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This is a very special #FitnessFriday!  I have been holding off on announcing this news, but it is now official!

Fitness by Sarah Taylor is launching with a big party on  March 17th, 2018 and classes will start Monday, March 24th.

Fitness has been such a big part of my life – most of my life actually,  but its only in recent years that I have started referring to myself as an athlete because I realized I was worthy of this title. I may not look like your typical athlete or personal trainer, but who says you gotta look a certain way to do anything in this life?  I’ve been following me for any length of time, you know I’m all about breaking stereo types of what a (plus size) woman can do.

My journey led me a couple months ago to certify as a personal trainer.  I know what it is like as a plus size woman to go into a gym and feel intimidated because I didn’t look like everyone else.  However, because of the work I put into my heart, mind and soul, I have become a confident woman who is passionate about fitness and really want to help other women live a confident life as well.  I also know what it’s like to walk into a gym and have no idea what to do and over the last 10 years I have learned a lot. So, I’ve created Fitness by Sarah Taylor – to help women, body, mind, soul and spirit.

Classes will be starting Monday, March 24th in the west end of Toronto.  The location is actually really exciting….about a year ago I started going to a new chiropractor who specializes in athletes – Sport Side Medical and I will be running classes out of their gym 4 days a week to start.  Sport Side Medical is run but women which makes it even cooler in my opinion – #GirlBosses

Sign up today to get updates on the launch details and RSVP to my Launch Party on March 17th!

Be sure to sign up to get the latest HERE and check out the new website www.FitnessBySarahTaylor.com and follow me on Instagram and Facebook  and of course stay tuned for more details as we get closer to launch day!

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By now you probably get it that I love the Christmas season.  It is my favourite holiday and is only a few days after my birthday.  It also is the busiest time of the year which is a lot of fun but does mean that we need to be mindful of making sure we still get rest and take care of ourselves.  I’ve been known to burn myself out and the rest of the month of December is starting to resemble my last weekend – 5 parties, a basketball game and babysitting my newphew soooooo making sure I take time for myself will be important through the month.

So what do I do to take care of myself during the Christmas season, well I actually do a lot.  For me I spend time on Sundays planning out my week so that means cleaning, making sure my laundry is done and food prepping for the week.  It really helps to go into the week not feeling chaotic.  During the week I keep my schedule with my regular work days (yes, I do have a pretty intense day job at a software company) and I head to the gym right after work Monday-Thursday.  I then spend most of my evenings getting things done (I’m currently taking an online course), relaxing, and usually spend time with my man through the week.

I’ve had to learn to say no to some things in order to not be out every night.  I used to be the girl who had a schedule that was full literally all of the time with no down time.  I’ve also done the extreme of having nothing on so I’ve really learned how to have balance and it’s really important to maintain that balance.  I also usually pack my bags and my lunch the night before and pull my outfit for the next day so I can sleep in as long as I can the next morning lol. I really find that taking a few minutes each day to tidy, prepare and get ready for the next day alleviates the stress in my life and just allows me to enjoy life. I do get asked a lot how I do it all – full time job, my modelling, blogging, working for a magazine, stay active, and so on. And really my answer is always that I have learned to maintain balance and plan ahead a little bit.

I also like to spend time with my ‘snomies’ during the Christmas season.  From Christmas parties, my birthday and just chilling.  And let me tell ya…I’m pretty thankful for this group of ladies right here!  They are all also really inspirational in my own journey.  Having really strong friendships and a strong tribe also goes a long way when it comes to self care because you have a support system who is there when you need them, encourages you, challenges you and that you can just let loose and have fun with.

One last piece for me when it comes to self care is…the first thing I do when I get home (after my hot shower post workout) is to get into something comfy to chill at home in and I’m always on the hunt for cute, comfy (and practical) pj’s and let me tell ya…Lane Bryant does not disappoint.  I love to wear shorts and these are just so cute but given that Toronto is cold in the winter, having a long sleeve shirt keeps me at the perfect temperature.  And let’s not forget a little bit of a sas to go along with the PJs…I’m definitely leaning on Team Naughty this year….It was actually really hard to choose which PJ’s I wanted because look how cute everyone looks?!?!

