Cynthia Miller, “Funny Girl,” Grandmother, Wife, World Traveler, Curvy Woman’s Confidence & Image Coach, and Friend
I met Cynthia three or four years ago (can’t remember!) when a mutual acquaintance introduced us. At the time, we were both offering style coaching in San Luis Obispo. We had so much in common we set up a lunch to get to know each other. Well, I fell in love with her instantly. Her warm smile, sarcastic wit, caring, wisdom, and her Midwestern charm made me feel comfortable. Cynthia has since moved back to her home state of Indiana, and I feel blessed to have been able to spend time with her while she was here. Recently, I noticed in our Style Your Way To Success Over 50 FB group that women were complaining about the lack of representation of curvy women. I knew Cynthia had “retired” from style coaching, but upon my repeated urging and cajoling, I talked her into posting OOTDs. And then it happened — she stole your hearts, too!! Here’s her wonderful story and philosophy of life…
Let’s begin by having you tell us a little about yourself, how old you are (if you wish to share), where you live, where you were born, and your family.
I am celebrating my 56th year of life. I was raised in Goshen, Indiana, then moved to California for five years where I had the privilege of meeting Linda. Just February of this year we built our dream home, I lovingly call it my big tiny house, in my home town of Goshen, Indiana. Here we will retire, but have plans to get away for the winters. Perhaps traveling with a motorhome. My husband of 13 years is currently working overseas (United Arab Emirates). It is an interesting arrangement but it works for us. It has given us the opportunity to travel internationally and we are loving life.
Dennis and I both have children from previous marriages. I have two daughters, ages 28 and 30. And each of them have a son. One grandson is 7, the other is 2 and a half. I also have two wonderful step-daughters, married just this year at the ages of 26 and 31.
And last, but not least, I have two dogs, Murphy, who is a cavalier king charles, and Opie, who is a rescue with a bit of terrier in him. Some of you have noticed them slip into my photos with my outfits of the day. [laughter]
What’s the quirkiest/most interesting thing about you?
I have an odd sense of humor, mixed in with a bit of sarcasm which can sometimes get me in trouble.
What would we be surprised to learn about you?
I took a trip to Borneo last year to have a close encounter with orangutans. I got to play with baby and juveniles, and hold hands with an adult female.
What are some of the issues that you have faced that may have affected your confidence, and how did you overcome those issues?
I have struggled with my weight since high school. But remember “feeling fat” as early as 4th grade. I was successful in so many things in my life, yet I couldn’t manage my weight. In 2003 I lost 100 pounds, and have kept much of that off for 14 years. People say terrible things when you are heavy. Even after I lost the weight my mind saw the old me. To overcome all of this, I spent years changing my thought pattern. I sought out several food relationship coaches and body image coaches who have helped me see beyond myself as a mass I cannot contain. Instead, I celebrate all I am in other ways. I have learned “I AM ENOUGH” and thank God that doesn’t mean I have to be perfect.
Are you in your Second or Third Act of your life? What advice would you give a woman who still wants to find her passion?
I feel like a cat who has 9 lives. There was the Cynthia, the new wife and mother; there was Cynthia, the at-home business woman; there was Cynthia the divorcee, single mom and provider; there was the Cynthia Miller, building a life with her new husband; and then there was Cynthia Miller, the Curvy Woman’s Confidence and Image Coach. Each of the lives I embraced along the way has revealed a new strength in myself. And when I find my strengths, there are my passions. What advice would I give a woman who still wants to find her passion? Seek it out. Try new things. But most importantly, DO the very thing that scares you. Odds are that is right where you are supposed to be.
How would you describe your personal style?
Two words – simple, elegance. Most women in this group don’t get the simple part. Many are encouraging me to add more of this, or more of that. Simple is a very important part of my style. It aligns with my energy. When I try to put too much together in an outfit it doesn’t feel right. That is the beauty of style, what works with one person may not work for another.
How has your personal style changed after fifty?
Hah, I am wearing looser clothes so they fall over the curves a little! [laughter] Can anyone relate? My personal style went through a drastic change three years ago and it had nothing to do with my age. I was a very “over the top” dresser. I had spiky hair. I dyed it a different color, or multiple colors each month (no red, purple or green though). My glasses were very edgy, as well as my clothes. I thought I was all of that and a cup of tea.
Then I went to work with a stylist who introduced my colors to me, as well as my design lines and fabrics. It ended up I was a much softer version of my former self. In the work I have done with women, I have encouraged them to be visible. I thought that was what I was doing with my former fashion statement. What I was doing, however, was hiding behind my fashion. All they could see were my clothes and accessories. They couldn’t see me. I literally felt naked for days as I begin to show up in a softer, more authentic me. I will never return to my old ways. I am at peace with my style and who I am.
What is your favorite style trick or tip?
My favorite thing to do is to take what looks like a frumpy outfit and make it un-frumpy. I may do a video on it sometime, but for me, it is as simple as adding a third piece or changing my shoes. Shoes are very powerful for completing an outfit. [Note from Linda: Okay, ladies, have you discovered that Cynthia LOVES shoes? Every time we would get together in California, Cynthia would have on a new and more beautiful pair of shoes. And, she’s into comfort, so her shoes are not only attractive, but wearable!]
What’s coming up for you – what is your new launch news?
I am so looking forward serving you all in a more official capacity through Linda’s Style Club for Women Over 50 in Cynthia’s Curvy Corner. What you can expect from me is a lot — I mean, a lot of encouragement for body acceptance. Yes, health is important and we can all do better, but in the meantime, I will be teaching you how to become more confident at ANY size. When you capture more confidence then you will have the courage to show up in fashion. I will also be sharing some of my tips for dressing a curvy body. We are going to have a lot of fun!!! [high-fiving and woo-hooing!]
What lessons have you learned about life and happiness after fifty? What would you tell women to do right now, today, to get started making changes?
At this age, I have finally let perfection and what others think of me fall to the wayside and it has been so freeing. I heard that happens to a lot of people as they age. I am certainly the happiest now than I have ever been. Happiness is created with attitude, visioning and action. If you are ready to make a change right now, then I encourage you to determine what the smallest first step is right now. Let’s say you’ve decided you want to go back to school. Your first step should not be registering for classes. Your first step is much smaller than that. It is actually talking to your spouse or calling the dean’s office. Focus on the next step. The next step is all you need to know and act on….always.
What is the best way for members to connect with you?
I will always be available through Facebook and private messaging. For individuals that would like to do private work with me, I am available by phone at 574-536-7275 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please share an inspirational quote or very brief story to leave us with.
“If you always try to be NORMAL you will never know how AMAZING you can be.”
— Maya Angelou