Thick Women, Big and Beautiful Women, Voluptuous Women
 
You Are Gorgeous and Loved!

 

Rates of depression are higher in the obese and overweight populations than in people of normal weight.  Unfortunately, while the statistics do not track each other precisely, the incidence of both obesity and depression is increasing in the U.S.  Women, in particular, are more likely to be both overweight and depressed according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Products - Data Briefs - Number 167 - October 2014 (cdc.gov)).  Furthermore, many women suffer from post-partum depression which is a sting that new moms find as very difficult to deal with.  So, I created the Thick Women’s Initiative to encourage women in the State of Maryland and abroad to see themselves as beautiful regardless of their weight.  Why?  The weight can change.  Women just need love and encouragement to help build up their self-esteem and confidence.  The information here on this page will help to accomplish that.  Check it out!

Women that are size 14 and above are gorgeous, plain and simple!  Not all women, according to their DNA, are structured to be a size 5 or smaller.  That is not happening.  So, why are we stressing over it?  Beautiful ladies, I am here to inform you that there is no need to wallow in self pity and stress yourselves out.  Stress brings on more problems such as health issues involving high blood pressure.  See reference here: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/stress-and-high-blood-pressure/art-20044190.

Let’s be reasonable about this:

  • Love yourself regardless of your weight because it is only a number. 

  • Change the way you eat to eliminate some of the salty, sugary and fatty foods that you have been accustomed to.

  • Drink plenty of water.

  • Get out there and get some exercise!  It is good for you!  It will help you with your energy levels and shed pounds.

  • There is nothing wrong with your hair.  Natural hair is amazingly gorgeous!

  • Are you thinking of plastic/cosmetic surgery?  Please speak with a U.S. licensed, board certified plastic surgeon before making any decisions.

American Association of Plastic Surgeons

https://aaps1921.org/

 

American Board of Cosmetic Surgery 

https://www.americanboardcosmeticsurgery.org/find-a-cosmetic-surgeon-near-you/

Loving Yourself

So much popular self-help advice suggests that we must “learn to love ourselves.” It’s good advice, but how exactly do we do it?

 

It's not so simple: We often believe that we do love ourselves, and yet our actions and reactions suggest otherwise. Loving yourself is essential to your personal growth, to the fulfillment of your dreams, and to developing healthy, happy relationships with others. Instead of trying to just talk yourself into believing you have self-love, foster compassion for yourself with these three practical steps:

1. Care as much about yourself as you do for others.

It sounds simple, but many of us simply don’t do this because we think we are being selfish or that our own needs are not important. They are. It is not selfish to care about yourself. Compassion for yourself means showing concern for your own feelings as well as for others. Treat yourself the way you would treat your children or your best friend, with gentleness, concern and caring.

 

2. Maintain your boundaries.

Write a list of the things that you need emotionally, things that are important to you and that upset you or hurt your feelings when they are ignored or violated. They could include being listened to; getting sympathy when you’re hurt; being celebrated when you succeed; receiving love and tenderness without asking for it; being cared for; and knowing you can rely on someone. Whatever is important to you is important. And when someone ignores what’s important to you or crosses your boundary, you’ll know—because it hurts. Don’t ignore that. Your feelings are there to tell you what’s right and what’s wrong.

Let people know what your boundaries are and what you will and will not tolerate. If they apologize, you can forgive them. If they do not, or continue to ignore your boundaries and needs, you need to create consequences. For example, if you tell your partner that you need him to listen to you and to acknowledge your feelings when you talk about something, but he continuously ignores you or tells you to get over it, you should respond with appropriate action, such as finding someone else to confide in. You may also need to reconsider the relationship. Relationships are meant to be a two-way street and you should be getting your needs for love, acceptance and respect met as much as the other person's. Being assertive and taking action to get your own needs met will build your self-esteem because it will reinforce the belief, in yourself and others, that you deserve to be loved and cherished.

 

3. Do what you need to do to be you.

First, figure out what makes you feel good. It doesn’t matter what it is, but become aware of how you feel when you do things. Do you feel exhausted at work, but exhilarated when you’re in the garden? Do you feel joyful reading to your children? Fulfilled when you are writing poetry or volunteering? Find out what makes you feel good and do it, as often as you can. Feeling good is all the permission you need to do what you love to do. And the more you do those things, the happier you will be. If it means you have to give up something else, so be it. Perhaps you need to spend more time on your own or schedule an hour every weekend to visit an art gallery to recharge. Maybe you need to save up some money to buy paints and brushes, or ask your family to look after themselves for a few hours while you take a stress-relieving walk. Perhaps you need to join a club to meet like-minded people who inspire you. Do what you need to do to be you and don’t let anyone blame you, criticize you or talk you out of it because they think you are being selfish, silly, or delusional. Ignore them. You will feel better, you will be better able to really be there for others—and you will like yourself more. You may even love yourself.

