Month: October 2013

Shamelessly Pursuing Rest and Play

Kitten taking a nap on white background"I don't watch television." "Magazines are useless."

I hate when people declare that they have no time for such frivolous things as television...magazines...and other things that I love. While I'm not going to defend the merits of R&B Divas and celebrity gossip rags, I will defend the immense joy they bring me when I take just a few moments to let my mind unwind while indulging in a little brain candy.  As I've written previously, taking time just to chill and engage in absolutely meaningless activities is a real blessing for me as I find myself continuously overscheduled. In The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, my guru, Brene Brown refers to this deliberate decision to slow down and engage in enjoyable, yet seemingly "pointless" activities as "cultivating rest and play." This, in turn, is one of her guideposts for "wholehearted living" . . . an essential step to “letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth." Of course, when it comes to things like watching tv and reading magazines, it's important to watch out for numbing. You don't want to end up using it as a tool to zone out and avoid "real life." In fact, I'm hoping to ease up a bit on the tv and get back into reading more...a hobby that I loved as a child, but haven't been able to indulge in much as an adult. (I blame law school...all of that case law really ruined my appetite for reading during my down time.) But, I believe that it is essential to my sanity...and my social life. (I've been told in not so subtle terms that I'm not the most pleasing person to be around when I'm in my workaholic mode. *lol*)

How are YOU pursuing rest and play in your own life? ARE you pursuing rest and play? Why or why not? If not, how can you start?

Monday Morning Memo – Have Your Watered Your Garden Lately?

monday morning memo"Our bodies are our gardens to which our wills are gardeners." - William Shakespeare Oh my goodness, you guys. I have been working pretty much non-stop for the last several weeks. My days have been jam-packed with briefings, meetings, networking events, fundraisers, etc., etc.. So, I've pretty much been stuck in a cycle of get-up, go-to-work, do-your-thing, go-home-and-collapse-into-bed. As a result I haven't done much exercise other than the occasional walk to run errands and then the weekly Work Your Curves bootcamp session. Although I don't necessarily foresee my schedule calming down much, I'm determined to carve out time to take better care of myself...to go to a yoga class here and there, to fix myself healthful meals, to get more rest (not just sleep, but rest). After all, if I don't take care of my temple, I won't be able to accomplish anything on my to-do list at all! What about you? Have you allowed busyness to get in the way of tending to your own health and wellness? How do you plan to remedy that?

Every Curvy Girl Needs….Fall 2013 Edition

Now that fall is finally here, we know that it's time for us to whip out our chic trench coats. (Because every curvy girl's GOT to have a chic trench coat!) But what else does a gal need for the fall? Well, in my view, there are two other absolute essentials. First and foremost, you must have some faux fur...
Faux Fux

Faux Fux by curvyceo

Whether it's a faux fur collar attached to a cardigan or an accent to your outerwear pieces, you can really never go wrong with faux fur in my book. The other essential? A fierce pair of boots!
Every Curvy Girl Needs A Fierce Pair of Boots!

Every Curvy Girl Needs A Fierce Pair of Boots! by curvyceo

Shopping for boots that are wide enough both too fit your foot and your calf can be a challenge. Fortunately, my girls Dionna and Marie have got you covered. Here's to keeping cute in the chilly weather!

Real-Life Curvy CEO: Health & Wellness Coach, Tosh Patterson

Tosh Patterson Recently, I had the opportunity to meet entrepreneur Tosh Patterson, "Chief Healthinista" of Be Well, Eat Well, Live Well. After learning more about her story and her mission to help other women create lives of wellness, I knew that I had to feature her as one of my real-life curvy CEOs! So, let's get right into it!

First and foremost, what is a "Healthinista"? A Healthinista is a smart & successful woman who is not willing to sacrifice her health & well-being while building a life & career she loves. Healthinistas know their well-being extends BEYOND the number on the scale to include all areas of life.

I’m known as “The Healthinista”, not because I am a size 4, but because I released 70 pounds from my body...and I’m not quite finished yet. In order to lose, no release, the weight I had to detox both mentally and physically. So I coined the term Healthinista, because I believe that every woman is striving to be her best; not perfect, but her best at any point in time.

How did you get started on your own health journey? How did you know even where to begin? Many people have a “Build-Up" moment, essentially a breaking point. My build up moment, well, I was sitting in a personal development class and the instructor asked, “What areas of your life have you not been willing to accept responsibility?”

My 300 pound body was evident as the answer to the question. For far too long I had not been willing to accept responsibility for my health. Over the years I approached my health haphazardly, until that build up moment when I shifted from victim to responsible...from not caring to caring...from not knowing to wanting to know how to do better.

Honestly I didn’t know exactly where to start and I tried lots of approaches until I found the one that worked best for me. Now I help my clients see that there’s not one set path on the wellness journey. There are many necessary loops, curves, and turns along the way. [pullquote] Honestly I didn’t know exactly where to start and I tried lots of approaches until I found the one that worked best for me. Now I help my clients see that there’s not one set path on the wellness journey. There are many necessary loops, curves, and turns along the way. [/pullquote] How did you go from simply tending to your own needs to launching an entire company? My company - Be Well, Eat Well, Live Well - was founded out of my own pain and struggle. In hindsight, I can see what I needed as I was striving towards a healthier lifestyle. So my company’s principles grew out of what I did not fully understand during my own health journey.

Be Well means to work on creating a positive mindset about health. Eat Well means more veggies, less boxed and processed foods. Live Well means make yourself a priority at least 15 minutes daily, get sleep, ask for support. I offer One-on-One Healthinista Accountability Calls and Healthy Cooking VIP Sessions. As a coach, I help smart & successful women who are struggling with weight loss. I teach simple weight loss strategies so women can achieve results they can see, feel, and measure in 30 days or less. If someone wants to snatch back their lives & win back their bodies, they should contact me via email info@toshpatterson.com or via phone (202.656.5866).

What have been some of the biggest challenges and some of the biggest rewards of being an entrepreneur? My ultimate dream and intention is to have my business exceed my current 9-5 income. The biggest challenge currently is working full-time while also building my business, which has meant less free time as well as the need to be highly intentional in how I use my time.

Despite the challenges, I’ve had a tremendous amount of accomplishments in the past year including: meeting Jillian Michaels when receiving the 2012 RADICAL Award, being a guest on two TV shows, securing individual and corporate clients, speaking on five radio shows, being invited to serve as a keynote speaker at several conferences, and, most importantly, generating income!

What is next step for you and your company? What’s next? The Healthinista’s 90 Day Weight Loss Diary. So from October to December, I’ll be blogging daily about my journey to lose/release my next 45-55 pounds...sharing tips, recipes, & advice as my results continue to unfold. Come cheer me on at www.toshpatterson.com!

melt it off

What advice would you offer to someone who wants to begin on a health quest but is feeling discouraged? My advice: ditch perfection, remain in action. Mistakes are a sign you are trying. Just keep going. I’d also offer these juicy nuggets of wisdom I wish someone had shared with me way back when.

Step 1: Be Well By Creating Positive Mindset -Define your WHY ...beyond losing weight, what do you hope to accomplish? Why now? Why are you committing time & energy to this goal? If you want to make health a priority, maybe losing weight will allow you to go running, bend into a yoga pose, have children, or ditch health medication. Start to identify WHY you're willing to strive towards this goal. -If you don’t love and nurture yourself, who else can? You have to love yourself as you currently are, even as you continue to strive to be the healthiest, best version of yourself. I say SPEAK LIFE. Speak to yourself the way you would speak to your girlfriend. Cheer yourself on. And if you do not feel able to cheer yourself on, listen to a motivational speaker like Lisa Nichols, Tony Robbins, TD Jakes, etc. I’m speaking positively to myself. No thinking/speaking negatively and if I catch myself being critical, my intention is to stop quickly; how? By literally posting positive things on my fridge and mirror like “Your body is your temple, Tosh”... "Today is the day to love you, Tosh"...You can use these same techniques.

Step 2: Eat Well By Having More Veggies, Less Processed Food -Reduce/eliminate processed food: Don’t shoot the messenger! But I’m here to tell you, because I know from first-hand experience, eating boxed foods and packaged dinners causes your body to store fat, not burn it. Fast food is also processed food, which can be removed from most people’s diet. Some people can eat a little pasta while most people have a hard time with carb portion control. If this is you, and you’re like most people, begin to significantly reduce and/or eliminate processed food from your diet. -Reduce/eliminate sugar: If you are trying to lose weight, or wish to maintain your weight, you must be mindful of sugar. Even the most conscious consumer has to pay attention to the sugar content in drinks, breads, and sauces. Removing soda from your menu could help you lose 25-30 pounds quite easily. -Increase veggies: Aim for 8-11 servings of veggies & fruit daily. You can enjoy a large volume of whole, fresh foods and be satisfied longer. Most people do not have enough of these foods on a daily basis.

Step 3: Live Well By Asking for What You Need -Sleep: Your body restores and repairs itself while you sleep. -Accountability Partner: You’ll have more success with a coach. Hands down. Stop trying to do it alone. Invite people to cheer you on AND hold you accountable to achieve what YOU SAY is important.

What advice would you give to a would-be entrepreneur who is hesitant about launching her enterprise? The same advice as the previous question: Ditch perfection, be in consistent action. Starting your own business is challenging, but the rewards are great and worth the effort...kinda like being a healthier person.

Anything else you'd like to share? Get Your FREE Kit - 7 Waistline Tips to Jumpstart Your Weight-Loss!

Well, there you have it! Want to hear more of Tosh's wisdom?? Be sure to get in on this FREE event she is hosting on October 29 - only 10 guests will be able to participate so register today!!!

Tosh Patterson LLC, 5 Proven Tips to Avoid Holiday Weightgain Sign

Monday Morning Memo – Make That Change

monday morning memo "If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude." - Maya Angelou Recently, I came across a picture someone had taken of me...and I didn't like it. At all. Admittedly, I had broken one of my own tenets of style and had failed to "dress as if something important were going to happen that day." Instead, I had worn a simple pair of jeans and a top. No makeup. Glasses. A less than perfectly crafted 'fro. So yeah, definitely not my best look. But, it wasn't the cosmetic nature of my appearance that got me down. Rather, I was upset by how large I looked in the picture. (I'm telling you, I think I have some sort of reverse body-dysmorphic disorder where I think I look better than I do. Despite my dress size and the number on the scale, in my head I swear I'm Michelle Obama.) Anyhoo, rather than get upset and break open a package of cookies (which is what I would've done a few years ago), I said to myself, "Well, you don't like what you see, but you are taking steps to change it. So, don't get upset...just keep moving forward." After having that experience and stumbling on the quote above, I just knew that that had to be today's Monday Morning Memo. What are you struggling with, dear readers? Is it something you can change? If so, what's holding you back? If not, how can you change your attitude to help you cope better with the situation? Share in the comments section!

Well, I Never Thought I’d Blog About THIS….

