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2019: My Year of Self-love

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“Self-love is not selfish; you cannot truly love another until you know how to love yourself.” – Unknown

Happy 2019! I know we’re well into March and this is my first blog post of the year. I’d normally feel bad about this, but if you follow me on Instagram you know I’ve been busy…busy working on loving myself more. But not just saying it; really meaning it. I’ve been reading, meditating, reflecting, journaling, dedicating more time and energy into my self-care routine…oh, and doing a “love detox.” (I’ve deleted all of the dating apps from my phone because I’m taking a break from dating altogether.)

The beginning of the year is when most of us are focused on creating goals for our lives, careers, relationships, etc. Whether it’s making a vision board or just a quiet promise to ourselves, many of us make a list of a bunch of things we want to accomplish over the course of the next 12 months. I do it too and my list is usually very, very long. But, 2019 is different. This year, I decided to just make one goal/commitment: to simply loving myself more.

I’ve grown a lot over the past few years, specifically in the acceptance of my body. That’s how I got here and why you’re here, too (whether you know it or not). I started The Chief of Style with the intention of loving every dimple, wrinkle, fat roll, stretch mark and pimple…all of the physical stuff I spent years hating about myself. I’ve come SO far in that journey, but I still have a ways to go when it comes to loving myself. Like, I know I’m great and all, but I keep letting users and abusers into my life and I’m finally over it! I’m done putting everyone else (like the people I’m romantically involved with, in particular) before myself (and even sometimes my closest friends and family). Love is blind in more ways than one and I’ve really let one too many jerks keep me from not only seeing my own worth, but how much other people I care about care about me.

So, I made the decision on Valentine’s Day to stop dating for a while. And, I mean it. I’m going to stop putting all of my love, time, energy and resources into other people (who haven’t even proven they deserve it) and put it into myself. I’m also taking the time to process and face my traumas instead of pretending they never happened. It’s honestly pretty intense and a little scary, but I feel quite certain I will come out this much happier and emotionally healthier and stronger.

Part of my plan for loving myself more is taking myself on dates, treating myself to trips to the spa and destinations near and far and spending more time alone – and enjoying it! I used to do everything for my partner, including wearing sexy lingerie. But, now I’m even doing that for myself.

One of my favorite sources for budget-friendly, flirty lingerie is Yandy. They have beautiful pieces in a wide range of sizes, including plus sizes. I’m absolutely in LOVE with this “Bad Intentions” lingerie gown. It has detachable straps and a high waist panty. Wearing lingerie just for me is officially part of my self-care practice.

If you’re curious about Yandy, you can use my promo code for 20% off: chiefofstyle20

I’m curious…how do you practice self-love? Let me know in the comments! I can’t wait to learn some new tips. 🙂

xo

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing the "Bad Intentions" lingerie gown by Yandy

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing the "Bad Intentions" lingerie gown by Yandy

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing the "Bad Intentions" lingerie gown by Yandy

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing the "Bad Intentions" lingerie gown by Yandy

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing the "Bad Intentions" lingerie gown by Yandy

Thank you to Yandy for sponsoring this post. As always, all views expressed are my own, true opinions.

Mindful Monday: Start Your Week Off Right

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“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

If this isn’t one of the most Monday-est Mondays there ever were…

Daylight Saving Time is a trip, man. We move forward one hour in the Spring and back one hour in the Fall…but why? We’re no longer a primarily agricultural economy. Don’t get me wrong, I love when the days are longer. Besides loving sunlight, it’s a reminder that Summer is right around the corner. (Hallelujah!) Still, waking up an hour earlier is no easy task. I can’t even tell you how many times I hit snooze this morning. ((YAWN))

Anyway, what I wanted to talk with you today about was the importance of mindfulness. (Especially on days like today when it may feel like things aren’t going the way you’d like them to go or something’s just ‘off.’)

Creating a mindfulness practice is one of the most important things one can do for oneself. Focusing on the present moment and taking a break from the chaos around you is so key for both your overall life and your sanity. I notice such a difference in my overall disposition when I press pause and take some time to just Be. Focusing on what I want from the day, week, month or year allows me to hold something in mind that I’m working toward. As a result, everything tends to sync up and just, well, flow.

My biggest advice if your life has been feeling a bit out of wack, would be to create a routine that begins with setting your intentions for the day in the morning and ends with preparing for the next day before bed. If you’re interested in beginning a mindfulness routine, here’s a really great article on how to start.

But about this lingerie, though…This month, I’m featuring an adorable baby doll lingerie set from Parfait Lingerie.What I love most about Parfait is their ample size range. They fit cup sizes A-K and their panties are sizes S-3X. They’ve got a lot of stretch and give to them too, so they’ll accommodate most tushies. What’s more, their lingerie is beautiful and of the highest quality. It will make women of all sizes feel sexy. I’m proud to a Parfait Lingerie #PerfectFigure.

Chief of Style body positive plus size fashion blog parfait lingerie photoshoot perfect figure campaign

Chief of Style body positive plus size fashion blog parfait lingerie photoshoot perfect figure campaign

*Thank you to Parfait Lingerie for sponsoring this post and for the lovely lingerie. As always, the views expressed in this post (and every post) are my true and honest opinions.

Out of the Blue

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“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch

This isn’t going to be a post about body positivity – per se. And, I won’t try to explain (once again) how revolutionary (to me) it truly is that I not only wore a cobalt blue lace romper on the streets of Downtown LA that showed off my legs, but I let someone take pictures of me…and then I posted those pictures on the Internet (un-retouched no less)…and why you should, too! Nope, this isn’t that post.

Instead, I want to focus on what happens after you choose to show a little skin on a hot day. What’s on the other side of those triumphant, almost magical moments when we give the middle finger to Fear and choose to be Brave.

