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

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What I Wish My Family Knew About How Their Vote For Trump Impacts My Life

Culture

What I Wish My Family Knew About How Their Vote For Trump Impacts My Life

fidmart85 / cantstayput / Instagram

Politics is a tricky topic for families and friends, especially when you are on opposite sides of the aisle. It’s hard not to take things personally when it comes to how those closest to you vote. Those feelings have been heightened since 2016 when President Donald Trump won on a campaign based on fear and hate. His rhetoric has never changed and his words and policies are having a real impact on the lives of millions, including me and my husband.

My family is a Cuban family living in Florida. They fit the description in more ways than one. They are a close-knit unit always visiting each other and having mini family reunions for every occasion. Covid changed that for a while but over time they have safely created a bubble with themselves. I am one of three in my immediately-extended family to leave Florida so they don’t see my life on a daily basis. I can only imagine that living in Florida would change that.

With the 2020 elections in just days, I have had some hard conversations with my family about things they’ve never understood or asked about. As a gay Latino man living in the U.S., my life hasn’t always been easy and safe. I grew up in a rural town in the Florida panhandle where it was not okay to be visibly and audibly Latino nor gay.

I was 16 when I had my first run-in with violent homophobia. I was at a keg party and I was pouring a beverage. A college student came up to me and asked if I was gay. Knowing the importance of self-preservation, I immediately said no. Without missing a beat, the man sucker-punched me in the face, called me a faggot, and ran to a waiting car that sped off.

My parents never heard that story. I lied to them when they noticed the welt on my face and told them I got elbowed at cheerleading practice. I know. I was a cheerleader and my parents couldn’t see I was gay. It was safer for me to lie and not let my parents know I was targeted for being gay, something they were in no place to accept are Cuban immigrants living in a rural, conservative southern town.

That moment instilled in me a fear that I live with to this day. No matter where I am or what I am doing, I always function at the level that I can be attacked at any time for being gay. President Trump’s rhetoric and administration has made that worse.

During President Barack Obama’s administration, I felt safe for the first time in a long time. I know that comes with some privilege, but it was the first time in in my gay life that I felt safe to be who I was. I came out to my parents. I became involved in politics to get people elected. I traveled as an openly gay man. I was no longer living in the shadows.

The 2016 elections shattered the feeling of safety and peace for me and my friends. Suddenly, all of us were on the chopping block as our rights and dignity were under attack again. The Pulse Nightclub shooting in June 2016 reminded me of how much hate there still was for people like me and the Trump campaign was fanning those flames. I was scared. My family didn’t understand why.

Most of my family voted for President Trump that year. It was a knife through the heart to know that most of my family was not concerned about my own safety and dignity. For them, President Trump’s election was more important than the very real threat he posed to millions of people.

I remember confiding in my family my fear that President Trump would try to eliminate marriage equality, won just one year before. I was made to feel like I was being dramatic. My husband and I got married the Friday after Thanksgiving because we just did not trust what the administration would do.

Four years later, Supreme Court justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito signaled that they want to overturn Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that made my marriage legal. How? With the help of Amy Coney Barrett, who was rushed in with just days left till election day. Marriage equality became law of the land in a 5-4 ruling.

This blow to the LGBTQ+ community comes after the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that LGBTQ+ people cannot be fired for being LGBTQ+. The ruling in June stated that LGBTQ+ were included in the Civil Rights Act under protection from discrimination based on sex.

The lawsuit brought to the Supreme Court to make discrimination against me legal was drafted by the Trump administration. The man my family voted for wanted to make me less than everyone else.

One of the first cases before the majority conservative court that could erode LGBTQ+ rights is Fulton v. City of Philadelphia. The case, which will be heard the day after the election, will decide if private agencies that receive government dollars can refuse people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, and even religion. How is this happening in the U.S. in 2020?

I am also a recently diagnosed diabetic. The Trump administration has been a hostile enemy of the Affordable Care Act since day one. The ACA, also known as Obamacare, has become increasingly popular with Americans, especially now during the pandemic.

Another case being heard on behalf of the Trump administration is a case to dismantle the ACA once and for all. This would throw millions of people off of their healthcare and would leave millions more with pre-existing conditions without healthcare.