 

All of these things can help you to develop a sense of accomplishment, a sense of pride in what you are doing and who you are, and a realization that you are a worthy, talented, capable, lovable person who deserves to be loved. And the most important person to believe that is you.

Reference

 

Ward, Deborah.” 3 Ways to Learn to Love Yourself: Many of Us Believe We Already Do. Our Actions Say Otherwise.”  PsychologyToday.com, 17 Jan 2014. Accessed 19 May 2020.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sense-and-sensitivity/201401/3-ways-learn-love-yourself

Changing/Improving Your Diet & Drinking Water

You don't have to overhaul your entire diet to get a big health boost. Here are five simple changes you can put into action today for high-impact results.

1. Load Up on Fruits and Veggies

 

You know fruits and vegetables are good for you, but did you know they should fill half your plate at every meal? That's what the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends, and for good reason: Packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, fruits and vegetables make you less likely to get heart disease, high blood pressure, and some cancers.

 

Your daily goal: 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of veggies.

 

Top your morning eggs with salsa (yes, it counts!), lunch on vegetable soup or a sandwich topped with sprouts, snack on a strawberry-banana smoothie, and for dinner add chopped-up veggies to your meat loaf or pasta sauce.

 

2. Choose Better Fats

 

Saturated and trans fats can raise your bad cholesterol level and your risk of heart disease. By cutting back on animal-based foods like butter, bacon, and untrimmed meats, as well as pantry staples like cookies and crackers, you can keep these at bay.  Eating less bad fats can be as easy as switching from whole milk to fat-free milk, eating a turkey burger instead of a beef burger, and   switching from peanut butter to a lower-fat nut butter.

 

You do need some fat, of course. Plant-based foods like olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados contain healthy fats that are essential for energy and cell growth. To add more good fats to your diet, snack on almonds instead of chips, cook with olive oil instead of butter, and top your sandwich with a slice of avocado instead of cheese.

 

Also, some fish (such as salmon) is high in good-for-you omega-3 fatty acids. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week.

 

3. Drink Water, Not Lattes

 

If most of what you’re drinking every day isn't plain water (think soda, coffee drinks, sports drinks, and juices), you’re probably overloading on added calories and sugar.  Water, on the other hand, goes a long way in boosting health. Every cell in your body needs it to work properly. Water also helps your digestion.  Trade sugary drinks for water. Aim for about six to eight glasses a day. To help reach that goal, start and end your day with a tall glass of water and keep a water bottle with you during the day.  Need more flavor? Drop a slice of lemon or lime into your glass.

 

4. Eat More Fiber

 

Want to reduce belly fat, have more energy, and lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer? Simply bump up your fiber intake.  Fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans can also lower your cholesterol and boost digestion. Plus fiber makes you feel fuller longer, which is great for keeping off extra pounds, says Jessica Crandall, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 

 

To get more fiber, replace refined breads with whole-grain breads, choose brown rice instead of white rice, and switch to whole-wheat pasta.  Start your day with a bran muffin or oatmeal. Snack on an apple, a cup of berries, or popcorn.  You can also add fiber to your usual foods. “Sprinkle high-fiber cereal on top of your yogurt or add flaxseeds to your salad to give it a flavor pop as well as a high-fiber benefit,” Crandall says.

 

Also, Metamucil, chia seed and ground flax seed are great fiber sources.  Add the chia or ground flax seed when blending smoothies.

 

5. Keep Portions in Check

 

Reaching for a smaller plate may be the easiest thing you can do for a healthier diet. A study by Cornell University found that people eat less that way.  If you're trying to lose weight, portion control is key.  More strategies for keeping your portions in check:

  • Eat from a plate (not out of a bag),

  • Avoid nibbling in front of the TV,

  • Buy single-serve portions, and

  • Eat slowly, enjoying the flavors and aromas of every bite.

Reference

 

Derrer, MD, David T.  “5 Big-Payoff Diet Changes.”  WebMD.com, 15 Apr 2013. Accessed 19 May 2020. https://www.webmd.com/health-insurance/features/diet-changes#1

Ladies, please know that changing/improving your diet does not mean that you have to eat bland and/or boring meals.  Check out these recipes that my son and I compiled for you and your families.  We enjoy many of these dishes during all times or special times of the year.

Breakfast           Lunch           Dinner           Snacks           Salads/Soups           Holiday          

Kitchen Reference Guide           Family

Exercise, Exercise, Exercise!

 

You know exercise is good for you, but do you know how good? From boosting your mood to improving your sex life, find out how exercise can improve your life.  The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore.  Everyone benefits from exercise regardless of age, sex or physical ability.  Check out these seven ways exercise can lead to a happier, healthier you.

1. Exercise controls weight

Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn.

Regular trips to the gym are great, but don't worry if you can't find a large chunk of time to exercise every day. Any amount of activity is better than none at all. To reap the benefits of exercise, just get more active throughout your day — take the stairs instead of the elevator or rev up your household chores. Consistency is key.

 

2. Exercise combats health conditions and diseases

 

Worried about heart disease? Hoping to prevent high blood pressure? No matter what your current weight is, being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the "good" cholesterol, and it decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Regular exercise helps prevent or manage many health problems and concerns, including:

  • Stroke

  • Metabolic syndrome

  • High blood pressure

  • Type 2 diabetes

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Many types of cancer

  • Arthritis

  • Falls

It can also help improve cognitive function and helps lower the risk of death from all causes.

 

3. Exercise improves mood

 

Need an emotional lift? Or need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A gym session or brisk walk can help. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier, more relaxed and less anxious.  You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.

4. Exercise boosts energy

 

Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance.  Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. Also, when your heart and lung health improve, you have more energy to tackle daily chores.

 

5. Exercise promotes better sleep

 

Struggling to snooze? Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster, get better sleep and deepen your sleep. Just don't exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energized to go to sleep.

 

6. Exercise puts the spark back into your sex life

 

Do you feel too tired or too out of shape to enjoy physical intimacy? Regular physical activity can improve energy levels and increase your confidence about your physical appearance, which may boost your sex life.  But, there's even more to it than that. Regular physical activity may enhance arousal for women. And men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than are men who don't exercise.

 

7. Exercise can be fun … and social!

 

Exercise and physical activity can be enjoyable. They give you a chance to unwind, enjoy the outdoors or simply engage in activities that make you happy. Physical activity can also help you connect with family or friends in a fun social setting.  So, take a dance class, hit the hiking trails or join a soccer team. Find a physical activity you enjoy, and just do it.

 

To conclude, exercise and physical activity are great ways to feel better, boost your health and have fun. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends:

  • At least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. The guidelines suggest that you spread this exercise throughout the week. Examples include running, walking or swimming. Even small amounts of physical activity are helpful, and accumulated activity throughout the day adds up to provide health benefits.

  • Strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times a week. Examples include lifting free weights, using weight machines or doing body-weight training.

Spread your activities throughout the week. If you want to lose weight, meet specific fitness goals or get even more benefits, you may need to ramp up your moderate aerobic activity to 300 minutes or more a week.  Remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have any concerns about your fitness, haven't exercised for a long time, have chronic health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes or arthritis.

SEE FITNESS DIET PLAN HERE

Reference

 

Mayo Clinic Staff.  “Exercise: 7 Benefits of Regular Physical Activity.”  MayoClinic.org, 11 May 2019. Accessed 20, May 2020.  https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389

Black Women, Your Natural Hair is Amazingly Gorgeous!

The beginning of the natural hair movement can be traced back to the early 2000s in America, when Black women began to embrace their given Afro-textured hair. As more and more Black American women decided to ditch chemicals that altered their authentic hair texture, their actions encouraged other women from around the globe to do the same.

 

This sudden — yet much-needed — reclamation of our hairitage (hair + heritage) began to travel far and wide, and it certainly made its way to continental Africa, although it was much later on. Still, this made flaunting one’s kinks, curls, and coils popular, but the natural hair movement is fundamentally much bigger than just hair, and here is why:

 

For so long, Black people or people of Afro-descent have been demeaned for having nappy, woolly-like hair, but now they are taking ownership of what they have and embracing it with pride. When an individual chooses to wear his/her hair out in all its Afro glory, he/she is in every way taking ownership of his/her roots, heritage, and history.

