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

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment

PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

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

ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? PLUS SIZE???? MY GOD, YOU SERIOUSLY HAVE A FUC**** PROBLEM. THIS IS DEFINITELY NOT *PLUS SIZE*. I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE DAY WHEN REAL PLUS SIZE WOMEN, NORMAL WOMEN, ARE PUT ON THE COVER OF A MAGAZINE, ALL NATURAL,,,,THAT’LL BE THE DAY WHEN WE WILL ALL SAY : FINALLY, SOMEONE UNDERSTOOD… !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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.

official source on

Rocket League currently has over 12 million players across the world and it has sold close to 4 million digital units. Use at least 4-5 upgraded mobs against enemy buildings and vehicles. This leaves even the most deadly ground formation helpless in the face of heavily armored and well armed tactical aircraft.

web page on

Microsoft announced Forza Motorsport 6: Apex last month at a media event held by the company to discuss their future plans for PC gaming. Use at least 4-5 upgraded mobs against enemy buildings and vehicles. However, it should be noted that unlike the Executioner, the Poseidon’s anti-air capability is extremely weak.

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters