Tag Archives: Body Image

How to Shop in the Skinny Section | A Guide for Plus Size Girls

One of the most frustrating (and sometimes painful) parts about being plus size is shopping. I have so many memories of standing awkwardly in the accessories section while my skinny friends shopped. Those situations made me feel left out and took the fun out of shopping.

Thankfully, as my confidence grew, I got comfortable being plus size and shopping at plus size stores. But I was still frustrated that I didn’t have as many options as my skinny friends. I’ve been in an entire mall full of stores and found only two stores that catered to my body.

So, what’s a girl to do?

Well, recently I’ve started shopping for plus size clothes… in the skinny section.

plus size in the skinny section express

Yup, you heard me! I’m not one of those size 12/14 girls who is “on the cusp” of plus. I’m a big girl with breasts, hips and a belly… and I’m finding clothes that fit in the skinny section. Want to learn how? Want to watch a video of me shopping in Express? Click the “next” button.

How to Create a Boudoir Photo Shoot | Tips for Every Body


1.) Find Lingerie that makes You Feel Beautiful

Tip #6 don’t take yourself too seriously How to Create a Boudoir Photo shoot, right now on the blog (link in bio)

The most exciting part of this shoot for me was ordering my Lingerie! I chose to customize a three piece set from Impish Lee, a woman owned start-up based in Brooklyn. I was able to go online and customize the lace for my skin tone, the fabrics and prints and even the little embellishments. They make beautiful items for women of all sizes (girls, you’re in for a treat, I’ve got a gift card up for grabs down below!)


Robe: Impish Lee | Bra: Impish Lee | Lace Pencil Skirt: Impish Lee

I wore a high waist panty with this lace skirt, but you can pair it with whatever you want to (or not!)

2.) Make a Perfect Playlist & Dance

I told my sister that I was a little nervous about my boudoir shoot and the next morning she surprised me with a link to a playlist she’d made to get me amped for what I was about to do. If you follow my snapchat account, you saw me jamming to songs and feeling myself. Her playlist is called “In My Vicky’s” and it’s basically perfect, you can listen to it here.

3.) The Sun = Natures Photoshop

You’re going to want to shoot in a room with lots of natural light. The sun is truly the best photoshop you’ll ever have. I wanted as much natural light as I could get here in NYC, so I booked a suite at the Yotel (cute hotel, friendly staff, great rates!). My suite had floor to ceiling windows and a mirror on the wall that bounced sunlight all around. I started my shoot first thing in the morning when the sun came up and between the sunlight and my camera, I didn’t even consider editing these pictures, I’m so happy and proud of them!


Robe: Impish Lee | Bra: Impish Lee | Lace Pencil Skirt: Impish Lee


4.) Bring Some Non-Lingerie Clothing Items

So, real talk– I wasn’t totally ready to strip down when my shoot first started. It took me a while to really relax and get comfortable and one of the ways I warmed up was with a kind of “half-stripped” down look. I always feel flirty and confident in my tutu, so for me it was the perfect non-lingerie item to wear. I could also imagine cute shots with a motorcycle jacket, a fur, cowboy boots… anything that’s you!


Bra: Impish Lee | TuTu: Here


Lace Pencil Skirt: Impish Lee 


5.) Choose Activities you Love, do them in the shoot



Book: Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls, by Jes Baker (GET INTO IT!!)

6.) Don’t Take Yourself too Seriously


Related: Curious about Brazilian Waxing? 8 Tips from Me, click here!

7.) Grab Someone you Feel Comfy With

You can find a boudoir photo shoot company in your area, but I decided to have a girls sleepover and make this a part of it. It was a more relaxed setting and I didn’t feel pressure. Thanks to my good friend Jasmine for playing photographer with me while I ran around half-dressed (extra thanks for her confidence boosting words during the process, it was exactly what I needed to hear, love you girl!)


8.) Don’t Wait for the Perfect Body or Relationship to do a Bourdoir Shoot

Don’t wait for the perfect body, don’t wait for your wedding day. You’re gorgeous and no matter what changes your body may go through, you’ll never be as young as you are today lol I did these pictures for me and the process was so empowering that I’m being vulnerable and sharing them with you. If this is something you want to do, go for it!


