Straight / Curve with Jenny McQuaile

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Straight / Curve with Jenny McQuaile

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Jenny McQuaile

This episode features Jenny McQuaile, the Director / Producer / Lady Boss behind the film Straight/Curve: Redefining Body Image, which is available to rent or buy on iTunes, Amazon and Vimeo on Demand from May 18th.

Imagine if a quarter of a million women, mothers and daughters gathered in homes around the world for a real talk about body positivity and invited the men and boys in their lives to be a part of this conversation. What kind of change would be possible if women and girls everywhere...loved themselves? That's our goal for Straight/Curve - 250,000 conversations - 250,000 women and girls ready to spread the message about body positivity.

You can go to http://www.straightcurvefilm.com to find a link to get the film and to download the FREE House Party Screening Kit so you can have the sometimes tricky conversations about body image in the safety of your own home with your kids/sisters/friends/coworkers. The Kit comes with discussion questions and fun activities for all ages.

The Straight/Curve House Party Project, in partnership with CoverGirl and the Geena Davis Institute, will launch on May 22nd with an event in NYC. There will be a panel of exciting body image experts and advocates broadcast LIVE on Facebook Live so everyone around the country can tune in and ask questions. Check out the website for more information on this event.

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Bonus Episode! How to Talk to Your Daughter About Weight with Dr. Jenny Conviser

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Bonus Episode! How to Talk to Your Daughter About Weight with Dr. Jenny Conviser

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Dr. Jenny Conviser

Jenny H. Conviser, PsyD, is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the Feinberg School of Medicine, and on staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Dr. Conviser is Certified in both Sport Psychology and Child and Family Therapy. She specializes in eating and weight-related disorders, couples therapy, sports psychology and women's' health.

In this special Mother’s Day bonus episode, Dr. Conviser and I discuss the importance of self-care for moms, how to create an atmosphere at home that supports your child’s love of their body, and how to be an advocate for your child in pediatric medical settings, particularly when it comes to weight and size.

I’ve had my own challenges with my newborn daughter’s weight, and after this discussion I feel so much better equipped to navigate her healthcare! I hope you all gain as much from the conversation as I did. Happy Mother’s Day!

Key takeaways:

  • The importance of self care for new moms

  • How dieting can be detrimental to new mothers

  • Why you might not want to keep a scale in the house

  • How to be the best advocate for your child’s healthcare

  • Ways you might be passing on your own body image issues to your child

Mentioned in this episode:

Unweighted Nation

“Why Dieting is Making You More Unhealthy with Dr. Jenny Conviser” podcast episode

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Becoming the Best Version of Yourself with Shainna Tucker

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Becoming the Best Version of Yourself with Shainna Tucker

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Shainna Tucker

Shainna Tucker is the blogger babe behind A Thick Girl’s Closet. She started her blog in college, and it’s grown into a very successful venture where she’s gotten to work with many prominent brands, be featured in campaigns (including one with me!), and many other, tremendous opportunities as a blogger.

Shainna is a tall, thick woman of color who’s made her peace with her looks over the years. She’s got such strong, inner confidence that is infectious to anyone who meets her! And she prides herself on taking great care of herself and showing her body love regardless of her size.

Shainna is actively growing her brand on YouTube, making her health a bigger priority, and all around becoming the woman she wants to be. In this interview, we cover all that and more. There’s so much we can all learn from Shainna’s journey!

Key takeaways:

  • How Shainna got her start in the blogging world

  • What it’s like to be thick, black, and a blogger!

  • The kind of content that Shainna’s focused on putting out via YouTube

  • How Shainna’s overcome bullying and low self-confidence to become who she is today

  • How Shainna cultivates confidence for herself every day

  • Why Shainna wears whatever she wants these days

  • Mirror talk and other tools that Shainna uses on her journey to body confidence

  • Why Shainna’s made it her personal mission to show young women how to love themselves

  • Why self love is one of Shainna’s biggest priorities this year

  • Shainna’s struggle with anxiety, and how she’s overcoming it

  • Shainna’s fitness journey, her favorite ways to move her body, and how she’s sharing it on social media

  • Why size isn’t the ultimate measure of your health or your worth

  • Why you shouldn’t strive to have any other body but the beautiful one you have right now!

Mentioned in this episode:

Shainna’s Instagram

Shainna’s YouTube

Shainna’s Fitness Account

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Growing Up Curvy with Caralyn Mirand

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Growing Up Curvy with Caralyn Mirand

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Caralyn Mirand

Caralyn Mirand got her start in plus size modeling as a high school student when she was selected for Tyra Banks’ Fiercely Real Model Search. Although she didn’t win the competition, it got her in with an editor at Seventeen Magazine, which launched her as a professional plus size model.

