Posts tagged ‘Health’

December 14, 2010

I Want A Better Me

by Vonda Howard

cosmetic surgery

Dear Vonda,

I have been contemplating cosmetic surgery for a while now and think I’m ready to “make the jump”.  However, my family (mom and sisters) constantly tell me that I shouldn’t do it and I am “beautiful the way I am”.  Give me a break! I have battled with my weight for years (something they never had to deal with) and finally got down to a size that I am happy with.  I feel like it is about time that I got some of those stares and cat calls from guys!  Every woman likes a bit of attention from the opposite sex every now and then.  It’s my turn!  What do you think?

I Want A Better Me

Dear I want A Better Me,

First let me say congratulations on your wining your weight battle.  That takes a lot of courage, patience and discipline to accomplish.  You should be very proud of your success!

Now, there are some varied opinions on cosmetic surgery.  Some think that we all should leave our bodies the way God made them, and others don’t think there is anything wrong with a little “nip and tuck” here and there.  Me?  I personally think there is nothing wrong with a woman (or a man) doing things to themselves that make them feel better.  AS LONG AS IT’S FOR YOU AND NO ONE ELSE.  Cosmetic surgery is a very serious and most times permanent decision that should not be taken lightly.  Having surgery for the sole reason of getting more attention from others is not a good reason.  So, my advice to you would be to really, and truly make sure that you are having the surgery for the right reasons.  After all, the REAL changes should be made inside you before you work on the outward.

A side note:  Make sure that you are using a board certified surgeon!  Don’t be ashamed to ask for proof of credentials and references!  You can visit to search for doctors and get more info about what your options are for your procedures.

Good luck!!


About the Author: Vonda Howard is the author of the new hot book series, The D-Cup Divas™, a graphic designer of her own graphic design firm, Cupcake Creative Studio, mom to two, wife to her one and only and a domestic goddess (not really…LOL). She does not profess to be an expert, but just that one opinionated girlfriend you go to for the straight nitty-gritty. So just relax and enjoy. ;o) Do you have a question? Send it to this and you may get featured!

November 29, 2010

Skinny Does Not Equal Healthy

by M Stagg | The Voluptua Project™



Christina Hendricks: Classy & Curvy

Over the Thanksgiving weekend several interesting conversations were held by the women in my family regarding their current weight, wanting to loose weight and just a general disdain for being overweight. It was amazing to me because (1) I can relate to some of the things they were saying – yes, men have body image issues too – and (2) no one seemed focused on what really mattered: being healthy.

I know the media bombards you with images of super skinny women and men with abs that only Photoshop can give but the true measure of your beauty is not provided by the scale that most of society uses. I submit that there are probably more healthy “fat” people than there are “skinny” people in the world. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that even at my current weight of 330 pounds I’m healthier than most of my friends because I don’t smoke, I exercise and I watch what I eat.

You do not have to be a size 0 to be healthy. Be happy with the body you have and treat it like the temple that it is and you will be doing a lot better than most. Even if there are some things about yourself you’d like to change, don’t do so because of what society says you should look like. Do it because you want to live a longer, healthier life and you want to look and feel better for your own sake.

Check out What Ellen had to say about body image and being healthy:

October 15, 2010

9 Bad Habits That Stand Between You & Great Skin

by Elegance Makeup: Looks By Uhuru

Nice SkinWe are all guilty of them. Sometimes we even do them unknowingly. But these nine habits are ones that can stand between you & having great skin. Are you guilty of these?


~ Elegance Makeup ~




Touching Your Face Throughout the Day


** RESULT **

Acne breakouts & rash irritations





Using Oily Hair Sprays & Pomades


** RESULT **

Oils leak onto the face – causing acne breakouts





** RESULT **

Causes pre-age wrinkles & frown lines



Wearing Oil-based Makeup & Moisturizers


** RESULT **

Clogged pores




Not Enough Water


** RESULT **

dehydrates skin, causing it to become dull


drink 8 to 10 ounce glasses per day to hydrate skin & flush impurities



Lack of Fruits & Vegetables


** RESULT **

Not eating several servings of fruits & veggies each day causes the body & skin to lack essential vitamins & antioxidants that protect skin cells & promote anti-aging



Sleeping in Makeup


** RESULT **


Clogged pores & slows down the body’s proper skin renewal & restoration that takes place while you sleep



Skipping Sunblock


** RESULT **


Sun damaged, dry, pealed or cracked skin conditions (especially in the fall & winter months)



Skipping Professional Advice


** RESULT **


Seeking proper dermatologist insight to treating breakout & skin care may help prevent future eruptions.


How many of you out there have subscribed to some  – or all – of these bad habits? What did you do to break free of them? Please share your experiences below. 🙂

About the Author:

For over 14 years, Chicago native Uhuru Freeman has been a face of many artistic and creative ventures such as dancer, singer, competitive beauty model & more.  Uhuru is the founder of Elegance Makeup where she’s made it her mission to not only enhance one’s beauty from the inside out, but to encourage and teach beauty from within.
Visit Elegance Makeup at for more information or to book your very own elegant experience.

September 27, 2010

Why Weight Loss Surgery Isn’t for Me

by M Stagg | The Voluptua Project™
Gastric Banding

Gastric Banding - Image via Wikipedia

Greetings TVP Fam!

For the past day or so I’ve been involved in a discussion over at the official page of TVP on Facebook and on Curvy Goddess Lounge. In this discussion we are talking about weight loss surgeries and the dangers they pose. Everyone is different and what works for each of us that are on a path of increased health through weight loss varies. For me, I know that procedures such as Gastric Bypass and the Lap-Band System just would not work for me and here’s why:

It’s Just Too Darn Dangerous

The Lap-Band site lists over 30 complications and risks involved with their product including:

  • Spleen or liver damage (with the spleen sometimes needing to be removed
  • Weight regain
  • Death

Granted, all medical procedures have risk but I’m just not convinced that the benefits outweigh them. Especially when there are simpler alternatives available for me.

It’s Expensive

According to the bariatric weight loss surgery guide site, the average cost of gastrointestinal surgical procedures is about $25,000. You can by a gym membership (which averages about $40-$60 a month) for life!

Fortunately, because of the severity of the obesity epidemic in America, many insurance companies are beginning to pay for the procedure (It’s how my mom was able to afford the Lap-Band surgery).  I just can’t – and won’t – shell out that kid of money for a procedure that is unlikely to work for me.

It Doesn’t Address the Real Underlying Issue

For me, the biggest reason I wouldn’t invest in weight loss surgery is that it is an external means of addressing what is for many an internal issue. The surgery will have short-term success but in the long run, if the underlying problems associated with being overweight aren’t addressed then it will eventually lead you right back to square one.

In high school, I weighed close to what I weigh now which was close to 400 lbs. While I made up my mind to loss weight and get healthier I realize in retrospect that I wasn’t doing if for myself. I was doing it to please everyone but myself and even though I lost close to 250 lbs. I gained it all back because I didn’t address certain issues I had about my body, my weight and my eating habits.

To Each His Own

Weight loss surgery isn’t for me. I refuse to go under the knife to “get skinny”. Some people may see it as their only option to lose weight. Whatever you decide, for those of you considering surgery as a weight loss option, please do your research before committing to doing anything. Talk with your doctor, your family or a trusted friend and ask yourself “Am I doing this for me? Is there a safer way to lose this weight? Do I really want this?”

I’s sure there are people who both agree and disagree with my stance on weight loss surgery. I urge everyone to share their experiences and opinions in the comments below.

September 5, 2010

It’s not about SIZE. It’s about SUBSTANCE!

by M Stagg | The Voluptua Project™

Plus ModelsGreetings TVP Fam!

I wanted to connect with you today regarding the new TVP slogan: It’s not about SIZE. It’s about SUBSTANCE.

I’ve had a few people email me asking what size do we cater to. Truthfully, when I first started TVP I thought that listing certain sizes would lead to a better focus (at least for me) on what was considered curvaceous. What I’ve come to learn is it is not about your dress – or pant – size. Not in the least.

It’s Not About Size

TVP, I’ve discovered, was never really about if you are a size 6 or a size 16. It is about feeling comfortable about yourself and the shell you were given. More importantly, it is about finding that comfort zone if you aren’t already there. Part of the mission at The Voluptua Project is to showcase people of varied shapes and sizes, male and female, that don’t exactly fit in with what beautiful and successful people look like. It challenges the norms and offers its own view of what beauty is and what it should be: Universal. That has nothing to do with size or weight and everything to do with accepting yourself as you are in this very moment.

It’s About Substance

Regardless of your shape, the size on the label or what people say about you as you walk by what defines you, as Martin said, is the content of your character. In the final analysis what matters most will not be measured by the circumference around your waist. It will be the expansiveness of your contributions to the betterment of the lives of others. Each day when you look in the mirror remind yourself that your ample bottom, your beautiful belly and your thick thighs are all blessings. Affirm to yourself that your body is beautiful vessel of love and nurturing. Confirm your worth by telling yourself daily that “I am a Divinely crafted masterpiece, complete and whole in every way”. And when you observe someone saying otherwise about you, don’t sweat it. Just smile and take delight in your own awesomeness!

For the rest of this holiday weekend – and forever after – celebrate your own unique awesomeness and encourage your fellow curvy ladies and suave gents to do the same.

Much love,


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