Dear CeCe: I Found My Office Crush on a Dating Site… Help!

Dear CeCe,

I love your blog! You really inspire me! I am in need of a little advice.

There is a guy at work, whom I work with closely. Everything he does says he likes me. Even my coworkers say that he has a crush on me. He comes to see me with a huge, enchanting smile on his face almost daily for things that could be handled via email, he calls me nice names like sunshine…he even took me on a nice lunch where he proceeded to tell me intimate-datey details.

I am really falling for this guy and it’s making me crazy.

Why hasn’t he asked me out? Could it be the taboo of office relationships? In an effort to avert my thoughts from him, I signed up for a dating site. To my surprise…he showed up in my daily

To my surprise…he showed up in my daily matches as a 95% match! Needless to say, it is racking my brain once again. Please give me some advice! I don’t know if I should make a move, give an obvious sign of interest..or just give up because he isn’t making any moves! Help me girl!!!

Needless to say, it is racking my brain once again. Please give me some advice! I don’t know if I should make a move, give an obvious sign of interest..or just give up because he isn’t making any moves! Help me girl!!!

Please give me some advice! I don’t know if I should make a move, give an obvious sign of interest..or just give up because he isn’t making any moves! Help me girl!!!

-Work Crushing

Dear CeCe I found my work crush on a dating app

Hey Miss, Work Crushing!

You might remember that I met Robert at work (wootwoot!) and I just ended things with him after three years (womp womp!) so I’m going to give you two sides to this situation.

The Easy Part

Girl, he likes you and you didn’t need a dating app to tell you that!

When guys go out of their way to give us attention, it’s because we’re cute and awesome and they see that. But, I understand how insecurities can make it hard to be confident in what’s going on.

Lucky for you, a dating app gave you even more confirmation– so when it comes to being more forward with him I think you’re good to go!

If it were me, I’d ask him to lunch, bring up the dating app connection and say that if he wants to take me on a date, I’m down! If I were in a really aggressive mood, I’d mention the dating app connection and then ask him out… but there’s one big reason why I might skip that approach, which leads me to…

The Hard Part

It seems like your co-worker crush is doing a tip-toe dance around asking you out. He gets you on a solo lunch date but then doesn’t quite make it clear what he’s looking for from you.

We both know he saw the dating match thing too, so why isn’t he saying something?

It seems like he’s hovering around the soccer goal, but won’t kick the ball in for some reason.

Moving things forward in a relationship takes vulnerability and that’s hard for both men and women. The ideal situation is when both people are willing to risk being vulnerable. I’m the kind of person who sees what she wants and goes after it, I make myself vulnerable and take those awkward risks in relationships and I need a guy who’s the same way (at least when it comes to me *hair flip*).

So, while I totally think you should go for it with your co-worker, I also think you should make sure that if you continue to date, you’re not the only one moving things along… hopefully that makes sense.

Good Luck and Let me know how things progress!



p.s. do any of you ladies have advice for our girl?

Event Recap: Speaking at Refinery29 Celebrating Kelsey Miller’s Book, “Big Girl”

It’s pretty exciting to watch my internet friends do amazing things.

It’s even more exciting when they ask me to be a part of it.

Kelsey Miller has just released a book called, “Big Girl: How I Gave Up Dieting and Got a Life” and I am so incredibly proud of her. I’ve read the book and it is so open and honest… I feel like there’s a little piece of all of us inside of her storytelling.

If you don’t know Kelsey, she’s the creator of the Anti-Diet project on Refinery29. She’s been super supportive of me in countless ways, so when she asked if I would be a speaker on a body image panel during her book launch, I immediately said yes.

Check out my video recap below and order “Big Girl” here

The Panel

Kelsey hand-selcted four powerful female voices from around the internet…


From left to right:

What I wore…



Jump Suit: Jibri | Cropped Coat: Old/Sold Out | Shoes: (Similar) Zappos

The Woman of the Hour…


Kelsey is the best! Soon after joining the staff of Refinery29, she created The Anti-Diet Project, one of the website’s most popular franchises. She is currently a Senior Features Writer and lives in Brooklyn.

The Conversation (Video Recap)…

The Book…

Big Girl Book kelsey miller


Order Here

If you’d like me to come speak at your school, sorority, event, etc. click here to contact me!


