Month: February 2013

Guess Who’s The New Contributor for Junonia Activewear’s New Blog???

my sneaks This gal! You might recall that my very first interview in my Real-Life Curvy CEO series was with Anne Kelly, founder of Junonia Activewear. Recently, Junonia launched a blog and asked me to be one of their regular contributors. Woot! How cool is that? Check out my first entry, where I discuss the challenge of beginning your fitness journey . . . for the 2nd, 3rd, or 35th time here. I will be posting there monthly. Hope you will check it out!

Monday Morning Memo – How to Combat Worry

monday morning memomonday morning memo "I...have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened." - attributed to Mark Twain Anyone who knows me knows that I am a classic worrywart. I can spend hours ruminating on the "what ifs" of life and come up with THE wackiest scenarios, working myself up into a frenzy about something that may never even happen. For a long time, I used to let this bother me . . . until I realized that the root of worry is fear. Fear about what might happen if x, y, or z occurs. Now, the amazing thing about me is that when real crisis emerges, I stay cool, calm, and collected. I deal with the facts and handle business. Recognizing this allows me to cope better when worries creep into my mind. These days, when I find myself spiraling into an abyss of "what if" I just "game out" the situation. I lay all of my worries out on the table and then I ask myself, "How would I handle that, really?" Going through this exercise shows me that (1) most of my worries are unfounded and (2) even if they come to pass, I will be able to handle them. I think the most frequent worry man of us have these days is losing our jobs. What with this still-fragile economy, multi-year unemployment is no longer an oddity. When I find myself freaked out about this possibility, I go through the following set of questions . . . . What if I lose my job? I'll be homeless! No. You won't be homeless. You are an educated, capable, and experienced professional. You will find a new job. What if it takes me a reeeaaally long time to find a new job? How will I live? You'll use your savings and go to a temp agency. They place lots of people in in-the-meantime positions. What if I can't get a temp assignment? Or it doesn't pay me enough? You will reduce your expenses (buh-bye cable, hello public transportation). You'll use credit cards if necessary. What if I run out of credit? I'm ruined! Then, well, you'll have to cash out your 401k to pay bills. What happens after the money from my 401k runs out? And I'm still not making enough money!! Guess you'll have to put your things into storage and move back home with Mom and Dad. This is usually where the worry-train stops. I mean, I could keep going (What if something happens to Mom and Dad?!??), but then it starts to get to be too morbid. All in all, though, it shows me that I  am not totally at the mercy of my circumstances. I have the resources (both internal and external) to take care of myself . . . and if all else fails, support from family. But that is totally Plan B (for them as well as me). The next time you feel worry about to overtake you, I challenge you to try my technique above. See if that helps you to combat your worries and move forward. Here's to a great, worry-free week, ladies!

Pretty Flats!

I was lamenting with a friend the other day about the limited shoe options for full-figured women. With additional pounds often come a wider foot and the need for a wider shoe. And, trust, if you don't have a shoe that fits properly you WILL look like you are baking bread in your shoe. I've blogged before about some of my favorite places to buy larger, wider width shoes. (Additional options are listed in my shopping guide, Curvy Shops!) I've also shared that generally heels just don't work for me. So, I just want to dedicate this post to all of the pretty flats out there . . . that help us stay stylish and comfortable at the same time.
Pretty Flats
These days my shoe wardrobe almost exculsively consists of flats like those above. But, if you don't want to spend a lot of money on several different pairs of shoes, you can decorate simple flats with pretty clips, like those found at AbsolutelyAudrey.com - they are just darling! Enjoy ladies!

Kelly Rowland 2013 Grammy Awards – Get the Look!

The 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards - ArrivalsThe critics agree that Kelly Rowland was among the Best Dressed at the 2013 Grammy Awards. And, no wonder - wearing a black, form-fitting gown with geometric shapes crafted by peek-a-boo mesh fabric designed by Georges Chakra, she was absolutely stunning! [caption id="attachment_5885" align="aligncenter" width="570"]source: huffingtonpost.com source: huffingtonpost.com[/caption] [caption id="attachment_5885" align="aligncenter" width="570"]The 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Arrivals source: huffingtonpost.com[/caption] Want to rock a similar look? Check out this black sleeveless dress with sheer swirls and a key hole back from the Chic and Curvy Boutique! black_dress_with_swirl_1 Black_Dress_with_Swirl back Black_Dress_w_Sheer all Unfortunately, this dress is out of stock at the moment. BUT, if you cannot wait to get into a black mesh number, check out these alternatives, also from the Chic and Curvy Boutique.... Tank_and_Sheer_Dress Outlet_BodyCon_Mesh_Dress Loves it! Would you be brave enough to rock one of these looks?

