Happy #SelfLoveSunday readers!
This week’s guest blogger is an absolutely adorable POPster whom I discovered through the #plankPOPparty challenge I helped in hosting on Instagram for January! She instantly stood out to me with her great form and cheery disposition! She is 22 and has been doing POP Pilates for a year now! Her insta is full of fun poses and food ideas! You should totally check her out!
Today, she is sharing her story of self love. How she found the desire to take care of herself and her body and give her body the love it needed. She is so strong and such an inspiration! I hope you enjoy her story as much as I did.
My name is Bianca Janell and I’m a proud POPster from Puerto Rico. (ha! talk about alliteration) I was asked to write a little something about self-love. First of all, I was very happy for this opportunity to be able inspire people to love and appreciate themselves. I’ll be sharing with you all a little story and what better way to talk about self-love than through my own experience in learning to love myself and my body.
Ever since middle school I remember complaining so much about back pain and absolutely dreading going to gym class. I did basketball, volleyball, tennis, swimming and track and field. I hated most of them and I was never quite sure why I did. Thanks to some amazing friends I was encouraged to join my school’s track and field team. I trained for a couple of months everyday after school under the bright and hot sun. I was able to make it to a track and field meet where I competed alongside six other girls in the 100-meter match. It was fun and exhilarating to be a part of something like this but I still didn’t believe in myself. I didn’t think I could win, but that’s the problem. My mind was only set on wanting to win. I was lucky though, to be able to be surrounded by people who truly believed in me. People like my coach who knew I had the potential to be a great athlete, teammates who lent me spike shoes ’cause I couldn’t afford a pair of my own, friends and family who supported me and inspired me. The only person who didn’t think I had potential was myself. So as it turns out I didn’t win the race, I actually got last place. People where still proud of me, other team members, the coach, my family and at the end of the day I started to realize how happy I was for even trying something out that I had never done before.
Flash forward eight years to the last semester of my bachelor’s degree in college. I never continued with that sport but at this point it wasn’t because I didn’t believe I could do it rather I just wasn’t interested in it anymore. After years of carrying a backpack full of heavy books and sitting on a chair for hours in my graphic design classes I realized it was really taking a toll on my body. The back pain kept coming and going but I didn’t really do anything to better it. Sometimes my classes were on the sixth floor of a building and since the elevators were so slow I always took the stairs but I would get to the top of the building panting, trying to catch my breath. Other times my classes would be in a farther building having to carry bags full of art supplies. Most of my snacks were from a vending machine, all that processed junk that I was feeding my body didn’t make me feel good or energized. However, something in me clicked at the start of 2016. I started going to a chiropractor only to find out I had, not one but, multiple back issues. I have a muscle spasm on my neck and my lower back. I also have a herniated disk and to top it all off, scoliosis. Now the type of scoliosis that I have is called levoscoliosis, which is where the spine curves to the left. Sometimes my left leg will feel numb because a nerve is being pinched, making it uncomfortable to sit for too long or walk around all day. When I put my hand over the bottom part of the sternum, just below the bust, I can feel that misalignment. One side of my rib cage sticks out ever so slightly and makes it very annoying to wear bras. As my visits to the chiropractor became more frequent I started feeling a lot better. Less back pains throughout the day and a slight improvement in posture. Of course the scoliosis can never truly be fixed. I’m really thankful that it’s not bad enough to the point where I would need surgery but with proper care and love towards my own body I can definitely make it work. My chiropractor suggested that I start doing any kind of physical activity to compliment the spinal adjustments. That’s when I found Blogilates and the POPster community. It was a form of exercise that I actually enjoyed doing. Now, present day, I’ve been doing Pop-pilates, yoga and clean eating for a year and boy do I feel different! That’s how I realized how important it is to listen to your body. Appreciate it and care for it! You only get one life, one body, so do your best to love yourself everyday enough to keep you healthy mentally and physically. Go sit down, put your knees up to your chest and hug yourself. Go to the mirror and smile at yourself because you are awesome!
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Thanks for reading!