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How to Maintain a Positive Attitude Even When Things Get Tough (Part 1)

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Staying positive can be one of the most difficult things to do, but in my experience it’s critical if you want to achieve great things in life. I’m a firm believer that we reap what we sow, or receive what we put out into the world. Seriously, attitude is everything and when we’re negative, good things just won’t come. And if they do, we won’t appreciate or even recognize them.

Full disclosure: I’ve suffered from depression for most of my adult life, so I know how hard it can be to manage your thoughts and feelings. If you live with a mental illness, this list in no way attempts to minimize your very real feelings and experiences with self-help mumbo jumbo. But, it is my hope that by incorporating a few of these tips, you will start to feel a shift in your life and feel a bit more in control. As always, be kind to yourself should you decide to adopt one or more of these tips. Change takes time. <3

(For information about the Parfait Lingerie set I’m wearing, scroll to the bottom.)

That said, here’s what works for me:

  1. Start your day off right by creating a morning routine. Rituals are so very important. They provide stability and normalcy when things feel chaotic or stressful and can alleviate any extra energy put into deciding what to do next (because you’ve already mapped it out). There are plenty of life hack lists and self-help books that argue the importance of a morning routine.
  2. Remember that you create your own reality. If you want to see a brighter day, start by making the conscious choice to see one. You are the architect of your life. If something or someone is bringing you down, let it go. Only allow into your life what truly makes you happy.
  3. Be grateful. Gratitude is HUGE when you’re down in the dumps. Create a list of what you’re grateful for and read it back when you need a reminder of how lucky you are to be alive. There is so much to be thankful for if you look around you. Being reminded of your many blessings is sure to put things into perspective.
  4. Go on a media/social media diet. News (especially these days) can be so very negative. I can tell when I’ve been taking in too much bad news. (I can actually feel it in my body.) If you start to feel bad after consuming too much news or you find you’re comparing your life to others’ on social media, STOP IT RIGHT NOW. Unplug and go take a break. And, only plug back in when you’re in a better head space.
  5. Set aside some time to meditate. If you’re not familiar with how to meditate, start by closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing. I sometimes count my inhale (1…) and my exhale (2…) and then my inhale again (3…) and so on. When you get to 10, start over again. You can also use an app like Headspace (which I highly recommend) to get started.
  6. Seek outside support from friends and family. Sometimes just letting someone in and sharing your feelings can lift your spirits. That said, so as not to “dump” your probs on loved ones, consider getting a therapist. Personally, I love BetterHelp for that!
  7. Go outside and do something — anything! Just get out of your room, apartment…whatever and allow yourself to take a look at the beauty around you. Remember that everyone’s going through something. You’re not the only one dealing with stuff. But, life goes on and so will you.
  8. Do something you love. Remember that dance class you took as a kid or that sport you miss? Why not get some friends together or join a MeetUp group (or make your own!) and get back to doing what you love?
  9. Monitor your thoughts. They say thoughts become things and it’s really true. Start noticing how you speak to yourself. Notice any negative self-talk? Hating on yourself? STOP IT RIGHT NOW! You’re beautiful, sexy, handsome, fierce, fab…there is no need — and no time — to drag yourself down. Find something you love about yourself or the situation, etc. and reframe it. If you don’t like something within your control, then f-ing change it. Don’t complain. You’ve got this!
  10. Watch what you say. You’d be surprised how our own words can affect our outlook on life. Just as we create our own reality with our thoughts, our words are incredibly powerful. Take note of the words you use and if you find that you say, “I can’t…,” “I hate…” or “I’ll never…” or other negative things, turn it around and find a more positive way to talk about your situation. I promise, it’ll make a huge difference.

This was just Part 1 of this list. Stay tuned next week for Part 2! (I’ll link to it here when it’s up.)

What are your tips for staying positive? Share them in the comments below! I can’t wait to read what you write. 🙂

I hope this my suggestions help you push through a rough patch should you have one. (Why not bookmark this page? Your future self will thank you!)

