Let’s Talk — Body Language

Mantra:

I’m here.

I’m safe.

I’m calm.

I will listen. 

In the age of countless self-help posts, books, and YouTube channels it’s unlikely that you would be without said “help”. Whether you’re searching for ways to eat better, workout consistently, or just accept yourself for who you are–the content is there. After countless hours of researching pro tips you realize you have the power to relinquish all fear and discomfort.

When you think about it. Insecurities are stupid. Yea, I said it. They are stupid. But they exist. They’re these useless, mental inhabitants that only work to weaken your self-image. In my experience, insecurities can make or break you.

I’ve always been insecure about my appearance. More specifically weight/body image. I was always the chubbier friend. Growing up I had an obsession with wanting to lose weight to be skinny. I remember being a kid and my peers were always talking about wearing LimitedToo and I would sit very awkwardly and quietly only wishing I could chime in. A few times I begged my mother to take me shopping there–instead of the JC Penny’s catalog (the HUSKY section at that.) She told me that those clothes weren’t made for my body type.

And she couldn’t have meant any harm–but not being able to wear similar clothes and shop at the same places as my classmates only made it harder for me in terms of self-acceptance. It was another trait that made me stand out amongst my predominately white peers.

yoga3
Alexis L. Dupree starting inversion (Photo by Perplex Photography)

Fat.

Black.

Ugly.

The adjectives that swam in my mental most of my adolescent years. All I ever heard was how “to die for” thigh gaps were. I learned to fake being full after a few bites when a crush was near. And that’s if you even ate real food in front of one, right? Who really has time for that?

Part of me is a bit jealous of the teens today who have, in my opinion, a stimulated awareness of body positivity for  black and brown bodies. Like– media is showing it’s okay to be curvy. It’s taken me almost 26 years to accept my curves! I remember last year I wore a bathing suit in front of peers for the first time in my adulthood. I was nervous AF to do it, but I had empowered myself through the bond I had with those friends.

I have yoga to thank for that. Just before my junior year of college I took on my first personal yoga challenge. For 30 days I started my day with meditation and yoga. It was a way for me to gain mental clarity, as well as to connect with myself on a deeper level. I learned my strengths and weaknesses. I learned where I hold my tension (hips and shoulders) and where I limit myself (mentally). I learned that my body is so resilient and powerful and I only owe it to myself to appreciate her. This body is all I have. Like there’s no reason to stay fixated on having another one.

I love yoga because it’s my chance to check in with myself. The guided practice allows me to talk to myself, and forces my heart and mind to trust each other. They act as a bridge for each movement I do. Each time I meet my mat, I set my intention before I move. It’s usually patience. I affirm that I have the will to accept me where I am in that moment, alone.

So, let’s talk body language. Whether you’re a friend or stranger reading this, I want you to feel empowered moving forward. I’ve found that often people would have tongue slips about my body once they found out that I’m vegan and have been meat free for a decade.

It took awhile to learn to deal with comments like “how you so thick?” or “you sure got some meat on you to not eat meat.” After hearing them for the umpteenth time, I told myself that those comments weren’t my problem. They’re made out of ignorance mostly, but I had to realize that people don’t realize the weight their words can hold. And the obvious fact of the matter is that if it’s not your body–you really shouldn’t be dishing out unwarranted comments. You never know someone’s journey and it could take one hurtful comment or experience to cause some sort of regression.

As long as you know that nobody has the power or right to police your body you will always have the final say. If you need an extra push towards positive body image and self-acceptance let these key points below help lead the way:

  • almost everyone has stretch marks–embrace them. I’m pretty sure I smiled when I found out my skinny friends had them because it helped me normalize them.
  • workout to feel good physically and mentally– only focusing on losing weight will heighten your stress over just “losing weight”. For a healthier outlook you should focus on making lifestyle changes that assist in the end goal
  • if your girls don’t gas you up–throw them away! What good are girlfriends if they don’t make you feel like the baddest thing walking? To me, compliments from sister-friends light fire under me lol. Have me feeling like snapchat released a new filter 💁🏾👸🏾
yoga6
Alexis L. Dupree doing mountain pose (Photo by Perplex Photography)

2 thoughts on “Let’s Talk — Body Language

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s