Since then, she’s worked with loads of clients in the fashion industry, gotten her college degree, and has launched a successful lifestyle blog. She’s preparing for her wedding in 2018 and is chronicling her journey on her blog and social media!

Caralyn has literally grown up in the industry, and while she’s been growing her career she’s also stayed true to her upstate NY roots, her own sense of identity, and her sense of self-worth! It’s awesome to hear how she got to where she is today, what she’s working on, and how she’s taking care of herself! Caralyn shares many insights and tips we can all apply to our own experiences.

Key takeaways:

  • Caralyn’s beginnings in the modeling world

  • What it’s like to be a college student and a working, traveling model

  • Growing up confident in your own skin

  • Seeing yourself on packaging in department stores

  • How Caralyn’s career has morphed as the fashion industry has become more size inclusive

  • What Caralyn’s learned about the importance of a properly-fitting bra!

  • Why it’s hard to be on the cusp between plus size and straight size

  • How Caralyn stays grounded when she gets negative feedback about her appearance from modeling clients

  • The ways that Caralyn stays on top of her healthy living routine while traveling

  • The importance of positive self talk

  • Caralyn’s experience at the Glamour “Woman of the Year” summit

Mentioned in this episode:

Caralyn’s blog

Caralyn’s Instagram

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Every Body Deserves Love with Alexa Phelece

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Alexa Phelece is a plus size model, fashion blogger, and body positivity influencer and the founder of Every Body Deserves Love (EBDL), a non-profit. Through her own journey to self love, Alexa came to understand the importance of self acceptance, self confidence, and self esteem in order to reach your full potential in life.

alexa phelece

Alexa began modeling in 2016, which helped her discover even more newfound confidence and self love. Now, she finds herself at the center of the body positive community. She works with brands like Torrid, Rainbeau Curves, and Forever 21. She pairs her work in modeling with her education in mental health psychology in order to encourage others to love themselves even more.

Alexa has made loving her body and being the best version of herself her sole mission in life, and it’s beautiful to hear all the ways that she’s putting that into action. We can all use a little more body love in our lives, and Alexa is happy to serve that up!

Key takeaways:

  • Alexa’s start in the modeling world

  • Every Body Deserves Love (EBDL), Alexa’s non-profit

  • The many different aspects of the plus size modeling world that Alexa works in

  • How to build a career as a new model

  • How Alexa has built her self confidence over the years

  • Alexa’s weight fluctuations and how she copes with weight gain and loss

  • How to measure self love and the growth of self esteem

  • The importance of learning how to love yourself, and the EBDL mission

  • Alexa’s YouTube channel, Sugar Plus Spice

Mentioned in this episode:

Every Body Deserves Love

Alexa’s Instagram

Alexa’s YouTube channel, Sugar Plus Spice

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Men Get Eating Disorders, Too with Ryan Sheldon

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Ryan Sheldon is the blogger behind Confessions of a Binge Eater. He’s bravely and openly shared his experiences with binge eating disorder (BED) as he’s navigated recovery. His presence in the blogosphere is shining an important light on how men are affected by eating disorders, despite predominant stereotypes about eating disorder sufferers.

ryan sheldon

In this interview, Ryan and I go deep on what binge eating disorder actually looks like. He really opens up about the day-to-day machinations of the disorder, what a binge episode looks like, and the ways in which it becomes difficult to function when you’re a highly progressed binge eater.

BED is a pretty new disorder, relative to other eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia that we’ve been hearing about for years. And yet, BED is the most prominent eating disorder and it’s highly prevalent among men. Ryan’s bravery in opening up this dialogue is doing so much good for the ED community, and for all of us in opening our eyes to what this disease looks like! And his ability to rise above his past issues in recovery is an inspiration to us all.

Key takeaways:

  • Ryan’s experience with binge eating

  • The stigma against men who share their experiences with eating disorders

  • The ways in which Ryan’s binge eating was overlooked by healthcare providers for years

  • The difference between being someone who likes food and a clinical binge eater

  • The common misperception about what eating disorders look like. Specifically, higher weight and normal weight people suffer from eating disorders too! It’s not just skinny white chicks.

