Thick Girl Blues (Spanx Not Included!)

Me in 2008 and me in 2018…crazy right!

In the past, I’ve had writer’s block and I always used the excuse of not having anything going on in my life to write about. I realized that the issue wasn’t that I had run out of things to write about  but the real issue was because I put restrictions on my writing. I wanted my posts to focus on triumph and overcoming obstacles without actually discussing the process. For example, I wanted to post about having a healthier lifestyle without actually discussing where I am health wise now and what occurred in my  life to get to this point. Even though I am anxious to get to the finish line, I have to acknowledge what is happening in the present and be completely honest with my readers and most importantly, myself.

I’ve been considered “thin” ever since I could remember. I could eat what I wanted without gaining weight and although I didn’t have a super flat stomach, it was flat enough for me not to have to suck it in while putting on jeans and I could wear tight clothes without having the appearance of a pudge. Although I always wanted to be a bit thicker especially when I was younger and was teased for being skinny, I eventually came to terms that I would never be super curvaceous and I was okay with that for the most part. When I turned 30 though, things started to change.

I started gaining weight slowly but surely. It wasn’t that noticeable to anyone but I could see the difference. My clothes started to fit a bit tighter and I went up a bra size but it was still manageable and because I was still technically thin, it wasn’t a big deal. However, between the Summer/Fall of 2017 and Winter 2018, it’s like my body went through a crazy change and I put on an extra 15 pounds which hit my boobs, stomach and thighs the hardest. Leggings didn’t look as good on me anymore in a size small and although my favorite pair of jeans still fit because they were super stretchy, holes developed in the thigh area from rubbing together. I came to find out that a lot of thicker women have this problem but I always had a thigh gap so I was oblivious to this issue. My boobs went up another size and although I’m still small compared to a lot of my friends, I’m definitely not flat chested like I was in my younger years. This new body that felt like it came out of nowhere was foreign to me and I wasn’t completely comfortable in my own skin anymore. I had to buy new jeans, bras and even a pair of Spanx because with the new weight in my boobs and thighs came an unwanted present in my stomach area in the form of a pudge/gut whatever you want to call it!  I know that a lot of women gain weight as they get older but my mother was always small and so are many of the women in my family so I felt like an oddball of sorts. I can’t say that anyone made me feel bad about my weight because I’ve received a lot of compliments on how good the weight gain looked on me and when I did the 10 year challenge (as seen in the pic above) I realized that the extra weight makes me look more mature and womanly. Even though most of my old clothes don’ fit me anymore, I do like the fact that the new clothes I’ve bought enhance my curves and make me feel sexy/cute/mature etc. depending on what I’m wearing. With that being said, although I don’t want to go back to the size that I was in my 20’s, I do want to be fit and more toned and for that to happen, I have to eat better and exercise more. I walk a lot but I eat terribly (dairy, pasta, bread and rice are my weaknesses!) and I don’t drink enough water (can’t stand the taste or lack thereof!) I’ve been on diets, cleanses and changed my eating habits but usually around the 2 week mark, I give up. I know it’s mind over matter but I haven’t been completely ready mentally yet to let go of comfort foods and bad habits in order to get to my goal of being slim/thick lol

This post is definitely not a pity party cause I do work with what I have and I like what I see for the most part when I look in the mirror at my shape. I am not at the love stage yet and I know that diet and exercise aren’t the only things that have to change for me to completely embrace the new me. I have to stop comparing myself to others (especially on social media) and while it is good to always work on yourself, being overly critical will keep negative energy around me and I definitely don’t need that. I always say that I am a work in progress and when I get this whole healthy lifestyle journey together, I will definitely share it with you guys! If you have any suggestions on what has worked for you, let me know in the comments:)

I’ll be back on Friday with a new post but until then be sure to love and live luxuriously!

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Motivation Monday: Learning How To Be My Biggest Fan

Good Morning! I was inspired to write this post after the amazing night I had last night at a taping of the 2019 Black Girls Rock Awards. I was surrounded by beautiful black women of all shapes and sizes and was in the presence of Hollywood Royalty such as Regina King, Brandy, Monica, Issa Rae and THE Angela Bassett! I am so inspired by them and their stories and I started thinking to myself, as much as I am a fan of all of these women, in order for me to get to where I want to be in life, I have to see power and strength within myself before anyone else can believe in me and my dreams. In other words, I have to learn how to be my biggest fan.