The past few years, I started noticing an unfortunate trend in my new year’s resolutions: They were all steeped in negativity. “I’m going to lose weight” (because I’m too big). “I’m going to stop eating after 7 p.m.” (because I need to lose weight). “I’m going to hit the gym more” (same-old, same-old). What I’ve basically been saying is: “My body sucks.”

So, although focusing on my health is undoubtedly a huge priority for me, I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way I’m going to reach my goals is if I possess a positive body image. For the New Year, that means out with the negative resolutions and in with the encouraging and uplifting ones.

I’m going to hit the gym because I love my body — not because I hate it.
Okay, so my thighs touch, and the backs of my arms jiggle — but my body is still an amazing instrument that I literally couldn’t live without. So, instead of spending 20 minutes on the inner-thigh machine trying to shrink myself, I’m going to spend that time making my thick thighs stronger, so they can hold me up well into my old age. And, the next time I lose grip on my cell phone and it falls into my lap, I’ll be thankful for the non-existent thigh gap that did not let that phone crash to the ground.

Related: How to Get Fit with Bad Knees

If I like it, I’m going to wear it.
I spent all of high school following fashion rules that I didn’t believe in. Spoiler alert: Our bodies don’t change when we wear all black. In my opinion, plus-size girls are subject to random fashion “rules” because people want us to hide our bodies. If you’re not a perfect size 4 or 6, you’re not supposed to wear this or that.

Yeah, no. I’m not going to conform to someone else’s subjective opinion on what I should and should not wear. I’ve learned to bare my arms and show off my legs, and I think this year I want to try crop tops and horizontal stripes. Each time I’ve let a part of my body show, I’ve felt empowered, liberated, and beautiful — so why stop now?

I’m going to move it, move it.
There is something amazing that happens when I move my body. Long walks on the weekend, an evening swim, or even my one-song workout videos have the power to change  my mood. I need to not forget how much I love that, because the more I keep myself in a positive head space, the more I look at everything (including my body) with positivity.

I’m going to buy cute pajamas.
I wear cute pajamas to bed, even when I’m sleeping alone. This is because my relationship status doesn’t change my value — so the way I treat myself when I’m alone should be no different than how I treat myself when I’m in a relationship. If putting on nice pajamas before bed makes me feel good and happy about my body, it’s worth doing.

It’s easy to work out because people say you should, wear the clothes that people say you should, and judge your body the way people say you should. It’s less easy to embrace a positive body image — but I’m going to make it happen. This year, I propose that you do the same. Instead of saying you’re “not going to buy that dress until you lose 10 pounds” or that you’re “going to do as many sit-ups as it takes to get a flat stomach,” take some fashion risks, find a class at the gym that you love, practice moderation in your food choices, and be happy with how you look right now. It doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement — I’ll never stop challenging myself — but it means finding peace and contentment with who we are and who we’re becoming.

Next: A Year of Loving Myself, Click Here

A Year of Loving Myself: 2015


If I were the type of person who said things like “This is gonna be my year!” I would have said it on January 1, 2015. But I’m not that kind of person, so I just giddily looked ahead. I was confident that at the end of 2015 I would love myself and my life in a completely different way than I did in 2014.

Welp– I can confidently say that I was right, but… um… my version of 2015 was all roses and what really happened was roses and thorns… lots of thorns (shout out to Brett Michaels, you called it bro).

Loving yourself and living a life you love are beautiful goals. The results are always worth it, but what it takes? Noooo… I wasn’t ready!!!!!!!

Anyway, here are a few crazy ways that I loved myself in 2015, in no particular order…

I Quit My Job

For a long time, I had this blog, my YouTube channel, #PSPfit, friends, family, a boo thang and a full-time job. For about two years I’d work nights and weekends on my passions and then spend Monday-Friday, 9-5 sitting at my day job with my stomach in knots. I had great co-workers and an awesome work environment, but I knew I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to do.

A year ago this week I said good-bye my corporate job, my paid vacation and my guaranteed paycheck (!) so that I could go “all in” with the work I do online.

From the moment I moved to NYC, I’d been working for the validation of other people. I’d been hoping and praying for someone to take a chance on me, to choose me, to pick me out from a crowd and say wow that girl has something.