Chief of Style in Parfait Lingerie talking about how to stay positive when things get tough

Chief of Style in Parfait Lingerie talking about how to stay positive when things get tough

Chief of Style in Parfait Lingerie talking about how to stay positive when things get tough

 

Thank you to Parfait Lingerie for sponsoring this post as part of their #PerfectFigure campaign. Here, I’m wearing the Aline Wire-Free Padded Bra and the Aline Bikini Brief both in Nude (linked images below).

The bra features molded microfiber cups, adjustable shoulder straps, a hook-and-eye closure, an accent bow at the center front and it’s made of nylon/spandex. Ooh lah lah! Parfait!

 

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.

The Importance of Self-love

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“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha

The above quote is so true. Often, we spend so much time and emotional energy loving others and treating them right that we forget to do the same for ourselves.

In fact, the first time I did a real boudoir photo shoot, it was a gift for my partner at the time. Now, thanks to my partnership with Parfait Lingerie, I’ve donned lingerie for half a dozen photoshoots. Instead of taking beautiful pictures to make someone else smile, I do it for myself. I get to be the one delighted by the beautiful images of myself in barely anything all in an effort to celebrate self-love and body positivity. I hope that my photos inspire other women to love their bodies exactly as they are, “flaws” and all.

But, if they don’t…oh effing welI, I did it for me first. Just as you always should.

They say to put your oxygen mask on first. Well, do it, damn it.

In case you needed to hear this today: Take care of you before you take care of everyone else. Self-care is so very important, babes. And, as femmes, women, people of color, queer folks…our needs are often left unmet by others. So, we’ve got to take action and do something about it!

I love taking long, hot baths and getting mani-pedis. And I also enjoy taking pictures in lingerie, (obvi). There’s something really powerful about a plus size queer femme of color owning and loving her body and sharing that self-love with the world. It’s pretty radical, if you ask me.

So, where will you begin? Do you already have a self-care routine? If so, what does it involve? Let me know in the comments.

I can’t wait to hear all of your tips and tricks, loves!

Until next time…

xo,

Amy

Parfait Lingerie Plus size lingerie

Parfait Lingerie Plus size lingerie
*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.

Self-love and Happiness at Any Size

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“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance” – Oscar Wilde

I’ve been on every weight loss plan you can think of. I had a nutritionist at age 12 and a personal trainer by the time I was 13; I’ve been a weight watcher (several times) and tried being friends with Jenny Craig (twice); I’ve taken diet pills and even considered scheduling a consultation with my doctor to discuss gastric bypass surgery. Whether a size 6 or a 16, I have always wanted to fix my weight “problem.”

I spent every January planning my new diet and scheduling daily workouts. I’d convince my friends to be my accountability partners. Waist trainers, pedometers and trackers, health apps, new workout clothes and counting calories…I’ve done it all. I thought the only way I’d ever be happy was to be thin and the only way to be thin was to hate the weight off. No matter how many weight loss programs I followed or how many inches I lost, I still hated my body and I hated myself. I was miserable and clinically depressed. I honestly can’t think of a time in my life when I was truly happy.

That is, until last year.

Last January, I didn’t make a resolution to lose 20, 40 or 60 pounds. Instead, I made a resolution to fall madly in love with myself.

Until last year, I never knew you could love yourself and be confident in your own skin and be curvy, thick or even fat. I thought self-esteem was something only physically fit people could have. But now I know the secret.

All you have to do to be happy is make the choice to be.

Over the past year, I’ve made a conscious decision every day, every second possible, to love myself and be happy. I choose happiness at every turn. When I could choose to be negative, I, instead, see the positive no matter the situation. I spend time thinking about my ideal outcomes rather than fearing the worst. I put my thoughts and attention into what I want rather than what I don’t. I’m not perfect at it, but 9 out of 10 I’m aware and able to ‘choose happy.’ And it has made a world of difference in my life! Not only do people receive me more positively, I just feel so much lighter. I’m finally floating through life.

