What “Being Fat” Has Taught Me

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Hello All!

I just celebrated a birthday (I’m keeping the number a secret – for now!) and I’ve been reflecting on the changes I’ve gone through in the last few years.

After a car accident two years ago, I injured my back and my ability to exercise got compromised. My weight went up, my size grew from a size 12 to a 14/16, and I realized that I had become fat.

At first, my size depressed me. I felt unsexy and undesirable. Not being able to go into just any store and find my size added to my funk.

I’m a strong believer that “everything happens for a reason,” and I’ve learned lessons and developed a stronger sense of compassion throughout this chapter in my life.

1. Size Doesn’t Equate Sexiness.

After I discovered blogging and found sites such as The Curvy Fashionista, Daily Venus Diva, and Tess Munster, there are a LOT of sexy, confident, and inspirational curvy women out there. They own their size and make it work. I’ve learned that it’s not my shell that’s sexy; it’s the way I own it! I wasted time during my smaller days obsessing over “needing to lose 10 lbs” versus living in the moment. I won’t obsess any more.

2. Fashion is Still Fun!

True, there are some retailers I can’t shop from now. However, I’ve discovered Forever 21 Plus, Deb, Asos Plus, Elloquii, H&M, and Zara. Thankfully, more retailers are getting on board and adding additional sizes with fashion-forward styles. I’m so glad I can still enjoy clothes!

Werk!

Werk!

3. Don’t Hide.

Fat people (especially women) have been conditioned to be ashamed of their bodies. We don’t want to draw attention, we hide in bulky clothes, and walk around as if apologetic for our size. I’ve learned that life does not stop because I’ve gained weight. I still have a voice and talent to contribute. If someone seems uncomfortable because I’m fat, that’s their issue. I can’t control that. However, I can control how I deal with my weight day to day.

4. Everyone Has Body Issues!

Recently, the Hubby and I went to a cookout that his work was hosting. The event took place by a beach, so naturally a number of people were swimming and sunning. What struck me was the number of body self loathing comments from these fit military people! These weren’t the “competitive” type of body comparison comments (I’m so fat – no, you’re not, I’m fat!), but a sincere wistfulness to look better. I realized we all have our body issues. Isn’t it a shame we can’t “just be”?

So, the takeaway for me is –

Sure, I would like to lose weight. My energy would be better, it’s easier on my back (which is doing much better!), and it’s good for my overall health. I believe that I will end up losing weight as I continue to get stronger. But, I’m not going to stop fully living my life or being happy because I’m fat.

And if I do go down in size, I’m not going to cringe at my pictures or “fat shame” myself. I am still ME!

I hope we all can embrace who we are for what we are!

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WHAT I’M WEARING:

Maxi Dress – FOREVER 21 PLUS

Necklace – H & M

Sandals – FOREVER 21

Bra – VICTORIA’S SECRET

Earrings – thrift shop find!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cosmo Gives a Voice to Curvy Gals; Now Let’s See Them!

I stumbled upon an excellent online article by Anna Breslaw, sex editor of Cosmopolitan, about the realities of being a fat woman. For “What Being a Fat Woman is Really Like,” Breslaw interviewed two women (referred to Woman A and Woman B) who proudly call themselves “fat”. Both women candidly discuss dating, sex, how they handle negativity, and health. I found myself nodding along with many of their statements, especially when Breslaw asks how they feel about other women complaining about their bodies:

“I hate it. I always notice it, and it feels like shit. I was at the salon yesterday and a woman was complaining about getting “so fat” at her waitressing job and she was literally half my size. It made me feel like shit, and I felt bad for her, too. Stop thinking about yourself in such shitty, negative ways! It’s so bad for you. Also, you’re not fat. Fat is just a descriptor, and you don’t match that descriptor in any sense of the word. So stop.”

That’s a major pet peeve with me, too!

As much as I appreciated Cosmo including an article about curvy gal realities, why not include the women’s names? Photos? Perhaps the women preferred to be anonymous, but my feeling is, if they were proud of themselves, then show it!

Or- was it something else? Was Cosmo not ready to show off plus size “real” women?

I’m a subscriber to the magazine, and I enjoy the fashion, sex tips, and current issues. However, I challenge the editors of Cosmo (United States) to include PICTURES of curvier women. Maybe even women over 35! Going back over the past year’s covers, it looks like Jennifer Lopez is the only cover girl over 40. Let’s put money where the words are.

Cosmo holds an annual “Fun, Fearless, Female” award every year. I ask them to be fearless and include more plus size celebrities Rebel Wilson, Amber Riley, Queen Latifah, or Melissa McCarthy. We haven’t seen many curvy gals since Adele’s December 2011 cover.

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Now, that would be truly fun and fearless.

