Mama bear who craves community, compassion and coffee.
I get it.
You know that feeling that comes over you when you see advertisements and posts about getting your body “Bikini Ready?”
I live in Florida, just a few miles away from the beautiful ocean. The dread, stomach churning stress and anxiety of flashing my fleshy figure was down right debilitating.
Instantly, schemes of how to scale my size saturated the movie screen of my mind.
My loving husband has assured me COUNTLESS times he loves every dip, roll and roundness of me.
My Pa taught him a phrase in Spanish akin to, “You’re a curvy road and my brakes just went out.”
He plays songs on our Love playlist like, “Body Like a Back Road” to remind me how beautiful my body is to him.
For so long, though, my body wasn’t beautiful to ME.
Phrases like “bikini ready body” were really triggering to me because I didn’t look like most girls my age who wore those bathing suits.
I stumbled about my childhood in a body I seriously didn’t understand and appreciate.
Oh, I smiled in pictures, but most times I really wanted to cover my body with clothes COMPLETELY.
In an effort to feel satisfaction in following through something, one thing, anything, I entered a beauty contest in my youth. What the heck???? Draw more attention to myself and my body? And what about the swimsuit competition????
I dodged that bullet as the year of my competition, there was no swimsuit contest.
I was LEAST likely to win in my heart and mind.
But, I did.
I’ll admit, I felt pretty for a little while.
When I turned in my crown, I was visibly heavier and I wanted to hide again.
Fast forward a few years and I was living in Florida. I remember going to the beach with friends on summer evening.
A beautiful woman shaped like a mermaid was frolicking joyfully in the surf.
I recall feeling in that moment I want to feel that happy in my own skin.
Learning to Let Go
I caught a glimpse of Ashley Graham and I was brought back to the bella on the beach of years past.
I wanted to be just as self-assured and seen as she.
Then came Jessamyn who inspired me to believe I could practice yoga in my body.
Virgie gave voice intelligently to discrimination based on weight and body image.
Megan jiggled rhythmically to music and spoke the feelings of my heart in her book.
They are my muses who motivate me on my mission to make room for peace, love, self-acceptance and inclusivity for ourselves and our children.
Together, let’s release what no longer serves us. We are forging forward to forgive the damage we inflicted due to our dedication to diet culture. How do we begin? I’m no expert, but I would start within.
Consider reflecting on and appreciating what makes you amazing.
Seriously scrutinize the standards imposed by glossy magazines, tv ads and social media.
Definitely seek the loving support of friends, family and professionals who can assist you on your journey.
You can count on my support.
I’ve been there. I have shoveled fistfuls of sugary cereal into my mouth when no one was looking, made myself exercise more for eating (and enjoying) a piece of cake, said no thank you politely to meals I really wanted to eat and vilified food to my children.
I am getting better, though. I feel and believe I can assist others best by certifying as a Body Positive Facilitator.
My intention is to begin training soon so I can knowledgably, positively and endearingly provide guidance here.
Please believe that you are valued and loved, just as you are.
8 March 2021 “Querida Mayté in 2011, I am sitting here, 10 years on and there are some things I feel you really need to know. For so very long, you have felt out of touch and uncomfortable with your body. From a young age, you had no idea how to understand your rounded thighs…