R.I.P. sixteen year old self I thought was fat.

I am trying to unlearn the word FAT and stop using it to bring myself down for eating delicious, often sweet, filling and processed foods. I happen to be insecure about my body. I struggle to find others that look like mine and labeling myself curvy or thick don’t make me feel complete.

It turns out you’re usually the only one who notices your insecurities and are led to feel worse by the media. I’d like to say I’ve always been a body positive person. I’ve never had a problem wearing whatever I wanted, encouraging my girlfriends to do the same and spreading body acceptance in general. But the past couple years I’ve been struggling. I’m sure the recent mind-junk is part the result of living in a 24/7 bikini weather zone that makes me feel I should work a whole lot harder to achieve my “ideal” body. I’m also feeling the pressure of my 30-something friends telling me to get fit NOW because it’ll be a hell of a lot harder when I’m older. And in the back of my mind I’m fighting the overweight, diabetes prone DNA my ancestors have passed down to me. As of late, I’ve been at war with my chichos.

When I was 9 years old four things happened. I started wearing deodorant, shaving my arm pits, being acknowledge for my derriere and my mom told me to suck in my stomach while I was posing for a picture (thanks mom). The first three we’ll save for another post. I should probably have abs of steel by now from sucking in my stomach! I checked – they cannot be found. It’s become a habit. Maybe doing so is helping my posture but mostly I’ve just been burdened by my stomach and the constant desire that it were flatter, toner, less fleshy and well didn’t roll over my jeans when I sat down. I battle with it daily and I know I shouldn’t treat myself this way. Some days I feel absolutely beautiful queue insta-snap-grams in my #ootd and others I sit on my couch grab my chichos and sigh.

I’ve been sent mixed messages these past 23 years. Usually these messages are telling me to love and accept myself delivered by thin, probably famous, attractive people. I’ve married the two messages in my mind to be a somewhat mature, definitely positive, motivation to achieve health. I try to eat fruits and vegetables as much as I can though I was raised on a farmers diet. I workout at least four times a week mixing it up with cardio, weights and yoga. I’ve tried meditating which I like but I’m terrible at and I sleep the recommended 8 hours a night. I know this is what matters, I’ve taken the classes, read my nutrition labels, and allow at least 1 day a week for rest but I still confront my mirror with discontent as my mind compares me to others.

Only once in my life have I felt totally happy with my body. It was a short lived, post bad break up time when I lived in utopia (aka on a college campus) and I didn’t even notice until my mom pointed out the weight I had lost (she did not tell me to suck it in that day!). I got to know myself extremely well those two semesters. I learned what I needed to live a healthy life and it included fruits, vegetables, exercise, mediation and sleep. In fact, I took a class that made it a graded assignment to accomplish these five actions for five weeks and I was pretty good at it. It introduced me to a balanced and sustainable way to create healthier habits. I try to channel this class when I’m feeling less than. (If anyone wants in on the assignment – message me!)

Today I am feeling 40% body positive. The percentage is dependent on many factors including: time of month, clothing available, what sweets my co-workers brought in that day etc, etc. I’m pretty sure the percentage will grow with age (when I’m 80 I’ll be a model), confidence, self-love and more representation of my body type in the media. But I’m hopeful and happy that my body won’t stop changing today or ever for that matter. I am healthy and have the ability to maintain my health the way I feel fit. I am aware enough to not let the Kardashians impact how I see myself and my chichos.

I’ll share more of my healthful journey soon. It’s a life long process.

  • What do you do to stay body positive?
  • What keeps you healthy?
  • Any favorite workouts or recipes?

Comment below, like, share.

ox,

Leslie

p.s. I’m totally sucking in my stomach in this picture. *sigh* #workinprogress

Helping me feel represented: allwomanproject.com

Reminding me to be confident: Soy yo by Bomba Estéreo 

 

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