Entertainment

How Dressing Up For The Gym Helped Me Start Loving My Plus-Size Body

The gym has never been synonymous with being my so called “happy place.” For the longest time, I associated the gym with insecurities of my personal body image. I carried these negative thoughts and words around for far too long that dates back to my early teenage years. So when I turned 25, I knew I had to change something. Deep down I knew the way I viewed and treated myself wasn’t healthy. My physical health was important to me, but also I had to face that my mental well-being suffered far more greatly than anything else.

Growing up I often allowed these negative thoughts to dictate my emotions and decisions. It often felt as if my thoughts controlled my life. My perception of the gym for many years had always been filled with anxiety and a whole lot doubt when in reality it was a safe space all this time. So I made a promise to myself that no matter where I took up space I would be 100% there in the moment without regret or self-doubt. I’m not saying it happened overnight, but learning how to take back this inner power and switch my outlook on places like the gym helped turn off all unsettling feelings about my physical appearance. My wall slowly came down when I started to view the gym no longer as a task, but instead as an act of self-care and love for myself. Along the way I found confidence in my gym routine and looking good for me and not anyone else.

A lot has changed with inclusivity in the fashion industry, that it even has inspired many brands to change their standards for other categories like activewear. Here are nine of my favorite plus-size brands that carry durable athleisure because you can’t spell fitness without fit and fit is everything when you’re a plus girl like me.

1. Girlfriend

If you care more than just about how you look at the gym, but actually where your clothes come from and how it’s made, look no further. Girlfriend Collective is more than just an activewear brand that has taken over social media — it is a clothing brand that does good and is made from recycled water bottles. Yes, recycled water bottles! The brand is 100% transparent on their process and where they source their recycled materials. Their classic compressive high-rise leggings and sports bras have almost become a uniform in my closet. From bright to classic color sets, there’s definitely an outfit or two for you.

2. Torrid

An OG in the plus game! If there’s one category to shop at Torrid it’s their activewear, it’s one I swear by. I may be biased because I use to work at their headquarters, but it’s only because I know how much time and dedication goes into their fit. It’s not just a mission they preach, they really do walk the walk when it comes down to sizing at Torrid. What I love most about this brand is their dedication to finding the right fit for all real plus size bodies.

Size Range: 10-30

3. Outdoor Voices

For the adventurer who is always #DoingThings from dog walks, morning hikes on Runyon Canyon, to grabbing fresh juice from JuiceLand — Outdoor Voices is the new activewear brand that’s not only cool, but seriously just gets it. Their recreational apparel was made for people like you and me to sweat, have fun with friends, but most importantly stay happy and healthy. While their sizing is limited, I do hope they expand soon! (But if you’re an inbetweenie like me you can probably get by with their XL!)

Size Range: XS-XL

4. Fabletics

I’ll be honest, I never understood the hype around this brand until a coworker dragged me into one of their store. I have to admit it was love at first fit. Fabletics has become one of my go-to brands for activewear. They have a great selection of stylish pieces you can pair and a killer VIP program. Where else can you buy two pairs of leggings for $24?

Size Range: XXS-3X

5. DAY/WON

It’s 2019 and being strong looks very different from what it did a few years ago thanks to women like Candince Huffine. She may be a model by day, but she’s also body positivity activist and designer to an inclusive activewear brand for every body. Inspired by a dare to run a marathon, Huffine embarked on a fitness journey that soon came to change her life of never backing down from any challenge.

Size Range: 0-32

6. Nike

Nike has always been at the forefront of activewear, but it wasn’t until recently did their marketing start showing up for their plus gals and community, too! I know I can alway rely on their fit from head to toe.

Size Range: 1X-3X

7. Target

For those days when I’m on a budget Target has always been my go-to. Two of my favorite athleisure brands Target carries are Joy Lab and C9. The styles and fits are always constantly changing and you can always find great deals in the clearance racks. Pro-tip: Download the Target app for those Cartwheel discounts!

8. Game by Universal Standard

For the minimalist looking for high-performance and technically-designed activewear Universal Standard is for you. They’re sweat-proof and antimicrobial leggings will become a staple in your gym bag. If you’re a simple girl who likes her basics you’ll find everything you’ll need from their Game collection.

Size Range: 00-4X

9. Beyond Yoga

This size-inclusive brand is not only female-founded, but community driven.  You can find them on social empowering people to live their best, most balanced lives daily. Their fit is one of the most supportive and soft material I’ve ever worn. This brand is 110% worth the splurge because sometimes you just have to treat yo’self!

Size Range: XXS-3X

Netflix’s ‘Gentefied’ Renewed For Season 2, Fans Overjoyed

Entertainment

Netflix’s ‘Gentefied’ Renewed For Season 2, Fans Overjoyed

gentefied / Instagram

Any and all news is welcomed right now and Netflix came through this week. “Gentefied” is coming back for a second season and this is absolutely not a drill. Soon we will be back in Boyle Heights with Ana, Chris, Erik, and the rest of the cast we have come to love so much.

Netflix has confirmed “Gentefied” for a second season.