This time, I did that.

I chose me.

I bet on me.

I decided that a steady paycheck was good, but what I had to offer the world was more valuable than a consistent direct deposit.

For the full story of how I quit my job click here

I Stopped Dating Robert

Yes, your girl is back on the market.

streets been waiting

Shout out to those of you who figured it out on social media (some of ya’ll don’t miss a beat, sheesh!), Anyway– I’m sorry I ignored your questions– I just wasn’t in the mood to discuss it.

I only have good things to say about Robert and the time I spent with him. Ending things was pretty simple: I needed more than Robert could give me, so it was up to me to tap out.

But here’s the deal– It took me a LONG TIME to get up the courage to call things off.

As women, we talk a lot about finding love/relationships but not a lot about losing love/relationships, so I will definitely be digging more into this topic; but for now, I’ll say that ending a relationship that isn’t serving you is a huge act of self love (especially if the person is awesome, augh!). If you’ve done it, I am giving you the biggest hug and high five. If you know you need to do it, I’m telling you now that it’s painful and annoying, but the life and love you deserve are on the other side, I promise.

I Started Therapy

I’ve always been curious about therapy. I didn’t have a particular reason to go, but once I started? Oh Em Gee! There’s so much to unpack!! It’s been really helpful to explore why I struggle with certain things or why I have certain patterns in relationships with friends and dating. It took me a few tries to find the right therapist for me, but now that I’ve found a good fit I look forward to exploring myself each week and growing up a bit.

Therapy is like the gym… for your heart and soul! #PSPfit

If you’re curious about therapy, I highly recommend InYourCornerOnline.com it’s skype Therapy so you can choose people who specialize in what you need help with and you can do your sessions from anywhere!

I Helped Others

Do you Remember “Dear CeCe: I’m Single, What am I Doing Wrong??” Well, in that post I broke down how to find purpose in your single life.

Not dating Robert anymore meant that suddenly our standing date nights were open on my calendar. I could have “started wearing less and going out more” on those days, but I didn’t.

Okay– I kinda did…

beyonce started wearing less and going out more

But I ALSO made sure to walk in my purpose and find ways to help people. Instead of having a date night with Robert every Tuesday, I started #PSPfit WERKshop, a Tuesday night workout class for my NYC readers and it was amazing!

The girls that showed up were so beautiful and positive– they had no idea they were helping me through an awkward time in my life. I taught them workouts and they taught me that when you have a purpose, you can fill any void in your life.

I Looked Up, Waaaaaay Up!


*some say Universe, I say God (or Jesusssss *praise break*)

I set out to love myself more in 2015 and I was thinking like massages, manicures and two piece bathing suits in Jamaica would cover it. Little did I know that there were deeper lessons God had on deck for me in 2015.

A huge part of loving myself is my relationship with God. I could preach to you and say we are fearfully and wonderfully made… but instead I’ll just say, God don’t make no junk. God wants the best for me and is always looking out for my best interest even when it doesn’t feel good. Some amazing reminders of this have come from the following religious and non-religious places, No matter what your beliefs are, I think you can find some great inspiration with:

The Alchemist, a Life changing book

Jesus Calling a quick daily devotional that is so beautiful and speaks to my soul every day. It’s basically 365 days of love.

Intentional I think I listened to this song for like three days straight

Keep on Singing My Song Christina at her best singing from the depths of her soul, yes LORD! Lyrics include:

‘Cause I’m about to
Say farewell to every single lie
& All the fears I’ve held too long inside
Every time I felt I couldn’t cry
All the negativity I had inside
For too long I’ve been struggling. I couldn’t go on
But now I’ve found I’m feeling strong and moving on


I Stopped Being Mean to Myself

During all of these wacky loving myself moments, I was still dealing with a multitude of other personal issues, the stress that came in my first year of working for myself aaaand I was signing with a literary agent, starting the process of publishing a book, launching the first ever conference for women size 10+, theCURVYcon, etc. etc.

See, soooo many roses <3

A Year of Loving Myself 2015

So, instead of knocking out these last few pounds I wanted to drop, I’ve been holding on for dear life to maintain.

I’m nowhere near my starting weight and my body is still operating in the benefits of having lost dozens of pounds, thank God. But instead of hitting my personal goal scale-wise in 2015, I’ve been gaining and losing the same 10 pounds.

For a minute there I was so mean to myself. Everytime I posted an outfit picture, I’d harshly criticize it and tell myself I should be way farther along.

But, I work hard to love myself.

Right now loving myself means that I do the best that I can in a year of transition.

This year, the best that I can do is: following my dreams, letting go of things that weren’t right for me, healing emotional wounds, starting new projects and helping others along the way. Even though changing numbers on the scale didn’t make the cut, I’d still say that 2015 wasn’t too shabby.

Anyway, I often get emails asking How do I Love Myself? Here’s a snapshot of what it looked like for me– I always keep it real with you and this post is no different. All the beautiful rosey things you see me doing are rooted in making decisions out of love for myself (even when they weren’t fun decisions).

I’m grateful for all of it *sigh*

Do you have some “love yourself” tough decisions to make?


Advice to My Younger Self: Why Being A Fat Teenager Wasn’t So Bad

I always cringe when I realize that my goal weight today is actually the same weight I was as a teenager. Maybe you’re thinking that’s a completely predictable thing to say — that everyone wants to get back to their teen weight. For me, it’s a little different.

I was a fat teenager. I was the teen girl who was looked down on by her doctor as she hopped off the scale. I was the teen girl who sifted through sequined mother-of-the-bride dresses in the “large women’s” section during prom season, trying to find something that was age-appropriate. I have old diaries where, in the top right-hand corner, I’d written down my weight, circled the number, and drew a line over it. So, if I was a fat teen, why is that my goal weight now?

Well, I developed a lot of body-image issues as a plus-size teen. I became obsessed with wanting to make my 5’10” solidly curvy body look like the 5’2″ petite girls I went to school with. Focusing on being thin sent me down a very long path of yo-yo dieting that, at the end, left me larger than when I decided I needed to lose weight in the first place.

Today, I understand that I will probably will never be skinny, but I can absolutely be healthy. So today, I’m giving a little advice to my younger self about her body.

plus size prom cece olisa

All Bodies Are Beautiful — Including Yours
When I was younger, it was really easy to fixate on one look, one person — and make that my standard of beauty. Maybe it was the girl who got the part in the school play, or the girl who had all the boyfriends, but it was never my body. Now that I can see beauty in all bodies, I can appreciate my own more — no matter what size I am or how much my weight fluctuates.

Love The Body You Have Right Now
Looking back, I may have been a plus-size teen, but my body was in amazing shape. I was in dance classes five days a week and eating home-cooked meals from my mom. My skin was flawless and I didn’t need Spanx. I was living my best life, and I didn’t even know it.

I spent a lot of time loathing my body and trying to make it into something it wasn’t. If I could go back, I would’ve been grateful for my strong dancer’s body, not worried about being a certain dress size.

You’re Not As Fat As You Think You Are
If you had asked me to draw a photo of myself back then, it probably would have been 50 pounds heavier than I actually was. I think, sometimes, we have a warped image of ourselves in our heads. If only I’d been confident enough to see myself as others saw me, maybe I wouldn’t have gotten so caught up in how fat I thought I looked.

Of course, hindsight is 20/20, and while I wish I could have been more accepting of myself as a self-conscious teenager, I’m happy that I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m able to embrace my body and who I am without that constant, criticizing voice going off in my head.

Maybe my little pearls of learned wisdom will help some teenage girls struggling with body-image issues. Take it from me: It’s a waste of time to obsess about the way your body looks.

Read more of my work on Refinery29 here

When It’s Okay To Walk Out Of A Date

Walking into the new, chic bar in Harlem, I had the usual jitters that arrive when you’re about to meet someone you’ve been talking to online. I was nervous — but also excited — to learn more about J.R., the guy I’d been chatting and texting with for a few weeks.

From the moment I saw him (sitting, hunched over his phone, texting), I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. I approached him in spite of it. We introduced ourselves, but instead of getting up and heading to the bar with me, he stayed fixated on his phone. After about 20 minutes of this — his phone getting way more attention than me — he excused himself to take a call. You can probably predict what happened next: He never came back. I sat alone in the bar, fighting back angry tears.

