What Courtney Wore – Courtney Kerr Shoutout

I will never pretend I’m a fashionista.  I spend far, far too much of my time in 3/4 spandex, race tees, and my dreads pulled into a top knot.  Seriously, I once had an boyfriend tell me that he was embarrassed to be seen with me in the outfits I’d pieced together between Target and local consignment stores.  Ouch.

Aforementioned top knot.
Aforementioned top knot.

There are, however, a few things that I love.  I love my nail polish.  I love fresh cosmetics.  I live for my white Michael Kors watch.  And the minute that I have more of a disposable income, all the money won’t just go to spandex and extra deodorant, it will also go to flushing out my weird Brooklyn wardrobe.

Now, Bravo is launching a couple of shows that I’m so excited about (in addition to Real Housewives of Atlanta, Millionaire Matchmaker, and Shahs of Sunset and Toned Up, featuring our own Karena and Katrina ), but I caught something called Courtney Loves Dallas that I totally fell in love with the other night.

Courtney Kerr was a cast member of Bravo’s ‘Most Eligible Dallas,” and she wrangled her own show out of Andy Cohen, a show called ‘Courtney Loves Dallas,’ a show where she’s looking for love, but her fashion is front and center.  Designers took notice, especially after ‘Most Eligible,’ and started sending her pieces to wear (swoon), and the first episode of the season featured her fabulous existence, her fabulous nail polish, and a not-so-fabulous quest to find a new man.  Oh well.  We’ve all been there.

Courtney Kerr

At any rate, I found myself inspired to write, inspired to paint my apartment, paint my nails (again), and throw on an outfit that contained 0 Dri-Fit material.  The girl is making money, writing and doing what she loves?  Sign me up!  So once again, check her out, especially if you’re a girl after my own heart.  You love to work hard, but play hard and colorfully too!

Chad Stafko, you are obnoxious.

Chad Stafko wrote this delightful little gem of an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, entitled, “Ok, You’re a Runner. Get Over It”.

And by delightful, I mean totally obnoxious.

He expressed his irritation in the rise of people participating in the sport of running, and most specifically, with those 26.2 stickers you see on folks’ cars, which you affix to the bumper once you’ve completed a full marathon.

He theorizes that runners run only for attention, they run for the selfies, they run for the glory, and they don their gear so that people in society can identify them as runners.

There are folks that do everything for the attention that it will get them.  They like attention.  And there’s nothing the matter with that.

But to suggest that runners, and more specifically, marathoners do it for the attention, is just ludicrous.  I began running after I lost the almost 30 pounds that had crept on throughout college, and after I’d exhausted every other machine in the gym, taken every class there was to take, and I was looking for a means to maintain a healthy weight without boring myself to tears.

I’d read an article in Fitness Magazine, where Jillian Michaels was asked this question.

“What one thing do you never skip in your workout?

This is ironic. As much as I hate it, I run every time, like three miles. It makes you skinny, that’s why. It works.”

So I set out to run at least three miles a day to maintain my weight and the muscle I’d begun to build.

And then I ran a little further.

And next thing I knew, I’d signed up for a marathon, and was chugging along in the wind, wondering what in god’s name I’d been thinking of when I’d signed up.

I run because:

  • It helps me maintain a healthy weight. 
  • It’s cheap (relatively speaking).   It’s a little cheaper for me because I work in the best place ever, a Fleet Feet, where I have a lot of resources at my disposal.
  • You never “master” running.  It’s always a challenge.  There’s always something you can do better, you can always run a little faster or a little harder.  One day you’ll have a crappy run, another you’ll have a great one.  That’s cool.
  • The friendships that you form.  At last week’s Jingle Ball, a Raleigh event, the room was full of runners, people from my run club, good people who care about others.
  • It makes me feel pretty.  It makes me feel strong, pretty, and tall.

No nowhere on that list did I mention that I like to be seen.  Like I love the bragging rights.  That I wear the bright colors for the attention (I just happen to like bright colors, and they keep me from getting hit by a car especially during the winter months, when it’s dark for half the day).  I’ve purchased a 26.2 sticker, but I bought a new car soon after I finished my first marathon, so it never made it to my car.  I talk about fitness a lot because it changed my life.  But because I can be seen?  Because of the bragging rights?  Nope, I worked.  WE work for that sticker.  And if we do put it on our cars, it’s not a bragging thing, it’s to identify our brother’s and sisters in 26.2. 

