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“Eat, Pray, Love” Movie and After-Party–ATL Aug 13

I’m a raving “Eat, Pray, Love” fan, so through my day-job, Ladies Who Launch Atlanta, I’m hosting a viewing of the movie with an after-party discussion, this Friday, August 13.  The after-party will touch on each of the three themes:

Eat–Tasty, indulgent Italian fare

Pray–A presentation by Robbie Houcek, an energy healer/shaman, on easy, friendly meditations you can incorporate in your everyday life

Love–A presentation by me (ta-da!) on falling in love with yourself and your life

For more details and tickets, visit here.

I’ve attached a 20 minute discussion with Robbie Houcek on the theme of self-discovery as a preview of Friday’s event. We talk about why this story resonates with so many women, and how we can experience self-discovery without taking a year off and traveling the world.


Eat, Pray, Love Party Preview Recording.

August 9, 2010   No Comments

Martha Beck’s “Body Whisperer” Meditation

As promised in my earlier post, here’s Martha Beck’s “Body Whisperer” meditation, or the “10 Minute Vacation from Predation” ( The Four Day Win: End Your Diet War and Achieve Thinner Peace ). When you find yourself moving into self-flagellation over food or anything else, try this 10 minute technique:

1. Find a safe space where you can be uninterrupted for at least 10 minutes.

  • Make sure you are physically and psychologically comfortable. You can lie down, or it may feel good to move.

2. Stop attacking your body, and start supporting it.

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May 24, 2010   No Comments

The Trap of Over-Giving


For many of us, giving comes so naturally and easily that we have to be reminded not to over-give, either by giving beyond our means, beyond our time constraints, or beyond our energy levels. While I think that over-giving is often motivated by a heart full of gratitude and love, I also think that giving to the point of discomfort or pain can be motivated by a feeling that what we have to give (within our means, time, energy) or even more tragically, who we are as a human being, is not enough.

We’re taught from the time that we are little girls that our most important currency is “niceness,” and that the way we prove our worth is in selfless giving. Thus, from the beginning, we are programmed for a never-ending sense of not-enoughness. Not-enoughness leads us to undervalue what we have to give. I read this great thought in an article titled, “No, You Can’t Pick My Brain,”(by Nicole Jordan) on the tendency of women in business to undercharge for their services:

“Time is valuable and creative thought is even more so. Don’t undervalue either. As women (and compassionate people everywhere) we like to help and can get trapped in giving our time and ideas away for free because we’re afraid to ask for compensation. Or, just don’t realize it’s within our right to do so.”

Over-giving is a trap. What may start as heart-centered giving can become a burdensome obligation. Those around us can begin to expect and feel entitled to our over-giving, thus depriving of us our rightful recognition and further feeding our sense of not-enoughness. By staying so busy over-doing for others, we then don’t have time to stop and think about areas of our lives that may require change. The inescapable consequence of over-giving to others is an under-giving to ourselves. This can lead to the neglect of the most basic aspects of self-care—sleep, proper nutrition, exercise—in the name of caring for others. And the end game of over-giving is that eventually you have nothing to give to anyone else either.

So, if you find yourself exhausted from over-giving, then I encourage you to take your natural gift of generosity and turn it inward. Over-give to yourself. Give yourself time, attention, affection, and praise. Even if it’s only a half-day (a day of saying “No” to others and “Yes” to yourself), you’ll be amazed at the value of what you’ve been giving others. So, really as a reminder to myself, I remind you: You are the gift, and you are enough. Treat the gift that is you with all of the loving care and respect you deserve, so that others my benefit in a balanced and responsible way.

May 4, 2010   6 Comments

Trudie Styler’s Warrior Yoga–Review

Trudie Styler’s Warrior Yoga

Trudie Styler (yoga enthusiast, human rights activist, environmentalist, UNICEF Ambassador, actor, producer and wife of rock star Sting) and James D’Silva (celebrity fitness guru) team up in Trudie Styler’s Warrior Yoga by Gaiam.