The show is a fan favorite for Netflix with praise and love pouring in for the groundbreaking show. “Gentefied” is set in Boyle Heights and it is all about the fight against gentrification. The show premiered this year to big fanfare and excitement from Latino Netflix users. The show, created by Marvin Lemus and Linda Yvette Chávez, was picked up for an eight-episode run of the 30-minute show.

The show is one of the most relevant portrayals of the Latino experience in the 21st century.

The show highlights the plight of gentrification on communities across the U.S. Boyle Heights in Los Angeles has been the center of growing tension as the neighborhood slowly gentrifies. Rising rents have forced some residents and businesses to close and leave because of the changing demographic in the neighborhood.

Hearts are full as everyone celebrates the news of a whole new season.

The show originally premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival as a digital series. Lemus and Chávez debuted the show and it was an instant hit with festival-goers. After three years of waiting, the show was released by Netflix and became a national hit. The show has shone a light on the cost of gentrification for more Americans than knew about it before the show aired.

Low key, it has made for perfect binge-watching during this quarantine.

There isn’t a whole lot any of us can do at the moment. Most of us are at home because of self-isolation and social distancing guidelines designed to save lives during the pandemic. Might as well us some of your time to watch and support and very important moment in our community. This kind of representation is something that Latinos have been asking for.

While excited, some fans want more, like a cross-over with Starz’s “Vida.”

Now, just to be clear, we are not concerned with what it takes to make this happen. Netflix and Starz can come up with the actual plan. We are just going to be here waiting to be heard so we can all have the kind of cross-over the world deserves. Just imagine a chance for those two shows to collide in Latino excellence.

Now we wait for an air date.

We are patient. We will be here when you are ready. All you have to do is let us know when to tune in and you know we are coming through.

READ: I Watched ‘Gentefied’ On Netflix And These Are My Brutally Honest Thoughts

Latino Bookstore In North Carolina Faces Very Uncertain Future Just 6 Months After Opening

Things That Matter

Latino Bookstore In North Carolina Faces Very Uncertain Future Just 6 Months After Opening

epiloguebooksch / Instagram

Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews is a relatively new bookstore in Chapel Hill, North Carolina that is facing a very uncertain future. The Latino-owned bookstore opened its doors to the Chapel Hill community six months ago and now COVID-19 is putting their future at risk.

Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews is a Latino-owned bookstore in North Carolina that is fighting to survive COVID-19.

Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews came from a need that the owners saw in downtown Chapel Hill. A bookshop had recently closed in the area so Jamie and Miranda Sanchez knew that it was time for them to help fill that sudden loss.

“We felt like there was a big hole in downtown,” Jaime told The Daily Tar Heel. “A bookshop creates this whole sense of community for the town so we decided to go forward and try to open our own bookstore.”

The bookstore was serving a community that needed a place to gather and discuss ideas after a former bookstore closed its doors.

“The core of our idea began years ago as the union of Jaime’s heritage and Miranda’s passion for writing and the transportive nature of reading. Wanderers and wonderers, our idea continued to grow in the plazuelas of Mexico and the chocolaterías of Spain, in the plazas of every country where such spaces form quasi-families for both the briefest of moments and the longest stretches of time,” reads the bookstore’s website. “In these spaces, people share everything from decadent chocolate to fried street food, to myth-like tales, to the memories of our own childhood selves chasing pigeons and sucking the sticky droplets from paletas off our hands.”

While the bookstore was well received by the community, the COVID-19 pandemic had other plans.

COVID-19 has swept through the U.S. and the number of cases continues to climb. While New York might be seeing fewer cases, the rest of the U.S. is in an uptick. The virus has forced businesses across the country to close or retool to be online only. That is what Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews did to make sure they can weather the storm.

The owners of the bookstore realized they needed to retool their business strategy when students stopped coming back from Spring Break.

“We started adjusting our plans in early March to accommodate for the new lack of traffic,” Jaime told NBC News. “Students weren’t coming back from spring break, so we had originally thought the locals would come out like they did during winter break to take advantage of the lack of downtown traffic, but that obviously didn’t happen because of coronavirus, so we started getting ready to adjust and pivot online for when we’d no longer be able to sustain brick and mortar operations.”

The Sanchezes are keeping their literary dream alive through the pandemic.

“Jaime’s always wanted to open a business and bring a piece of home to it,” Miranda, who is originally from Tijuana, told NBC News. “We felt that continuing that tradition of having a bookstore in the area would be a good mesh, not just of who we are as people but how we want to engage with our community. A community that works to sustain an independent bookshop has certain values.”

Independent bookstores are one of the hardest-hit businesses since readings and events in the spaces have been canceled.

Bookshop started to help struggling independent bookstores weather the storm. COVID-19 has left millions of people without jobs and businesses are having to close permanently because of the virus. Bookshop is giving independent bookstores a chance to survive the closures and social distancing.

Bookstores serve a vital role in communities. They give people a place to gather and share ideas. The easy access to literature can change the lives of children in underprivileged communities but allowing them to see themselves reflected in new lights. They also serve as a place to explore the world around you by flipping open a book cover.

If you have time on your hands and enjoy reading, check out Bookshop and build up that 2020 reading list.

READ: Celebrities Are Reading Children’s Books To Help Parents And Children Cope With COVID-19