Category Archives: Guest Posts

“Life is here, now.”

Back in August, one of my good girlfriend Heather wrote a fabulous guest post about accepting her body for what it is and transitioning from the straight size to the plus size modeling world.

Over the past few months, Heather has been busy traveling nonstop for jobs that include the plus size lingerie company Hips and Curves, Slink Magazine, Zappos, QVC, and American Apparel.  And next month she plans to go to LA, NYC, and Costa Rica!

Heather is more than a pretty face, she is also a great role model for women, young and old [and myself included]…  Here’s her story [as seen on her website]:

What you see here is a 70 pound difference. I grew up a bigger girl; but for 8 years of my life, I lived in a mental prison. I constantly counted calories and obsessively worked out to an unhealthy size 0 with 9% body fat. I lost my period for five years. My butt cheeks didn’t even touch! (Yep, you heard me…) Nothing mattered but performing my rituals and compulsions I conjured up in my head. I did not have any space in my brain to see the world around me, connect with people, and ultimately live. Constantly striving to be something else, you do not have time to think about the important things in life — friends, loved ones, learning, giving back, following your passions, etc. I was always thinking, “When I weigh ___, I’ll be happy… my life will be perfect.” This is the biggest lie in the world. Life is here, now. You cannot wait for a certain event or milestone to truly begin living your life.

So with time, countless doctors, helpful books, and role models in the plus industry, I began to heal. The transformation was not easy (it was actually quite hellish), but I made a decision to choose freedom. I started listening to my body and respecting it. I eat whole foods and love working out. I want to prove to people that you can be healthy at any size. My motto is to just be as healthy as I can be (body, mind, & soul), and wherever I end up, is where I’m supposed to be . It is my passion to show people that once you are true to your authentic self, doors begin to open and you can truly live your life to the fullest.

Check out some of her most recent [stunningly beautiful] work…

Be sure to check out Heather on tumblr or her website!

“The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.”

~ Albert Einstein

Question:  Who is your greatest role model?

Question:  What motivates you to truly be you?

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“Nothing Gets Between Me and My Mat”

I have another great inspirational guest post to share with y’all tonight!  After re-reading Danielle’s story, I couldn’t help but think to myself how amazing some of my girlfriends are and how blessed I am to have them in my life!

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My Dear friend Allison asked me to write a guest post and I am pleased to share the story of my journey with the practice of yoga: )

A preface to my story…  I completed my first level certification through “YogaFit” at an Mind Body Fitness conference in Northern Virginia.  Within the next year, I received my level 2 certification and I have plans to complete my level 3 certification at the MBF conference in Salt Lake City, Utah in 3 weeks.  The following bio was initially written as a submission for “YogaFit’s” 2011 ad campaign contest!  And I am so grateful to say that I WON! 🙂

Me and My Yogini's at Our Level 1 Certification

My journey with yoga began at a time when I was suffering from a debilitating eating disorder and was essentially tearing myself to shreds; not only was my body shrinking, so was my mind.  Today, I can say that yoga played a strong role in restoring what I had lost and in bringing balance and joy back into my life.  I went to my first yoga class with my big sister at a health club and immediately felt at home with my mat.  That first class began a routine habit of practice, which in turn brought me to researching and networking where to certify.  I believe Yogafit came in answer to a prayer I needed in order to find my path in this life.  I soon switched my education focus from architecture to exercise & wellness with the dream of one day opening a yoga studio.

The advertisement for the contest featuring Beth Shaw, the founder of YogaFit 🙂

I love the motto “Nothing gets between me and my mat.”  It represents the beauty of yoga, its essence, it’s core.  To me, yoga is the blessing of a constant companion to the disheartened and broken.  It’s the source of fulfillment to the joyful and energetic.  Despite the experiences that come to us in this life, we always have our yoga mat to pull out anytime, anywhere.  Whether we simply sit and breathe deeply or rock out our best standing splits, we are bringing more balance, more peace and more gratitude for ourselves and for our lives.

The photo I submitted for YogaFit's ad campaign contest

The beginning of this year, I was in a snowboarding accident and crushed a vertebrae in my spine.  For 7 weeks, I wore a back brace from my hips to my collarbone and had to turn an especially active life into somewhat of an immobile one.  While I couldn’t run, weight train or do many of the things I love doing, none of this came between me and my mat.  How grateful I am that in a time when I otherwise would have felt sorely disheartened, I could still have my practice.  Sure, it wasn’t the same routine, but that’s the beauty of yoga. It kept me strong, kept me relaxed and at peace.  I know that I will heal and one day return to life as it was, but as for now, I know I have my mat.

Namaste,

Danielle

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If you missed the other two girlfriend guest posts you can read them here:

Jeannie’s story: “As Hard As It’s Been, I Would Do It All Again”

Heather’s story: “I Decided to Choose Freedom and Truly Live Life”

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Finish the Saying:  Nothing gets between me and my __________.

