Issue #8: The One About Body Issues
Where I talk about my annual summer blues concerning my bikini body
Hola friends! 👋
Jowa and I took a train out of Barcelona for a 2 week stay in an old beach town nearby to work from here. A stop gap remedy for our delayed holidays while we wait for my residency renewal to get done, so we can do a proper vacation afterwards.
But that’s not really the issue here.
The issue is going to the beach to lay out and get a tan is inevitable - I dread putting on a bikini. Or any bathing suit actually.
I’ve always dreaded it. Growing up, I can probably count on one hand how many times I’ve gone to the beach with friends just so I can avoid feeling so insecure about how I look next to them. Or worse, have my flaws be called out and made fun of - because that has happened too.
Easy solution is to probably stick to working out properly and get myself some of those abs that a lot of people seem to be raving about. Or eat less cake - although why would I do this?
But knowing me, any of the above would probably not erase my issues with my body. Looking back at older photos, sometimes I can’t help but wonder why I ever thought I looked bad.
I guess the problem is not really about how I actually look. The problem is because I’ve never learned to like how I looked.
There was always something wrong. At least other people thought so.
My dark knees. The bunions in my feet. My hyper-extended joints. My flat nose. Being pointed out how different I look from other family members while implying that one look is better than the other. I somehow always end up in the “not better” side.
Over time the teasing got focused on my weight. Especially the midsection. How could I have a waist size <x> even though I was barely 15? And that other people were that size after they gave birth to their first kid. My sister’s clothes would barely fit me and she was older by 10 years.
And those things stuck with me.
Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and tell myself “Half of the world is starving and you’re still worried about your pooch?”.
I started wearing bikinis again last year. I can’t remember when was the last time before that. I was probably just too excited to be outdoors after months of being in lockdown that I couldn’t bring myself to care much about anything else.
But now it’s a new summer and here we are again with the same concerns.
Truth be told, I don’t think I’ll get over my body insecurity any time soon. It’ll take more than one good summer to do that for sure. There’s 30+ years of this to unlearn after all.
But I’ll wear a bikini again this year. Even though my seemingly good senses are telling me not to. Maybe I’ll eventually hang out with other people apart from jowa (who has no choice but to love me plus all of my extras) at the beach.
Mostly because the world is probably ending and half of the world is not having a good time - I can’t seriously be still worrying about my pooch.
Until next time ♥️
What I’m loving these days 💙
Not exactly loving - but still sharing. A new documentary on Anthony Bourdain’s last days came out last Friday. And it’s going to be streamed on HBO soon. I have been re-reading his books every summer for the last couple of years, it’s pretty much become a habit and a ritual. I figured if I read him enough times, I’d be able to tell stories as good as he does. Or that I’ll have stories to tell that are half as good as his. Still haven’t gotten there. Maybe I never will. But his words make me feel seen just the same. This documentary is going to be a heart ache.
Rainbow Rowell recently released book 3 of the Simon Snow series and I inhaled it in one go. If you haven’t started on the series yet, please do so. It's got everything. Coming of age arc, magic, real adulting problems, and feelings. I give it ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐!
An insightful read about Burning Out. I noticed that majority of my friends (especially the Filipinos) have a really bad relationship with Resting. As if taking a break and not being “productive” (whatever that means) is something to be ashamed of. Or worse, is something we don’t deserve. I don’t think I really, truly, fully undersstood (much less embraced) Resting until I started working with more Scandinavians and Spanish peeps who took “out of office” seriously and only opened emails within official working hours. Maybe it’s Filipino culture, the need to always be working to feel valuable. Or the need to actually provide value because there are bills to pay and the money is never enough. I don’t know.
Currently saving up money to buy a modern Filipinana from VintaGallery and more jewelry from Nawa.ph. Being an immigrant/expat for the last 6 years has got me wanting to wear my Filipino heart on my sleeve more and more. With all of the shit that’s going on in the Ph + my inability to fly back for various reasons = giving me so much Jose Rizal feels.
And some art from @Polenggenisa
I started this maybe-weekly newsletter because I needed a space where I can just take a break from talking about career, working in tech, and coaching other Product Managers. I needed a space where I can show off my cooking skills, get kilig about the books I’m reading and the movies I’m watching, and sometimes even cry about the things that make me sad.
Want to share your thoughts and feelings, too? Leave me a comment below 👇
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