body confidence Health

Unapologetic

I am a chubby girl. There, I said it. I have fat on my body, BUT it does not define me as a person. I am more than just a chubby girl. I am a pin up model, a wife, a mother, a friend, a blogger, a fan girl, and a big geek. I like to post my outfits on Instagram because I like to show off my style and also inspire other women to find new ideas for clothes to wear. However, I have noticed a trend lately that I feel I need to address because I just can’t keep my big mouth shut (unless you put a big cheeseburger in it. Winks)
 
First of all, I want to say that I respect people who do direct selling. I used to do it myself once upon a time and was quite good at it. I even like some of the products that people direct sell. However, I do not like the tactics that many “health” MLMs use. I have noticed over the past few months that when I post inspirational and body positive quotes or Instagram or sometimes when I post a knock-it-out-of-the-park Outfit Of The Day post, I have been getting hit up by people who inevitably just want me to buy their shit. I know not all of the MLM people who follow me are like that, and those who generally like my style or what I post, I got nothing but respect for you. However, those that want me to buy their wraps, drink their “fitness drinks,” or want me to try one of their weight loss products because I have “the fats” can frankly go to hell. These trolls are the kinds of people who will “follow” me after I post a body positive post just because they hope I will follow them back. Then, of course, they unfollow me. They will send me a direct message maybe or leave a comment on one or two of my posts. I seriously am not buying it. Basically, what these people are doing is saying, “Hey Fatty, I see you posting on the internets. Buy my shit and lose some weight.” What I see is a troll who has no common sense and will not ever get my business. It also makes me lose respect for the product he or she is selling.
To be honest, if I am going to buy anything, it is going to be from someone I know, not from someone who is trolling hashtags. Also, these people don’t know shit about me. They are NOT my doctors. They don’t know why I am chubby or what I eat. They don’t know that I love to exercise, I hike, bike, and I love bellydance! They just see someone who is gaining interest on social media and think I am a quick sell…or maybe they are hoping to snag one of my followers.
Well, I have to say, I feel sorry for these people because they can’t see what I am trying to do…that I am trying to encourage people to love themselves because when it comes down to it, I can love myself as a chubby girl, and if I lose weight, then great. However, if I don’t love myself now, I will not love myself just because my ass can fit into smaller jeans.
I am gonna keep being me. I am gonna keep posting my awesome outfits, and I am going to be whatever the hell I want to be. To my trolls, well if you don’t like it, you can kiss my fat ass!

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I got nothing but resting bitch face for haters! Photo by Victor Devilbliss. MUAH by Making Faces Professional Makeup

plus size fashion

Dare to Wear

(Posts may contain affiliate links.)dtwweek
Last week I decided to challenge myself to dig deep into my closet and wear the things that have been hiding in the back. Mostly, they have been hiding there because I have been afraid to wear them. We all have clothes like that: we buy them because we think they look cute in the store, or maybe it was on sale. Then we take it home and put it far, far away from our sight because we are afraid to wear it but can’t bring ourselves to return it. We have our reasons. Maybe we are afraid it isn’t flattering, or we might get ridiculed. However, I am changing my stance about the back of the closet stuff, if I can’t wear it, I can’t have it!
My first dare challenge was the plaid pencil skirt from Torrid. I bought the skull sweater and plaid skirt combo a few months ago. I tried the combo at the store back in the fall but couldn’t bring myself to purchase it. When I found them both on clearance a few months later, I decided I should try it. However, after I got them home, I put on the sweater and happily wore it everywhere all winter long, but the poor pencil skirt got the closet. Last week, the weather was a bit cool for a few days, so I got them both out and strutted my stuff.

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Skull Sweater and Plaid Pencil Skirt from Torrid

After wearing it the whole day, I decided that it was far too comfy to go to the back of my closet. I looked awesome, and I will be wearing the combo again next time it is chilly!
Next up, is the purple kimono looking top from Lane Bryant. I got this around my birthday and have worn it maybe once before last week. I paired it with capris (which often look like regular length because I am so short. While I was not thrilled with the pairing, I may try this top again with something else that would be more flattering.
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Top from Lane Bryant. Bottoms by Torrid. Shoes thrifted.