  • Body dysmorphia and the role it’s played in Ryan’s own experience

  • What binge eating disorder looks like, in terms of Ryan’s interactions with food

  • The importance of mindfulness in the recovery process

  • How harmful media stereotypes about our bodies and dieting can be in encouraging unhealthy, disordered behavior around food and weight control

  • Why dieting and medical intervention aren’t the answer, and dealing with the mental and emotional drivers behind binge eating is

  • Binge eating as an act of rebellion

  • How to bring up tough conversations about self-harming with food with your loved ones

Mentioned in this episode:

Ryan’s blog, Confessions of a Binge Eater

Ryan’s Instagram

Ryan’s new YouTube project, Mr. Confessions

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Why Dieting is the Problem, Not Binge Eating with Isabel Foxen Duke

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Isabel Foxen Duke is the Creator of Stop Fighting Food—a free video training program for women who want to "stop feeling crazy around food." After years of trying to overcome emotional eating, binge-eating and chronic weight-cycling through "traditional" and alternative approaches, Isabel discovered some radical new ways to get women over their "food issues" once and for all—not just by shifting the mindsets of individuals, but by challenging the dominant diet culture as a whole.

 Isabel Foxen Duke

Isabel Foxen Duke

In our interview, Isabel gives an amazing account of her own personal experience with disordered eating, an the downward spiral she went on before she was able to heal herself through intuitive eating. Isabel’s experience in the healthcare system, and therapeutic settings, speaks to some of the shortcomings that lead to many women suffering for much longer than they need to with self harm and mental illness related to weight management.

Ultimately, Isabel’s story is incredibly empowering and inspiring, because she’s made her mess her message, and she’s applied her own experiences to becoming a coach who helps other women heal their own relationship with their bodies, food, and themselves. She drops so much wisdom and insight throughout this conversation that can help all of us take our relationships with our bodies to the next level!

Key takeaways:

  • Isabel’s own journey with disordered eating

  • The ways that Isabel’s eating disorder flew under the radar of the healthcare system

  • How food was controlling Isabel’s life for many years

  • Why bingeing isn’t the start of the binge eating cycle...deprivation is!

  • The fact that binge eating is a normal, healthy, biological reaction to deprivation, not your lack of discipline

  • The importance of releasing your expectations around what your food and your body should look like in order to heal

  • Isabel’s attempts to control her behavior around her food and how it backfired, every single time

  • Isabel’s “rock bottom” moment with dieting and weight control

  • The period of “allowing” that followed, and what it’s like to eat an entire jar of Nutella in a day!

  • How food stopped being a big deal for Isabel, and what that translated to in terms of her body and her life today!

Mentioned in this episode:

DC NEDA Walk, March 25, 2018

Isabel’s website

I AM.Creative

Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch

Geneen Roth

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Coming Out Curvy with Jessica Torres

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Jessica Torres is a body positive fashion blogger, beauty influencer, and reporter who is best known for her work with Revelist. She’s built a huge following, become a very recognizable face in our feeds, and built an amazing community around her celebration of her body, and her own standard of beauty and fashion.

jessica torres

In this interview, Jessica and I discuss her own personal journey to become body positive. Like many plus size women, Jessica grew up hiding until she got to college, when she was able to come out to the world as her curvy, confident self. Jessica stopped waiting for approval and decided to begin living her life authentically and fashionably, and sharing that with the world through her blog.

When she started working at Revelist, the visibility of her work was launched to a whole new level. Now, she’s focused on staying grounded, keeping her sense of humor, and holding space for the days when, even as a very prominent body positive influencer, she may not love her body. It’s a great reminder for all of us that body positivity is a journey, not a destination. And that journey is very individual. We can all take a page from Jessica’s playbook!

Key takeaways:

  • Growing up “closeted” as a curvy woman

  • “Coming out” curvy in college

  • How Jessica got started as a blogger

  • How Jessica uses humor to cope with the challenges of navigating the world as a curvy-bodied woman

  • Why being a plus size blogger is about way more than fashion

  • Mirror work and other practices Jessica uses to stay grounded in a culture that can make us obsessive about our appearances, especially as influencers!

  • The importance of having a community of strong, body positive women to support us on our journeys

  • How Jessica’s boldness in presenting her life, and speaking out about her experiences, has paid off big!

  • Why it’s okay to not love your body every single day

Mentioned in this episode:

Jessica’s website

Jessica’s work for Revelist

Jessica’s Instagram

Jessica’s YouTube channel

Melinda’s Bathtub Moment

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NYFW 2018 Warm Up with Sarah Chiwaya

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NYFW 2018 Warm Up with Sarah Chiwaya

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Sarah Chiwaya (the blogger babe behind @curvily, CurvilyFashion.com) discovered the world of plus size blogging around the time of her wedding several years ago. She learned firsthand the power of representation, and fashion, to radically transform a woman’s sense of self worth!

