Curvy Girls Clubhouse is a place for women to feel supported by other women who share similar experiences in life. “Everyone needs a tribe, a sisterhood where they feel they belong!” Free to be authentic, learn to love themselves completely, and create healthy lifestyles that complement their personality. There is so much more to you than your waistline. The clubhouse offers opportunities to create healthy lifestyles that nourish the mind, body, and soul with individual and group coaching, workshops, webinars, fitness challenges, a book club, and a quarterly newsletter.
Can you tell everyone, who is Ercelene Kinnebrew?
Ercelene: I am a silly, fun-loving, creative, big-hearted, and thoughtful southern girl. Mother of 3 amazing semi-adult children and Chief Empowerment Officer and Founder of Curvy Girls Clubhouse. During the day I am your go-to girl for kidney health education as a registered nurse. After five is when the “turn-up” begins, and my second passion comes to life as a Healthy Lifestyle coach. I help full-figured young professionals overcome the influence of their past, gain confidence and create a Healthy Emotional Life Plan to embrace and love the woman they see in the mirror from the inside out.
Can you tell us about your book, Unpacking Your Backpack, Overcoming the Influence of Your Past?
Ercelene: Growing up it was understood that “what goes on in this house stays in this house”, I learned that lesson very early in life. The book is a true reading experience. I say it’s a reading experience because it’s a novel and workbook combined into one. I share a portion of my own life but also guide readers to begin unpacking the “stuff” in their backpack to create a Healthy Emotional Life Plan that is focused on the whole person.
To the outside world, everything was fine. I share personal insecurities and how I was able to overcome the negative impact my past was having on my life. I talk about the “invisible backpack” that I carried full of all the “stuff” influencing the way I showed up personally and professionally. I was not living in my authenticity out of fear. My representative was leading, and I was hiding behind the smile. Once you start reading you will find the book hard to put down. I encourage readers to do the work, write in the book and begin their journey of unpacking.
Can you tell us about your Curvy Girls Clubhouse?
Ercelene: Curvy Girls Clubhouse is a growing online community for full-figured women (aka curvy girls) to be themselves! A place to find other curvy girls with common interests and experiences in life. I wanted to create a “safe space” for women to be surrounded by others who can relate to the concerns, prejudice, and challenges faced in society as a curvy girl. The clubhouse inspires curvy girls to love the woman they see in the mirror unapologetically. Being a curvy girl myself I struggled with self-confidence at one point in my life. I firmly believe representation is important and Curvy Girls Clubhouse is designed to show my curvy sisters that beauty is found in all shapes and sizes.
By joining the clubhouse, curvy girls can gain tips to increase confidence, enjoy unscripted conversations on life and love, receive meal planning ideas, get access to the Healthy Emotional Life Plan (H.E.L.P.), and more all in a private community! She is wonderfully made and fierce; worthy to be celebrated. At the clubhouse, curvy girls are “More Than a Dress Size”. You can visit www.curvygirlsclubhouse.com to connect with me for more information.
How can people gain confidence, move-in forgiveness, self-love, communication, and strive to prevent kidney disease?
Ercelene: You just hit me with the 3-point shot with this question. Let me break this down a little bit. Confidence is internal, a combination of self-acceptance, self-esteem, and self-belief. It starts by being kind to yourself! Focusing on the positives in your life and how you have contributed to achieving something that makes you feel good, proud, or happy. Powerful daily affirmations are also a good place to start. One of my favorite affirmations is “I AM, I CAN, I WILL”. Whether you select a weekly affirmation or a different affirmation daily it is important to affirm the person in the mirror with kind, motivating words. Celebrating all wins, big and small. When you look for a reason to celebrate most often you will find one!
Self-love similarly to confidence is about being kind to yourself. Selfishly putting yourself first without feeling guilty. It is often a natural tendency of a woman to put others first neglecting her own needs, wants, and desires. Taking a time-out to focus on those needs is self-love. It is important for your needs to be met to maintain emotional balance. Find time to unwind, recharge and connect with your inner self. Your self-love activity can be as simple as soaking in a hot bath after work or taking a 2-minute mindful break and focusing on a happy memory. I firmly believe setting and honoring boundaries is a necessary act of self-love. Practice being ok with saying, “No”.
I think forgiveness is connected to self-love. With self-love, the goal is to put yourself first to meet your needs. The first step in forgiveness is connecting with your feelings and acknowledging the disappointment, hurt, or pain. It’s not an overnight “quick fix” in most cases. Once you acknowledge your feelings ask yourself, “why am I holding on to the events in the past that I can’t change?” and “Am I ready to forgive?”. For some people to reach the place of forgiveness they may need to have a difficult conversation with the other person to share the impact of the event and how it made them feel. I explain the steps for having this type of conversation in my book.
The past twenty-plus years of my career as a registered nurse have been in kidney health. With Diabetes being the leading cause of chronic kidney disease, (CKD) and Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) following close behind in second place healthy lifestyle choices can help prevent kidney damage. Healthy choices include decreasing consumption of salt and sugar, drinking water instead of soda, eating a colorful plate of fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meat. Also, take your medication as prescribed and not just when you feel bad.
What does Women empowerment and motherhood mean to you?
Ercelene: Both are equally very important to me. I believe women are often underestimated and overlooked in certain professional situations despite being comparably qualified to their male counterparts. Although the narrative in society today is slowly changing, we still have a long way to go before seeing equally distributed opportunities for women. Being a mother adds another layer of complexity and separation. It is considered a social norm for a woman to take time off work to care for a sick child, but her maternal behaviors may unknowingly prevent her from being considered for a promotion. I am very pleased to see that there are forty-one women at the helm as Fortune 500 CEOs. I celebrate this achievement as a woman and as a black woman my heart smiles because out of the 41 women CEOs, 2 are black women. Though strides are being made, more must be done.
How can people connect with you?
Ercelene: Readers can connect with me on social media, IG @CurvyGirlsClubhouse, LinkedIn; Ercelene Kinnebrew, and by visiting www.curvygirlsclubhouse.com