For my next piece, I upped the ante and went bold! I decided to wear my tutu skirt. I got this one at Rue 21, but they have really pretty ones at Society+ that come in a variety of colors and lengths. When I bought this skirt back in December, I was so excited. However, I let some trolls trashing other plus size models in them deter me from wearing it. This weekend, I had a girls only day with my daughters, and I decided to wear the skirt. I did not get one negative comments. What I got was a lot of women telling me I rocked, and some little girls who looked at me in awe! I would say that is a success. I want to find a short sleeved crop shirt or perhaps a body suit for next time. However, my tank top did just fine for the other day.
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Tutu by Rue21. Tank by Lane Bryant. Sandals by Lane Bryant.

Finally, for date night, I decided to dare myself to wear the most daring, formfitting dress in my closet, a little black dress from Forever 21. I bought this not to long ago but was nervous wearing it. Well, the mister thought I was HOT! He couldn’t keep his hands off me. (I know, you don’t want to know that, but hey, this is my story, so yeah!) I paired this dress with this awesome belt from Torrid. It was amazeballs!  All of my flaws were on display. I didn’t care. I felt like a queen!
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Dress by Forever21. Belt by Torrid. Shoes thrifted.

I am currently going through my closet to get rid of things I know I won’t wear. If you have things in the back of your closet, I dare you to get them out and wear them! If you cannot bring yourself to do that, consign them or donate them. They are taking up valuable closet real estate for something special!

Beauty

Contouring Advice for Beginners

Contouring is the thing now, but when you look at some of the You Tube videos and tutorials, it can seem a bit intimidating. I have been trying my own luck at contouring lately, and I have been reading up on what to do and what to use. Some make up experts swear on powder forms. I tried that. I didn’t like it so much. So, this weekend while I was out picking up some last minute supplies for Easter (Okay, so I was stockpiling Cadbury eggs for me. Yeah. I admit it), I made my way over to the cosmetic section at Walmart and picked up the Wet and Wild Contouring Stick along with a few eye crayons, some HD powder, and some eye make up remover.
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I don’t usually use Wet and Wild, but I had a limited selection, and it was cheap. I figured that if I didn’t like it, at least I wasn’t out more than a few bucks. Side note on the rest of my haul: the HD Powder is the freaking bomb! It doesn’t make much of a mess, and it really looks great. Anyways, on the back of the Contour Stick packaging is a tutorial on how to use it. I just followed that, and I don’t think my makeup turned out too bad for my first time with it as you can see below.
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I know I need more practice, but still it isn’t bad. I may try another one later, but I am trying to be a bit conservative in my spending for the time being, and I am happy with this one. I have been using it for 4 days now, and I haven’t broken out, which is also a plus.
So if you are a newbie to contouring, you might want to try the Wet and Wild Contouring stick. It gives you a good place to start, instructions, and it is less than $5 bucks. In my opinion, it is a win all the way around!

Uncategorized

Don't wait to feel beautiful

Some years back, a friend of mine was telling me about her friend who did boudoir shoots. She made it sound luxurious and pampering. Naturally, at the time, my response was that when I lost the weight, I would do it. I lost some weight after that, but the idea of having myself photographed scared the shit out of me. Of course, I passed.
When I decided to do my first pin up shoot, there was an element of sexy in there that scared me. I only did it as something to give my husband for Valentine’s Day. I was having a hard time, and I was at my heaviest. I brought a modest wardrobe selection. By the end of it, I was in a shirt and fishnet tights. I hadn’t really planned on showing anyone the photos until the sneak peek by the photographer came out. Holy Crap, I was gorgeous! It was the spark that led to a lot of lifestyle changes. I started exercising again, dressed better (actually dressed the way I wanted), and looked forward to seeing my photo again.