One perk of being a blogger is that you tend to get a lot of swag. Media passes to high profile events. Free clothing from designers. Makeup and hair samples from beauty companies. You know...the usual stuff. So, you will imagine my surprise when I was recently approached with an offer to sample and then write about these... Fruit of the Loom Fit for Me Seamless *long slow blink* Yep. Undies. More specifically, Fruit of the Loom's new Fit for Me line of underwear just for us plus-size gals. (They range from sizes 9-13.) I was skeptical at first. I mean, do I really want to blog about panties? But, I must admit that I have a hard time turning down anything that's free. And once I saw the word "seamless" I was sold. Now, according to the description from the retailer, these undergarments are "super soft" with "extra spandex for added support." They provide "full coverage" to "prevent ride-up." They are "invisible" and "non-binding." That's the official stuff. What's my unofficial review? ZOMG!!! These are soooo comfy!!! And, my skepticism was put to rest - absolutely, positively NO VPL!!! (Seriously, I could hardly believe it myself!) So, yes, get yourself down to Wal-Mart or K-Mart (or just purchase online) to get yourself some Fit for Me's today and let me know what you think!!

Peplum: Still Trending into Fall 2013

One trend we first talked about back in Spring 2012 was peplum - a ruffle or little skirt attached to the waist of a dress or top. I must admit, I was a little hesitant to take on this trend when it first emerged. It seemed a little...dated to me. Very 80s. It was so very stylized that I thought for sure that it wouldn't be around for more than one season...maybe two, tops. (In fact, I recall having that very conversation with Georgette at Blogging While Brown that summer. We both concluded that it was best not to buy *too* many peplum pieces because no way would that trend stick around for too long.) Well, here we are in Fall 2013 and peplum is still going strong. Personally, I am loving it. Not only does peplum hug your curves in all the right places (or, alternatively, give the illusion of curves to ladies who find themselves to be curve deficient), it also hides that pooch that so many of us have beneath our belly button. Seriously, what's not to love? Here are some of my favorite peplum looks from recent fashion collections....
Peplum: Still Trending into Fall 2013
  What do you think, dear readers? Have you been rocking the peplum trend? If not, will you start?

Trend Alert – Raspberry Beret (Fall 2013)

In discussing this color trend, I couldn't help but pay homage to The Purple One. Anyhoo, I am an absolute fan of the "berry." This shade is sort of a purple-y red (or a reddish purple, if you will) and is one of my absolute favorite tones. I especially adore berry shades in lip and nail color. While I'm no authority figure, I feel like it's the natural evolution from all of the "oxblood" tones we've seen the last few autumns. Check out some of my top picks for fashionable ways to rock this trend! I even include - wait for it - a raspberry beret!

Raspberry Beret


(Trouble seeing the image? CLICK HERE!)

Event Alerts (October 2013)

Just a quick post about two fantastic events in DC this October (plus a bonus mention for those who like to plan ahead)! First, TOMORROW NIGHT, October 9, the Women Are Game Changers Fusion Tour is hitting DC! WAGC DC Fusion Tour From 6-9pm at Muse Lounge, women entrepreneurs from across the DMV will have the opportunity to make new connections, build on existing relationships, and exchange information to help take their businesses to the next level. This is the next-to-last stop on a multi-city tour and one networking opportunity that is not to be missed! Buy your tickets HERE! Then, in two weeks, on Saturday, October 19, yours truly will be joining the super-fab thrifting queen Whitney Nic James and ever-stylish Brandie of Lashes and Stilettos for A Curvy Girl's Retail Therapy - Fatshion Edition.

CGRT Flyer

Sponsored by plus-size online shop Ivie Rose Boutique, this event will feature giveaways, complimentary make-up consultations, cocktails, a panel discussion on the latest trends and must-have fall fashion items and, of course, SHOPPING! This is a perfect opportunity for those of you who are looking to re-vamp your style game for the season and to network with other style and beauty mavens! Plus, my readers get a $5 discount if they use the code "CurvyCEO" between now and October 11! (And did I mention that the first 25 guests to register get a complimentary gift bag?) What's not to love??? Finally, I have to put in another plug for the Chasing Joy Brunch & Learn!

Although the event - which will feature an empowering guest speaker, session on dressing for success, complimentary swag AND a tasty brunch - is not until Saturday, January 11, 2014, the super early bird rate ends on October 31! So be sure to get your ticket today!!!