Sarah has built her own blogging empire since then, and has used her voice and her image to create powerful representation for curvy bodies in the fashion world. She also happens to be my fashion week spirit guide--I’ve literally bumped into her every time I’ve attended shows at NYFW, and she knows all the insider tips and tricks for getting on the lists for shows, and establishing yourself as a fixture on that circuit.

She also knows the progression of plus size representation within NYFW first hand, because she’s witnessed it at the shows she’s attended over the years. Sarah is a pioneer and she’s paving the way for women to fall her into the world of high fash-un for plus! Keep tabs on Sarah to get the best insider’s POV on upcoming NYFW 2018, starting February 8!

Key takeaways:

  • Bridal body drama

  • How Sarah discovered the world of plus size blogging

  • The power of representation

  • “Thinspo” trolls and follower politics for plus size bloggers

  • Sarah’s journey with body positivity and why being unremarkably remarkable is now a goal

  • The progression of plus in NYFW over the past few years

  • Chromat’s use of plus models in fashion week

  • Fashion week hacks for those who want to get into the shows

  • Why fashion insiders resist size inclusion, and the controversy over the term “plus”

  • Sarah’s favorite exemplars of plus size brands delivering high end fashion

  • Why brands are running out of excuses not to be size inclusive

Mentioned in this episode:

Chromat

Universal Standard

All67 leather jackets

Rachel Antonoff’s collaboration with Gwynnie Bee

CurvilyFashion.com

Sarah’s Instagram

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Building a Plus Size Fashion Empire with Stylish Curves with Alissa Wilson

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Building a Plus Size Fashion Empire with Stylish Curves with Alissa Wilson

Alissa Wilson is the founder and editor-in-chief of Stylish Curves, and a certified O.G. of the plus size blogging world! She started from the bottom rung of the fashion editorial scene and has risen to be the creator of her own fashion media empire. And she’s just getting started!

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In the interview, we discuss Alissa’s rise to where she is today. She’s grown the site from a side hustle, passion project to a full-time gig! Along the way, she’s witnessed the transformation of the plus size fashion world over the past eight years. Alissa’s managed to carve out a unique niche within the industry, and bring a unique perspective to the growing conversation about plus size women in the fashion world.

Alissa’s never been one to allow her size limit her experience. As she’s raised her voice in representing plus size women, she’s learned that there is strength in numbers when we rally together as plus size women. From navigating sponsor relationships, to putting outfits together, to swimming upstream on behalf of plus women within the fashion world, Alissa is a force to be reckoned with. And hearing from her is a great shot-in-the-arm of body positivity and confidence for women of all sizes, and all walks of life!

Key takeaways:

  • What inspired Alissa to start blogging

  • Growing Stylish Curves from a side hustle to a full-time gig

  • How Alissa has carved out a unique voice for Stylish Curves in the blogosphere

  • The evolution of plus size fashion from 2009 to now

  • Learning how strong you really are as an entrepreneur

  • The reality of size and racial bias in the fashion industry

  • Alissa’s vision for the future of Stylish Curves

  • Alissa’s tips for anyone looking to get started as a blogger

Mentioned in this episode:

The Stylish Curves website

Stylish Curves on Instagram

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The Essential #healthyatanysize Reading List for 2018 with Keyaira Boone

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Keyaira (Key) Boone is a freelance writer, blogger, and all around great human who also created thecletter.com. She’s set out to carve out a space for herself online where she can share authentically about who she is, what she loves, and the things that are important to her, inspiring us all in the process!

Like so many of us, Key has always wanted to have a voice, and create a platform for herself, but she’s struggled with the idea of being an “influencer,” and commodifying her personality. This includes being authentic about having more than one source of income and having to “side hustle” to make ends meet as an aspiring media maven.

Key is super well read, and I follow her book recommendations via Instagram religiously. When I shared on social media that I had been placed on modified bed rest earlier in my pregnancy, she reached out to offer me some book recommendations. We decided to share the list and our discussion about them with all of you! Along with that, we discuss just about everything from latte art to the importance of being a good community member. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy getting to know Key as much as I have!