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Just a shirt and some fishnets! Photo by Relentlessly Making Faces. MUAH by Making Faces Professional Make Up

When I finally decided to take the next step and create social media accounts for my pin up and alt photos, it was one of the scariest things for me to do. I knew I was opening my body up for criticism. However, I knew it was the right thing to do. I have a message to share about how we need to love ourselves as we are…tall or short, thick or thin, whatever we are.
One of the biggest objections I have had from women about doing the kinds of photos that I do is that they need to lose weight first or be different than what they are to make it work. You don’t. You are beautiful just as you are. You need to love yourself as you are right now because whether you lose the weight you want to lose or become the person you want to be, you aren’t going to be any better for it.
Yeah, I would like to drop a few sizes. I exercise. I eat healthy. It is slow goings. However, my body is this amazing thing. My body survived the torture of many years of an eating disorder. It survived being hit by a car. It survived childbirth. It survived miscarriage. It survived depression. It is freaking amazing. My body is a rockstar!
So I choose to love it. I choose to embrace myself for better for worse, and while I am at it, I want to share the message with others that it is okay to love yourself and think you are beautiful because you are!

Health

Sometimes You Just Have to Keep Breathing…

keep breathing

Sometimes, I feel like I am not in control of my own life, and it makes me mad. I set goals for myself and have a plan of what life should be, and then it derails somewhere along the way. I feel like I have no control over what is going to happen, and instead of going with it, I am more often than not angry about what could have been.

Fourteen years ago, I had big plans for my life. I was so close to graduating college that I could taste the victory pierogi (a yummy polish dumpling)…since I was planning on leaving the country after graduation to attend grad school in Poland. I had already chosen a school and even had the opportunity to visit when I studied abroad the year before that. I was about to marry the man of my dreams who treated me like a princess. I could see my life coming together, and I thought I had my happily ever after. Then, in one moment…it was all gone. A driver wasn’t paying attention. She turned when she shouldn’t have. I never saw her coming as I was crossing the street. I remember bits and pieces. I remember wanting to get off the pavement because I was supposed to get married that weekend. This wasn’t supposed to happen, and I sure as hell wasn’t going to let it ruin my plans, but it did. I ended up in the hospital. We had to postpone our wedding. I figured I would be back to normal soon. Only that didn’t happen. I had suffered head trauma. My neck constantly hurt, and it still does. I found myself having trouble reading. I was stuttering and would occasionally have speech problems. I couldn’t type without it looking like a jumbled mess. However, I wasn’t going to let it get the best of me. I started reading any book I could get my hands on…text books, biographies, novels, trashy romance books (which are awesome and underrated by the way). I enrolled in summer classes. I went back to work at my student job and part time job. None of it lasted. By mid fall, I dropped out of all my classes and had to quit my jobs. I also got pregnant shortly after my husband and I got married. We were worried that where we lived wasn’t feasible financially, and we moved near my husband’s family. In just six short months, my fairy tale ended and was replaced with this new reality.

I tried to just go with it. I wanted to be the best mom I could. I did everything with my son. I loved beauty and fashion, so I started selling Mary Kay because I felt like I needed to do something since my dreams of a career went straight down the toilet. I was pretty good at it too, but I ended up quitting because someone tried taking my clients, and I was finding that other consultants where I lived were a little too cutthroat for my tastes. I had another baby and then decided to try being a children’s party planner. I planned other events in college and loved kids, so I figured it would be perfect. It helped me overcome my typing issues. I taught myself how to design websites and do a bit of simple coding. I grew the business. I started a small shop. I became obsessed in trying to make my business grow because I felt I needed validation. I kept so busy that I joked that I didn’t need sleep. I could live on coffee. I may not have gotten my original dream of college, grad school, and then a life of teaching English abroad. Instead, I had a life of planning parties, learning to blog, planning playdates, and eventually taking in international students in hopes to get some sort of fulfillment of my lost dream.

However, it was not to last. I think I knew it was all a little too much when we decided to have a third child. I ended up losing two babies, got severely depressed, and cut my business back to almost nothing. I started to feel like a failure. I felt like my body was a failure too. I got into pin up about that time and got some body confidence back. I started working on putting my mental health back in order. I thought after I had a baby, everything would be great again, and I would start living this new dream of just being a mom. It would all be good. Then I had the baby…

