by Ivy Felicia | Body Relationship Challenges, Guest Blog, Personal Evolution
The journey from self-hate to self-love is not impossible. When you are in the space of hating your body or yourself it can feel overwhelming and hopeless. You can feel as if there is no way that you will ever be healthy, whole, and happy. However, in my own life, I have experienced the healing miracle of Love and I am not alone. There are women all around the world who are being liberated, healed and transformed through the power of Love. When I first connected with Tai Tigner on Instagram I was instantly touched by her story of learning to love her body through painful and difficult circumstances. So, I invited her to share her story here in our Naked Blogging space, because I know that her authenticity and vulnerability has the potential to inspire and encourage you.
After you read her interview, feel free to share your thoughts and feelings in the comments below and be sure to share this with another woman who may need it.
What was your body relationship as a child?
As a child, I hated everything about myself, to the point where I was suicidal. I hated the color of my skin.. I hated the fact that I was, oftentimes, the biggest girl in my class and at family functions. I was self-conscious about the fact that my breasts were growing faster than other girls my age and that my butt was usually used as a target for boys to slap and run… I loathed being the “butt” (literally) of everyone’s jokes… Ultimately, this turned me into a tomboy and had me fighting everybody….
How did your body relationship evolve as you got older?
As time progressed, I continued dressing in baggy clothing to hide my full hips, my oversized rear end, and my breasts. As a matter of fact, I didn’t embrace my femininity until I was a junior in high school. Once I moved on to college life, I started to spend more time obsessing on how to lose weight… There weren’t many images, or celebrities empowering young girls, like me, to love ourselves. In fact, everything was geared towards quick weight loss schemes and diet pills… In which, I eventually gave into it and dropped from a size 20 to a size 5 in less than a year’s time.
When did you begin to embrace a loving body relationship?
I didn’t fully embrace myself until after I recovered from battling cancer and having my son. The beauty of it all, was that I had survived something that most people don’t. My scar bothered me for a while; however, I loved the way my body had filled out. My confidence level shot up and I never allowed anyone to make me feel that I was only beautiful for a “fat girl” ever again.
What has been one of the most pivotal points of your body relationship?
Giving birth to my 1st child was an extremely pivotal moment in my body relationship. Seeing how my body bounced back from being so small and frail to being so healthy and strong was absolutely amazing… I gained a new respect for my organs and my body’s composition. My body truly became my temple. I learned how to respect it, what to put into it, and most of all… How to listen to it.
Please describe any health or physical challenges that you have experienced with your body
In October of 2003, I found out that I was pregnant with my first child… In January of 2004, I went to a routine prenatal appointment and found out that I had lymphoma cancer. I was told that I had a cancerous tumor in my abdomen sitting right on top of my child. There wasn’t any time for formalities or second and third opinions, so I went along with what the doctors’ thought would be best for my child and I. A week after my diagnosis, I was admitted in the hospital for more tests and a surgery… The tumor was removed and weighed in at 22lbs. I went into cardiac arrest twice and lost a lot of blood. I lived in a hospital for almost two months on my back hooked up to a machine draining fluids from my abdomen and tubes in almost every hole in my body. But, by the grace of God, I was alive and still pregnant, and that was all that really mattered to me at that moment.
How did your physical/health challenges impact your relationship with your body?
It’s funny… You don’t appreciate some things until they’re gone or you’re on the verge of losing them… This was a wake-up call to me… This was proof of how life isn’t promised… Having other people bathing, feeding, and walking you, is a humbling experience. Cancer showed me how to love and accept ME!! I learned how to LOVE ME…I learned how to take care of the inner part of me more so than the outer part of me. I simply stopped caring about what other people thought about me and how I looked… And focused on a full restoration of mind, body, spirit, and soul.
How do you feel about your body now? What is your approach to body relationships?
Now…. You can’t tell me anything!! (LOL) I am so in love with myself. Do I have some love handles and arm fat that jiggles when I wave? Sure… Do I get nervous that I may smell like bacon when my thighs rub together? Most definitely!! Could I stand to lose a few pounds? Indeed…. But none of that is more important than the fact that I’m happy to simply be ALIVE!!! Everything else will fall into place in its time. I have endured some things that have taken so many people out… I’m truly just grateful… Grateful for every curve, dimple, and flaw.
How are you helping, inspiring, or supporting others with your body journey?
I use modeling as a platform to encourage others to embrace themselves. I make it my goal to exceed how society defines beauty. My prayer…Is that other women are inspired by my testimony and images. The epitome of what this is all about, is to encourage everyone to look past the surface of the physical…
Why do you think it is important to help others through your experiences?
It’s important to help others through my experiences because you just don’t know what people are going through. So many are suffering in silence, body shaming themselves based off of negative naysayers, and covering up because of the fear of what others think… I hope that through my being transparent, others will free themselves of all that hinders them from loving themselves.. We all have things that we would like to change; but in fixing one thing, you’ll find something else that makes you unhappy… Just embrace all that makes you, YOU!!! Everything else will fall into place….
Any additional comments?
Thank You so much for allowing me to share my testimony!!!
To learn more about Tai, you can visit her Instagram or Twitter profile and follow MORE of her body journey!
Imagine what it would feel like to be liberated from external definitions of what you should look like or who you should be. Imagine learning how to understand your own body and exploring what works best for you when it comes to self-care and holistic wellness. Imagine defining your own relationship with your body based on an intuitive connection that allows you to focus on your own internal voice. None of these things have to remain imaginary for you. Each of them is possible if you are ready and committed to manifesting them in your life. As The Body Relationship Coach, I am committed to helping you do so.
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The Body Relationship Coach™ At Me, My Body And Love™
Ivy Felicia is a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach and Body Image Expert with a gift for helping people of all body types to embrace body peace and self-love at any stage of life. She combines compassion and commitment to support people in developing loving relationships with their bodies at any size, as well with wellness ceremonies inspired from the Tulum holistic scene, like spiritual healing, yoga retreats, holistic sessions, temazcal ceremonies, ayahuasca and kambo practices. If you want to know more about how to heal your body and your mind in Tulum, check this article.
Her Body Relationship Coaching work is centered on her personal experiences with barriers to body love, and more than a decade of social and professional involvement in the emotional wellness and health education movements.GET FREE SUPPORT