Learning How to Brag

bragbrag "Nobody likes a show off." "Your work will speak for itself." "If you have to say it, you're NOT it." These are just a few of the phrases that have kept me (and, I'm sure you) quietly, yet diligently producing excellent work for years. Just like the "good little girls" who don't ask for what we want, we women tend also to keep our awesomeness under the radar screen by failing to brag. I use the word "failing" because if we don't brag, we are doing just that - failing our careers and ourselves. Recently, I finished reading Brag!: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn without Blowing It and it has helped me to identify ways that I can start to brag about my accomplishments without making my own self sick (because, quite truthfully, I find bragging by anyone quite nauseating). In fact, she poses 12 questions to help readers do just that. (They are listed below.) I find that even using the humblebrag technique is a great way to slowly start making myself more comfortable with putting my accomplishments on display.
BRAG! Take 12 Questionnaire by Peggy Klaus Don't feel that you have to answer these in order. You can start anywhere and skip around. As you move through the questions, you'll likely think of things you might have overlooked when answering earlier ones. In fact, you'll probably want to go over your responses once more after you have completed the evaluation. Remember, the more time you put into this exercise, the more specific details you provide, the easier it will be to create brag bites and bragologues that will be crystal clear and interesting to those who don't already know you well. 1. What would you and others say are five of your personality pluses? 2. What are the ten most interesting things you have done or that have happened to you? 3. What do you do for a living and how did you end up doing it? 4. What do you like/love about your current job/career? 5. How does your job/career use your skills and talents, and what projects are you working on right now that best showcase them? 6. What career successes are you most proud of having accomplished (from current position and past jobs)? 7. What new skills have you learned in the last year? 8. What obstacles have you overcome to get where you are today, both professionally and personally, and what essential lessons have you learned from some of your mistakes? 9. What training/education have you completed and what did you gain from those experiences? 10. What professional organizations are you associated with and in what ways_member, board, treasurer, or the like? 11. How do you spend your time outside of work, including hobbies, interests, sports, family, and volunteer activities? 12. In what ways are you making a difference in people's lives?
What about you, dear readers? What are your thoughts on bragging? Are you good at it? Terrible at it? Need to do more of it? Please share your thoughts in the comments section!

Monday Morning Memo – Living Without a Roadmap

monday morning memo“God does not hand out maps and a schedule of events. It's frustrating sometimes, but if we can ever get the hang of life as God intended, then it becomes an adventure to be lived instead of an unknown to be feared.” ― Angela Thomas Do you ever find yourself living as if there is some hidden map outlining exactly how your life is supposed to go? If only you could find it, everything would be just fine. The truth is, though, that there is no map...life takes various twists and turns and often does not unfold the way we expect. As a result, we sometimes get so worried about the "shoulds" and "what ifs" that we end up immobile. We have to constantly remind ourselves that there is no ONE right way to do things. Even when we make mistakes, the learning that emerges from it gets woven into the fabric of our being. Have a great week everyone!

Does Being Fat…Oops, “Soft” Hinder Your Career?

[caption id="attachment_5847" align="aligncenter" width="318"]source: cbs.com source: cbs.com[/caption]Recently, I read the Forbes.com piece, "13 Things Overachievers Do" and all was fine and dandy until I got to #9:

THEY DON'T LET THEMSELVES GET FAT.

