In My Daughter’s Eyes

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What does my daughter see when she looks at me? Does she see a strong, intelligent and kind woman?

In my daughter’s eyes am I someone she would like to be? Does she see someone confident and motivated to do good?

When I am ready to step out the door, is she following me thinking that I am ready to conquer my fears and that I am a woman who will stand up for herself if need be?

Is my daughter proud of me? Does she know I do my best every day to be a positive role model and influence in her life?

Have I been able to show her that it’s okay to ask for help when you need it and that by doing so, it is not a sign of weakness but of strength?

Despite my flaws, does she appreciate the efforts I make to love myself unconditionally, knowing that even Moms aren’t perfect? Does she understand that perfection is not something any of us can achieve?

Have I been able to convince her that she is strong enough, smart enough, pretty enough? Does she know she is more then good enough?

I hope the answer to these questions are a yes. It is something I strive for each and every day; to be the kind of woman my daughter would some day want to be. I discovered the song below when my daughter was a baby and it captures beautifully how I feel about my girl and who I am as a Mom and a woman since she arrived into my life. Not only do I hope I am someone she wants to be but in her eyes I see someone I want to be as well! I am very Pretty, Plus and Proud of my daughter and my role in moulding this amazing young woman! 

Even if you are not a Mom at this point in your life, be a positive influence to your nieces, friends’ children, kids in the neighbourhood, children at church, co-workers’s little ones. There are young people all around that need mentoring. Find them and show them they have the potential to be someone great no matter what they look like, where they come from, what has happened in their past. Their future is in their hands so help them make great things possible.

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Believe!

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Image courtesy of queenbeefashionista4 on Instagram.

STOP:

  • sitting on the sidelines watching everyone else having fun.
  • waiting for the guy you like to ask you out, you do the asking.
  • sitting on the sand all covered up watching others splash in the waves.
  • depriving yourself of occasional treats.
  • worrying about what other people will think or say when you wear a tank top and uncover those arms.
  • weighing yourself.
  • letting other people tell you what is good for you.
  • allowing others make decisions for you.
  • hating your body.
  • wanting to change because society says you should be different.
  • thinking you’re not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, strong enough.

START:

  • wearing a bathing suit allowing the sun to kiss your skin and the water tickle your toes.
  • having fun.
  • a social life; have drinks with friends, go to the movies, join a dating site.
  • eating an ice cream every now and then.
  • wearing sleeveless dresses.
  • eating good healthy food simply because it tastes good and you want to show your body love by nourishing it.
  • deciding for yourself what is good for you and make your own decisions when it comes to what you wear, what activities you do, where you go, who you hang out with, what kind of job you want to do.
  • loving your body and yourself as you are right now and do things for your body because you want to show it the respect it deserves.
  • moving your body because it feels good.
  • BELIEVING IN YOURSELF: You are good enough, smart enough, pretty enough and strong enough to have any kind of life you want.
  • thinking the Pretty, Plus and Proud way and have everything you deserve in your life!

XO

Plus Size OOTD

Today I’m keeping the topic light and sharing some outfits I’ve been rocking lately. I’m all about comfort but try to keep it trendy. I love accessories especially earrings to give outfits a little extra oomph! Enjoy the pictures below. I’d love to see some pictures of your favourite clothing or jewellery pieces! feel free to share! Be Pretty, Plus and Proud this weekend looking stylish while strutting your beautiful self about town!

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Torrid jeggings size 16 petites, Torrid top size 1, thrifted jacket from Value Village, Torrid jewellery

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Torrid jeggings size 16 petites, Torrid sweater size 2, Torrid earrings

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Torrid jeggings size 16 petites, Addition Elle sweater size x, long-sleeved T-shirt ?, Torrid jewellery

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Torrid black ankle jeans size 16, Torrid top size 2, Torrid earrings

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Torrid black leggings size 1, Addition Elle sweater size 2x, Penningtons scarf

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Torrid jeggings size 16 petites, Forever 21+ top size 2x, Torrid jacket size 2, Torrid jewellery

XO

What Does Body Positive and Body Love Mean?