Have you ever struggled with loving yourself? What did or do you do to stay happy? Please share in the comments!

xo,

Amy

* This Valentine’s Day, Parfait Lingerie is doing a two-part giveaway called the “Love Your Body Sweepstakes.” To learn how to enter, go here.

This month, I’m wearing Parfait Lingerie’s Ava . This set is possibly my favorite that Parfait makes. I love the lace detail combined with the gorgeous tropical print. And, the buttons on both the bra and panty are so adorable!

Don’t know where to buy Parfait Lingerie? Click here.

Amy Stretten Chief of Style Parfait Lingerie 2018 Perfect Figure Campaign

Amy Stretten Chief of Style Parfait Lingerie 2018 Perfect Figure Campaign

Amy Stretten Chief of Style Parfait Lingerie 2018 Perfect Figure Campaign

Thank you to Parfait Lingerie for sponsoring this post as part of their 2018 #PerfectFigure campaign.

Win 2 Tickets to The CurvyCon in New York City and Free Lingerie Courtesy of Parfait Lingerie

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“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” – Louise L. Hay

Hello and happy New Year! Can you believe it’s 2018!?

As I recently announced, I am partnering with Parfait Lingerie on their 2018 #PerfectFigure campaign. If you haven’t heard of Parfait Lingerie, they’re making a name for themselves as having really beautiful lingerie for cup sizes A-K, a size range that is almost unheard of! (Yay for sexy bras for larger bust sizes!)

As part of our partnership, I will be blogging monthly about self-love and body positivity and sharing photos I’ve shot in their lingerie.

This month, I’m wearing Sandrine in cameo rose. What I love most about this set is the longline bra. It features lace detailing and has a retro/vintage feel. The matching panties are in a cheeky low cut boy short style and in a matching color lace. Sandrine comes in four colors: cameo rose, black, french blue, and the eye catching wild pink. This truly is one of my favorite sets Parfait Lingerie makes. Don’t know where to buy Parfait Lingerie? Click here.

Guess what! I have something super exciting to share…Parfait Lingerie is doing a two-part Valentine’s Day Giveaway this year called the “Love Your Body Sweepstakes.”

Part One

The first prize is two (2) tickets to The CurvyCon to (1) lucky winner as well as $500 towards travel. (Either $500 for roundtrip flights to NYC or $500 American Express gift card to use towards ground transportation if the winner already lives in or near NYC.)

To enter, you must upload a picture of your body’s ‘perfect’ imperfection to at least one (1) social media platform (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram). For example: stretch marks, vitiligo, freckles, a tattoo you regret, etc. The more images uploaded, the more entries you will have. You must tag Parfait’s handle, as well as caption our hashtag #PerfectFigure.

Part Two
In addition, I will select one (1) winner to win two (2) sets of lingerie from Parfait Lingerie. To enter, you must tag my social media handle (@ChiefofStyle on IG / @TheChiefofStyle on Facebook / @AmyStretten on Twitter) to the image(s) you have uploaded. So, along with the instructions above, you must also tag my handle to win the two (2) lingerie sets. The winner will receive two (2) lingerie sets of their choice.
You must be subscribed to my blog and following my Instagram (@ChiefofStyle) to win. The sweepstakes begins January 1, 2018 and ends February 14, 2018Here are the official rules.
You must tag Parfait Lingerie where you post as well (on Instagram @ParfaitOfficial / Twitter @ParfaitLingerie / Facebook @ParfaitLingerie) . Good luck!
I hope 2018 brings you so much love and happiness.
xo,

Amy

Amy Stretten Chief of Style Parfait Lingerie 2018 Perfect Figure Campaign

Amy Stretten Chief of Style Parfait Lingerie 2018 Perfect Figure Campaign

Amy Stretten Chief of Style Parfait Lingerie 2018 Perfect Figure Campaign