Taped at Styler’s eco-friendly Tuscan villa, this practice is filled with powerful poses that focus on strength training and flexibility in a vigorous yoga experience. Though they say it’s for “all yoga levels,” I suggest beginners watch it through a couple of times first, as it’s my opinion that this DVD is more appropriate for intermediate and advanced yogis.

The PROs: Included are two full-length workouts – The Warrior Workout (45 minutes) and The Express Warrior Workout (25 minutes) – great for fitting yoga into your busy day. James D’Silva does a great job of instructing and demonstrating the poses. The scenery is beautiful and the practice is accompanied by songs from Sting’s “Songs from the Labyrinth.” Both options are filled with a fantastic sequence of poses that move and challenge you.  The DVD has lots of extras including meditations, interviews, and other bonuses (it all made me want to check out the whole Trudie Styler set).  Plus, a portion of the proceeds support UNICEF Ecuador Water Project.

The CONs: The only thing I don’t particularly care for in this program is that it goes through the entire program on one side of your body and then goes through the whole thing on the other side. During the 45-minute workout this means pretty much total focus on your left side for more than 20 minutes before switching.  This left me feeling a little unbalanced.  Of course, by the time you finish – it’s all evened up.

Bottom Line: This workout is great for improving flexibility and building strength. It leaves you feeling exhilarated and strong. Definitely “a keeper” for me. (4 out of 5 stars)

The Gear: Look good, feel good is my workout motto. I rocked the Warrior in the Dark Palm lucy Cypress Tank with the Black lucy Vinyasa Power Capri (my fave), and practiced on the Wai Lana Tropical Hibiscus Yoga Mat.

Kristen Leigh is a Certified Yoga Teacher (CYT-240) living, practicing, and teaching in the Metro Atlanta area.  For more information, visit

February 15, 2010   No Comments

Review: Mari Winsor Pilates for Pink Core Challenge

(Curvy Life friend and yoga goddess Kristen Leigh contributed this review.)

Core Challenge for a Cause

SHAPE Magazine and Gaiam collaborated to release the The Mari Winsor Pilates for Pink Core Challenge claiming to help you flatten your abs, as well as sculpt and shape your arms, shoulders, and thighs.

Having experience with Winsor Pilates, when Curvy Angela asked me to give this new program a try, I was happy to pull out my mat and start challenging my core.  Now, having done all of the workouts a couple of times, I have mixed feelings.

First, some of the PROs: This DVD includes four 10-minute workout segments that can be done in any order.  The great part about that feature is that even if you feel that your schedule is too busy to include in a fitness routine, just doing one workout helps you feel good about fitting in a productive 10 minutes. Plus, those ten minute segments are filled with some pretty powerful and effective moves.  And, of course, you can’t forget that $1 from the sale of this DVD will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation® – a truly Pink PRO!

Now, some of the CONs: One strange aspect of this DVD is that there is no ability to “play all” of the segments. You can go in and customize by choosing which you want to play first, second, third and fourth, but if you want the entire workout, you have to do that every time. Of course, I will probably not want to do all four workouts together, because the slow pace and really awful music made for a pretty boring 40 minutes.

Bottom Line: There are a few good moves that I will definitely incorporate into my regular routine, but the overall program is a little too boring to make it to the top of my playlist. ?????

The Gear: Cute gear makes me feel more motivated and confident during my workouts.  In honor of the PINK aspect of this workout, I wore the Black lucy Harmony Pant with the Azalea (i.e., pink) lucy Selene Cami, and practiced on the Gaiam Hyacinth (i.e., pink) Yoga Mat


Kristen Leigh is a Certified Yoga Teacher (CYT-240) living, practicing, and teaching in the Metro Atlanta area.  For more information, visit

January 4, 2010   1 Comment

Find Your HAPPY Weight — Nourish.Create.Bloom. blog


I love what Kathianne Williams is doing with her blog Nourish.Create.Bloom. She promotes the notion of a “happy” weight, which she defines as:

  • a weight where you feel comfortable and confident
  • a weight that supports your health and happiness
  • a weight you can reach and maintain without extreme measures

Finding your happy weight may include more than changing the way you look. It may involve changing the way you see.

