Monday, February 3, 2014

Big girls & Crop Tops...oh my!!!

I've never been one to follow the trends.  However, occasionally, something catches my eye.  In the case of this blog post, the crop tops were of interest.  Now I know you all are saying, but Nij summer is over…not to mention we’re in the middle of a snowstorm!  And yeah, that is true but I decided to try them out for myself anyway - in February (chuckles)!!

Let’s be clear, I wanted to make one last summer but didn't know how and all the DIY videos I came across were rather complicated.  Even bigger than that is that I am not the owner of a flat tummy - which I thought was the prerequisite for wearing one!  So truthfully speaking, that was the main reason for my hesitation.  *confession time* Nevertheless last night, I just decided to make one and tweak it a little bit to suit my shape.  (In my opinion, it looked better with a tie, rather than just hanging down.  For that effect, I should have gotten a larger tee.)

More importantly, the lesson I learned is to not shy away from fashion that is normally geared towards slimmer women.  As long as it is figure flattering, and you wear it with confidence, then I say go for it!  So here’s a toast to my very first one and it won’t be my last.  

Outfit details: Everything was purchased with my own money.   I used an Old navy tee ($2.49), paired it with a pair of Old Navy jeans (size 16) and denim & tan heels from Nine West. 
How did I do???  I’d love to hear your thoughts!!!    ~Nijah~ 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Chin Up! You have a reason to SMILE!

“If I could just lose this love handle, then I’ll be fine”…

“I need to lose 15 pounds, then I’ll feel better”…

“I hate my stomach…”

Admit it and be honest.  At one time or another you have said something like this about yourself at least once in your life or perhaps you thought you could never compare to one of the models in a magazine.   Well if you won’t tell the truth, I will because it’s time to expose this monster of low esteem and negative body image! 

Truthfully these are just some of the things I used to say about myself.  Whenever I would get into conversations with my friends or peers, the self-loathing would begin.  I would criticize this body part because it was too big, or that body part because it was too small…and so the cycle continued.   It is truly a vicious cycle that is so damaging to the human psyche.  I mean who said just because I’m plus size that I must have low self-esteem?  Who said that plus size women aren’t beautiful?  Where did this misnomer come from? 

For so long I believed the lies, hiding behind big clothes to make myself invisible.  I never felt good enough or cute enough.  My thoughts were all negative and it was pure madness!  If I continued to look at society and their definition of “true beauty”, I might as well have crawled under a rock and stay or the rock fall on me.  Unfortunately, society has not totally embraced diversity with respect to the plus size community, and rather than wait for them, I decided to be proactive. 

NO MATTER HOW MUCH I PUT INTO MY OUTER APPEARANCE, CHANGE DIDN'T TAKE PLACE UNTIL I CHANGED WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT ME.

At that point, something happened.  I had taken my power back.  At that moment, I was Popeye right after he had eaten his spinach!  I decided to look in the mirror and point out what I liked about my body.   I was grateful to have my size double digit feet.  (Nine West became my best friend!)  I learned to appreciate my jiggly arms and non-flat stomach.   My chubby cheeks helped form the biggest smile ever.  I began to love me…I mean truly love me!  It was so freeing, fun and filled with 'fabulosity'!  From that point on, it was no turning back.  Instead of speaking negative, I decided to speak life and words of encouragement over myself.    Once I embraced every flaw and every imperfection, I flipped the script.  It’s as if the blinders were removed from my eyes and I saw myself for the beautiful young lady who I was created to be!

Today I am a young woman who has embraced her flaws and imperfections.  I love life now more than ever.  I smile more, and it is truly from the inside.  As quiet as it’s kept, weight loss is NOT the anecdote for low self-esteem. 

So ladies, if you are like the old me, TODAY, IN THIS MOMENT learn to love you!  Listed below are a few of life’s lessons that I learned on my journey to self-discovery.
·           Find out who you are and do some soul searching and be honest about it.
·          Keep a daily journal.
·          Refuse at all costs to allow anyone to dictate how you should feel about you.
·          Spend quality time with yourself. 
·         Treat yourself how you would want someone else to treat you.

By practicing these tips each day, you will become empowered.  Know that you are beautiful! Own it!  “Chin up - you have a reason to smile!”  There are millions of girls all over the world looking for examples of confident curvy chicas…I challenge you to be one!


Friday, December 27, 2013

Pictures...yeah about that

“A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.”  Ansel Adams

I used to be one of those people who would see the same person post pictures “fifty-‘leven” times a day and think, "Dag, they post pics like every 5 minutes" - until I became one of those people! (Insert laugh)  Ok, I don’t post literally every 5 minutes but at least once a week…and considering the fact that at one time I hated taking pictures that is a lot.  I make no apologies for it; I’d prefer to scream to the top of my lungs that God is good!!!