I assume (hope) you’ve had moments when you’ve done something your old self never would have imagined you’d do. Picture how terrified you were to do it and remember how it felt doing it anyway. (Say, sky diving or swimming with sharks…or even “just” wearing a bikini to the beach!) I don’t know the exact number, but I’d guess nine times out of 10 once it’s over (whatever “it” is), we’re glad we did it. Why is that? Because when you face your fears and do something that challenges you, you’re truly living.

So, now, I know I said I wouldn’t get all #BOPO on you, but I will say that ever since I decided to let go of the fear of wearing rompers and skirts that stop above my knees and bikinis at the beach and crop tops and and and…once I made that choice, I realized I wasn’t living my best life before. I really was merely existing, as trite as it may sound.

You see, I’ve loved fashion and clothes and shoes and all the things(!!!) my entire life. I wished so badly to wake up one day and be thin so I could wear a cute mini skirt because for some reason I got it in my head that I couldn’t. Putting ridiculous restrictions on myself, essentially self-body policing, was like living my own, personal version of Hell. I know that sounds extreme, but seriously…it was just awful not to “be able to” wear cute skirts (even in my size) because they weren’t 25″+ (the length from my waist to my knee because I measured it to make online shopping for modest clothing easier). Not only did my wardrobe suffer, but I felt like I was living a half-life, unable to fully express myself. You’d think that would motivate me to hurry up and get over it. Nope, old beliefs die hard.

Fast forward to where I am now…Now, I buy clothes that I love whether they show off no skin, some skin or alllll the skin because I’m not hiding anymore. I’m not living for other people’s opinions. I’m living for me. Once I made the choice to step outside of my comfort zone, I really began feeling alive and soon, I began living big in other areas of my life, too. I started making amazing connections (both personal and professional) and I started this blog (something I’d been thinking on for years). I really began to ‘lean in’ in so many areas of my life. Once I stopped allowing fear – of anything – stand in my way, I was unstoppable. This slight shift in attitude made all the difference for me.

If you haven’t let go of whatever is holding you back from living your best life already, I hope you will soon. Life is full of opportunities given to those who move through the world courageously. If you’re struggling, then start small. Maybe you need a cobalt blue lace romper in your life, too!

Outfit details: Romper: Charlotte Russe+ | Shoes: Macy’s | Necklace: Amazon

Photographer:  Jorge Lopez (IG: @jorgelopezmedia)

Stop Saying ‘No’ to Living the Life You Want

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“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. […] Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.” – Helen Keller

“No.”

It’s a powerful word. One I’ve heard many, many times. Still, for whatever reason (maybe because I’m a typical, stubborn Taurus or because I’m determined as hell), I never ever ever give up. Never in my life have I let the word “No” stop me. I’ve been laid off, told I didn’t have enough experience, reminded of my lack of qualifications, dumped, pigeon-holed, misjudged, misunderstood, shown the metaphorical “exit,” not been granted entry, and I haven’t always fit in. There’s really no one, simple road to success and my winding career path is an example of that. But, lately…lately, thankfully, I’ve been hearing “Yes”…a lot.

As you may (and hopefully) know, in a couple of weeks, I’m throwing myself a party to celebrate the launch of this very site. (Yes, you’re invited.) You see, I’m determined AF, but in the past I allowed “perfection to stand in the way of good enough” as they say. I’ve never thought twice about taking risks when I didn’t have much at stake and I didn’t care about the outcome. But, I’ve definitely let my fears and insecurities hold me back from achieving what I want most. I have big – huge – dreams, but I stood in my own way for far too long, living small and playing it safe. I’m so over that! And the party I’m throwing will be to celebrate this transformation.

Since I’ve moved out of my own way and become laser focused, I’ve seen so much success. In just a few months, I’ve gained nearly 10,000 followers on Instagram, I’ve secured about one dozen brand partnerships, including sponsorships for my launch party (my gift bags are killer, y’all!), and I’ve received interest from several news outlets who want to share my story with their readers. I’m really just getting started, but I’ve seen so much growth in such a short period of time because I Decided (with a capital D) to be Brave (with a capital B) and get serious about making my dreams a reality. As a result, I’ve found support from my friends, family, followers…and I’m so very grateful for you. Thank you.

I may not know you IRL, but I think it’s safe to assume that you’ve held yourself back before, too. If so, I have one question for you: WHY!? Why are you sabotaging yourself from having that thing – whatever it is – that you want most? Seriously, there’s a reason and if you’re honest with yourself, you probably know what it is. Name it and stop it! Life is too short and you’re too incredible to live a mediocre life (whatever mediocre looks like for you).

What big dream do you have that you’ve been struggling to reach? Share it in the comments. Maybe I’ll have some suggestions.

May the fierce be with you, babes.

xo

Outfit details: Top: Forever21+ | Skirt: Torrid | Shoes: Macy’s | Necklace: Amazon

Photographer:  Jorge Lopez (IG: @jorgelopezmedia)

Welcome to The Chief of Style!

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“It always feels great to be at the start of something new. It’s almost like a revolution, in a way.” – Freida Pinto

Welcome to The Chief of Style, a plus size style blog that celebrates self-love and body-positivity! Here, I’ll be sharing my personal style choices as well as tips and tricks for other curvy fashionistas. And, I’ll be bringing incredible, authentic Indigenous and ethnic fashion designs straight to your desktop, tablet or mobile device.

For more information about who I am, please visit the About page. Question? Shoot me an email.

In the meantime, why not follow me on Instagram @ChiefofStyle!

‘Till next time…

xo

Outfit details: Bodysuit: Forever21+ | Shirt: Forever21+ | Jeans: The Limited | Watch: Michael Kors

Photographer: CJ Edwards-Acton