Check out the Full Collection Here

Items are care of Lane Bryant.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Featuring:

Lisa – MustangSallyTwo.com

Stefanie – SassyPlusBlog.com

Gail of – FabFourFAshion.com

Caterina – CaterinaModa.com

Hair, Makeup and Photography by Katiuska Idrovo

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Christmas is my favorite holiday season, minus the whole cold weather bit.  I’m not sure if it’s my favorite because I’m also a Christmas baby or what, but it likely has something to do with it.  I love finding the perfect birthday party outfit and outfits for all the Christmas Parties but looking for these outfits used to be so painful.

I remember as a little girl just finding clothes for everyday was so emotional.  I can recall going shopping with my mom and cutting our trip short because I couldn’t find anything that fit, and I ended up sitting in a corner of the change room crying and we’d just go home.I loathed my body and what it looked like.  At the age of 12, I was a size 12 and I was already at least 5’8.  Nothing fit and if it did it was something my mom or grandma wore or I got it from the men’s department.  I also couldn’t go shopping with my girlfriends because nothing fit me in the stores they shopped at and there were no stores that had my size.

Now, if I could go back and talk to that little girl I would tell her how beautiful she was, just he way she was and that nothing was wrong with her.  Back then finding plus size fashion was so hard and so emotional but things have changed so much!  We now have so many options and we can adorn our curves with so many beautiful designs.

Full Beauty is an amazing option when it comes to finding fashion for the plus size woman.  They carry over 300 American and European brands for women sizes 12-44!  Talk about inclusive!!! Do you know how easy that makes shopping and how enjoyable?!?!

Not only do they have so many different brands, they are big on fit and selection so you know you are getting quality fashion to celebrate your curves.  They also have accessories, shoes, lingerie, and the list goes on.  Literally your one top shop!

I love that my friend Lisa, of the blog MustangSallyTwo and I can shop amazing fashions from the same place!  We chose an outfit for the Christmas Season that we know you’ll love!  I remember as a kid I couldn’t shop where my friends shopped, Full Beauty changes that!  Lisa is one of the amazing women I’ve met since I started modelling and blogging.  We’ve grown to become great friends.  And let me tell ya…this woman is a power house!  She’s beautiful, smart, kind and super ambitious!  I’m so proud of all you have accomplished in the last couple of years and I’m so grateful that our paths have crossed.

Both of our looks (from head to toe) are from Full Beauty!  Be sure to check them out and have fun exploring all that they offer and of course, Merry Christmas!

Check out some more photos of us Double Slaying!  Oh and check out how fierce Lisa is …wozers!!!

Here are the links to my outfit details

Jumpsuit – size 1x

Necklace

Hoops

Clutch

Shoes

Hair, Makeup and Photography by Katiuska Idrovo

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With fall in full force here in Toronto, it means that its time to expand my fall wardrobe.  If you’ve followed me on my blog for a while you’d know that I’ve had an interesting journey to discovering my casual style.  It’s like I go 0 to 100 real quick – and by that I mean most days you’ll find me in a hoodie and yoga pants or you’ll see me in a body con dress and decked out to the 9’s.  It’s that in between casual and cute look I’ve been working on.

SWAK makes it easy for me to dress casually and cute though.  When I was in California earlier this fall I stopped in to visit SWAK and pulled a few looks.  So today I’m going to show you how I dressed 1 pair of jeans 5 different ways.  Having staple pieces in your wardrobe makes pulling outfits so much easier in the morning.

Look 1 is what came easiest and natural to me – a black top.  The great thing about the Mackenzie top is that it is just a little more exciting than a plain black T.  You could dress this down or dress it up a little bit like I did.

The next look is his hot coral top with a cute peakabo, the Bella – this would be great for the office on a Friday or headed to the mall or even with a pair of heels to kick it up a notch.

This next top is probably one of my fav’s especially because of the colour I chose it in hot pink for the Maryann lace top.  This is perfect for wearing with a cute pair of booties.

The next 2 looks are a little different for me but I had so much fun with and that’s layering looks.

So we have this super cute Lizzie Cape top layerd with the Christina Dolman top and finished off with a scarf.  I love this look for going shopping in or out for hot chocolate with the girls.