A friend and I had a rather lengthy and interesting chat over drinks at Tim Hortons today. What does being body positive really mean? I think we came to a few solid conclusions, keeping in mind that not everyone will agree:

  1. Everyone deserves love and respect no matter what they look like.
  2. Everyone has a different story so it’s not mine or anyone’s place or right to judge.
  3. Loving your body should include taking care of it; nourishing it with nutritious and delicious food, moving your body to keep it functioning well for how you want to live your life, participate in activities that feed your soul and make you happy.
  4. Taking care of your body does not mean restricting it from things that you love whether that be chocolate chip cookies, salt and vinegar chips or cookies and creme ice cream. Does that mean I eat those things every day? No, of course not but it doesn’t mean I never eat them.
  5. If I eat good food and exercise, does that mean I am participating in diet culture? No, I am not handing over my hard-earned cash for someone to beat me over the head with how many calories I am restricted to eating or how many steps I should be walking. I am not exercising and eating well to lose weight. I am doing those things to feel good in the body I already have.
  6. Being body positive means that I am encouraging social media to represent all kinds of bodies in movies, TV, magazines and fashion shows so that women know that we don’t all have to be the same size to be worthy, good enough, respected and loved.
  7. Being body positive includes supporting and accepting people not just of different sizes but different colours, races, nationalities, sexes and abilities. It means everyone and every body has a place in the world that no one but them can fill.
  8. Self-love is being aware of your faults, the good, the bad and the ugly about yourself and being ok with that, knowing that no one is perfect nor should anyone strive to be or do the impossible.
  9. Body love means respecting yourself and expecting respect from others. It means you are allowed to distance yourself from anyone, any thing or any situation that makes you feel bad about yourself.
  10. Self-love, body positivity and body love means you accept, embrace and love who you are in any given moment of your life and you are doing what you need to be doing to have the happiest, longest and most fulfilled life possible for you, whatever that looks like to you.
  11. Your worth should be determined by these questions: Am I kind? Am I respectful? Am I helpful? Am I generous? Am I truthful? Your worth is not determined by your outside but by your inside.

This is my personal take on what body positivity is. Not everyone will agree and that’s ok. There is room for different opinions. This is how we grow, learn and evolve as humans, as long as it’s done respectfully, peacefully and no one is hurt in the process.

I am, as always, Pretty, Plus and Proud of the progress I have made in stopping the battle with my body. Since I’ve stopped hating my body, I’m happier and have opened opportunities for myself I never imagined. Life is good, not perfect but good and that to me is self-love!

Live Video Chat With Mel Parrish

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Photo by @bryanwhitely, Hair and Makeup by @laurenolearybeauty

My Instagram inspiration, follower, supporter and friend, Queenbeefashionista4 from Instagram was the lucky winner of a video chat with model Mel Parrish. The lovely Queenbee then nominated me for this honour and I had my live video chat with Mel last evening. It was exciting to say the least to speak with this beautiful and inspiring woman.

Melinda Parrish is a public figure, host of Body Love TV (which airs every Friday noon ET on FaceBook live) and a plus size model working for Ford Modelling Agency and Brigette Models. She also shared with me she had been of service to her country in the Navy; no shrinking violet here. She is obviously a strong, independent, intelligent, inspiring and motivating woman not to mention beautiful as well.

Her belief is that health can be found at any size; not all skinny people are healthy and not all plus size people are unhealthy. Her topics on her channel include; #1 Oppressor of Women, Shutting Down Body Shamers, Embrace Change, Things To Do To Be Unstoppable and How To Overcome Binge Eating.

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Pilates studio @thepilatesloftarlington, Photo by @crazytownproductions, Outfit by @underarmourwomen

She was a delight to speak with, immediately putting me at ease with compliments (thanks beautiful). We discussed what my body positive journey looked like, since everyone’s journey is different. She asked about my blog; what did I like to write about, how did it start and what has it given to me. She encouraged me to continue my work in helping women who desire to love their bodies without buying into the diet culture. She supported my wish to venture into motivational speaking, giving me some tips on how to make that dream a reality.