Key takeaways:

  • thecletter.com

  • Resisting the urge to commodify your personality in order to have a voice

  • Keeping it real about you side hustle(s)

  • Key’s recent piece in Allure magazine

  • Key’s reaction to Kelly Augustine’s interview on the podcast

  • Key’s book recommendations for the #healthyatanysize community in 2018

  • Key’s personal takeaways on each book

  • Keeping it real on social media, pimples and all!

  • Why being attractive is not the ultimate measure of your worth

  • The importance of being active in your community, and Key’s magazine drive for local hospital patients

Mentioned in this episode:

Keyaira’s blog, thecletter.com

Key’s Instagram

Key’s piece in Allure magazine

Kelly Augustine’s episode of the Healthy at Any Size podcast

Track 5 Coffee and Key’s Turkey Latte

The reading list Key put together for me and the rest of the #healthyatanysize community!

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Becoming a Lady Boss with the Woman Behind “Little Lime Dress,” Meaghan O’Connor

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Meaghan O’Connor was working for a hedge fund when she got laid off during the economic downturn of the early 2000’s. She went from sobbing on Lexington Avenue to thriving as a celebrity fashion stylist, working with major brands and celebrity clients, and living the life of her dreams.

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Meaghan figured out a way for herself to both make money and enjoy her life pretty quickly. By throwing her head, her heart, and her hustle behind her brand, Little Lime Dress, her business has evolved from a personal shopping service that she advertised on Craigslist to dressing some of the most recognizable plus size (and not) women in the entertainment business.

Throughout her journey to become the Lady Boss she is today, Meaghan has stayed true to who she is, and tight with her family. No matter what setbacks or obstacles she’s encountered, Meaghan has always found a way to rise above by drawing on her optimism, humor, and creativity. She’s working every day to be the best version of herself she can be, and make the world a better place, particularly for plus size women. Who wouldn’t want to emulate that?!

Key takeaways:

  • Megan’s own journey to become a Lady Boss

  • Her journey from sobbing on Lexington Ave to thriving as a celebrity stylist

  • Growing Little Lime Dress from a personal shopping service advertised on Craigslist to on-set and celebrity styling business

  • Meaghan’s yearly “dream client list” and how she keeps herself going when the going gets tough

  • The women that have inspired Meaghan throughout her life

  • The importance of family in building your Lady Boss legacy

  • What it’s like to be driving change in the fashion industry to make things more inclusive for plus size women

  • How to cultivate positivity on a daily basis, and Meaghan’s personal daily mantras for positivity, inspired by the memory of her mother

Mentioned in this episode:

Meaghan’s blog, Little Lime Dress

Meaghan’s Instagram

Meaghan’s Instagram Portfolio

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Why Dieting is Making You More Unhealthy with Dr. Jenny Conviser

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Jenny H. Conviser, PsyD, is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the Feinberg School of Medicine, and on staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Dr. Conviser is Certified in both Sport Psychology and Child and Family Therapy. She specializes in eating and weight-related disorders, couples therapy, sports psychology and women's' health.

 Dr. Jenny Conviser

Dr. Jenny Conviser

The UnWeighted model encourages individuals to embrace self-care; focus more on the process; focus less on the outcome; develop greater internal control; foster emotional awareness; engage in positive self-talk; and enable an individual to compare their success more with their own personally established goals, and less to a universal externally derived standards. An UnWeighted healthcare plan does not promise an ideal body or ideal health. It does, however, promise better health and better well-being.

In this interview, Dr. Conviser and I unpack her findings and how we can apply them to our own journeys as women seeking to live healthy at any size.

Key takeaways:

  • Why BMI isn’t the ultimate measure of your health

  • The problem with a BMI-based treatment model

  • Why weight loss is risky and should not be undertaken lightly

  • How a very simple lifestyle change can yield major health benefits

  • Why dieting programs you to binge eat

  • What diet cycling and set points are, and what they mean to your health

  • How dieting is slowing down your metabolism

  • What you can say to your doctor to get better treatment if you’re a higher weight person

  • Concrete steps we can all take to live the UnWeighted model

  • Why we shouldn’t let external sources tell us who we should be

Mentioned in this episode:

UnWeighted Nation

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True Health and Wholeness for the New Year with Nina Elliot

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Nina Elliot and her husband Christian are the husband / wife duo behind True Whole Human. Nina balances her pursuit of a healthy lifestyle with her business, homeschooling her four children, and being the all-around awesome woman that she wants to be.