My final layered look was taking the Geena Cold Shoulder top and pairing it with this ever so soft (and cute) Cardigan in grey. The flowers make for a fun and girly look.

To check out the full collection I pulled and so much more check out my look book HERE

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If you’ve followed my journey for a while you would have noticed that fitness has become an even greater part of my life.  I find being active helps my pain levels after suffering from a car accident about 7 years ago.  Since that accident my body has not worked quite the same.  My neck will often go out to a point that I cannot turn my head, my ribs pop out of place pretty regularly and my lower back acts up.  But, if you’ve also noticed anything about me, it’s that I’m a fighter and I don’t give up.

Just over a year ago I took the plunge and tried out Hourglass Workout located downtown Toronto (where this shoot obviously took place).  I was a little nervous for a couple reasons.  First, I was nervous because my body has limitations because of my injuries and second, going to a new gym as a plus size woman has not always been a pleasant experience.  Sure, I’m confident and love my body but sometimes you get treated differently.  Well, let’s just say that after my first class I decided to dive in.  I signed up the next day for a 3 month membership and then I signed up and committed to a year.  This has been my biggest fitness commitment in my life but the best one so far – it’s literally changed my life.

Classes are challenging, really challenging but the trainers are great and super encouraging and an hour flies right by.  I always have questions, sometimes get frustrated but all the trainers have been so understanding, patient and helpful.  Lyzabeth Lopez who is the creator of the gym has been phenomenal a well.  She teaches a couple times a month and she’s always so encouraging and helpful, you can tell she loves what she does. I’ve so appreciated getting to ask her questions and get time with her.  I’ve also watched a lot of her videos on her YouTube channel and how she got to where she is as a business woman just blows my mind and encourages me so much.

I have had to modify a lot of the movements over the last year and am often referred to as the queen of modifications but that’s ok, I’ve never been made to feel bad for it. So what have my modifications looks like – well it means doing box or wall push ups instead of doing them from my toes, doing lighter weights than most of the girls, no weights for overhead movements, no jumping like when doing jump squats, doing my burpees on a box rather than going all the way to the ground and the list goes on.  I have pushed through and my strength has improved quite significantly.

So this blog post and the shoot ultimately is a celebration of how far I have come.  Attending Hourglass has also made me realize how much of a passion I have for fitness and as a result I am in the midst of working on certifying as a personal trainer.  Why?  Well I know what it’s like as a woman, a plus size woman trying a new fitness regimen and it can be challenging – physically and emotionally and I want to work with women to get stronger and live their best lives.  Just like my journey so far, I often will take on something new with the intention of going one direction and things grow, change, develop but I end up landing right where I’m supposed to.  So I do have some ideas of what I’ll do with this and what this will all look like, but we’ll see how it all works out but I’m so stoked!

When it comes to fitness I always love dressing well but it’s often hard as a plus size woman (and a tall plus size woman) to find fitness gear that is fashionable, durable and comfortable to workout in but I have found a new fav brand – Grrrl.

Now this brand as I’m learning is more than just about great fitness fashion – it’s a community of women that support one another and essentially, they are working at building a united army of women.  And some of their proceeds go to a charity that supports women affected by domestic violence.  They are all about empowering other women and helping women live their best lives and the best part is they carry straight and plus sizes and highlight women with a variety of shapes, sizes and fitness levels.  Also, their sizing is super unique.  Instead of small, medium, etc their sizes all have names and go on your measurements – kinda cool if you ask me.  Quality is top notch and you would think the prices would be too but prices are superrrrrr reasonable for fitness gear!  I’ve been so impressed with everything I’ve tried so far and I’ve ordered more because I’m just in love.  You know what’s amazing too – I’ve arranged for my followers to get extra $$$ off their order by using coupon code Sarah during check out!

So in the essence of celebrating how far I’ve come  I decided to shoot some of the things I could not do and have had to work my way up with modifications.  Here’s the first one for you… These are dead lifts.  When I first started I would do 25 lbs…this right here is my regular weight and is 115 lbs.  Ummmmm talk about an accomplishment.  I still have to be very careful with my back though.  Even still it does bug me and it has been quite a bit the last couple of weeks so when it does I take it down a bit and then build it back up tot his weight.  My personal in the last month dead lifting was 135 lbs.