Okay dolls, rant completely over.  I love you.

Check out my new running threads that I wear for attention!

Moving Comfort


This was our holiday gift we received from our lovely bosses form Fleet Feet, the Moving Comfort Foxie full-zip.  It’s gorgeous, has HUGE pockets, they got them embroidered for us, and I ran in it on Saturday – it’s toasty too!

So whenever I’m seeking my much-needed attention and validation from others, I’ll pop this bad boy on, and hit a public venue, where people can ooh and ahh over me.  Right, Chad Stafko?

Workout tip for the busy people

A little tip for working out on a tight schedule

The one beautiful thing about working retail was that the store didn’t even open until 10, so I could feasibly run 10 or so miles before work, hit ’emwith the shower, and so sometimes even get back in bed before I had to go in.

I hear it’s not that way in real life, so here’s a little tippy to keep those pounds from creeping on when you start an office job.


Along with some snackies, pack your workout clothes so you can either a, sneak away at lunch and get a little workout on, or b, go straight to the gym or to the trails as soon as work gets out, rather than stopping by home and getting distracted and skipping the precious gym time. It’s simple. But it works!

I stood up for myself (and for all you guys who may have experienced the same thing)

Say what you will if you’re still skeptical about working out.  It makes you tired.  It makes you sore.  It makes you break out.  You’re concerned you might lose your donk.  But it will increase your confidence absolutely exponentially.  I have my occasional days where I’m like “Omg why did no one tell me I needed a nose job so badly!” but on the usual, I’m fairly fearless.  Which is the only explanation for why I did what I did yesterday.

The backstory

I’ve had a thing for DC for a while now.  So when Athleta Georgetown called me to interview me for a managerial position, I pelvic thrusted all the way to that phone interview.  I love specialty retail, and I love (or I thought I loved) what Athleta said with their business.  They made clothing, not just technical clothing, but clothing for women who worked out.  Their models are Olympian athletes, not bikini girls, and they do it all.  Yoga, swimwear, running, and athletic.  Perfect, right?  If I could make good money doing what I loved in a city I loved, why not, right?

I flew the phone interview with flying colors.  Me and the woman who spoke were almost romantically involved is what I’m saying. I also stalked her on LinkedIn, and figured out that she had the same disorder I have, where we speak as though we were raised in The Valley, but rock the locs and the dark skin, and stan for some fitness.  It was perfect!  And I got an in-person.  EEP!


I timed the interview so that I would drive down from New Jersey, the almost 5 hours in traffic, and arrived for the interview.

The woman whom I’d spoken with on the phone, just days earlier, had been let go.  Okay, I said to myself, no big deal, things happen.  And the interview commenced.  Mary, who seemed completely uninterested in meeting me in the first place, sat down, and pulled out a copy of my résumé.  “What is Fleet Feet,” she asked dismissively.  I was a little caught off-guard.  She spoke of Fleet Feet almost with a sense of disdain, and disgust.  I pushed that away.  I must have been imagining it.  I explained, with a shaky smile, about my history with Fleet Feet, and my history in retail.  “Yah, but what do you DO there,” she asked, very apparently exasperated at this point.  And the interview continued along this way.  I was mortified.

The clincher was when, at the end of the interview, she sighed, slid backwards, and said, “Well, this went a lot better than I thought it was going to!” Why…thank you!

The interview went on with another manager, and I was horrified.  It was apparent that Mary had no interest in meeting me, had not looked at my paperwork prior, and looked me up and down at the beginning of the interview and decided that that I’d rolled off the hot mess express along with Amanda Bynes, and I didn’t deserve the respect of decent courtesy that you normally extend to folks you’re interviewing.

The benefit of the doubt

I called Alexa, and talked to her about it.  I told my friends.  I told my hubby-to-be.  Because I know I can be dramatic, but I’m certainly not histrionic, and I don’t imagine things, as a general rule of thumb.  Was Mary having a bad day?  Did my looks offend her?  Had she simply forgotten I was coming?  If so, why hadn’t she just said that, and not acted as if I was a blight on her society? Did I seem like I was not in good-enough shape for Athleta?  The worst thought I had, while I tossed all the scenarios around in my head, was that she hadn’t realized I was black, and was having trouble masking her disdain when my lanky, nearly six-foot frame slinkied into her door (I was wearing heels).  No, right?  Couldn’t be. I played all the potentials up in my mind, and I couldn’t figure out why she’d treated me like a dummy when I’d come into her “home.”

