Wednesday, August 22, 2018

#BEinyourskin Week Four: YOU

Week Four

"Your best life is on the other side of confidence"
-Brianna McDonnell

August is one of my favorite months out of the year on The B Word, because of the #BEinyourskin Challenge. I created this challenge for everybody. To share things I have learned, I have experienced, and things that have helped me find myself. The world has always told me, because of my size, to take up less space, be quieter, dim your light, and I couldn’t be untrue to myself. I had to find my inner light. This is what I hope for all of you. I hope that I can inspire and empower you to know that you are enough, your story is worth sharing and you are so loved. That you deserve to live the life, that YOU love.

This week we will be focusing on our passions, our purpose and what makes us feel alive. I have always found that when I’m doing things I love, my insecurities, body hate, or self doubt melt away.

You get to recognize your own potential. You get to decide what your limits are and what they aren’t. You get to define what you believe in, what you dedicate your time and energy and body to. You get to find your passions and your purpose. They can be big or small. They can be famous or unknown. They can be close or far away. Anything you want. YOU decide. No one gets to tell you what they can or can’t do or who they can or can’t be. Only you can do that. Define your own life, for you, by you.

Activity One:
Quick Fire Questions
This is a quick fire round of questions. Write the first thing that comes to mind:

I love when I feel _______________
I’m my truest self when I’m _______________
I want more of _____________ out of life
My perfect life is full of ______________
I define happiness by _____________
The thing I want most out of life is ______________

Journal Question:

What would you do with your life if no one said no?

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

#BEinyourskin Week Three: PHYSICAL

Week Three:

A 1994 survey found that “Young American girls ‘are more afraid of becoming fat than they are of nuclear war, cancer, or losing their parents’’’
(Tirosh, 2016 & Normandi and Roark 1999, 4).

I find that so many people struggle with the way they look. This is across genders, races, backgrounds, sexual identities, size and shape. We all have insecurities with our bodies. I grew up really hating my arms and my stomach. Most of my followers say they struggle with their bellies as well. I spent so much time covering those body parts, wearing spanxs, being uncomfortable, for what? To make other people more comfortable? To make myself seem smaller? To take up less room?? It all mattered so much until one day it didn’t. One day when I realized I was so much more than my physical form, that’s when my relationship with my body shifted.

There is so much pressure put on us by society to make our bodies fit a certain mold, a certain ideal. but we don’t look at the power of the body. The body is an everyday miracle. This body gets you places. This body gives you the ability to run, jump, play, laugh, be afraid, feel great, all by just existing. Isn’t that a “good” body? It was when I shifted my mindset around my body from being one that was unsatisfied to being grateful for where I am every single day, that my relationship with my body changed. When I realized that my worth depended on so much more than how my body looked, I felt free. It was then I could start looking at my soft belly and releasing the expectations I had on myself. I could look at my arms and love them for how the sagged, because these arms were strong and allowed me to do so much.

This week is about letting go of an ideal when it comes to our body. Again, to create our own narrative, not one that was sold to us. What does a body that works for you look like? How can I love the body I’m in today - more??

I can be everything I want to be in this body. I don’t have to wait to be a certain size or weight. I can be vast, be brilliant. I can take the space I deserve.

You can just be in your skin.

Activity #1:

Mirror Activity 

I do this activity quite often personally, and I have a Youtube video that can guide you as well!

Step One:

Step in Front of the mirror, set a timer for 2 minutes and look at yourself. This can be really hard, but really look at yourself, your body, all of you.

Step Two:

Pick Three Things you LOVE about your physical body. If you can’t think of things you love about your body, what are things you love about yourself.

Step Three:

Tell yourself, out loud, what you LOVE about yourself and why.


When was the first time you thought your body wasn't a good body??

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

#BEinyourskin Week Two: Thoughts

Week Two
“You don’t become what you want, you become what you believe.”
― Oprah Winfrey

Whenever I get asked how I build my self confidence,
it really all started with believing in my value. It all starts in my mind,
with my thoughts, faking it until I made it.
It is hard to change the way you feel about yourself, without changing your internal monologue.
The things we think become our reality.
This is the same with our relationship with ourselves.
One of the most important elements of our body image is our thoughts. How we think about ourselves and how we think about others. The thoughts we think about our own bodies feel often like truth - not stories, not things we heard, not other people’s opinions - but truth. The sort of truth that lives within us with a capital T. The sort of Truth that’s etched into our bones, under our skin and blood and muscle, onto the very things that keep us standing. The thoughts that we carry, the truths that we hold, the words we carry on our bones - they aren’t actually true most of the time.