Next up is Kettle Bell Squats.  When I started these I would do 20 lbs, well this bad boy is 100 lbs!!!  My fav version of the squat is doing shark pit squats or plie squats.  Squats have always been my favourite exercise and it’s been fun to try so many different varieties.

Next up we have sled pushes – these have been soooooo hard – I started with no weight, just the sled which is about 70 lbs and I could never use the lower side of the sled, I had to go higher because it was just too hard on my back.  Well, now I’m up quite a bit of weight ( think this is stacked to 190 including the sled weight) and I’ve been able to utilize both sides of the sled.

And this is probably my biggest accomplishment because this type of moment impacts a lot of different exercises.  I have never in my life been able to do planks, mountain climbers or similar activities from my toes and I just have been able to start doing that in the last 2 weeks and also have now been able to use the TRX like this – this was huge!  The first time I tried the TRX about 6 months ago my back like seized right away and I got off so I was super nervous trying again a couple weeks ago.  I set out to do 2 reps of knee tucks and I did 10 and in a workout last week I did 3 reps of 10!!!!  This is massive for me.  My neck still does bother me and my core still needs strengthening but it just goes to show that when we try and push ourselves and work on getting stronger we can accomplish more than we think!

Today I celebrate how far I’ve come.  I still have a long way to go in terms of strengthening my back, neck and core but look what’s happened in a year.  I will keep pushing, fighting, growing and getting stronger.  And my hope is that this encourages you too as well.  For me being active is more than just for fun – its pain management, keeps my head clear, I sleep better and I’m way more productive!  Thank you to the team at Hourglass for all you to and for helping me thus far.

Now, if you’re looking to get your hands on some of the gear in this shoot here are all the links and don’t forget that you can save money by using the coupon code Sarah.

Tops:

GRRRL Club Padded Jacket

Limited Edition Killer Bee Sports Bra

Beauty and a Best Tank Hoodie

GRRRL Gains Tank

Bottoms:

New Socks Next Level Leggings

Snow Camo Next Level Leggings

Shoes:

Nike 

In terms of sizing – I typically wear an XL in fitness gear (I’m a size 16) and in all the pieces except the camo tights I was wearing the Amenah size – the camo tights are in Heidi.  I took my measurements to pick my size form their sizing chart and everything fit great.  Also, I liked that the tops were a little longer and the tights were high waisted.   Click HERE for sizing charts.

Special thanks to Hourglass for allowing me to shoot in the gym and a huge thank you to my amazing photographer who did this on such short notice and always blows my mind.  Oh and ya – she did my hair and makeup too.  Katie, you never cease to amaze me!  Thank you!

Hair, Makeup and Photography by  Katiuska Idrovo Photography

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We live in a day and age where the selfie is actually a thing.  Some people find them vain, some people are obsessive, some people hate them but I see it this way….

For so long women (and men) have been told they needed to look a certain way – based on what we see in the media.  We need to be a size 2, have perfect hair, teeth, skin and the list goes on. But what if you don’t look like what media and society deems ‘perfection’?

Well, I think it’s time to do what I did…learn to love yourself just as you are.  If we were all created the same, wouldn’t life be boring?

This is another set of images that The Gentlemen’s Curb and I wanted to replicate.  Here is the original magazine cover inspiration – the infamous Kim and Kanye. We really want to see more plus representation in media – both male and female.  We’ve come so far, but still have a long way to go….and if taking a selfie helps you to see your beauty just a little bit more, snap that pic!

For more from our series, check out some of our other blogs and features and keep your eyes peeled for more!

Kavah blog – http://gentlemenscurb.com/big-healthy-gentlemens-curb-plus-male-blogger/

Plus Model Mag – https://www.plus-model-mag.com/2017/03/males-perspective-can-healthy-size/

Featured Model/Blogger : Sarah Taylor and Kavah King

Photography by: Marc Watley

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Someone recently referred to me as an athlete and I was like, me, an athlete?!?!  And then I realized they were right.  But what kind of athlete am I?

Well, back in the day I actually played a lot of sports – Rugby, Basketball (that’s a given because of my height), Football (touch football…and again I was scouted at the gym and they thought I was perfect because of my size), Volleyball and Softball.  Now here is the thing…I loved playing but I had nooooo confidence.

