Whitney Thompson; Plus-size supermodel, spokesperson for NEDA and creator of "Supermodel".

My goal is to encourage and inspire you to celebrate your miraculous, exquisite, and unique body. I want you to resist the negative messages being sold to you by the media. You are beautiful. You are unique. Here, we want to help you remember that.

If I can convey one message to you:
Healthy is Beautiful. Beautiful is not a size, not an age, and not a procedure. Healthy is beautiful."

“Beautiful” is celebrating the characteristics and qualities of your body, while nourishing and exercising
it to be as uniquely healthy and fit as only you can be. We are all created differently and I want you to stop trying to fit into a mold that someone else has defined as "beautiful". No one size will ever be accepted by everyone and it's important to accept that we are all different. I want you to be the best that you can be.

Your comments are welcome here, even if we don't agree. I appreciate all comments as long as they don't hurt others.

Always remember, life is too short to not live like a SuperModel!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Essential Oils

    I have learned so much in the past few weeks about essential oils like peppermint, lavender, and thyme! You know that people with oily skin try to avoid products that have oil? That is totally unnecessary because all essential oils are actually antibacterial. That means that they will kill the bad, blemish causing bacteria. Some oils can even dry out the bad oils on your skin while nourishing it with the good oils. I had no  idea that oils could be so beneficial!
      Recently, I began noticing some skin issues which you can not have in the modeling industry. I ran straight to my skin guru, Susan Ciminelli and she gave my three essential oils to solve all of my skin problems. I felt weird putting oils on my face, scared that they would make my skin greasy but it actually fixed everything in the first week. I use the Susan Ciminelli toning formula with peppermint, rosemary, and thyme oil on my t-zone. The hydrating formula with lavendar, chamomile, and geranium is what I smooth over cheekbones and my forehead. I also use the oil control formula with lemongrass, thyme, and cajeput for spot-treatment in trouble areas. You can purchase any of the same products that I use at www.SusanCiminelli.com.
      You don’t have to use designer oils, either. Many are carried at your local health food stores. For fine lines and wrinkles pick up myrrh and frankincense. Both of these oils stimulate cell regrowth. You can even use them together. Trouble with dry, flaky skin? Try sandalwood oil. You can mix it with your regular moisturizer to enrich the skin with emollients, leaving it smooth. 
      Oily skin or skin with rosacea works well with rose oil. Rose oil is naturally hydrating and oily or red skin is caused by dehydration. Fix the dehydration and you’ll fix the problem. If you suffer from acne or skin irritation try lavender oil to calm skin as well as minimizing spots and redness. Unlike tea tree oil, it won’t dry out your skin. 
      Essential oils can be used in so many ways. They smell great, they’re all natural, affordable, and antimicrobial. Know what each does before you use it but once you find the right oils for your skin, you won’t want to give them up!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Simple Skin Solutions

        I found these great masks while reading “The Ciminelli Solution”! Susan Ciminelli (the author) is a skin care expert and the specialist that I trust my skin to. These are the two easiest masks to make with the best results! 
Oatmeal-Egg White Mask for Oily Skin
This mask helps remove excess oil and helps tighten and refine pores.
3 Tablespoons Oatmeal
1 Egg White
Combine the oatmeal and egg white in a small bowl.Apply the mixture to a clean face and neck. Leave on twenty minutes and rinse with cool water.
Avocado and Lemon Juice Mask for Dry Skin
Avocados are full of oils that help soften skin and make it more radiant.
1 Avocado, peeled, pitted and mashed 
2 Tablespoons Raw Organic Honey
2 Tablespoons crushed Bee Pollen
Dash of Fresh Lemon Juice
Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and puree. Apply the mixture to a clean face and neck. Leave on 30 minutes. Rinse with cool water.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Grandma, what long hair you have?

    It is a growing trend for women in Hollywood to keep their locks lengthy after they retire their mini-skirts. The days of needing to crop your coif with added age are over. Starlets like Julia Roberts (age 43), Demi Moore (age 48), and Christie Brinkley (age 57) are perfect examples of gracefully aging beauties that aren’t afraid to show off their many years of hair wisdom.
      The most important key to long hair at any age is health. I cannot stress this enough. Split ends and straggly pieces will only age you and make you appear cheap. Trimming every six to eight weeks will keep you safe from dead-ends, but it’s also a good idea to use a deep-conditioner weekly. For a straight and sleek look, focus on shine because all of your hair’s attention will go to its health. Shiny hair will show everyone that you’ve got your locks under control and make your color pop.
      As a busybody myself, I prefer tousled waves or curls because it’s made to move, like me. Hair that moves is soft and begging to be touched. As a southern girl who doesn’t have lots of extra time on her hands, I find hot rollers to be the best way to achieve these waves. All you have to do is pop the rollers in, finish some housework and pull them out after 10-15 minutes for some serious body! I also recommend having some long layers cut into your hair. Any layers below the jaw line will draw attention away from fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes, making you appear younger without any effort!
        Another recommendation for gracefully aging women is to get some face-framing highlights. Lightening you color can actually make you appear much younger. The trick with color is that you want to stay warm. If you are dark haired, get chocolate or caramel colored highlights. If you are blonde, stay a warm honey color. Cold colors will only make you appear older and frigid, two terms we’re trying to avoid.
        Aging is a beautiful, natural process that should be handled with grace and celebration. Each little line tells a story about our journey through life. Instead of erasing our aging, I think that we should embrace it. If you prefer short hair, then have short hair, but don’t let anyone make you do anything that you don’t want to do. Women are remarkably resilient creatures. We just need to start focusing on the positive, things that make us happy.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Eating 101

        I have no problem indulging myself on spectacular treats. Nevertheless, I also have to keep my health a priority. Fortunately, I have a couple of tricks that allow me to eat whatever I want and not compromise my health.
       The hardest part of being healthy is finding balance. The truth is, once my stomach gets going, it’s hard to stop it. That’s why I never let myself get hungry. Ever been to the grocery store on an empty stomach? I end up walking out with a lot more food then planned and usually start by scarfing down a candy bar right out of the door. That’s why I constantly pack my purse with treats to satisfy hunger while nourishing my body. Having a snack may not fully satisfy you, but it will keep you from getting ravenous and overeating something that isn’t beneficial to your body. Granola bars are easy to pack and they give your body fiber and protein. I personally like to keep oranges with me because they take weeks to spoil with their thick skin and they’re so much more satisfying (especially if I’m craving something sweet), juicy, and flavorful then anything pre-packaged.
Eating out is a danger zone for many reasons. Restaurants want their food to taste good, even if it means that the food is harmful to your body and mind. Let’s begin with alcohol because one beverage can pack over 600 calories and hold literally no nutritional value at all. Experts recommend following each alcoholic beverage with a glass of water to keep yourself hydrated. If you’re anything like me, you’ll follow that drink with some buffalo wings and tater tots (with ranch!). Now I’ve turned one meal into an artery-clogging, trans-fat infused, wave of weight-gaining calories and sodium. I don’t believe in guilt after eating, so if we have a night like this, it’s fine. Keep moving forward, but let’s try to not make this a regular thing. Instead of a sugary drink, try something citrus based or spicy. A bloody Mary packs only 140 calories and takes longer to drink.    
      When picking food at a restaurant, try to get something grilled, baked, or steamed. These items are prepared much more healthily. If you are craving something fried in butter, try to pair it with at least two sides of vegetables (mashed potatoes are not a vegetable). Veggies are mostly fat-free, full of good nutrients, and almost calorie-free. Sometimes we have to have things even if they aren’t healthy, but it’s important that we don’t forget to give our bodies the best minerals so that we can still perform at our best. You know that hour after a serious face-stuffing where you lie on the bed and feel like you’re going to vomit? We’re trying to avoid that.
       Remember how Mom would never let you snack before dinner? Well, ditch that mentality and learn how to “spoil your dinner”. Everyone likes to get extremely hungry before a big meal and that is not a good idea. Being hungry makes me a mean person! It also makes me over-order and over-eat. My Mother would say, “Your eyes were bigger than your stomach”. The truth is, it isn’t good for our bodies to starve for hours and then over-stuff our stomachs. The best plan is to have something light before eating. I usually have a cup of 
Greek yogurt with honey or a fruit parfait with granola. You aren’t trying to fill up, but you don’t want to let your body get on empty. You want to be able to really savor your food. I think that eating can be such a fantastic experience, feeling the textures and flavors roll over your tongue. A good meal is wasted on a ravenous stomach. 
       Call me a frugal fashionista, but I have actually started sharing meals when I go out. Restaurants typically serve double our recommended portions (they had better for the price), but that doesn’t mean that we’re supposed to eat everything in front of us. Sharing meals keeps me from eating more than I actually want. It also costs half the price! Another tip is to embrace the doggie bag. I have several friends who “don’t eat leftovers” and I feel bad for them. 
Filet mignon with mushrooms and asparagus for dinner becomes an amazing omelet the following morning. We have this mentality that it’s all or nothing, but food doesn’t work that way. Several recipes are actually better the following day because the flavors have more time to sink in. Eat as much as you want to eat when you’re out, but know that you don’t HAVE to finish everything on your plate. Once you are full, pack it up and dream up another dish to use it in later that week.

       Overall, I believe that people think way to much about food. Try to listen to your body. If your body wants a steak then eat it, don't fight with yourself about the "consequences" and make yourself feel guilty. Life is too short to ever feel guilty about eating what you want. Just be sure that you have healthy options around too because your body will crave those as well. Bon appetite! 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Burn, Baby Burn

      Summer is quickly approaching and it’s time for us to get our game plan together for skin protection. It only takes one burn to cause visible damage and we’ve all seen those people who look like leather bags after years of sun exposure even if they “don’t burn”. I’m a Florida girl myself and I love a bronze body, but I also know where to draw the faux-tan line in the sand. Nowadays, you don’t need harmful rays to get that glow, so don’t even use that as an excuse! It’s time for us to pick up the sunscreen and prepare for many long days at the beach. 
     What most consumers don’t realize is that the SPF number is not as different as it may seem. Think SPF 30 blocks twice as much as SPF 15? Think again. SPF refers to the ability of a sunscreen to block ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, which cause sunburns, but not UVA rays, which are more closely linked to deeper skin damage. Both UVA and UVB contribute to the risk of skin cancer. An SPF 15 blocks about 94% of UVB rays, SPF 30 blocks 97%, and SPF 45 and higher block about 98% of rays. Anything above SPF 45 is kind of a joke. SPF 70 may sound better but it hardly does any more then SPF 30. Bringing along a wide-brimmed, shady hat, sunglasses with UV protection, or a cute cover-up is a great way to protect yourself from further damage and they’re very stylish right now. 
      Most people who do wear sunscreen don’t wear enough. You should be using at least a teaspoon on your face and neck. It’s also best to start on the outside of your face and work your way in to avoid missing any areas. Pay extra attention to your nose because it sticks out and tends to receive the most damage. To cover your body, you should use at least a full ounce. Many companies also offer an aerosol SPF product but these have a thinner consistency, so be sure to spritz generously. If you are a jetsetter and can’t get through security with a bottle of SPF, try Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Powerful Sun Protection Daily Sunscreen Towelettes SPF 30 for $18. There really is no excuse anymore to not carry sunscreen at all times. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, but it’s easy to forget while you’re enjoying the day. That’s why Coppertone created an app called MyUV Alert that tells you when it’s time to reapply and gives you the current UV rating in your area, so you know how harmful the rays are.
      For the most success with your sunscreen, be sure to apply it at least 30 minutes before sun exposure. It needs time to absorb into your skin and activate before reaching maximum effectiveness. Also, don’t forget about lips and eyes! These places hold the most sensitive skin on your face and we often leave them completely susceptible to burning rays. Many chap-sticks now provide an SPF and are inexpensive. You don’t want to put normal sunscreen on your lips if you can help it because you might accidentally lick if off and trust me on this one, it doesn’t taste good. You can put your normal sunscreen around your eyes but if you fear that it may irritate, try a stay-put stick like Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Targeted Defense Stick SPF 50 for $20. 
       The most important part is that you respect yourself enough to protect yourself. We are each so special and unique and we have to learn to protect our bodies’ natural resources because once they’re damaged, we can’t get them back. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Fashionably Late?

     People joke about being fashionably late, but in the fashion industry, there is no such thing. Constantly tardy? Showing up late is completely unprofessional and can tarnish your reputation as well as lose you jobs. The problem is, in a world as hectic as ours, it’s easier to make excuses than it is to make punctuality a priority. I’ve learned some hard lessons in this category and I want to share some useful advice so that you don’t ever have to be late again!
     My father always taught me that being on time is being late. Barely making an appointment makes it appear like you have better things to do. That being said, don’t arrive too early either.Fifteen minutes early shows that you are eager to be a part of something but not desperate. Don’t aim to be on time, aim to be early.
     The best way to arrive at an appointment in a timely manner is to be realistic. Does it take twenty minutes to get to your appointment? Take into account that there may be a wreck, you may spill coffee on yourself while walking out the door, or maybe you have to stop for gas. Little things add up, so giving yourself only enough time is downright dumb. Set an alarm on your phone fifteen minutes earlier then you “need” to leave. This will keep you from losing track of time. It will also allow you some wiggle room in case of a minor setback.
      Being on time isn’t only important in business situations. Showing up late to meet a friend conveys disrespect and selfishness. Even if that isn’t your intention, it’s how you come across. Instead of meeting at a certain time, try agreeing on a time for each of you to leave your house. This takes away the pressure and stress of possibly disappointing a friend.
      Excessive tardiness has serious consequences. It’s simple to have a professional appearance if you just put in a little effort. Try padding your schedule with extra time between appointments. Give yourself at least an extra 10 minutes to make it to every meeting. Simple preparations like this can save you a lot of wasted time stressing while running late. It will also make people feel like they can depend on you both in and out of the workplace.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Diet Like Me...

     Okay. That’s clearly a title to grab your attention. You know that diet is not usually in my vocabulary, but I stumbled upon an article recently and I couldn’t ignore its validity in my life. The truth is, I am a technology addict. I can’t help it. Since winning America’s Next Top Model, I have become an international Supermodel, business owner, jet-setter, candle designer, blogger, etc. Technology is the only thing that keeps me connected to my family, my business, and my agent. Without these things, I would be lost. The truth is that it’s hard to prioritize when your whole life is on one tiny device, which is why I began my diet from technology.
     The floating concerns about cell phones causing cancer, arthritis, and an inability to connect naturally to other human beings make me wonder why our use is only growing and growing. According to Daniel Sieburg, author of The Digital Diet, “Constantly checking your Blackberry, Facebook and Twitter can be addictive--when you aren’t online you worry somebody needs you or that fun things are happening without you”. Just ten years ago my cell phone didn’t even have a color-screen. Now I expect it to make me breakfast in the morning.
     Technologically speaking, if I could only keep one thing, I think it would be Skype. There is nothing better then coffee with my Mom over the video chat or seeing my 3 year-old nephew make funny faces at me through the screen. Skype keeps me close to the ones I love and I think that this puts things in perspective. Texting and e-mailing are so impersonal. After months of flying every day, I can feel like a robot. I never get to have full conversations, laugh aloud without including a “LOL”, or take a stroll with a friend. These are the things that make us human and keep us from simply going through the motions of life. 
      I know that you probably can’t go cold turkey, so start with baby steps. When vacationing with loved ones, turn the phone off. Better yet, let it die and forget about it. If you must, designate one hour each morning or night to make calls and do work so you can spend the rest of your time focusing on what’s really important. You don’t want people’s memories of you to be texting. Another baby step would be to try to go a day without “logging in”. It’s also nice to just go a whole day without your cell phone. Surround yourself with people you love and shut it off. Use your phone for necessities only, not fun. You are missing out on life’s little gifts just because you choose to play a stupid game to “pass the time”. People used to pass time by living, now we avoid life with apps. I ask you to take time out for the little things in life. Start small. Find beauty in reality. Find joy in simple things, like a child’s smile. Take the time to feel the sun’s warmth on your face and the wind in your hair. These are the things that we will look back on and wish for more of.