As I’ve struggled with my own health journey, there is one thing that I keep coming back to over and over: How to love my body more. Now that I am at a happy weight (and everyone has their own “happy weight” and should embrace their curves and what makes them be themselves), going to the gym is one of the best ways I have found to focus on my body… just for me. It’s not about losing weight or getting skinny, but rather about embracing my body and doing what is best for it, by making sure that it gets plenty of healthy food and plenty of exercise.
And I’m not the only one who feels that way. Maria G. Valdez tells us:
It’s important to note that although I feel that everyone should love their bodies in whatever shape or form they come, I also believe that everyone should try to have a healthy and balanced life, and take good care of your body. I ended up going from a size 16 to a size 10 and that’s where my body feels right. I could go to a size 8, or even 6, but maintaining it probably wouldn’t be healthy for me. Find that happy place where you’re healthy and your body feels right, and stick to it. It will still require work, but you won’t feel like you’re killing yourself over it.
We can all feel the struggle to love our bodies more, but these seven Latinas are sure killing it. Below, they share their own personal stories — different in every way — on how going to the gym helped them to embrace their own bodies. Ready to feel inspired? Read on! (And you might even get a bit more of my own story.)
1. Maria G. Valdez, @mariagvh
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“My whole life I’ve struggled with my weight and completely ignored [my curves]. At 26, I found myself struggling with my health. It was taking a huge toll on me, so I began my health and fitness journey for a better version of myself, for a better future for myself, for living in my full potential.
When you want to lose weight, the first thing to do is to control your food intake, and once I was in the right mindset with that, I was feeling much better about exercising. I got a trainer and started exploring my strength, my endurance, the amazing things that my body could do and how, along with proper food habits, it was shaping up like I had never seen it before.
It’s taken me two years of full commitment and one thing I’ve realized is that you’re never ‘done.’ Going to the gym is not something you do for a period of time to get results and that’s it. You’ve got to maintain the consistency in order to keep improving your body. And if you, like me, are changing your life drastically (I ended up losing 60 lbs.), it’s not a transformation that’s going to happen from one day to another.
I’m far from being where I would like to, yet I’ve never looked like I do now, so I’m enjoying this process and acknowledging the small changes. The change was not only physical, but it came from within. Once I was ready to fully commit to being the best version of myself, my whole life took a 180 turn for the better.”