What was your relationship like with the gym/fitness classes before be.come?
I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with gyms and fitness classes. Gyms, in general, are not for me, I have yet to find one where I feel comfortable enough to attend frequently. I prefer classes and yoga studios although some feel cold and impersonal so I’m always trying out new places.
Has the be.come project helped you create a workout space where you feel comfortable?
100%! the be.come project has truly changed my relationship with working out. I love that it’s focused on feeling good, community and body neutrality. I like that there’s no pressure on perfection but rather simply moving even if it’s with modifications. Sometimes I’m super tired and I feel very discouraged to workout but even moving a little bit and modifying makes a huge difference and makes me feel good.
Can you tell us about your upbringing and why it was important to see yourself represented in fitness?
I was born and raised in Puerto Rico and I’m the oldest of three. In our culture, what’s considered beautiful is the Latina stereotype or anything foreign (the tall blonde blue-eyed especially since we are a colony and everything that comes from the US is considered to have a higher value). My ancestry is very diverse so I don’t fit either and always felt like an outsider. We didn’t really have a lot of fitness “role models” and those who came upon magazines were focused on dieting and “reducing” inches rather than embracing your body and curves (which Latinas typically have) and extreme routines that just didn’t resonate with me. After puberty, I was always in the group of the tallest girls, I was bullied because of it and also for being having long skinny legs which weren’t typical. I hated gym class because of that and I always dreaded wearing shorts or anything that showed my legs or body in general so for me, fitness was torture and not something I enjoyed. It wasn’t until my mid-twenties, after moving to NY, and facing the same stigma around body image by not being accepted as latina and being constantly questioned about my identity, that I started to embrace all of my body and I also started to re-learn what fitness and movement were for me, and I was never really interested in fitness until I found yoga which helped me find the perfect balance between body and mind. I’ve enjoyed trying other kinds of classes as well but I really dislike the use of language that is focused on the “perfect body” or the “bikini body” so my attendance to these classes was always inconsistent until I found the be.come project! I think it’s important for us Latinas out there to be represented as far as diversity, we all have such beautiful mixed backgrounds and yet the media only portrays us the same way. We are all enough even if we are curvy, skinny, tall, short, etc, we shouldn’t be boxed into just one stereotype.
Now that you’ve be.coming for over a year, what differences do you notice that when you were be.coming for a few months?
the be.come project has helped me with a lot of aspects not just from a fitness perspective. I’ve learned to listen to my body and to re-learn my relationship to modifications (the ego and ideas of perfection can be tricky!). I’ve learned that it’s ok to do a little bit rather than not moving at all even which is emphasized throughout the entire workout. I’ve learned that some days I embrace my body as it is and some days I don’t feel great about it at all and that’s ok, I still choose to move and celebrate it. I’ve learned not to obsess about the physical results but rather focus on doing something fun for myself that also happens to tone my body (I also love how my legs, core, and butt have definition now!) I’ve learned to celebrate the little victories and take this time to myself to give my body some love and I’ve also learned that I don’t have to beat myself up if don’t meet my weekly goal, sometimes life happens and we are all humans trying to do our best. 🙂
be.come routine: I have a few I loved the initial routine that included the “god is a woman” warm up, it is really empowering!
song we’ve used: Detune by Kaleida and I follow rivers by Lykke Li (The Magician remix) I had actually sent this one for the playlists and it made me really happy that it made it to the videos! I also love when reggaeton comes up it reminds me of home! 🙂
be.come move: the lunge with warrior transitions and curtsy lunge with balancing.
part of your be.come session: It depends on my mood but for the most part I really enjoy the lunge section and planks
thing you hear/see in a be.come session: a lot of inclusivity! The language that encourages to love yourself. I CAN DO IT!
thing to wear when you’re be.coming: undies, sometimes leotards and shorts (i’ve realized that I haven’t really spent much money in fitness clothes lately, it really feels good to workout in my undies lol)
place to take a session: at home in my room
Thanks to @julsrod for sharing!