My baby has been the best thing that could have happened to my family. However, it has also been very stressful. My husband worked in the oilfield and was gone a lot. My baby had the WORST colic ever. She did not sleep for the first seven months. I didn’t have a lot of support, and I seriously thought I was going to lose my mind. I couldn’t go to a therapist because I had no one who could watch the kids. I wasn’t sure I wanted to ask my doctor about anti-depressants because I had a bad experience with them once before. I was a mess. In the midst of all that, my husband and I decided to move from the area we were and start a new adventure. Originally, it was so he could try to get into the office of his company. We wanted to all be together, and our baby girl was the catalyst in realizing that our lives as they had been were not working anymore. We found a house, and we thought everything was going well. Heck, the baby was even starting to sleep…sometimes. Then, one day in the middle of June, I felt like a bomb was dropped on me. My husband told me that his company cut his salary. Also he would not be able to get into the office. Basically, we were moving for nothing. I think something just completely broke in me that day. A few days later, I ended up having symptoms of a stroke and ended up in the hospital. There they discovered, it thankfully was not a stroke. However, they found activity stemming from my brain injury years before and a benign cyst on my brain. Since then, I have had speech issues and a stutter from time to time. I am tired a lot, and sometimes I get angry about the whole mess.

We still moved. It has been an adventure, and I look forward to sharing more about that in later posts. I am still angry sometimes. I get frustrated when I can’t get words to come out like they should, or my thoughts become jumbled. I am working on it. I just keep going…I just keep breathing…because that is all I can do. I can hope it will get better. I can make plans for the future, but in the end I know that all my plans can change in the blink of an eye.However, if I want to enjoy life for what it is, I just have to keep breathing.

Health

5 Quick ways to help relieve stress

I don’t know about you, but life here gets stressful from time to time. I am very busy most days, and sometimes it’s hard to stay calm and relax because of it all. However, to keep my sanity, here are some of the things I do to relieve everyday stress that don’t take a lot of time.

5  Quick Ways to Relieve Stress
5 Quick Ways to Relieve Stress

1. Have a cup of tea
Seriously, I love me a good cup of tea. It takes 5 minutes to brew. You can let it steep for 10 minutes while you do other things, and then you can sit and take a 15 minute break. The aroma of the tea leaves and the warmness of the liquid help me calm down when I am all worked up. Right now, I have been grooving on Tulsi Tea, which is known as a stress reliever.
2. Make a list
If you are stressed because you have a lot to do, make a list. It’s easier to stay focused if you have your tasks organized. It also makes it easier to get through them too.
3. Walk
Whether it is walking at lunch time or early in the evening, walking can help you clear your head. It’s also a great form of exercise!
4. Stretch
I am not a big yoga fan. I have tried, but it is not my thing. If you like yoga, you can try some simple yoga poses throughout the day. For me, I like belly dance. I find myself making angel wings or snake arms. I also do other movements. The key is to move in a way that makes you feel good.
5. Breathe
Whether you take in a few deep breaths or have enough time to do a bit of meditation with it, taking a moment to breathe can help you focus and can relieve tension.
Managing stress can help your mood and your health. What are some other things you do to manage stress?

Uncategorized

That time I got Fat-Shamed at my favorite place to buy produce

There is this cute little Mennonite store I like to buy produce near where we live. I go there because I love to shop local and support local business owners. I can also find dry goods and get good deals on produce, which is great because we go through a lot of fruits and veggies in this house.
Anyways, the other week I decided to go there on a Saturday with my kids in tow to get some apples and a few other things. I have never been there on a weekend and have never seen the place so packed. The only space left to park was partially taken up by another vehicle. I saw the driver was still in the car, so I rolled down my window to ask if he could straighten his vehicle so I could park too.
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Apparently the guy must have anticipated that I was going to ask him to straighten his car. He was double parked for goodness sake in a full parking lot! As soon as I rolled down the window to ask, he started yelling at me. He was yelling, “You better get your ice cream you fat f*ck! Go get your ice cream, you fat f*ck.” Over and over, he kept yelling that. Mind you, I had two kids in the car. I wasn’t being nasty when I tried asking him to move. I was taken aback and ended up yelling at him back. Maybe he thought I would be humiliated enough to drive away so he could stay double parked. I don’t know. I do know this though…
…He couldn’t possibly know what size I was. I was in an SUV and all he could really tell is that I have big boobs. Whooptie doo. The best he could come up with was calling me fat. All it proved to me and my kids was that he was a big jerk that can’t park. Also, I didn’t even know the place served ice cream until that day, and I have been going there for small groceries for a few years. Of course, now that I knew that, I just had to get ice cream. Man, was it good! I know that my kids thought he sounded ridiculous. I discovered sidewalk chalk in our car the other day, and they said it was so they can make a “special” parking spot for people like him in the future. Also, I know that he doesn’t define how I see me. I define how I see me, and I like me. I don’t remember what he looks like because his looks were so unimportant to me. However, I do remember his ugly attitude. I have dealt with ugly attitudes like that in the past. In the past, I may have hid afterwards and felt shame, but now, I just don’t. I am beautiful for who I am. Random strangers with ugly hearts cannot dictate what I am.
I think what made me sad about the whole thing is that being called fat could possibly be the worst thing he could think of. There are many things worse than being fat. I might be overweight, but I am losing weight. Even if I wasn’t, it’s not the worst thing in the world. However, people like that seldom change. They will almost always carry an ugly heart with them. I would much rather be fat than have an ugly heart.