 

Let us not be quick to forget that Afro-textured hair has had a negative connotation linked to it. Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie underscored this point when she was asked about the reception former First Lady Michelle Obama would have received from voters had she wore her hair natural when her husband was running for president:

“It would signify that she is some sort of militant, neo-Black Panther…frightening, angry. And it would somehow signify that she is not mainstream, because we have decided that mainstream hair is hair that sort of falls down. When you have natural hair that is Black, it stands up and it is not really considered mainstream.”

As Adichie noted, wearing Afro-textured hair in its authentic form is perceived as being political because it goes against the norm and the status quo. However, now with the surge of nappy-headed women, it is gradually becoming an ordinary thing to see a woman flaunt her kinks, curls, or coils. It is no longer a subversive, bizarre, or unheard-of action.

 

For most, going and being natural has involved unlearning the deep-seated, ingrained beauty standard(s) that straight hair equates to “good hair.” The existence of this beauty standard dates back to the times of slavery, when the ethnocentric Europeans demonized people of Afro-descent for their physical features, such as skin, hair, nose, etc. And that is why too many young Black children have grown up thinking that they must conform to the Eurocentric beauty standard of straightening their hair.

Thanks to the natural hair movement, more children are aware that there is no need submit to conformity. They are now becoming aware that their Afro-aesthetic is beautiful and it does not need to be mindlessly altered into something else.

 

Ultimately, there is no way we can refuse to submit to conformity without owning our hair and normalizing its aesthetic. They all go hand in hand, proving that embracing our hair often means embracing one’s self.

References

 

Wanjiru, Acquelline K. “It Is More Than Just Hair: The Importance of the Natural Hair Movement.” FacetoFaceAfrica.com, 1 Feb 2017. Accessed 20 April 2020.

https://face2faceafrica.com/article/natural-hair-movement

 

Ellery, Lucinda.  “Hair and History: Why Hair is Important to Women.”  Huffington Post, web 8 July 2014. Accessed 19 May 2020.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/hair-history-why-hair-is-_b_5567365

 

Braine, Theresa.  “Three States Take Up Three Anti-Hair-Discrimination Bills in One Week.”  NYDailyNews.com, 16 Feb 2020. Accessed 12 May 2020.

https://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-hair-discrimination-state-legislatures-bills-20200217-tygroqb4rzczzmeull54n4dxnq-story.html

Plastic/Cosmetic Surgery

 

Thinking of plastic/cosmetic surgery?  It is totally understandable.  Before you make a final decision, be sure to speak with a licensed, board certified plastic/cosmetic surgeon in your area.  It is not wise to seek surgery in another country for an inexpensive deal.

People get cosmetic surgery for many reasons. Some want to look younger. Others seek to change a feature they've never liked.  The decision is personal. One of the keys is to set realistic expectations.  Cosmetic surgery won't change your life. It won't solve personal problems or make you look like someone else. But it may give you greater self-confidence and add to your sense of well-being.  Successful results often depend, in part, on how well you and your surgeon communicate.  Make sure you feel comfortable with your surgeon and that you are open with him or her about your goals and questions.

Why Do You Want Cosmetic Surgery?

Many people have good reasons for seeking cosmetic surgery. They've thought it over carefully, are in good health, have good self-esteem, understand the risks of the procedure they're considering and are doing it for themselves.  Other people, however, are doing it to try to please someone else -- often their spouse or partner -- and their hopes go way beyond what the procedure can do.

Ask yourself the following:

  • What is your motivation? Are you doing it for someone else, or for yourself?

  • What do you want to change and why?

  • How long have you wanted to do this?

  • What are your expectations?

  • Does your surgeon agree that your goals are reasonable?

References

 

Gardner, MD, Stephanie S.  “Choosing Cosmetic Surgery.”  WebMD.com, 3 Feb 2019.  Accessed 10 Apr 2020.  https://www.webmd.com/beauty/choosing-cosmetic-surgery 

 

DeNoon, Daniel J.  “Who Gets Plastic Surgery and Why: Survey Shows Average Patient is not Rich and not Old.”  WebMD.com, Aug 2005. Accessed 4 Apr 2020.

https://www.webmd.com/beauty/news/20050830/who-gets-plastic-surgery-why#1

Has the messages on this page inspired you? I hope that it has!  Show us your inspired look and encourage others too! Send us your picture and five sentences about yourself and what inspires you to be all that you can be to thickwomensinitiative@gmail.com.  Include your first name and the city/county where you live in Maryland.  We will post it here!  One selection per week will be made.

 

Stay gorgeous,

Ciao!