Now anyone who knows me knows I know how to be a fan of someone who’s talent and drive I admire. In middle school and high school it was Usher (people still ask me if I am obsessed with Usher to this day!) and in my 20’s, it was Trey Songz (had the nickname Visa cause I was everywhere a Trey fan wanted to be lol) While I am still fans of both of these artists, I realized that I have to go as hard promoting myself and my talents just like I did for them early on in their careers. That means I gotta post consistently on social media about what I’m up to, don’t hesitate to talk about myself and what I do at networking events and in casual conversation and most importantly, carry myself like the shining star that I’m destined to be! Dimming my light in order for someone else to shine is no longer an option for me because I know what it feels like to not live up to your potential and to have people ask, “Where have you been?” or “What happened to the site/hosting/discussions?”  Even though people may not have said anything to me about what I was doing while I was in the midst of it all, they were still watching, observing and talking about the moves I was making to others (in a positive way for the most part!) so my hard work did not go unnoticed. The thing is that in order for me to be consistent and persistent in achieving my goals, I can’t do it for onlookers. As supportive as my family and friends are, I can’t do it for them either. I have to push myself to be the best version of myself in order to bring my vision to life and it starts with knowing who I am and what it is I truly want out of life and not letting anyone or anything get in the way of that.

Angela Bassett had many gems during her acceptance speech last night but one of the things she said that stuck with me was “You aren’t just enough, you are more than enough!” and I realized that being my biggest fan means knowing my worth and not accepting anything less than what I know I deserve. I can’t settle in any aspect of my life from my personal relationships to professional goals and everything in between. I have to let every success be a stepping stone to the next goal and see every misstep as a lesson and a blessing instead of failure. I have to stop allowing my perception of others dictate my reality because I do not always know what it took others to get to where they are in their lives because I am only seeing the final result and not the work, struggle and sacrifice it took to get there. I know that this is a process and that change does not come overnight but in time, I know I will get to a point where I will be 100% confident in everything that I do and anyone who doesn’t believe in me and my vision will be seen as unnecessary background noise that won’t be included in the soundtrack that is my life! I think that’s how Oprah lives her life and Oprah is life goals personified!

Since I plan on staying true to my word about SPAIF, (self- promo at its finest for those of you who don’t know!) make sure you check out the latest episode of the Weekend Friendz podcast that I host with my homie DJ by clicking the link to listen on Apple Podcasts or on Spotify. Let us know what you think in the comments! New post on Wednesday so stay tuned for that as well! Until then always make sure to love and live luxuriously!

Don’t Be Afraid To Speak Your Mind

Good Morning! As I have stated previously, I want this site to be a safe space where we all can share our thoughts and feelings without judgment. I never want anyone to feel like they can’t be their authentic self because I know what it feels like to hold back and not feel as if I was being true to who I was and what I believed in. Having confidence wasn’t enough to lead a life with conviction and purpose. In order to be successful and live my life on my terms, I had to speak my mind and follow through with my actions.

One situation that comes to mind when I regretted not speaking up for myself happened when I was 20. I was very shy and passive and while I was on a trip to LA with a group of girls, we went to an expensive restaurant which had a huge bill that we all had to split. I put the amount that I was supposed to put in but was accused of not paying the right amount but instead of speaking up for myself, I caved in and added an additional amount to my bill. I was mad at myself after because I let peer pressure and the fear of confrontation silence my voice which a person should never do. I was young and naive in many ways but that incident taught me a lesson. If I don’t speak up for what I feel is right, I will be the one who suffers. That was a turning point for me and even though it took time for me to feel comfortable to speak my mind, I never put myself  in a situation where I allowed others to speak for me ever again.

I still try to avoid confrontation but if there is an issue that is weighing heavily on my mind/heart, I don’t hesitate to speak up regardless of what the consequences will be. There is a quote that goes “It’s not what they call you, it’s what you answer to” and any inaction or deterrence on your part speaks volumes about your character. Now I am not saying to start arguments or be difficult or disagreeable just because but if you really feel strongly about something and want to make it right, do not hesitate to voice your opinion on what you feel is right. This is something I have to remind myself of periodically when I feel wronged and I always try my best to be rational and logical about a situation and not base my actions solely off of emotion. Gotta find that balance!