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Photo by @eakphoto, Hair by @hairdavinci, Outfit by @ASOS_us

This conversation with Mel was definitely the highlight of my week! I was a little nervous so I hope I didn’t come across as silly and starstruck. lol! I was definitely feeling Pretty, Plus and Proud after this virtual meet up. Thank you Mel for your time, listening to and discussing my thoughts, ideas and opinions on the body positive movement and its meaning in my life. It’s wonderful how you reach out to the average woman, living an average life to get inspiration for your Friday monologues on http://www.bodylovetv.com/ I strongly encourage everyone to check her out on Instagram (especially if you’d like the opportunity to chat live with this lovely lady) and her FaceBook channel for some body love!

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Photo by @bryanwhitely, Hair and Makeup by @laurenolearybeauty

Beauty and the Beast – What Can We Learn?

I went to the movie “Beauty and the Beast” last week with my daughter and husband. It is the live action adaptation of the classic Disney animated fairytale, starring Harry Potter’s Emma Watson as the Beauty. It was fabulous to say the least. The music, acting, costume design, set design and true to animation adaptation were all on point. Absolutely a must see!

However, as I sat watching the movie, one thought kept rising to the surface; what a wonderful lesson about acceptance and love. It truly teaches us that love is not found in what someone looks like but by what is in their heart. If one is kind, considerate, thoughtful and selfless, others will find that person to be deserving and worthy of all those characteristics in return. What you look like does not determine nor should it be the definition of who you are. The Beast in all his outwardly unattractiveness managed to capture the attention and love of a young woman simply because he was kind to her. She enjoyed his humour, his intellect and stimulating conversation and in those characteristics, she found someone worthy of her love. His ultimate selflessness sealed her love and saved his friends from eternal lives as inanimate objects. In that moment his true beauty shone through his beast like exterior, leaving us wonder, who really is the beast in this story? Perhaps it is Gagnon, the man hoping to be Beauty’s husband that is the beast. His actions would certainly confirm that. He was vain, mean, boastful, revengeful and just plain, not nice. That my friends, is not the kind of person worthy of love, despite his rugged good looks on the outside.

ls this too deep for a “kids” movie? Perhaps, but remember many children’s stories have elements for the adults to enjoy too. Being involved in the body positive movement, this message of love and acceptance based on someone’s interior rather than their exterior is what clearly jumped out at me while I enjoyed everything else that made this movie a definite win for me. Keep what Pretty, Plus and Proud is all about close to heart while you sit in the theatre enjoying this classic tale of devotion and true love.

In Need of Virtual Hugs!

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Even those of us who work so hard at motivating and inspiring people have days when nothing is going right and sadness envelops our heart. Maybe that sounds a bit melodramatic but I’ve had a disappointment this week which has really knocked me off my confidence pedestal. My first speaking event has been at this time cancelled. I won’t go into the reasons I was given. Suffice it to say I strongly disagree with the decision made and think it highly unprofessional. The cancellation (or postponement?) was not my fault I was told so I’m not beating myself up about it but I was so looking forward to it! I’m so very bitterly disappointed, angry and sad all rolled into one big emotional ball. I had put so much time and effort in preparing for this day and now I have to take all that and put it aside for another day I don’t know for sure will even come!

I know I have to believe other opportunities will come my way, maybe even better ones but for today, I need a hug! I guess this experience tells me I still have lots to learn about and work on about myself. I need to not fight change so fiercely. I need to not wallow in self-pity and pick myself up by the bootstraps and look forward to brighter things ahead. I have to be understanding and tolerant of other people’s right to change their minds and in doing so affect my life. I must be forgiving and not hold onto hurts and anger. I must accept I can not control other people, only my reactions to them. I must be a big girl, put on my big girl pants, wipe the tears away and move on.

But for this moment, this author of Pretty, Plus and Proud needs a hug!