Well, we made it through the first year and a half of a pandemic and our bodies are ready to celebrate… right?
RIGHT! We are now well into summer and it can be the time of year that triggers our insecurities more than usual. You are not alone here, trust me. This late summer and fall, I want to issue a challenge for you. Instead of allowing those insecurities or doubts to keep us from anymore memories, let’s make this summer one for the record books!
What exactly does “Take Up Space” mean to you?
For me, it is a reminder that my body deserves to exist just as it is in every space I walk into. It is a reminder that the size of my jeans, the width of my hips or the number on the scale do not dictate my worth.
I spent so many years trying to make myself smaller, whether it was with my physical appearance or my demeanor. I used to think fitting into one size smaller in clothes or taking up less space in an airplane seat would make me feel better. I used to think that speaking in a soft voice and not speaking my mind would make me more attractive or somehow hide the fact that I was a fat person.
It wasn’t until much later in my life that I realized I was only doing these things to make others around me more comfortable. I was so focused on making others feel like I was worthy or attractive that I never took the time to learn to love myself. “Take Up Space” has been my reminder that my love and acceptance of my body are all that matters. Anyone else’s is just an added bonus.
As we head to the pool in late summer or to bonfires this fall, I encourage you to keep these the words in the front of your brain. Take. Up. Space. This time needs to be ours to make the memories we have been putting off because we think our bodies aren’t ready. Let me assure you, they are! Your kids will not remember if you gained a few pounds the summer of 2021, but they will remember you jumping and playing in the pool.
So, what does “Take Up Space” mean to you?
I hope you’re able to spend time reflecting on how much you truly deserve to enjoy your life to the fullest. I hope you’re able to see how worthy your beautiful body is of feeling the sunshine on its skin, swimming in the ocean, wearing the bikini and making all the memories.
Enjoy your summer, babe! Enjoy your fall. Enjoy your life. Here’s to taking up space now and always.
About the Author: Carmen Rene is a lymphedema warrior, body-positive activist and influencer and plus-size model. For more Carmen, you can find her on IG @eatthecaketoo