One way that she encourages women to ‘change the way we see’ is through art projects. I had the great pleasure of visiting her Atlanta studio, and I’ve included a video clip of the experience.

Have you used art (or dance or music) to change the way you see?

July 29, 2009   2 Comments

Facing down the bikini

Here is the full story of the interview in the article, A love hate relationship is in season, in the May 24, 2009 edition of the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

I am always trying to challenge myself regarding my own comfort level with my body (thus my foray into a women’s nude yoga class–a story for another time). So, at the end of swimsuit season last year, I decided to buy myself a cute, skirted bikini.

I’ve wanted to wear a two-piece swimsuit since, well, forever, but I’ve never had the nerve. However, when I saw a version of this cute INC International Concepts suit in a size 16, I took it to the dressing room to try it on.

Even under the cold flourescent glare of the fitting room lights, the suit looked cute. I liked the cut and the skirt was just the right amount of flouncy. I took it on and off several times, and each time I liked it on more than the last. The thought crossed my mind: this suit is meant for tall, lean, size-16s, not 5’5″ size-16s. But, I let that thought go, and bought my first bikini.

I took the suit for a test drive at the complex pool last season when I figured that no one would be around. I was pleased.

But the real test came this weekend, at our homeowner’s association pool party. Did I have the nerve to wear my (not so)-itsy-witsy-teeny-weeny black-and-white skirtini in front of all my neighbors? Could I sit in a lounge chair by the pool with 30 other people?

I rarely feel self-conscious around clothes and public settings. If I like how I look, that’s good enough for me. So, I screwed up my courage, put on my cute sarong cover-up, and headed to the pool. My reaction when I arrived really surprised me: I couldn’t bring myself to remove my cover-up.

I had the following dialogue with myself:

Just take off your cover-up and get in the pool.

But, I don’t know if I’m ready to be known by my neighbors as “the fat girl in the bikini?”

Didn’t you make peace with the whole “fat girl” thing a long time ago?

Yes, but, remember what they say on “What Not To Wear”: You may not care what you look like, but the rest of us have to look at you.

Anyone offended by you in a bikini by the pool can avert their eyes. Just take off the sarong and do it.

So, I did. And no one screamed out in disgust or ran in horror.

And how did I look in my bikini?

Curvy me in a bikini, do I dare? I did, and I do.

May 24, 2009   20 Comments

Happy “No Diet” Day!

May 6 is International No Diet Day (INDD).  The idea originated in Britian in 1992 as an attempt to show the dangers of dieting and to raise awareness of eating disorders. My favorite goal of INDD is to promote the idea that there is no one “right” body type–there is a natural and healthy diversity of body size and shape.

Nourish.Create.Bloom.”  is a great new blog that just launched that promotes the idea of finding your “happy” weight, the weight that your body settles at when you give it healthy food and reasonable level of exercise. Blog creator Kathianne Sellers Williams is a dietician who doesn’t believe in traditional diets. She’s just getting started with the blog, but I think it’s going to be a great resource.

So, on this, International No Diet Day, go forth, love your body, and enjoy (at least one day) of not dieting.

May 6, 2009   3 Comments

UK Channel 4 “How to Look Good Naked” Casting Call

How to Look Good Naked

For our Curvy UK Friends (UK ONLY)

Here is an opportunity to participate in the Channel 4 series “How to Look Good Naked:”

Do you lack body confidence?

Would you like to feel good about yourself and benefit from expert style advice?

How to Look Good Naked are looking for people to take part in the new series!

There’s no getting away from the fact that how you feel about your appearance can affect how you perceive yourself, so it’s important that we feel comfortable and confident within ourselves.

Fashion stylist to the stars Gok Wan returns for an exciting new series of How to Look Good Naked, the fashion and consumer series that shows us how to look great with our clothes on, and off.

Each week, Gok will be looking to take someone on a journey to love their body.
If you’re interested and over 21, please email for an application form on
or call us on 0121 224 8348.

Alternatively, visit for further information.

April 6, 2009   5 Comments