In the original piece, the author equated "fat" with being "soft" and stated that overachievers never let themselves get "soft" . . . not "in any sense of the word. They work out regularly, fanatically, and they take care of their bodies and minds." Because, you know, if you're fat, therefore, you obviously DON'T take care of your body or your mind. A few days after the article went live, the author recanted, stating: "My conscience bothered me. My goal in any of my writing is to uplift and encourage people. So I edited this section. My intent was not to target people who are overweight, myself included, but more appropriate is type-A personalities don’t let themselves get soft, in any way, if they can avoid it. You can be skinny and soft, by the way." (emphasis added) I was glad to see the author adjust his list and note, quite rightly, that even "skinny" people can be "soft." But the initial statement (and the underlying assumption behind it) bothered me. While it's a widely shared viewpoint, it's an unfair one and, I suspect for many, not true. For me, I find that my Type-A personality is actually part of what causes me to be overweight. I distinctly remember packing on the pounds once I graduated from law school and found myself working 60, 70, 80 hour weeks and surviving off of little sleep and lots of take-out. (Who has time to workout and eat right? I've got hours to bill! I must produce memos that SING!) Also, never having been an athletic-type, going to the gym only discouraged me . . . because, if I can't be the strongest, fastest, BEST in the weight room or exercise class, than what's the point, right? (We Type-A folks are notorious for our all-or-nothing, black-or-white thinking.) As I am working to overcome these Type-A tendencies, I'm able to acknowledge and embrace the small steps that are essential to my journey towards achieving healthy curves. Now, even though *I* know (and you know) that being fat, heavy, overweight, soft or whatever you want to call it shouldn't hinder your career, I have to admit that all of the recent controversy over Governor Chris Christie's weight and his political future have me reconsidering this position slightly. Leaving his actual politics aside, should the fact that Governor Christie is morbidly obese matter if he tosses his hat in the ring for the next presidential election? I hate to admit this, but I think it might. Before you brand me a hypocrite, let me explain. I am most definitely an advocate of the healthy-at-every-size philosophy. I have always believed that, unless you are a model, your body size should not matter when it comes to your candidacy for a job or your ability to perform that job. Unless, of course, it actually *does* inhibit your ability to physically perform the functions of the job. For instance, if you work for the postal service, you need to be strong enough and have enough stamina to lift heavy boxes, stand for long periods of time, etc. If you are so physically out of shape that you cannot do your job, well . . . that's an entirely different issue than if your potential employer just doesn't like the way you look. That's why I took issue with all of the attacks on Surgeon General Regina Benjamin. Clearly, she is qualified and capable of doing her job. And, as she stated in her interview with Robin Roberts, in some ways, her weight struggles enhance her ability to do her job because she understands the challenges facing the 69.2% of Americans who are overweight or obese. As this article states, "[h]aving a confident, big-bodied and big-spirited woman as America’s family doctor could do [much] to improve their health . . . . It’s good to know that even doctors struggle with their weight — and lead full and active lives in spite of adversity.” Now, in contrast to being a presidential appointee, being the actual President of the United States . . . well, that's a pretty physically demanding job. Even campaigning to be President is a difficult job, what with its "grueling marathon of plane rides, rubber-chicken dinners and sub-zero rallies." It's been frequently discussed how the stress of the presidency causes its officeholder to age prematurely, with graying hair, wrinkles, and all the rest of it. Given the Governor's present size, you can't help but wonder how much more the stress of the highest office in the land would negatively impact his health. (Not that being the governor of a state is a walk in the park . . . what with natural disasters and all.) Also, and I hate to even go there, but would his size take away from his ability to command respect on the national or even international stage? Would we have to see him humiliate himself on the regular just to accommodate others' prejudices like he did on Letterman? (I'm sorry, but I was just embarassed for him during that interview . . . I don't care what he says, none of those jokes were funny . . . nor is having to repeat them with a smiling face just to show that you're a good sport.) What are your thoughts on this issue, dear readers? Spill!

Monday Morning Memo – We’ve Got It All Backwards

monday morning memomonday morning memo "Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you really need to do, in order to have what you want." - Martha Young

Trend Alert: Minty Fresh! (Spring 2013)

I'm not really one of those people who likes to forecast trends or get excited about trends out of season. Sometimes it's difficult just keeping up with what's hot in the current season. I mean, really, it's almost cruel how they send you catalogs with swimwear and sundresses when it's 20 degrees outside. But, looking around, I couldn't help but notice subtle hints of mint green popping up everywhere. At first I thought it was part of the general return of pastels that we see every spring. After a bit of digging, however, I found out that mint was all over the runways at Fashion Week. Turns out mint will be a major color this spring. Want to make sure you're on trend? Here's a just a few items to get you started!
Minty Fresh
What are your thoughts on this trend? Will YOU be rocking mint green this spring? Share in the comments section!