Mary called me the next day, and I didn’t pick up.  She left a voicemail, and I couldn’t even bring myself to listen to it wholeheartedly.  And after a few weeks, during a 15-miler, I knew that I had to confront her.  I was so uncomfortable with what’d transpired, to the point where I wound’t even shop from their renowned catalog.  But if she were a representation of what’s going on within that corporation, I needed to know that.

The email

I sent her an email.  It wasn’t mean.  It wasn’t accusatory. And it wasn’t disrespectful.  And I used my social work skills to help resolve the conflict.

I told her I was having some difficulty, and I asked her to help me understand what was going on in that interview.  I gave her concrete examples of the things she’d said, and I told her that after she treated me that way, that setting foot in an Athleta was not something I’d ever planned to do again.  (Team Lulu kinda!)

The response

She sent me an email back.  She apologized for the “misunderstanding,” and said that she hoped I wouldn’t let it affect my future with that company.

Whatever, dude.

She’s more than welcome to refer to it as a “misunderstanding”.  And may, just maybe, there is a chance I misunderstood her intentions.  Maybe she just broke up with her boyfriend, and she was taking it out on me.  Maybe she hates tall girls.  Maybe she hates runners.  Maybe I smelled weird.  I’m not sure.  But I will say this.  I am SO PROUD of myself for thinking about how uncomfortable the situation made me, and standing up for myself.

The challenge.

I learned something from this.  Oprah tells us to stand up for ourselves, right?  So do some other people, but when Oprah says it, it’s for real.  This week, this month, this year, if something makes you uncomfortable, do this.

  1. Think about it.
  2. Talk to friends and family about it.
  3. Examine your history.  Have you had this issue before?  Or is this a fluke?  MAKE SURE you’re not just being insane.
  4. Once you investigate, it it’s still bugging you, confront the situation.  Don’t be a lunatic about it.  Be kind.  Be respectful. Be quiet.  Be gentle.  But you totally owe it to yourself to get answers.  And if you get a rude answer, or a refusal to acknowledge what really happened, just know that you’ve done the right thing, and you’ve done all you can.  Then…

Let it go.  Have a beautiful Labor Day weekend dolls. I’ll keep you updated!

Reader question!!

This one is an excellent question that I got from a reader a few weeks back, via Facebook.  And after getting this question, I had to wonder a lot of the same thing.

A reader sent me a question, via Facebook, that went a little something like this.

Hey lady!! Any good recommendations for plus sized workout clothes? Do any stores carry or is it all online? Have searched for days!!

Had I not worked in specialty retail, I would have never in my life even thought about how irritating it is to find workout clothing in “odd” sizes.  And your sizes aren’t “odd” to me, but retailers often act as though anything over a size 10 is an odd and unsellable size to stock on their shelves.  For me, even with my tiny heiny, I have to shove my tush into a size medium in most tights, because the smalls and the extra smalls make me look like a sausage.  So what’s a normal-sized girl to do, especially when she’s looking for workout clothes that will wick, won’t smell, and will dry quickly?  And I totally understand the not wanting to buy online, I HATE buying online only to realize the clothes make me look like a nurse. So what’s she to do?  Head to your local specialty retail store (A Fleet Feet works) and check out these brands that carry a range of sizes.

  • Moving Comfort.  The maker of the bras also makes flattering technical gear for running.  A lot of ruching, decent colors, and flattering cuts if you have anything you’d like to hide.  Moving Comfort is available in stores, as well as online.
  • Nike.  They make a decent selection of clothing for the curvy lady.  And they make them in super cute colors and cuts.  If you’re young, curvy, and you want to look your age, Nike is the way to go.  Available in stores, technical, and also can be purchased online once you kind of get in your mind what you want.
  • Skirt Sports.  Specifically designed for women, Skirt Sports has skirts, running dresses, and a number of other flattering items for women, and hosts a decent amount of larger sizes.  Can be found in store, as well as online.
  • Finally, if you’re looking to save a little cash, both Lane Bryant and Old Navy, have a performance line available online and in-stores.  But a word of caution.  Though you may be saving some of the cash, the fabric isn’t as technical and performance oriented as you may be looking for, and you may notice it wearing out a little funny, smelling, or causing a little bit of chafing.

Ladies, as you’re on your quest to look for active wear, it whatever size, remember to look for synthetic materials that wick, breathe, and flatter that sessy figure!  Good luck!

