to be the same size I am. You don’t have to be as tall as I am or whatever. You don’t have to be shorter or taller. You don’t have to be bigger or smaller. You don’t have to be anything. Um, you just have to be yourself and find looks that work well for you.
So for clothing, I would say know yourself. The two biggest things are to know your colors and know your silhouettes and then you can cheat the process by just literally buying only clothes in those silhouettes and in those colors. That makes it easier.
In that time workouts again, who doesn’t have 20 minutes a day, you know, stop trying to do this super difficult hour long in the gym. If you don’t have the time for that, don’t do it, you’ll get better results, if you just do a 20 minute bodyweight workout at home, six days a week, then if you go to the gym three times in two weeks, but you do these like hour and a half workouts cause you’re trying to make up for all the time you miss. So I would say the biggest thing in terms of finding the time is to do less but do it more frequently. Buy fewer clothes, buy, buy clothes that mix and match with each other.
Whatever it is that you got to do, do less of it in terms of magnitude, but do it more frequently and you’ll find that you’ll have more time. I really hope that you enjoy this episode. If you love this topic because I’ve done a few podcasts about this, I really enjoy this topic. I love this concept of becoming that girl, but just really, I’m just being polished and on point. I would invite you to join me and my new audio program that’s called exactly that Polished and On Point.
So check out Polished and On Point. You can go to Courtneylsanders.com/polish in order to do that. But yeah, I hope you enjoyed this episode. Let me know what you think. Send me messages and my email. Hit me up on Instagram and I’ll see in the next episode. Bye.