I've always been camera shy.   But here lately, I find myself snapping pics of my #ootd, #photooftheday and/or those lovely #selfie(s) - my how the times have changed!  Every time I walk past a mirror, I get the opportunity to admire God's creation- ME!  It is important to know that this has absolutely nothing to do with how perfect or imperfect my body is- what’s important here is how I feel from within.  As I flip through some old pictures, I can see the pain in my eyes and I look as if the world is on my shoulders.  At the time of those pictures, that is exactly how I felt and those feelings of being unsettled and uncomfortable stood out.  As a result of childhood disappointments, bitterness, regret and hurt, I had allowed things to cripple me and hold me back from pursuing the things that really interested me.  Also, because I lacked self-esteem, I talked myself out of a lot of things that I knew I was capable of succeeding at.  However, as my beloved Granny would say, “Aint no need in crying over spilled milk.”  In other words, I can’t go back and undo those moments but I can move forward without any inhibitions.


Thankfully, since that time, there has been a GREAT CHANGE!!!  Through picture walks, I see how my physical body is transforming.  The scale is decreasing in number and I’m also beginning to see a waist forming (team #hourglass J) !!!  However, the most remarkable change is how I feel about myself- something that a scale can't EVER measure.  I smile so much more now and it’s real!!  In closing, one of my peeps and fellow blogger Bella Grace commented on a recent pic: “Your confidence is blinging!”…and for that I’m grateful.  *reaches the camera and smiles*

Here are some of my captured moments from 2013!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Words...

The truth about words is that they can either hurt or heal.  For the longest, I was hurt because of the things I allowed to enter into not only my ears, but also my heart.  I knew I would always be something, although I was flat out told “You ain’t nothin!” among a bunch of other negative things...But I tell you this, what I’ve learned on my journey is that as long as I never gave up, the will to live and find my purpose became even stronger – and so I did.  Today, you are looking at an official delegate for Ms. Full Figured USA 2014!!!  Words can’t express how I feel but God "sho nuff” knows.  
Feel free to weigh in on this issue on the impact that words have had on your life.  I want to hear from you, so please comment, subscribe and like!!  If you are healed from those issues, let's hear about it or if you need encouragement to get to that point, then I'm here to motivate you!!!!    ~Nijah~




Thursday, November 28, 2013

The FUTURE Ms. Full Figured USA 2014

Picture this…My mom and I just finished a conversation about a recent audition.  At the time, I was feeling a bit discouraged, considering two weeks had gone by and I hadn’t heard anything.  So I said to my mom, “I gave it my all and I believe that was my best.”  I started thinking that perhaps they chose who they wanted and so I made the decision to move on.  She then responded, “Well you know Nijah, maybe they’re saving the best for last!”  I smiled to myself because deep inside I still had an ounce of hope that I would be called…Then my phone rang.  My mother looked at the phone and said “Hmm, that’s a private number.”  Usually I don’t answer private numbers but I decided to forgo that idea this time. 
Unbeknownst to me, on the other end of the telephone was a representative from Ms. Full Figured USA!!!!  She informed me that I was selected and was now an official contestant for their Ms. Full Figured 2014 Pageant!!!  I started screaming and jumping up and down.  My mom came running in the room asking "What's going on?"  Although I could not answer her right then, from the big smile on my face, she could tell what the conversation was about.
As you can guess, I am super hyped at this decision and also humbled for another door of opportunity that has opened.  The pageant will take place on April 12, 2014.  So for the next few months, I will take to social media to document my journey.  Featured below is my entry video for the People's Choice Awards, where you all can vote for your favorite contestant (hint hint lol).  
All my Instagram peeps can go to @msfullfiguredusa.  'Like' their page and then hit the like button for my entry video (and/or any of the other beautiful contestants).  You can also vote on Facebook by searching for Ms. Full-Figured USA Pageant, like their page, and then lastly place your vote.

Thanks in advance for your support!!!  I’m going for the goal y’all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Signed,
Nijah J, The Future Ms. Full Figured USA 2014
This was the outfit I wore to the audition!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Smiling in my FREE TEE!!!!

One evening while on Twitter, I came across the page “See Body Love Self”.  I don’t remember exactly what I clicked on prior to that but I am glad that I found it nonetheless!  The company’s theme underscores the importance of women embracing their bodies and loving themselves.  As a person who struggled in this area, it wasn't a surprise that I also took the liberty to read, re-tweet and respond to the article I read.  It was entitled “Live Your Truth with Chatterbox Christie: The Power of I Am”.)  Here is the direct link: http://seebodyloveself.org/live-your-truth-with-chatterbox-christie-the-power-of-i-am/ 

So, being the self-proclaimed clicker that I am, I kept clicking on different articles, which then lead me to a giveaway.  I read and followed the instructions.  Little did I know, I was going to be one of the winners of a FREE beautiful tee shirt.  There were several colors and sizes available, but I chose Pomegranate in a size XL and as you can...it's a perfect fit!  When you get a minute, make sure to check out Ivy LaArtista at See Body Love Self as well as Differently Clothing!!!!


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Style Challenge!!!

I am completely in love with my leather and lace top by designer Dorothy Perkins.  This beautiful top retails for $55.00.  However, since I participated in the giveaway by Body Conscious Beauty, I received the item for FREE!!!  Yes, you read that right!!!!  I was so excited to find out that I was the winner of her style challenge! 


I ordered the blouse in a size 16 (EUR 20) and it very fits very well.  I paired it with my favorite black skinnies and a pair of cream and suede pumps...So, if you haven’t already, swing on by Body Conscious Beauty and "like" her Facebook page to get the latest in curvy fashion!!!!!!!!