 Photo provided by  @truewholehuman

Photo provided by @truewholehuman

Nina, like many of us, experienced weight gain in her early adult years which took her on a journey of self-discovery, research about “whole” foods, and ways of exercising that felt good for her body. She’s lived this journey, and today she shares with us what she’s learned along the way.

We dive into maternity and postpartum fitness and body image, the “cow share” that Nina and her husband participate in, and the importance of healthy habits in helping Nina to achieve food freedom for herself and her clients. In our conversation, we dispel so many diet myths and Nina downloads some quick, practical things we can all do to move towards healthier living in 2018. Nina’s story, and this interview, are great food for thought for those of us heading into the New Year and formulating goals related to our bodies and our health.

Key takeaways:

  • Nina’s personal journey with weight loss

  • The beginning of True Whole Human

  • Nina’s postpartum fitness journey

  • Why real food is so important to making a health transformation

  • How to override the need for willpower with healthy habits

  • One easy, daily thing we can all do to kick-start healthier habits in the New Year

  • Health “experiments,” and why you should do them one at a time

  • How Nina and her husband approach transformation for their clients

  • The Health Audit and where to find it

Mentioned in this episode:

True Whole Human

True Whole Human’s Health Audit

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You're Not Morally Obligated to Lose Weight in 2018 with Kara Loewentheil

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Kara Loewentheil, who I’m calling my podcast guest M.V.P. of 2017 (and that’s saying A LOT, because we have had many amazing guests!) is back for her second episode! If you haven’t already listened to her first episode, “Unf*ck Your Diet Brain,” hop back and do that before moving on!

Kara Loewentheil

In this conversation, Kara and I dive into the food noise surrounding the winter holidays. It’s almost expected that we’re all going to overindulge, gain weight, and then go on a diet once the clock strikes midnight on January 1st. It’s a societally-induced cycle of binge / restrict. It can be very toxic, and a total mindf*ck for those of us that are trying to reprogram our diet brains and achieve a more balanced relationship with food.

There’s many reasons that we feel the way that we do this time of year. But Kara gives us some great, practical ways that we can combat the diet culture conditioning and have a more freely-chosen out look on our bodies, our weight, and our health going into 2018. This is a must-listen for anyone who’s starting to formulate resolutions for the New Year!

Key takeaways:

  • The societal expectation that we’re all going to binge / restrict around the holidays

  • Why this can be such a triggering time of year for those of us trying to unf*ck our diet brains

  • How we can separate ourselves from the social conditioning that creates all the food noise around the holidays

  • Why you don’t have to earn, or deserve, pleasure

  • Why the patriarchy wants you to obsess about your body

  • Why women’s pleasure has always been something we moralize and try to restrict

  • Why you should maintain a healthy level of skepticism when people attempt to link your weight and your food choices to your health

  • Health is not a moral issue

  • The importance of having frank conversations about how big a role your weight actually plays in determining your health with your healthcare provider

  • How to overcome the diet culture conditioning that makes you feel obligated to lose weight every year

  • Why you should just eat the cupcake already!

Mentioned in this episode:

The Health at Every Size movement

Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that Works by Evelyn Tribole

Kara’s Unfuck Your Brain program

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Tuning into Your Best Self with Danika Brysha

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Danika Brysha is a curve model with IMG models, food and wellness personality, and the founder and CEO of Model Meals, a healthy meal delivery company. She is also incredibly attuned to her body, its needs, and the constant pursuit of self-improvement.

 IMG Model and Model Meals Founder, Danika Brysha

IMG Model and Model Meals Founder, Danika Brysha

On her journey to her best self, Danika has battled substance abuse, disordered eating, career highs and lows, and finding her true purpose. She’s come out the other side of that journey as a model (and model human being!) who loves her body, her life, and her business. That’s something we can all aspire to!

In this interview, Danika and I talk about how to engineer your life to bring about your own best self! From your morning routine, to loving your body, to positive affirmations, to putting your big goals into motion, Danika has so much wisdom and inspiration to share! This is the perfect shot-in-the-arm of self-reflection as we near the end of 2017, and begin contemplating our resolutions for 2018.

Key takeaways:

  • Danika’s start in the modeling world

  • Danika’s first introduction Whole30, which drastically changed the course of her life and her career

  • Moving home to California and formally launching her business, Model Meals

  • Finding the balance between self-improvement and self-care

  • Why you can truly be healthy at any size

  • The importance of unscheduled / down time

  • How Danika built her passion into a thriving business

  • Why feeling your feelings is the key to navigating the world as your best self

Mentioned in this episode:

IMG Models

Model Meals

Whole 30

Danika’s Self-Care Checklist

Danika’s Instagram

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The Recipe for a Curvy, Confident Holiday Season with Denise Caldwell

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Denise Caldwell is a celebrity fashion stylist. From A-list, celebrity clients (and fashion heavy hitters) like Sarah Jessica Parker, and Jennifer Lopez, to the “everyday” women that she makes over for fashion outlets and morning shows, Denise has been in the thick of it with women of all shapes, sizes, and skin tones as she helps them look their best!