Uncategorized

How Pin-Up Gave Me My Confidence Back

The first time I ever did Pin-Up, I didn’t really want to be there. I thought it would make a nice gift for my husband, but honestly I wasn’t feeling up for it. I brought mostly things that I could use to hide my body. I was ashamed of myself and the heaviest I had ever been. My husband and I had been trying for a baby for a while, and I got pregnant only to miscarry some months later. Something in me kinda snapped, and I had a hard time coping. I spent most days in my pajamas. I really just no longer cared about myself.
When I got to the place, I pretty much admitted that I didn’t want to show anything off. I laid my cards on the table straight off and just wanted to get the whole deal over with. Then Nicole started working her magic with the makeup, and when I saw the girl staring back at me in the mirror, it wasn’t the same girl that came through the door. This girl was HOT! I put on an outfit and let Kristina start shooting. I felt myself relax, and by the end of it, I was still in fish nets, and the pants I brought to hide my legs were still in my bag. I still didn’t think I would look great in photos, but I felt empowered. I felt so sexy that I went home and told my husband that we needed to go out because it would be a shame to waste my beautiful hair and makeup. By the next day, the photographer posted a teaser picture on her Facebook page of my shoot. I could hardly believe that it was me!

My first Pin-Up shoot Photo: Relentlessly Making Faces MUAH: Making Faces Professional Make Up
My first Pin-Up shoot
Photo: Relentlessly Making Faces
MUAH: Making Faces Professional Make Up

Something about these pictures made me see myself in a different light. When I saw myself, I didn’t see the depressed, fat girl that I thought I was. I saw someone who was hot, who totally owned it. I saw a beautiful woman that I wanted to be.
The next few months that followed were stressful. I ended up almost closing my business. I got pregnant again, only to lose that pregnancy too. However, I started caring about myself again. I started eating better. I started exercising. It helped me cope with the bad things that were going on. I changed my wardrobe. I started wearing things because I wanted to wear them, not because I thought it would cover my “flaws.” Not only did I wear shorts in public, I wore short shorts. I got cute rockabilly dresses. I bought form-fitting shirts.  I went on dates with my husband. I did another pin-up shoot. It was a mother-daughter theme. The designer of the dresses I wore for the shoot liked my photos. He used me as his cover model for his Facebook page. It made me feel super-awesome. Plus I got a free dress out of it, which was also cool.
I still have my flaws. Currently, I am still trying to work on my post-baby body as I had a baby at the end of last summer. I may never lose all the weight I have wanted to lose. I eat right. I exercise. I have come to terms with the fact that I may never be skinny. However, I love myself. I have my moments where I am hard on myself, but when I look in the mirror, I can always find something I love. I dress for myself these days and not for what I think society thinks I should dress like because in the end it doesn’t matter what society thinks of me. I am the one who has to live with myself, and I want to like me as I am. If I can’t like me right now, it won’t matter if I ever get to be that “perfect” size. I still won’t be happy.
I think as women we are all hard on ourselves and each other. We need to love ourselves as we are. We need to take care of ourselves, and we need to make peace with ourselves too.
What do you do to make yourself feel good and to give yourself confidence?