A vote for Trump is a vote to strip people of necessary and life-saving healthcare. We have all read the horror stories of people dying of diabetes because they couldn’t afford their insulin. The Trump administration wants us to go back to those days. The court case could force numerous people to die from treatable and manageable diseases for the sake of profit over lives.

Republicans have no plan to replace the ACA. However, they have continued to lie to the American people and claim that they do.

There are several communities under attack right now. Black lives are at stake. Abortion rights are at stake. Healthcare is at stake. Immigrant rights are at stake. Trans lives are at stake. LGBTQ+ rights are at stake. Our standing in the world is at stake. The soul of our nation is at stake.

Under this current administration, I have seen my friends live in fear that they will lose rights. I have watched friends grapple with the understanding that they have lost rights.

My family claims to care for me, and I am sure that on some level they really believe that. However, as a gay Latino man living in the Trump administration, I have grown resentful. I resent that their votes are costing me and my friends their human dignity. I resent that their vote exacerbated the ongoing pandemic that has cost more lives than it should have. I resent that they ask why I don’t visit despite voting to limit my rights and freedom.

To my family members who have voted against this administration, thank you. Thank you for standing by my side. Thank you for understanding what is at stake for me and my marriage. Thank you for rebuking an administration that has caused unnecessary harm to millions of innocent people.

It is not too late to have your voice heard. Go vote. Millions of us are relying on you using your voice to determine the future of this nation.

READ: Remembering The Victims Of The Orlando Shooting, Many Of Whom Were Latino

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Dodgers Win First World Series Championship Since 1988 And It’s Great To Be An Angeleno

Entertainment

Dodgers Win First World Series Championship Since 1988 And It’s Great To Be An Angeleno

Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the champions after 32 years. The bizarre year of Covid and social distancing was also a year of wins for Los Angeles after both the Lakers and Dodgers bring home the championships. The city was alive with energy after the historic and wonderful win.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the new World Series champions.

The baseball team has not won a World Series championship since 1988. This year, after a long 32-year drought, the Dodgers broke that curse and delivered LA a win during the time of Covid. The Dodgers went against the Tampa Bay Rays and battled it out in a nerve-wracking and nail-biting World Series.

Of course, there is a lot of love being showered on the Latino players.

Latinos are a major part of the Dodgers and their fanbase is huge. There is a reason that the nickname of the Dodgers is Los Doyers. There are four Latino pitchers on the Dodgers and they made themselves crucial parts of the team this season leading the team to the championship.

The Dodgers triumphed over the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series on Game 6. The teams kept battling it out for the first four games with the Dodgers winning the first and third. The Tampa Bay Rays won the second and fourth. Yet, the Dodgers came through at the end with victories in the fifth and sixth game to clinch the title.

The story overpowering the coverage of the Dodgers’ World Series win is Justin Turner.

The third baseman tested positive for Covid-19 during the game and was removed when the test came back positive. However, when the Dodgers won the sixth game, Turner ran onto the field without a mask. He was photographed holding the trophy, posing with the team for photos, and even taking selfies without wearing a mask.

It is a clear violation of Covid guidelines for the MLB. According to reports, officials sent security to remove Turner from the field because he was breaking safety guidelines. He allegedly refused to leave the field.

Fans have a lot of questions about how Turner caught Covid since the league was supposed to be operating in a bubble.

The MLB has had issues with some teams dealing with Covid infections but it had been a while since one had happened. Turner was tested the day before the game but it came back inconclusive, a pretty common issues with Covid testing right now. Turner was then tested before the game and when the results came back positive in the second inning, Turner was immediately removed.

The MLB has launched an investigation into Turner’s outright refusal to comply with Covid safety guidelines.

“Following the Dodgers’ victory, it is clear that Turner chose to disregard the agreed-upon joint protocols and the instructions he was given regarding the safety and protection of others,’’ the Commissioner’s Office said in a statement. “While a desire to celebrate is understandable, Turner’s decision to leave isolation and enter the field was wrong and put everyone he came in contact with at risk. When MLB Security raised the matter of being on the field with Turner, he emphatically refused to comply.’’

READ: The Los Angeles Dodgers Are Playing In The World Series And People Are Excited

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