 Denise, decked out from head-to-toe in the holiday season’s hottest hues, silhouettes, and textures. Outfit available via Marshall’s.

Denise, decked out from head-to-toe in the holiday season’s hottest hues, silhouettes, and textures. Outfit available via Marshall’s.

In this interview, Denise and I discuss how she’s been able to build the career that she has today, working with so many amazing brands, magazines, and media outlets. We talk about how she navigates the fashion world, especially as a woman of color, and a curvy-bodied woman. Denise shares some of the ways that she stays sparkly, no matter what comes her way!

As a partner with Marshall’s this holiday season, Denise has some very useful tips and tricks to navigating the holidays as your most confident, sparkly self. Especially if you’re a curvy woman! We unpack seasonal trends, plus some easy year-round ways you can infuse a little more sparkle into your look, and your overall self-presentation! This conversation with Denise is like a Vitamin B shot of holiday cheer, and who couldn’t use a little bump of that?

Key takeaways:

  • Denise’s early career, and how she became the woman she is today

  • Navigating the fashion world as a curvy woman, and a woman of color

  • How to get up the nerve to create the life of your dreams

  • Strategies to project confidence, so you look and feel your best!

  • A breakdown of how to wear seasonal trends like red, faux fur, metallics, and more

  • How Denise dresses herself from head-to-toe every day

  • What to think about when building an outfit for day-to-night

  • Why higher heels can make you feel closer to god!

Mentioned in this episode:

Denise’s Instagram

Marshall’s

Share the Body Love!

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Unf*ck Your Diet Brain with Kara Loewentheil

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Kara is an insanely accomplished, empowered feminist who is also a master certified life coach and creator of the revolutionary program for feminist women, “Unf*ck Your Brain.” Kara discovered coaching, and learned how to coach herself, which has allowed her to put together the cognitive psychology that she found could rewire her brain with the feminist values that informed her life.

 Kara Loewentheil, J.D. Master Certified Coach

Kara Loewentheil, J.D. Master Certified Coach

Kara has figured out how to actually match her feelings and actions to her beliefs. This has allowed her to create the feelings of confidence, worth, and independence that she wanted and had long believed she should have in every area of her life, from work, to romance, to her body. In this episode, Kara unpacks how to apply her unique methodology to helping us all to rewire our thoughts about our bodies.

The thought patterns we are caught in influence how we feel about our bodies, and the world around us, so much! I learned so much in this discussion from Kara, and her own podcast episode on this topic. Especially this time of year, this interview is a much-needed dose of reality, and empowerment, that we can all use to up-level how we view our bodies, and how we’re treating ourselves.

Key takeaways:

  • Kara’s trajectory, and how she went from super-accomplished reproductive rights attorney to life coach

  • Kara’s unique coaching technique, and the cognitive psychology-based principles to help herself and her clients rewire their thinking

  • How the patriarchy has influenced how we view our bodies, and how we treat ourselves

  • Why everything we’ve been believing about our bodies is flawed--having the perfect body will not give us everything we want in life!

  • The danger of perfectionism and on-the-wagon / off-the-wagon thinking

  • The ways we are disassociating from our bodies and committing acts of self harm as a result

  • How to replace those old, outmoded beliefs with new, positive ones

  • The key habits and beliefs you need to change to unf*ck your diet brain

  • One key step to take as you start this journey

Mentioned in this episode:

Kara’s podcast, “Unf*ck Your Brain”
The work of Isabel Foxen Duke

Kara’s “Healthy Habits” podcast episode

Kara’s “Unf*ck Your Brain” coaching program

Share the Body Love!

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Subscribe on iTunes and leave a review. I love hearing what you have to say!

Post your own experiences, thoughts, and feedback to social media using the hashtag #healthyatanysize!

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Grace, Grit, and Gratitude with Isoke Salaam

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Grace, Grit, and Gratitude with Isoke Salaam

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Isoke Salaam is an East Coast PR girl originally from New Jersey with private clients within fashion and the arts. When not reviewing a client portfolio, typing on an iPad and answering her cell phone while balancing in heels, Isoke practices ballet, enjoys running, writing, reading, traveling and learning about art! She is a PR powerhouse, an avid art fan and a fashion lover.