Activity One:
I’m a firm believer in fake it until you make it. That’s where practicing mantras became important to me.
I had to recognize the thoughts I was having about myself, I had to stop myself mid-negative, self loathing thought,
and I had to rewire my thought with a mantra. I write my mantra and I put it places I’ll see every day.
My mantras are my reminders, when I catch myself feeling anything less than amazing.
1. Take What You Need:
2. Write it, Draw It, Post It Somewhere You’ll See It:
3. Use IT, when you need it

Time to change the way we talk to ourselves. Literally.
Write a letter to yourself about the great parts about you.
Not just the parts you love right now, but the parts you think you should love. Or maybe could love.
Write about your heart and your mind, but also your body.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Style For Everybody

Grow up plus size, I had to get really creative when it came to finding clothing I loved, clothing that fit and clothing that reflected my personal style. I grew up having to really search and look in places I wouldn't expect to find unique, cute pieces. When Talbots reached out to me, I immediately was taken back to shopping with my mom and grandma, stopping into stores I swore I couldn't find anything I would like and being pleasantly surprised by all the things I found and loved.

I have to be honest, when I'm looking for jeans, Talbots wasn't my first thought but like that young, plus size girl searching for fashion I wanted, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and fit of these Talbots pieces! Talbots has just launched their, "Style For Everybody" campaign and I couldn't agree more. I'm wearing the Plus Size Exclusive Denim Jegging in the Curvy Fit. These are not your inexpensive, thick thigh busting jeans. These jeans are such quality denim and the stretch is perfect. I also have a 34" inseam, being 6'0 tall and this length felt really great! Shop the whole look here:

Talbots' ultimate jeans style guide is perfect for any leg shape. I'm a big fan of skinny but sometimes I need to change it up with a more relaxed fit. Talbots is the go-to spot for plus denim, and I'm so excited I got to try these out. Here is a coupon for my babes!

If I would give any advice to my plus size people when it comes to looking for clothing we love, it's to be open to trying different stores, styles, sizes. Step outside your comfort zone and try, fashion is fun!

Links to what I'm wearing:

Plus Size Exclusive Denim Jegging in the Curvy Fit

Scallop Sleeve Top

This post is in collaboration with Talbots and Stylinity, but opinions are my own 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

#BEinyourskin Week One: INTAKE


Intake (noun), a thing or a quantity taken in

“People often say that 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder,' and I say that the most liberating
thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder.
This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look,
including inside ourselves” -Salma Hayek

I chose the first week’s theme, Intake, because I wanted to take a critical look at the images and messages we take in each day, consciously and subconsciously. In 2018 we are bombarded with narratives and images, meant to sell us products - at what price? This week we are going to dive deeper into how our self esteem and body confidence are affected by the mass media and narratives we intake.

The narratives we consume literally create the way we see the world and the ways we see ourselves.
Without stopping and critically thinking about what messaging is being intentionally stuffed
down our throats, we accept those things as truth. As measuring sticks against which to measure ourselves.
The media we take in teaches us who deserves what. It teaches us who deserves respect,
autonomy, health, love, worth, access to education, financial stability, housing, health care, and more.
It teaches us that beauty defines a woman’s worth in every other way.
It teaches us that beauty is whiteness, cisness, able-bodiedness, straightness, and thinness.
It teaches us wrong.
By creating a belief system in our heads about what we must be in order to be beautiful, people make money off what we spend chasing those impossible ideals. The messaging of the world is curated in order to convince us to spend money chasing impossible ideals.



Perhaps the most harmful consistent messaging we receive is from mass media.
TV shows, movies - the stories we grow up watching are the stories we grow up believing.
Think about the stories you hear about fat women - are they the funny best friend?
Are they the revenge body weightloss story (hi, Khloe Kardashian)?
Are they losing weight to become their best selves? Their true selves?
Are any of them fat - but that’s not important -
because they are brave, and wild, and free, and employed, and smart, and trailblazing, and
traveling, and homemaking, and parenting, and loving, and being women? Just being brilliant,
wonderful women?

1. Make a list of the times you’ve felt represented in mass media (film, television, ads)

2. Make a list of media outlets that make you feel amazing:

3. How would you like to see yourself represented in mass media?? What is a character you would love to see on TV? What would rock your world to see??


Look at the top 5 media outlets you pay attention to. Look at the top 5 people you spend time with. Do they reinforce a positive sense of self worth, or do they make you feel less than? Reflect on the media you consume the most and the people you spend the most time with, how does this affect your self worth?