The average woman is not a size 6 or 8 she is a size 14. Women of today are forced to fit stereotypes of what media says is the perfect body, there are a lot of women in Jamaica who are very confident with their size but also many who are not, so was happy to hear that a curvy conference for women was coming to Jamaica and had to speak to the founder.
We caught up with radio host, entrepreneur and mother of 5 Alisia Jarrett to speak to her about launching the 1st conference for full figured women in the region, the Curvy Caribbean Conference.
OAJ: Tell us about your journey with your weight and which lead you to do this Conference.
AJ: I love food, so I eat when I’m sad and I eat when I’m happy. I was not always fat, though, I went back to my original size 10/12 after my having my fifth and last child in 2000. In 2007, I ended a bad relationship, suffered depression and just didn’t take care of myself. I was simply not active. I got help through therapy and other mediums and started taking care of myself again. I lost some weight.
In 2012, I met the love of my life, got married and we ate out at restaurants almost every night for years! We also started a business together so I was very busy. I was happy…I am happy…and I ate…and I gained weight again. My life got busy. I just didn’t notice that I wasn’t taking care of myself. That’s what happens…Life happens. You don’t even notice the weight gain until you can’t fit into the clothes off the rack in a store. You start going to the “fat” store. That was a struggle because there were very little stylish clothes in plus size. That was depressing. I started to see and feel the weight again.
I joined the gym, went and stopped, I hired a trainer, went and stopped, I started diets, did them and stopped. I struggled with losing the weight and I felt bad about my body. I’m making a long story short. It took me years to realise that it was my mind that I had to programme first…then all would fall into place. My husband suggested hiring an NLP (Neurolinguistics Programming) Coach to help. Google it. Lol The programme helped a lot. I recognised from the programme why I struggled. I recognised the blocks and limitations I was holding on to. They are not easy to let go, but when you are aware, you are closer to freeing yourself of the ‘baggage’. This makes it easy to love and accept who you are and recognise that you are always a work in progress. I’ve lost over 20 lbs and still losing. No more crash diets…just eating right and exercising and finding the time to take care of myself daily holistically…my mind, body and spirit. Simply doing what works for me. This is not a blue print for everyone. What I do know though is that if your mind is not free…you will struggle with the weight.
I am in a great place now for the first time in my life. I love my body at every size. I don’t plan to be here all the time, but I will surely celebrate it and adorn it with gorgeous clothes and jewellery and make it work for me until I am where I want to be. This is where I want all full-figured women to be…free. Free of the body-shamers (sometimes it our own self that shames our body too)…free of the self-doubt, free of feeling unworthy, free of feeling unaccepted.
This is what the Curvy Caribbean Conference is about. It’s a two day conference (because one day would never have been enough) bringing all curvy women (full-figured/plus-sized) (we call them curvy because it make us feel better lol and it’s also the accepted name all over the world now for full-figured women) together to network, enjoy workshops and panel discussions designed to assist in our self-confidence, self-acceptance, positive body image, health and nutrition, health and body, health and mind….the workshops are designed to empower us holistically… our mind, body and spirit. Spirit too? Yes, we have set in place a reggae dance class and a yoga session to lift the spirits! Lol. We have chosen professionals in these areas so when you leave this conference on the final day….you would leave feeling empowered in some area of your life. I have also made sure that there will be shopping all day for the 2 days, Plus size shopping from some of the leading Plus size designers and plus size stores! Of course, there will be jewellery, bags, sandals and other accessories for your shopping pleasure and the Ultimate Curvy Fashion Show on the final evening.
OAJ: I am still a skinny girl in my head trapped in a size 14 body now … what can I get from coming to this conference.
AJ: I say eliminate the word ‘trapped’ from your mind first. Love where you are and do what it takes to go where you want to be. Look in the mirror and find the body parts you love and honour them… make them work for you. Every woman has an area on her body that she loves. I say love it and love it hard and make it work for you until the other areas are where you want it to be. I believe you will hear this and more from the conference. You should leave this conference not feeling ‘trapped’ anymore, but understanding holistically what it will take for you to journey out of size 14.
OAJ: Who are the guest speakers that you will be having.
AJ: There are no guest speakers, per se, we have presenters and panellists for our workshops/discussions that you may or may not choose participate in….you can choose to come and just shop. We have quite a few workshops which are:
*Focus On Health, Not Weight:
Which has my NLP Coach, Elizabeth Terry will be there to speak on Health and the Mind.
Patrice White, Personal Trainer of Dynamic Lifestyle on Health and the Body
Natalie Murray, Nutrition Coach on Health and Nutrition
*Curvy Life Challenges … Love, Dating and Relationships:
Ambassador Aloun Ndombet-Assamba
*Hair and Makeup:
Neahlis, Hair Stylist
Wayne Maxwell, Hair Stylist
Narda and Kay-Ann (Makeup Artists for ON POINT)
*How to Start a You Tube Channel & Online Blogging:
Alicia Lyttle (How to Start a You Tube Channel)
Nikki Freestyle (Online Blogging)
*Open Discussions with Plus Size Designers:
Dene Berwick of Num Num Delicious
Jackie Cohen-Hope of Mutamba
Simone Gordon of T&T Fashions
*The Curvy Bride:
Sara Stanford of Bliss Bridal
Caleen Diedrick , Transformation and Life Coach
Tricia Campbell, Plus Size Model
Tessenie Mowatt, Plus Size Model
*Reggae Dance Class:
OAJ: What advise can you give a woman who is not feeling confident right now about her weight.
AJ: Come to the Curvy Caribbean Conference on April 8th and 9th, 2017. Join other curvy women who have overcome the feeling and some who are still struggling, come and let’s empower each other.
The Curvy Caribbean Conference happens on April 8th & 9th at The Worthington in Kingston, Jamaica, check out the website curvycaribbeanconferenceja.com