Feet Solutions…

Wide Feet, shoes to fit orthotics, bunions? I get asked often about where to find quality shoes for problem feet, but not just any shoes – shoes that look GREAT!

Here’s the solution. Kolourful Kati designs and produces beautiful shoes that tick all the boxes.

KolourfulKati

Kati has an incredible collection of styles available. Her designs are ethically hand-made in Mexico where she visits regularly to oversee production. Kolourful Kati footwear is designed and styled to support you, help with your posture, help you to feel safe, and stylish and attract compliments like “Where did you get those shoes?” They are made of high-quality cotton-based elastic straps and offer slip resistant soles and cushioned inner soles for safety & east of wear.

Just take a look at her contemporary timeless designs to dress up and dress down.

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KolourfulKatiBlack

Available in sizes 5-11 (in most styles), these amazing shoes and boots are super light-weight and super comfortable and a must-have for any wardrobe.

Kati is having an Invitation Only Exclusive Winter Private Showing at her Shoe-Dio in St Kilda, Victoria on Saturday 2nd April from 11:30am-3:30pm.  To RSVP, please click the link here.

Where can you buy Kolourful Kati?

You can shop online at www.kolourfulkati.com.au

or shop in-store or online at Peter Sheppard Footwear stores in Melbourne and Sydney.

Please tell Kati I sent you.

Love your shape!

Janine x

Escaping Your Comfort Zone

I’ve always enjoyed being active outdoors and on a recent holiday with my hubby Pete in Ubud, Bali, we took the opportunity to rise bright & early (those that know me well know that I’m not a morning person – so this was commitment!) and head to the starting point in central Ubud of the Campuhan Ridge Walk.  We set off at 7am trying to avoid the heat, unfortunately the day was one of the clearest we’d had so far in this wet season visit to Bali, so the humidity and heat were not kind to us that day.  The trail starts at a beautiful temple and gently winds its way up the ridge between the two ravines and rivers that run through this area.

To say that the scenery is spectacular is an understatement.  The trail goes for approx. 3km before you come to a gorgeous village with art shops along the road.  The road is unpaved but if you keep going about 500m you’ll come to an incredible café, Karsa Kafe with a beautiful lotus pond full of frogs and lovely coffee, juices and snacks.  This is the usual “rest point” for serious hikers, but for us in the extreme heat this was our end point for our hike.

This is how I looked half-way through the hike…. I don’t think I’ve ever sweated so much! It was an exhilarating morning.ResizedJanineCampuhan

On another morning during our holiday, we also awoke early to the roosters crowing and decided to get up and do some photography. A gentle amble down the road through the village from our villa bought us to the top end of the Rice Paddy walkway that runs approx. 6kms to central Ubud through the most beautiful rice paddies, villages and views. That day we walked 13kms in total.  It was bliss, (including the incredible breakfast and views at Sari Organic on the way) and despite how much I despise humidity and being drenched in sweat continuously, I had an incredible time and loved every minute of it.

With the busy life that I lead as a mum, wife and business owner, it’s easy to prioritise things away from my own active enjoyment.  I LOVE my weekly yoga classes with the gorgeous Sarah Harry at Body Positive Australia (I’ve missed 3 weeks in a row due to my trip to Bali and the dengue fever I’m still recovering from since I returned – but that’s another story!), and my family and I regularly enjoy weekend outings walking, photographing our local countryside and being as active as possible.  I have to admit though it’s easy to not step outside of my comfort zone when even if the hectic life I live isn’t enough of an excuse, I find it difficult to schedule activities without having the security of like-minded or like-bodied women around me.  For example, I have never walked into my local gym and just signed-up for a Zumba or Boxing Class – even though these are two things I enjoy and would dearly love to do.  The thought of a room full of not necessarily body positive people puts me off.  My fear of not being able to keep up overwhelms me.  I know how stupid that sounds – and given that I AM body positive and highly confident, I still suffer from these restrictive thoughts. Hence when the opportunity came along for me to attend the Body Positive Yoga Classes I jumped at the chance!  I absolutely LOVE the opportunity to be guided by a teacher who understands that EVERY body is different and EVERY body is capable of different things. Sarah gives alternatives for every pose – oh the freedom of being able to have choice to participate and to enjoy.  Priceless.

This year I wanted to start creating some new habits for myself. My work often means I spend hours in my home office behind the computer and on the phone, often not moving far at all for most of the day, then other days I’m out and about at meetings and showings and I’ll do kms of walking.  The point is, I want to be as active as possible, because when I’m active, I feel better.  I can think straighter and I feel calmer – oh yes, and being an insomniac, I also sleep better too!  So I’ve actively put into place regular yoga classes, bought a walking machine for those days when my work dictates a low-activity day – I can just take my smart phone and walk a few kms in between work, and I’ve been incorporating some outdoor activities with my family.

But I still want more.

Guess you can imagine my excitement when just this week I stumbled across Escaping Your Comfort Zone – THE most exciting idea for plus-size women since, forever!

PLUS SIZE WOMEN CREATING ADVENTURES TOGETHER

A community of plus size women with a taste for adventure and exploring the great outdoors.  We want to inspire people. We want someone to look at us and say because of you I didn’t give up.  This is your community to share all the insights and inspiration you need to allow you to be the absolute best version of yourself.

Richelle Olsen

This photo caught my eye because I’m obsessed with clouds.  I have copious amounts of cloud photos, and I’m sure I drive my husband crazy with my constant comments on how amazing that cloud formation is!  Then I was drawn into the vista, then I clicked further into the website and then I read the words on the Facebook event I was looking at … Plus Size Women’s Hiking For Beginners – YES that’s me!!

I want to introduce you to Richelle Olsen.   She’s an Aussie 30-something, plus sized, and she’s cycled 6,500kms from Canada to Mexico, hiked to Everest base camp, run a 25km mountain race in the Spanish Pyrenees, trekked the Inca Trail, scuba dived in oceans and freshwater caves around the world, raced over 20 triathlons, solo hiked the Queen Charlotte Track in NZ and had a whole lot of other adventures in between. I feel tired just listing those incredible achievements!

RichelleOlsenBut Richelle says she’s just an everyday woman, not overly fit, loves the outdoors, and  wants to inspire and support other plus sized girls to experience what she has, without limits.

Richelle says “You don’t need to be fit, you don’t need to “look the part”, it doesn’t matter what size you are, all you need is a sense of adventure, and a willingness to step outside your comfort zone”.

Now that’s a woman after my own heart, and I’m guessing yours too right?
So will you join me at the upcoming event in Melbourne on Saturday 2nd April? Here’s all the details…. I’ll be there and I hope to see you too. It’s going to be fantastic and the start of some very exciting opportunities to escape my own comfort zone.  And it’s FREE!
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And if that isn’t enough to get you excited – how about joining me at this one? I will be attending this incredible weekend and am honoured to have been invited to add value with a presentation on Mindset and Curvy Women.  I can’t wait  for the upcoming PLUS SIZE WOMEN’S OUTDOOR RETREAT WEEKEND to be held on the Surf Coast in Victoria.

 

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Stay tuned for some (no doubt hilarious) photos of my first attempt at Stand-up Paddle boarding.  COME AT ME!!!

Whose in?  Join me…

Love your shape!

Janine x

Go Sleeveless…

This time of the year I get so frustrated and often feel quite concerned for the health of many plus-size women.  In the Australian climate it depends on your location as to how our temperatures affect us. For me here in Melbourne, summers are usually a few days of extreme heat followed by cooler days before the next heat wave. This year in particular our summer has been very changeable with extreme humidity and then intense dry air, a real roller coaster of weather.  A few weeks ago during a particularly hot and humid day I was sitting at a local café enjoying some time with my son Zac. As we sat and chatted I watched a plus-size woman in a lovely dress collapse into a seat at the café, sweat dripping off her face.  Her dress was lovely, clearly sleeveless as she had paired it with a long-sleeved cotton crop cardigan.  Her back was wet with sweat too.  She ordered a cold drink, and sat mopping her brow and pulling at her crop readjusting it and pulling it off her sweaty back.  It was 36 degrees! I sat wondering how on earth she was still standing with so many layers on.  If only she had felt comfortable enough to have just her lovely dress, baring her arms.  Now I know this is my assumption, and I know she (like me, although sleeveless on this particular day) would still be sweating, but there is no doubt in my mind that she would have been a lot cooler than she was with that extra layer on.

I’m a big girl, a size 20-22 generally and I have BIG arms. I also have very white skin – (which I know for some is also a cause for concern and cover-up) and learnt a long time ago to ignore the pressure of tanning and maintain my white skin for the sake of my health, so for me wearing anything showing my lily white skin showing doesn’t bother me at all.

JanineCambodia

When it comes to my arms, I know the feeling of anxiety that comes from baring arms… I have wide shoulders, large upper arms, VERY white skin and freckles.  I know that society doesn’t generally see that as attractive. I don’t care! I’m 44 years old and I don’t care what anyone else thinks. I will bare my arms!  I will not torture myself wearing shrugs or cardigans trying to cover up my arms (yes I have done this in the past!). I will be comfortable.

This summer, and many before I have watched curvy women everywhere torturing themselves with heavy shrugs, cardigans or long sleeved shirts trying to cover their arms, but sweating and overheating themselves at the same time.  This not only looks painful, it is quite seriously causing you harm. STOP!  Let’s face it, even when you wear a garment to cover your arms, your arms are still your arms, if they’re big, they’re still big!  Why are we telling ourselves we have to hide and be uncomfortable?

I understand that body confidence is not something that comes easily, but isn’t it time to just get over it and move on?! I know when I made the decision years ago to just stop caring about my arms, I did, I stopped worrying, and I started wearing what I wanted and more importantly what suited the weather of the day.

SOMETHING happened though when I stopped covering my arms – I felt cooler, more comfortable. Full stop. 

Yep, that’s good right?! 

Perhaps you expected that I was body shamed by others? Stopped by strangers in the street and scolded for daring to bare my arms?

Nope. Never.

If I reflect back on all the times I’ve been tempted to cover my arms, and have, only to be most uncomfortable, hotter than ever and really wishing I’d just stayed at home – sometimes in the past I’ve even chosen to not participate in something because I knew I wouldn’t be comfortable and feel too hot. I decided a long time ago it was time to stop that approach and just get over it and enjoy every second, because life’s just too short and my arms are my arms.

So you will see me out and about with my arms out, and moving on with life. You will also see me with some great options for covering my arms – BUT – this will only be if it suits the outfit – AND – the weather – NOT because I am covering my arms out of shame or fear.JanineArmsBali

You know, just looking back over the past few years, I would have missed out on so much had I enforced wearing something over my arms. Our family holiday to Northern Bali in 2014 for example, it was 34 degrees with 70%+ humidity every day.  And then there was our trip to Cambodia last September, rainy season, horribly humid and there I was again arms out.

I enjoyed every day without my arms covered – my white large legs and arms on show for the world to see, no make-up (it just melts off your face anyways!), and no hair styling – just ME – enjoying life with my family. Just how it should be.

I know body confidence doesn’t come easily, it’s something you can’t buy but it’s something no-one can take away from you. I feel so much happier just making the MOST of who I am today, and everyday – at every size that my body is throughout my life.

Embrace life, embrace your body and live.

Love your shape!

Janine x