 Photograph by  Maira Iqbal

Photograph by Maira Iqbal

I met Isoke when I became an advocate for the D.C. Humane Rescue Alliance and the 2017 Fashion for Paws event. I was instantly drawn to her because of her grace, her grit, and the way she exudes a certain calm, and connectedness that is so rare in busy, professional types these days! After getting to know her, I learned that she cultivates this through a daily gratitude practice (along with a lifetime of being an exceptional human!).

Isoke lives a very dynamic, jet-setting life. She is a true individual, with a very freely-chosen definition of success, and so much authenticity. It’s been a pleasure getting to know her, and developing a friendship with her. In our interview, we cover fashion, fitness, travel, self-care, and of course, a daily practice of cultivating gratitude! We can all learn something from Isoke and the fabulous life she’s created for herself!

Key takeaways:

●      Isoke’s life as a PR maven in Washington, D.C. working with clients worldwide

●      How Isoke shows her body love through movement, and her love of boutique fitness

●      Being a “non-judgy” vegetarian

●      Isoke’s adult gap year living in Paris and how she made that happen

●      What it’s like being a tall, striking, woman of color and a professional

●      Isoke’s daily spiritual practice, including her gratitude practice

●      The legacy that Isoke is working to create for herself (hint: it’s not marriage and kids)

●      The jet setting life Isoke leads, and all the countries she’s visited this year

●      The importance of creating financial freedom, and how Isoke did this for herself

●      Life lists and how to use them to create a dream experience!

Mentioned in this episode:

Isoke’s Daily Gratitude Practice

Isoke’s PR business

Fashion for Paws

Isoke’s client, Cija, and her new book

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How to become a Plus Size Model (or not!) with Madeline Jones

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How to become a Plus Size Model (or not!) with Madeline Jones

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Madeline (Maddie) Jones is the editor-in-chief of Plus Model Magazine (PMM) and one of the pioneers of the plus size fashion industry. She is sometimes referred to as the Anna Wintour of plus size, and through her work has blazed a trail that many of us have the pleasure of following in.

 SOURCE: www.plusmodelmag.com

SOURCE: www.plusmodelmag.com

Maddie’s presence in the industry pre-dates the social media crazed world we live in now. From the beginning, Maddie has been using her voice to create a space for plus size women in the fashion industry. All along, she and her husband, photographer Lucas Jones, have been documenting the faces of plus size women and challenging society’s expectations of how plus size bodies should be photographed.

In my own journey as a plus size model, Maddie has been there since the beginning. I did my very first test shoot with Maddie, and along the way she has supported me and guided me at every turn. Maddie has so much wisdom to share with models at any stage of their career, but she’s got an especially great perspective for women looking to launch their modeling career.

Maddie’s advice is hard-hitting, straight talk about what it really takes to build a successful modeling career for yourself as a plus size woman. It’s not always an easy road, but it can be incredibly rewarding! And regardless of whether or not you wind up getting signed by an agency, Maddie has advice for all of us about how to use our voices, how to conduct ourselves in business relationships, and how to create our own opportunities as women.

Key takeaways:

  • The early days of Maddie’s advocacy for plus size women, and how PMM got its start

  • What it takes to build a brand like PMM, and how Maddie put her publication on the map

  • Maddie’s journey of coming out from “behind-the-scenes” and putting herself out there as an influencer

  • Maddie’s journey as an Autism Mom

  • The importance of being authentic (don’t try to be “the next Ashley Graham,” or anyone else!)

  • Why you should never take things personally in your business

  • The importance of having your own, unique point of view when creating content as an influencer

  • How we can make a greater impact when we work together with other women, rather than just trying to advance our own image

  • The essential steps you must take if you want to launch a successful modeling career

  • Some reasons that you might not actually want to become a plus size model--it’s not just about being a pretty girl!

  • Why you don’t need to become a plus size model to validate your worth, or to make a positive impact in the world

Mentioned in this episode:

Plus Model Magazine

Maddie’s personal brand

Maddie’s husband, photographer Lucas Jones

Maddie’s journey as an Autism Mom

Share the Body Love!

Share what you learned here via Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter

Subscribe on iTunes and leave a review. I love hearing what you have to say!

Post your own experiences, thoughts, and feedback to social media using the hashtag #healthyatanysize!

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