So I tried this new thing yesterday…

So I have my new car, and since I’m saddled with a teeny car payment (it’s big for me!), I’ve been budgeting a looot more tightly.  Brown-bagging the lunch, seeking out more free/less expensive group x options, and running (which is free) a ton!  Which I must say, it’s kind of a nice feeling to actually have a sense of awareness about where my money is going.  But I digress.

I live about 2-3 miles from my job.  And I’ve started to become a little tired of watching my gas dwindle away from these little back and forth trips I’m making to my job.  It’s unnecessary.  And I’m not helping the earth.  So while I save up a little cash for a bike (and lord help, this means I’m going to need to learn to put a helmet over my huge hair), I decided to try running to work.  Get a little exercise in, run to work, and run home.  So how’d it go.

So Raleigh is hilly.  I had to plan a route that was a little more roundabout in order to avoid a gnarly hill.  It was pretty unavoidable. 3/4ths of the way in and I was cursing my decision, and running about 6 minutes late for work.  Dang.  I should’ve left a little earlier.

I’m going to challenge myself to run to work a few more times, see how much gas I can save, and build a few more miles into my day.

Challenges with this plan.

  • Packing.  I had to stow my keys, $5, and a few chews for my low blood sugar in a belt.  On days when I need a little more, this may become challenging.
  • Time.  I didn’t build enough time.  But for incidentals, I need to block off at least 30 minutes for me to get to work with enough time.
  • Clothing.  I need to waterproof some makeup or something.  I looked heinous at work yesterday.  I could feel judgment piercing me from people’s eyes.  I felt the need to caveat each time someone looked at me with “It’s not my fault, I ran to work today”.
  • Stench.  Oh my god.  Like.  I cannot with the way I was smelling yesterday.  To be fair to myself, the funk was two-pronged.  I’d taught a Zumba class earlier, so the Zumba sweat, layered with the budget sweat, added to me smelling like a horse.  I smelled like a horse.  I really sincerely apologize to all my co-workers, and I commend them for not making any comments to me.  Any comments would have been deserved though.  I need to figure out a way to leave some wet ones, some baby wipes, and some touch-up makeup at work.
Before...you don't want to see the after...
Before…you don’t want to see the after…

So I challenge you, if you can do this safely at any point this week, to build a few extra miles into your week by running to work.  Oh, and Happy Memorial Day, guys!  Werk!

Cherisse, what am I supposed to wear when I run?

So this question came in, one sort of cold morning about a month ago from Mollie Cavanaugh.  If you’re new to running….if you’re sort of new to running.  If you’re not new, but you’re kind of broke, so you haven’t really looked into running stuff, you may have questions about what you’re supposed to wear.  On this particular day, Mollie had been running, and she was frustrated because she’d had to hold her pants up that were falling off her ass as she ran.  We’ve all been there.  The worst.  Feeling. Ever. 

So why do you need this fancy running stuff?  You’re more than welcome to run in your regs stuff.  Put on your cotton t-shirt.  Put on your like nasty hot sweatpants.  Put on your cheerleading shoes from like 7 years ago.  And run.  It’ll feel fine for like half a mile, and then you’re gonna be all “Ughhh, Cher, like, why do I have blisters everywhere?!  I hate running!”  So like, just listen to me and trust what I’m saying.  I’m not doing this post for my classic good looks.

Jingle Bell

So I’m gonna tell you what to wear so your pants don’t fall down and so you have a comfortable ride.

Top to bottom.  Peep the picture as your guide.

Antlers.  Sike.

Top.  Stop wearing those nasty cotton t-shirts you got for free during undergrad basketball games.  They’re the absolute worst.  Cotton is great for a dress.  Cotton is great for those swabs you use to take your nail polish off.  But for a shirt?  The shirt will get wet and stay wet.  And it will be heavy.  Opt for one of those tops made of a tech fabric.  They’re light, and they will wick moisture away from your skin.  If it’s cooler out?  Layer the fabrics.  But don’t do cotton.

Bra.  I’ve posted on bras before.  Just drop the $50 on a good bra, and don’t look back.  If you are rummaging around on the table at Target for a bra?  You’re in the wrong place.  The absolute last thing you need is for your boobs to be flopping around.  Stick with that good bra, and you can even prevent that droopy thing that starts to happen as we get a little older.

