Plus-Size Model Iskra Lawrence Shares Her Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Body Image Over the Holidays

12/15/2015 at 05:44 PM ET

Iskra Lawrence
Courtesy Iskra Lawrence

We all know it can be tough around the holidays to eat healthy, stay active and maintain a positive body image. It’s not just tempting treats that sabotage — friends and relatives may unknowingly throw off your game with insensitive comments about your weight.

But according to plus-size model Iskra Lawrence, founder of body-positive and fashion website RunwayRiot, holiday celebrations don’t have to leave you feeling bad about your body. Here are her tips for PEOPLE readers about staying healthy and strong this season.

1. If someone says something inappropriate about your looks, make a joke or change the subject.
Keep it lighthearted, and think about why the person might be have a negative mindset. “When this happens to me, I try to remind myself that they must have something going on, they must be hurting,” says Lawrence. “Everyone has their insecurities and may just need a little bit of help. I always feel sorry for people who exude negativity.” Try to be the positive person who makes everyone feel good.

RELATED: Celeb Trainer Harley Pasternak: The Easiest Way to Keep Overeating in Check

2. Stay firm about how you want to live your life.
Remember: You are in control. Just because you go home for the holidays doesn’t mean you have to adopt the habits of everyone else there. “I go back home with a new way of thinking,” says Lawrence. “I’ve learned to say, ‘This is what I want to do, this is how I want to be, this is what I want to eat,’ or ‘I’m going to the gym.’ ” It’s okay to make decisions that are right for you.


3. Ask yourself how you will feel later.
“When it comes to holiday treats, I always ask myself, ‘Will I feel good after that?’ ” says Lawrence. Along with enjoying things in moderation, she also knows when to stop. “You really only need three bites of something you’re craving. It’s hard because we’re conditioned to eat everything. My grandmother taught me, ‘You must finish your plate.’ But you can say no, or just have a little piece.”

RELATED: Get Work Out New York Trainer Noah Neiman’s 5 Best Fitness Tips for the Holiday Season

4. Don’t feel guilty.
You’re allowed to indulge a little bit!  “Just do the healthy stuff too and don’t beat yourself up,” says Lawrence. “You’re human.”

5. See workouts as a reward.
Remember how you feel after exercise: strong and fit. “Flip your thinking and look at it as a reward instead of a chore,” she suggests.

–Sheila Cosgrove Baylis

FILED UNDER: Expert Tips , Fitness

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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Showing 19 comments

joseph on

if this is plus size i’m the president of the world

Maria on

Then why is Kimmy not called Plus plus Plus size. She is double this pretty girls size.

char char on

wow. this is plus size?!?! good job generating further unrealistic beauty standards, People. i must be obese if this is plus size.

Sam on

It’s a misogynistic world run by women hating men AND women..this is disgusting.

Melissa on

Plus sized model???? I don’t think so.

Leigh on

She is far from a plus size. No wonder women have body issues! She should be the normal model for women!

Anonymous on

she’s the same size as some of the top models of the 90s.

cindy crawford was about this size, so was tatjana patiz.

Katie on

Plus sized my ass. No wonder people hate their bodies. She is far from plus sized. When they say plus sized use actual plus sized women.

yum on

She is a beautiful young blonde with a sexy body type. She is curvy not plus size.

FedUp on

SHE IS NOT PLUS-SIZED!! She is absolutely normal sized.

Nicole on

This woman is considered plus size? Are you blind or just stupid? She’s smaller than the average North American person!

Just My Opinion on

How is she plus-sized? Ok, she has quite the hips and butt but she doesn’t look plus-size to me.

Anna on

For all the commenters shocked about her being called plus sized …. in the real world she is a normal, average sized girl. In the modeling world she is indeed plus sized.

Anonymous on

Like everyone else is saying…she is considered plus size??!!!!! Outrageous!!!!!!! She is just right! No wonder there is image issues out there! What the hell is wrong with our species. We r seriously loosing it!!!

lylly on


Kim on

Hey People Magazine, stop spreading stupid.

Christa Thespian-Echos on

So what just because she has a bigger bottom and thighs that’s considered plus-size? I don’t think so, she is far very far from being plus-size. But this is the reality of it and plus-size in the modeling industry is going so high as to say size 8 is plus-size. I hate this, put real women with real curves and real sizes on these covers not this people parading around saying they’re plus-size.

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