CeCe Olisa When It's Okay To Walk Out Of A Date

And yet, from the moment I’d laid eyes on J.R., my instincts had told me I wasn’t walking into a good situation. My Jerk-O-Meter had gone off, and I’d ignored it. Why had I stayed when my gut was telling me to leave? Why had I made feeble attempts at small talk when his body language was clearly telling me he wanted nothing to do with me? Well, I did it because it was the polite thing to do. I let manners trump my instincts. And, I realized with some dismay, it wasn’t the first time I’d allowed my inclination to be considerate overrule my need to stand up for myself.

Related: How to Deal with Rejection

I don’t think I’m alone in this. Women are practically trained to “be nice.” We want to be liked, and so we often act politely — even in the face of someone’s rudeness. Being nice to guys I dated, including ones I knew didn’t deserve it, was something I’d just always done. When J.R. defended his phone fixation with a sarcastic remark and still wouldn’t give me the time of day, I could have — and obviously should have — turned and walked out. But, I kept fighting to be polite. I’m not to blame for J.R.’s bad behavior, but my sitting down and continuing to engage with him indicated that I was okay with how he was treating me, which probably only made him think he could disrespect his future dates, too.

It was this horrible date with J.R. that gave me the impetus to throw my good manners out the window when I deemed it necessary. From now on, I was going to put myself first — even if it meant I had to be a little rude. Enough with the niceness all the time! I was quickly learning that it was not always the best policy. Now, if a date makes me feel disrespected, I have the right — and the obligation — to leave. And, I’m proud to say that’s just what I did the last time a guy I went out with turned out to be a jerk.

Related: Is Online Dating Different for Plus Size Women?

I’d met Pete online, and after some nice email exchanges, we decided to meet in person. Pete picked a coffee shop downtown, which fit my rule about meeting in neutral, safe locations. When I walked in, Pete waved at me, with a smile, from a table in the corner. “What’s up, CeCe!” he said, giving me one of those cool-guy chin nods. I hesitantly sat down. We’d barely said hello when Pete began to talk about himself, non-stop, while also checking out other girls right in front of my face. I looked at my watch (never a good sign during a date), which confirmed that the date had been going on for exactly six minutes. I waited for Pete to ask me something — anything — about myself. But, that never happened.

If this was Pete putting his best foot forward, I’d seen all I needed to. “Actually, I’m going to head out,” I said. “It was nice meeting you!” I picked up my purse and went to get a manicure.

Sometimes, being nice is overrated.

Have you ever walked out on a date? …ever wish you had?

Plus Size Workout Video | Cardio Dance | #PSPfit #LiviLife

Today I posted on my facebook page that working out makes me feel loved and valuable. My body is worth love and good treatment at any size, health and fitness is the best way for me to do that. Ditching a baggy T-shirt and wearing cute plus size workout clothes, is my way of reminding myself that my fitness is just as important as anyone else in the gym.

Creating plus size workout videos for the launch of Lane Bryant’s Livi Active Collection has been a blast!! Thank you to everyone who shared the videos on social media, your support online and in person has been so amazing! Be sure to check out my Launch Party event recap here. Today, I’ve got another workout video for us, a little Cardio Dance… have fun with it (and let me know if it makes you sweat!) xx

CeCe Olisa Plus Size Fitness #PSPfit Plus Size Gym Clothes

Click images below to shop the Livi Active Collection: 30% off Coupon Code JANGIFTLB

You still have time to register for our January #PSPfit Challenge.

Plus Size Workout Video! #PSPfit #LiviLife

I hope you’re all feeling as pumped as I am for what’s ahead in 2015! There is so much potential in the air, I can feel it…. We’re doing a #PSPfit January Challenge and our theme is Body Love. We’re going to work with a professional Nutrition Coach, cook clean recipes and exercise out of love for our bodies, not hate.

click here to register for the #PSPfit challenge

Registration is open from January 1-January 15th, but you know I can’t wait till then to get moving, so I’ve got a New Years work out for us. Do this workout as many times as you want 🙂 Details on my Livi Active Gym Clothes below!

Plus Size Workout Top: LIVI Active Tank | Plus Size Gym Pant : LIVI Active Legging | Plus Size Workout Jacket: LIVI Asymmetrical Zip