You see, confidence doesn’t just affect embracing fashion and being able to say, wear a bikini to the beach but it actually affects every aspect of your life!  From career, fashion, fitness, athletics, relationships and so on.  Now the one thing that was consistent feedback from all my coaches was this…Sarah, if you were as aggressive on the field or the court with your mouth, you would be amazing.  But, I was so timid, I wasn’t confident in the way I moved, I hesitated with every move on the field or the court.

Looking back, I wish I had worked on my confidence, learning to embrace my body and comfortable with the body moving because it would have made such a massive difference in the sports I played.  It would have also made a difference in my academics and my relationships.

But there is no point wishing I learned sooner, the important thing is I have learned now and I continue to grow and develop in new areas.  What is stopping you from learning to be confident?  Maybe now is the time to take stock of where you are at, what you want to do in the future and make a plan to figure out what you can do to start making changes to live your life confidently.

I thought I’d give you a glimpse into some of my athleticism for this post.  All of these outfits are from Soffe and they really reminded me of my days playing sports.  I remember being super self-conscious wearing shorts playing sports too, now that’s not even an issue and I loveeee wearing shorts especially now that it is summer weather.  I can move freely, am comfortable and can play my sports and be athletic in full confidence!  Sofee is available online and now at Macy’s and now carry plus sizes.  I love fitness gear companies who offer options for us plus athletes!

Items are care of Soffe.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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Wear clothes that make a difference!

Did you know that you can help support Canadian Women’s Foundation and end the cycle of violence against women by getting your own shirt just like mine!  But this #ShopGen1 shirt Winners and Homesense.

Did you know that 67% of Canadians say they know at least one woman who has experienced physical or sexual abuse?!  I’m one of those women, which is why I’m so passionate about helping women see their value, worth and beauty.  When we see these things about ourselves, it’s much easier to stand up to our abusers, and get out of the situations we are in.

No one deserves to be abused – whether it is verbal, emotional, physical, sexual, etc.

For those who don’t know my story, I met a man at the age of 24.  When I met him I hated myself, I did not see my beauty and had never been told by a man that I was beautiful.  When I met my former husband, he was the first man to tell me I was beautiful.  And then it was as if it didn’t matter what he did to me or how he treated me, because the goal was to find a man who thought I was beautiful – wrong!

I was challenged by every person who attended my wedding leading up to my wedding day and was asked –was I sure this was the man I wanted to spend my life with.  Determined at this point to prove everyone wrong I walked down the aisle.

I thought once we got married it would get easier, but it only got worse!  The abuse got worse, I was stripped of all of who I was and was left unrecognizable to those in my life.  1 week before our 2 year anniversary, something switched in me and I realized I could no longer live in this pain and that I needed to tell him to either leave or fix things.  He left.

Sounds sad – but it’s the best thing that ever happened to me.  Out of that place of despair I embarked on the journey to love me, see my value and worth and realize that I am amazing, have a lot to offer and it’s out of this place of wholeness and healing that I am able to help other women see the same things about themselves.

There are some staggering statistics about abused women in Canada!

  • Half of all women in Canada have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16.
  • On any given night in Canada nearly 3,500 women and more than 25,00 children sleep in shelters because it isn’t safe at home
  • Approximately every six days a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner. Of the 83 police-reported intimate partner homicides in 2014, 67 of the victims – over 80% – were women.
  • Only 1 in 3 Canadians have a full understanding of sexual consent (that both positive verbal or behavioural consent, and ongoing affirmation are required).

So how can you help?!

Shop Gen1 at Winner and Homesense and show your support.  Net proceeds from the sales of the shop for Gen1 T-Shirts, tanks and hats will go to the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

The Canadian Women’s Foundation helps women in Canada to move out of violence by funding women’s shelters across Canada, programs that help women to rebuild their lives after surviving violence, and violence prevention programs that help to stop the violence – for good.

To learn more visit – canadianwomen.org/shopforgen1

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When I started this blog about 3 years ago I named it Sarah Taylor’s Journey on purpose.  I have not arrived, my journey continues and my journey has many facets.  Today I get to share a new part of the journey with you that I’m really excited about.