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DailyVenusDiva.com Rocks!

What made me literally SQUEAL with delight today? Seeing my newest article on DailyVenusDiva.com‘s website! I had my first article  (regarding my love affair with Clinique products) published with this wonderful online magazine last month, and thankfully Editor in Chief Stephanie Penn took another chance on me! I’m looking forward to doing a lot more with DailyVenusDiva. It’s not often enough that women of all sizes and color are celebrated for who they are, and this magazine is all about that appreciation. Curves definitely rule!

To read my article, “Finally – A Retailer Goes ‘Real’: Retailer Aerie Pledges To Stop Retouching Photos” click here!

I’m not quite ready to walk around in my heels, but I couldn’t resist pulling out one of my favorite pairs in anticipating of spring! The weather in the Ramstein area has been curiously mild for winter (perpetually stuck in the 40s) and not one flake of snow, but it does rain quite a bit and the days tend to be a bit starved for sunlight. Here’s hoping for more color soon!!!

#OOTD:

Leopard trim cotton cardigan, Saks Fifth Avenue. Bag, Chanel. Shoes, Charlotte Russe.

Leopard trim cotton cardigan, Saks Fifth Avenue.
Bag, Chanel.
Shoes, Charlotte Russe.

I LOVE the detail on the Forever21 Plus leggings!

I LOVE the detail on the Forever21 Plus leggings!

Debuting this new H&M baseball style T shirt!

Debuting this new H&M baseball style T shirt!

Dreaming of visiting Paris again soon!  "Eiffel" earrings, Claire's Accessories.

Dreaming of visiting Paris again soon!
“Eiffel” earrings, Claire’s Accessories.

Chanel sitting

Thanks to Diane (my stepmom!) for the beautiful Chanel bag! I am very blessed:)

What do YOU hope to pull out of your closet for spring?

Love, laughter, and shoes!

xoxo Melanie.

Get a Leg Up When Wearing Leggings!

“Leggings are NOT pants!”

This is the cry from my awesome cousin, Jax. She is an opinions editor at the Western Herald, the official paper of one of my alma maters, Western Michigan University. Her recent article sparked a friendly debate between the two of us. http://www.westernherald.com/opinion/opinion-wearing-leggings-is-the-same-as-being-pants-less/

Is it OK to wear leggings as pants?

I rock leggings often. They are comfortable, and for me, much easier to manage than regular tights. I don’t care if the label of the tights claim that they are “rolldown proof,” they still manage to slide down a tad throughout the day, forcing me to find a restroom to give a good yank. That’s why I prefer leggings. HOWEVER, they do need to be worn with caution, or yes, one will appear pants-less, or just plain tacky.

Here’s an example:

Outside of the Cathedral.  Sweaterdress, H&M.

Outside of the Cathedral.
Sweaterdress, H&M. Leggings, Forever 21 Plus.

I prefer to wear my leggings with boots and sweater dresses. They also work well with dresses, tunics, cardigans, and t shirts that are long. However, we curvy girls need to keep fit and proportion in mind and not mix a really oversized top with the leggings, because we can end up looking “boxy.” Some of my favorite brands are Charlotte Russe and Forever 21 Plus. Both brands produce soft and durable leggings that aren’t see-through. I do NOT recommend leggings made with a spandex blend! Those are definitely meant for the gym!

Here’s a great link on wearing the leggings right:

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So, when my cousin loses her bet and has to wear leggings for a week, at least she will know how to rock the look:)

What do YOU think?

I also love leggings with a flair! However, don't go nuts with the décor!  Leggings, Forever 21 Plus. Sweater coat, Charlotte Russe. Sweater dress, H&M.

I also love leggings with a flair! However, don’t go nuts with the décor!
Leggings, Forever 21 Plus. Sweater coat, Charlotte Russe. Sweater dress, H&M.

Coming to Grips With My Hips

On June 25, 2012 I was involved in a car accident that has left a profound effect on my daily life and health. I suffered a back injury which has limited the type of physical activity I can do. As someone who has enjoyed dance, kickboxing, and training with weights, it’s been a challenge to find new ways to be active. Unfortunately, weight has crept on over the last year and a half, and I am the heaviest I have ever been.

After feeling sorry for myself for several months, I decided to look at things differently after reading Tess Munster’s blog, www.theplussizelife.blogspot.com. Here is a woman who is a size 22 and gorgeous! She is considered to be a top Plus Size model, and her mission is to help empower women of all sizes to feel and look their best. I am joining her mantra of #effyourbeautystandards and celebrate the body I have. I will eventually regain my activity thanks to an upcoming back surgery, but until then (and after), my goal is to love who I am, no matter the size!

I am who I am!

I am who I am!