Question:  Do you practice yoga?

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Filed under Fitness, Friends, Guest Posts, Health

“I Decided to Choose Freedom and Truly Live Life”

What a BEA-UUU-TIFUL DAY 😀  Maybe the earthquake shook away all of the ugly weather we’ve been having recently?!

Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s gonna last for long since Hurricane Irene is headed this-a-way :/  BTW, the surgery went a-okay and I actually didn’t even cry, maybe I’m overcoming my needle phobia?

I am so excited to share a post with y’all tonight from one of my good girlfriends, Heather!  Heather is a fabulous girlfriend…  She not only has provided me with great support over the years, but she’s the complete package- the brains [recent graduate from Arizona State with a degree in Sustainability] and the beauty [inside and out]!  I’m sad that she recently moved away from the east coast to pursue a career opportunity, but I have no doubt in my mind that she will have great success!

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I am so honored that my good friend Allison asked me to write a guest post about the crazy, but wonderful world of modeling that I’ve been a part of for the past five years.  I first started out as a straight size model, then as a photographer, then as an assistant booker, and finally as a plus size model.  My transition into a curvy model started after I was tired of living in a mental prison, obsessively working out, and counting calories to an unhealthy size zero.  After six years of living this way, I decided to choose freedom and truly live life.  Accepting my natural size 12/14 curvy body was the best thing I’ve ever done.  Traveling back and forth from Denver to LA and NYC, I hope to inspire women with my story of embracing my body to live life to the fullest.

What is the best way to start a modeling career?

Step 1:  Make sure you are VERY comfortable in your skin and you understand that this is a business.  You cannot take things personally.  One person may hate your look and another may love it.

Step 2:  Google reputable agencies and apply!  You don’t need any professional pictures at this point.  They will usually ask for digitals with little to no makeup on.  A digital shows your potential and natural beauty.

Step 3:  If they are interested in you, they will set up a meeting to potentially sign you.

Can a modeling agency tell just from a snapshot whether someone has what it takes to be a model?

The majority of the time, yes.  However, some models are extremely photogenic and can really transform after makeup and wardrobe.  If this seems to be the case, the agency may have you test with a photographer before deciding whether or not to sign you.

Do you think it is necessary to pay for modeling school?

NEVER PAY for modeling schools.  You will learn a ton through the everyday demands in this industry.

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of modeling?

Favorite:  the creative and talented people, traveling to fantastic cities, the amazing day rates, the variety [days are never the same], networking, the excitement, there is no 9 to 5 schedule, and the challenge of it all.

Least favorite:  the uncertainty, the last-minuteness, long travel days, devoting a lot of personal time and money into it at the beginning [tests, flights, cards, website fees], and expense tracking.

What parts of modeling are difficult?

The uncertainty and last-minute everything is difficult to get used to.  You may get put on hold for a job and not know until the day before whether or not you got it.  My old agent and I have laughed about this before…  You don’t really know if you got a job until you are AT the job.  Things change constantly.  It’s a fickle industry.  Even though I booked a job in Barbados, I wasn’t going to believe it until my feet were in the sand haha!

Do you feel pressured to diet or maintain a certain size?

When I was a straight size model, I most definitely did.  You can only be one size: a 34-inch hip.  There is no room for uniqueness from woman to woman.  Not everyone can be this size naturally.  I’ve talked very openly about my struggles as a size 0/2 on my blogs and website.  However, as a plus size model, I don’t feel any of the same pressures.  It’s so refreshing!  You can basically be any size between a 6 and a 20, but you have to be proportional.  Agencies usually look for a 10 inch difference between your waist and hips [ for example, my waist is 33 inches and my hips are 43 inches].  My motto is to be the healthiest I can be [body/ mind/ soul] and wherever I end up, is where I am supposed to be 🙂

Are there specific height and size requirements for high fashion models?

Yes.  Most agencies will have a height minimum of 5’8” and want you to be a size 2 (34-24-24) for a high fashion model.  However, there are always exceptions [hello, Kate Moss]!  I’m very optimistic that in the future straight size models, plus size models, petite models, etc., will all just be called models.  Whoever is best for the job will get it; size won’t matter.

Do models have to have perfect skin with no blemishes, or can they really make all of that go away with makeup?

Amazing skin is a must!  Clients don’t want to pay a re-toucher even more money than they have to.  The bottom line is makeup looks better on clear skin, clients may hire you for in-person work, and it saves everyone a bunch of time. I don’t have the best skin, but I spend a bunch of time making sure it’s the best it can be.

Feel free to check out my website, my plus modeling Tumblr, my personal Tumblr, or ask me any questions [anonymously, if preferred] via my Tumblr!

P.S.  Support Heather and VOTE for her for American Apparel’s “The Next Big Thing” 😀

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Question:  Have you ever modeled?

Question:  What are your skin secrets?

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