If you had met me 5 years ago I didn’t resemble the woman I am today at all.  I was not confident at all and I hid my body in oversized hoodies, yoga pants or sweat pants and my wardrobe often consisted of men’s sports clothes.  But, since embarking on the journey to love my body and I started modelling my style has evolved.

I’ve mastered the sexy bodycon dresses and dressing up is now an easy task (as opposed to the emotional melt downs I used to have).  However, when it comes to my casual sense of style, I’ve struggled a bit.  I still love my hoodies (they are more form fitting now) and I love a good pair of yoga pants but it’s not a very polished look.  Truth be told that after meeting Ashley Graham during a taping of the Dr. Oz show and seeing how magnificent she was in person I realized that now was the time to step things up.

So, I talked to a good friend of mine, Lisa of the blog MustangSallyTwo and she suggested she style me and help me build my cute, casual and polished wardrobe because I’m kind of at a loss.  If you follow her at all (and you should) she is bold when it comes to fashion and accessories and pulls outfits together so well.  So, we took a trip to Layne Bryant’s online store and picked a couple outfits.

Something that was important about picking pieces was that they could be mixed and matched to make multiple outfits to extend my wardrobe even more.  Lane Bryant has such a great selection of styles which made this process painless and stress free.  One thing that is amazing about Lane Bryant for me as a tall girl is they actually carry tall in some of their pant styles (including jeans) and they are actually long enough!!!  Hallelujah!!! They also carry different pant styles for different body types which made online shopping even easier!

So let’s take a look see at what we chose

Look 1 – I think this one is my favourite and its very outside my normal look.  I just love it!!!

We chose the Fitted Shirt with a Tie in Delicate Peony (I’m all about soft pinks these days) and paired it with the Modernist Lena Crop Pants in white (again, outside my box).  These capris have a little waist band in the top as well to help with fit and structure and helped make the waist so flattering.  Then to finish off the look we chose this adorable Linen Jacket in Tan.  This jacket has a nice stretch to it (for these broad shoulders), is tapered at the waist and is so versatile.  The outfit can be worn with our without the jacket.

Look 2

Lisa chose a top totally outside of what I wear – The Embroidered Shirt in White.  It had just the right amount of detail along the neckline to just add something extra.  We paired it with these AMAZING skinny jeans  that have the tighter tummy technology.  They are high waisted so they sit so nicely andddd do you notice how long they are?  Oh and do you see how cute they make my butt look – yup I called it out lol.

Look 3

Now for look 3, we mixed and matched and came up with this cute all white outfit.  We use the Lena Capris in white, paired with the Embroidered Shirt and paired these adorable sandals with it.  I have a hard time finding flat sandals I like that have some cushion and these babies are perfect!  They come in black and nude.

Lisa kept the styling simple by adding some simple accessories to each outfit which just finished off the whole look.

I’m in love with these pieces and have already integrated them into my wardrobe.  The feeling of confidence is even more elevated now that I feel a little more pulled together.  I think sometimes we don’t realize that how we dress not only helps us feel great about ourselves but it’s a difference that others can see in us too.  I never imagined that fashion would be such a big part of my life and I thought it didn’t really matter but it actually goes a long way to help build your confidence even more.

I also got a sneak peak of what’s coming out in the fall at Lane Bryant and I can’t wait to get my hands on some of those pieces too as I continue to build my wardrobe for the rest of the seasons.

Stay tuned as I continue on my styling journey …

Credits 

Makeup, Hair Styling and Photos by Katiuka Idrovo Photography 

Styling by Lisa of the blog MustangSallyTwo

Lucious Locks by Xpression The Salon in Brooklin 

Items are care of Lane Bryant.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Links to the looks (Wearing Size 16 in all looks)

Look 1

http://www.lanebryant.com/fitted-shirt-with-tie-waist/prd-240477#color/0000028742

http://www.lanebryant.com/linen-jacket/prd-241254

http://www.lanebryant.com/the-modernist-lena-crop/prd-240687

Look 2

http://www.lanebryant.com/embroidered-shirt/prd-241945

http://www.lanebryant.com/skinny-jean-with-tighter-tummy-technology/prd-211923

http://www.lanebryant.com/flat-ankle-wrap-sandal/prd-242688. Size 10

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This is the time of year were everyone seems to be talking about whether or not they will make New Years Resolutions.  I’ve seen posts for and against making them and both pack some powerful arguments for the side they are on.  The biggest thing I see is people making resolutions about how much weight they want to loose and what their body goals are for 2017.  But what if we were to see our bodies as perfect just the way that they are, today?!