Has there been a point in your life where you were afraid to speak up for what you wanted or believed in? If so, what did you do to change things around? Let me know in the comments! I’ll be back on Monday but until then, have a great weekend and be sure to love and live luxuriously!

Lessons I Wish I Knew Before I Entered My 30’s

Good Morning! 2019 has been a year of self-reflection and making moves based on what makes me happy instead of what I feel is expected of me. I realized that in my 30’s, there is no more room for playing around. I have to get on my grind with no more excuses or apologies. Even though I have no regrets on any past decisions I’ve made, there are things I wish I knew before I entered my 30’s. Read on to see what my Top 3 life lessons are!

Your Journey Is Yours And No One Else’s
Ever since I could remember, I wanted to be part of the entertainment industry. I always assumed I was going to be behind the scenes doing A&R because I was shyer in my younger years and just wanted to work on artist development and help the artist reach his/her full potential. Around 2009, I started blogging on the Blogger platform and sharing my personal experiences as well as my poetry and someone suggested that I turn my blog into a website that goes into further detail about love, sex and relationships. I liked the idea and launched my website (then known as The Angielala Experience) in 2010. It was through the site that I realized that I enjoyed being in front of the camera especially when I was part of discussion panels and hosting events at my college. I  found my true calling and decided that I was going to become the Internet Oprah. I felt that I was on my way when I landed interviews with celebs such as Trey Songz, Chilli and Naturi Naughton as well as working for brands like Kodak while in college but by the time I hit 30, it felt like my career was at a standstill. I wasn’t fulfilled in my personal life or my professional life and it seemed like everyone had it together but me. By the time 2017 came around, I was at my lowest point.  I lost my father 3 years prior and my grandmother in October 2017 so that along with the fact that I felt stuck at my job made me feel like there was nothing to look forward to. After much thought along with the encouragement from my friends, I decided to go to therapy which was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Therapy made me realize that I don’t have to have it together right away and that as long as I was making the steps necessary to bring about change. Most importantly, I’ve learned that comparison is the thief of joy and that by focusing on what others are doing, I lose sight of my overall goals and treat the journey as a race when its a marathon. I am not where I want to be but I am much further than where I was when I was at my lowest point and that’s because I have tunnel vision and am only in competition with myself.

The One You Are Meant To Be With Will Come Along When The Time Is Right

I was never the type of woman who liked to date. When I like someone, I tend to get attached and want to settle down and be in a relationship. I am picky so if I fall for someone, its because I see something in them that makes them stand out. Unfortunately, the bad has outweighed the good especially in my last situationship and instead of letting go and moving on, I stuck around and tried to make things work because I didn’t want to be alone. As I stated previously, I don’t have any regrets but staying in that situation held me back from being the best version of myself. How can I promote confidence when I am in a situation that has me doubting myself and what I deserve? When you know better you do better so instead of trying to convince him or change his mind about us, I finally let him go and decided to use that energy to get my life together. It feels so refreshing to not worry about someone who in all honestly didn’t put that much energy and time into worrying about me. I know now that I can only focus on what I can control and that’s the decisions I make and how I see myself and once I realized that, things started to fall into place. I know that the right man will come along when I am ready to see him and receive him but until then, my physical, mental and emotional well-being are my priority and though I am single, I am not lonely because I am using this time to fall in love with myself!

 

You Have To To Make Self-Care A Priority

When I was in my 20’s I was thin and could eat just about anything without worrying about gaining weight but as soon as 30 hit, I noticed the pounds coming on and by the time I was 32 in 2018 , I had gained a good 15-20 pounds and while I love the extra weight in my boobs and thighs, the stomach pudge has got to go! I haven’t been as consistent with diet and exercise as I should have but I will get it together! Most importantly, I had to take time out to pamper myself like giving myself a mani/pedi and meditating to ease any anxiety and stress. Going to the spa helps as well and I’ve been a few times in the past few years and plan on making more trips. I also want to do yoga but I’m not trying to spend money so I’m considering doing it from home for now. Although these activities are nothing major, they make me feel better about myself and when I feel good about myself, I can conquer the world!

 

What are some life lessons you wished you knew before entering your 30’s? Let me know in the comments section below. New post coming on Friday so stay tuned for that! Until then, always remember to love and live luxuriously!