Undies.  Stay.  Away. From those like, disgusting cotton undies.  Buy some workout ones.  I’ve posted on this before.  Moving Comfort makes undies, full bikinis, and thongs.  If you can’t handle their steep price tag ($16 a pair can be nuts), Hanes even makes athletic underwears for about $10 for the 3.

Pantalones.  Again, stick to the techs.  Not everyone is comfy wearing the tight like I am.  Do you like shorts?  Do the shorts.  Do you like more of a fit and flare type look?  Nike makes that.  Choose what works for you. But again, skip the cotton.

Socks.  Synthetics.  I can’t stress it enough.  STOP.  Stop with the damn bags of cotton socks from Wal-Mart.  You’re not doing your toots any favors.  None.  You will bleed.

So here’s the thing.  The stuff gets expensive, so I’m gonna teach you a little trick.  Get your gear piecemeal.  And buy it out of season.  If your paycheck blows, buy one piece a check, and squirrel it away.  Before you know it, you will have what you need.  Running is seriously one of the most economic sports you can partake in, so you can ball on a budget with this sport.  Questions?  Put it in the comments 🙂

Demystifying the sneaker-guide.

Put down that Runner’s World sneaker guide.  Stop asking your friends on your Facebook status what shoe you should get.  And for the love of God, stop buying $45 shoes off of Amazon.  I’m going to make this really really super easy for you.

Go to a running specialty store.  Get a fitting.  Purchase your shoes.  (And a nice, synthetic sock).  And enjoy yourself.  Here’s why.

  • Some ridiculous percentage of you guys are wearing the wrong size shoes.  It’s not normal to get black and sore toenails.  It’s not normal to lose toenails  in a  race.  It’s also completely abnormal to have space enough by the heel collar for me to shove my fingers in the back of the shoe (which I totally saw at Niketown this weekend).  You’re supposed to go up a half to a full size from your dress shoe size, because when you run, and when you work out?  Your feet swell.  Go get measured.
  • Someone has convinced you you have flat feet/high arches/need some crazy custom orthotic.  Some of you guys have been told but an aunt since you were five you have some weird foot thing.  You buy your shoes based on this and you’re buying the wrong shoe.  Again, let a trained professional look at your foot and tell you what’s going on.
  • You’re not really saving much of anything when you buy a $56 shoe off amazon.  Or at DSW.  Or at Dick’s.  Firstly, running shoes are not the place to skimp on money.  Shoes really shouldn’t cost less than $100 If a shoe is that cheap, there’s probably any number of reasons for that.
    1. The shoe is an older model.  As in, it’s no longer manufactured.
    2. The shoe is a cheaper version of a real shoe.  The company has taken cushioning out of a good shoe, named it something else, and sold it.
    3. The shoe has been sitting in a warehouse for 3.5 years.  Shoes naturally begin to break down after a year, whether they’ve been worn or not.  You just paid money for a shoe that’s already worn out, and you’re risking injury.

photo (5)

Running shoes are a science. They’re an art. They’re subjective. And using a sneaker guide, asking friends, or just buying the cheapest thing you can find at a Dick’s Sporting Goods is just doing your body, your feet, and your running future a huge disservice.  Go get a fitting.  Drop the $110 on a shoe.  And be your best running self (okay, werq Oprah!)

Oh my gosh! I almost forgot!

I need to give Nike, the Nike Women’s Marathon, and the Half in DC  some mad mad props.  So, as we crossed the finish line on Pennsylvania Ave, some handsome young men in tuxedos (tuxedos!) handed us our finishers medals, which were those little Tiffany tags.  We moved through a little further into a super efficient system for us to pick up our finisher’s tees.  And the coolest part?  All the vendors that had been crammed into that tiny, miserable expo the day before?  Were set up on this big open park.  Women were getting $10 Paul Mitchell haircuts, which was pretty brillz considering all of our hairs were jacked up from running around for 13 miles.  Nuun was assisting us to slam some Nuun shots to re-hydrate and re-electrolyte.  And the absolute best part was bareMinerals was set up out there.  So I have this disgusting thing that happens where I’ve got salt that cakes on my face after I run.  So this wonderful woman at the bareMinerals tent gave me two pouches of face wash, and lotion, and I was able to wash my face, moisturize, and continue looking as sexy as Beyonce as I continued to find friends who were completing the race.  I’ve never ran a race that was so intentionally thought out, and once again, if you can snag a lottery spot in one of these races, I so encourage you to do so.  They won’t disappoint!