Personally I’ve set some big goals for myself for 2017 – career goals, mental and spiritual goals and I suppose some involve my body but they are more around feeling good and getting stronger and not how much weight I want to actually loose.  For too long I’ve battled against my body and although I’ve a significant amount of weight over the last 3 years, I’ve recently gained some weight back due to some injury set backs.  And normally I would be bummed, I would beat myself up for it and I would be down on myself but because of my journey to self love and really truly learning to love WHO I am, the number on the scale just doesn’t’ matter anymore.

Instead of all that negative self talk about my body, I’ve learned to look in the mirror each day and love my body, just as it is today, regardless of the number on the scale.  This body gets me around (and I’ve been to a lot of exciting places in 2016), this body helps me achieve my goals, this body helps me make a difference in this word, This Body is Perfect, just as it is.

You may have seen on my social media the last couple weeks some of the images from an exciting project that I was on for SexyPlus Clothing with some of my fellow SexyPlus Models (and friends).  We all look different, none of our bodies are the same, we all have different features, we are different sizes, we are each unique, but we came together to show that each of our bodies are perfect as they are.  We did this as a celebration to lead up to New Year’s Eve – one of the most exciting days of the year.  We really wanted people to see that you could look fabulous at any size for such a special day.  We each chose an outfit we loved and felt good in and wanted to encourage YOU to see yourself in a new light as well.

Will you go into this year looking at your body different, what will be the difference this year for you to stop hating what you see and start loving it instead?  For me, I can see the direct correlation to new opportunities, walking in my destiny and making a difference in this world from the moment I started to embrace WHO I am as a woman but also stopping the war against my body.  It’s like once that war ended, I was able to start living for the first time in my life.  Instead of constant negativity, positive things started flowing my way, change began to take place and I was able to take on new things – new things I never even dreamed were possible for me.

So what can you do to help you start loving yourself and your body?  Here are some of the things I’ve done:

  1. Start replacing that negative tape in your head about how ugly, fat, stupid, not good enough, etc that you are and replace them with powerful positive statements like: I am beautiful, I am strong, I am courageous, I am bold…and so on.  If you don’t see good things in yourself (and I promise they are there), ask those in your life who love you to help you make a list (that’s what I had to do when I first started).  Once you compile this list, put it somewhere you will see everyday (for me that was my mirror) and start saying things things out loud to yourself EVERYDAY until you start to believe it.  It took me 6 months and I felt like an idiot when I started but it was worth all that to get me to the place I am today.
  2. Surround yourself with positive people.  This may mean weeding out some of the negative influencers, setting boundaries with some and finding new places where you can connect with positive people – this will be a 2 way street – they can help build you up, and you can help build them up
  3. Start the process of loving your body and being used to seeing it – for me that meant standing in front of my mirror naked and learning to first of all see my body but then start appreciating each part of it until one day I could appreciate the whole package

As 2016 wraps up, let’s take a moment to be thankful for all the good and all the bad.  Both have made us who we are today.  But let’s also walk into 2017 with a new found love for ourselves and an anticipation for an amazing 2017.  The choice is yours to make in which direction you walk, but why not level up and make it a hella good year!

Wishing you the very, very best for 2017!

Let me leave you with some more of the stunning photos of my model boos but first, let me show you our amazing video to really drive home our message….We each chose a favourite part of our body to highlight – of course I chose my legs – something I used to hate but now love and are part of my signature look…

Models and their IG Handles:

Caterina – @CaterinaModa

Ivory – @PureIvoryDotCa

Jodi – @JodiPollakPlusModel

Esther – @Nakitende_Esther

Simone – @SimoneDennyMusic

Stefanie – @SassyPlusStef and owner of @SexyPlus

Sarah (me) – @SarahTaylorsJourney

Photos by Elliot Parrott Photography – @ElliotParrottPhotography 

All Dresses (and most accessories) from SexyPlus Clothing 

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