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{embrace your curves}

Since I shared my thoughts with you the other day about shopping when you're an "average" sized woman, I received several emails from readers who have the same feelings.

I have decided to start something here at Chic & Green called The Embrace Your Curves Project.

How many of you have looked in the mirror in the fitting room and thought to yourself, "Oh, this will look perfect when I lose five more pounds." Or perhaps you can think back to being in the fitting room trying on bathing suits and being extra hard on yourself. Maybe you fall into the cycle I sometimes do. I remember trying on bathing suits this summer and the routine would be something like this:

"Wow! You're down to a size 12. The last time you tried on a bathing suit, you were a 16." So my inner voice gave me that praise for my hard work. And then, super snarky Karley would come into play, "Well, you may be a size 12, but you still have wide hips and a couple bumpy patches on the backs on those thighs. Maybe you should lose a few more pounds before wearing that suit out in public."

Have you been there before? I think most of us have. I have a friend who has three young children. She is a beautiful person inside and out and is so self-critical. We can get together on any given day and talk about how we baked cookies and then we beat ourselves up for being at a weight loss plateau. I know many of my friends and I will do this. I think it is common. Instead of cheering ourselves on for losing weight, being healthy, and getting regular exercise, we find some little thing to criticize.

It is time to stop being our own worst critics. It's also time for fashion magazines to get real. I read In Style, for example, faithfully. I can pretty much guarantee you that the average readership of fashion magazines is not 5'11 and a size 2. If I could open a magazine and see beautiful, real women on every page in all shapes, ages, and sizes, I would be thrilled. Some of the most gorgeous women in Hollywood have curves and aren't toothpicks. They have curves and look healthy:

Queen Latifah

Sarah Rue

Khloe Kardashian

Christina Hendricks from "Mad Men"

America Ferrera

Sarah Ramizrez

Camryn Manheim

Back to the project. Each week, I will have a fashion segment and the clothes will be reflective of something the average American woman can wear. Look for Curvy Thursdays beginning tomorrow.

At the Embrace Your Curves Project, I have ten affirmations for you:

1. I love myself for who I am.

2. I am a beautiful woman.

3. My curves are beautiful, not something to be ashamed of.

4. I will not focus on the size tag, but rather on how my clothing fits.

5. I will not try to hide my figure in too big, unflattering clothes.

6. I will not shop based on the size I might be in 6 weeks, but for the beautiful woman I am today.

7. I will not pass by an item and say, "Oh I could never wear that." You just may be able to!

8. I will respect my body and treat it with love. I will eat healthfully and exercise, but I will splurge from time to time.

9. I will set a good example for my children and not put myself down. Children are sponges. If they hear you saying, "I look fat today", especially if you have a daughter, they might start doubting themselves.

10. I will see my curves in a positive light. They are feminine and beautiful, as am I!

Stay tuned--in the next couple days, the new Embrace Your Curves Project blog will debut! Here is a link: