When I got word that my family and I would be traveling a few hundred miles south to the Texas coast, the first thing that popped up in my head was the thought of what swimsuit I'd bring and what kind of pictures I'd take. I won't be shy about admitting that I went on instagram and saved a bunch of photos of models posing in bikinis hoping I could replicate or create the image.

When I got to the beach, I was met with so much insecurity about my body. Yes, if you're reading this, you are probably aware of the modeling and constant posting I do on instagram, but when it comes to sporting a swim suit, my heart aches from the lack of self-love I have for my curves, marks and imperfections.

I am not sure who or what is to blame for this, but I am aware that I am not completely alone. For a lot of women, our body is a battleground as we are fighting our thoughts about what we see in the mirror. We suck in for pictures, trying to hit the best angles and damn near try to control the sun in hopes that the right amount of sunlight exposure will prevent shadows on our stomach. While I have the best 'hype-man" in the world (my girly raquel), her affirmations and words of encouragement don't seem to resonate. I came to the realization that it was essential for me to do some deep soul searching and practice self-love. I am sharing a few things I've started doing in hopes that it might help other women love their own temple as much as they should.

Self-matras are dope af. Simply looking in the mirror and telling yourself that you're a goddess, you're more than your looks, you’re beautiful, you're smart.. you're a bad ass, can be a very positive thing. You might laugh at yourself. But hey, if a smile comes upon your face as a result of this, that's a huge sign of improvement.

Stop comparing yourself to the post you saw on the popular page. I applaud any girl who showcases their beauty on social and flaunts what she has, because we literally have one life to live, so enjoy it while you got it. However, I truly believe it is detrimental to our own sanity and body image to constantly compare ourselves with other women who do not have the same bone structure or DNA as one's self. We can't help the inner workings of our deoxyribonucleic acid!! In addition, constant comparison fosters and begins to make way for competition.... which is an even more uglier issue that plagues women in our society today.

Although my beach trip is more about my family and unplugging from the fast pace environment I love in San Antonio, this trip forced me to come to terms with the ugly truth about how I view my body. By no means do I think I will be able to change my view on my shape into something more positive in a blink of an eye. Furthermore, I believe that addressing it is the first step in winning the battle. Our perception of ourselves happens to be very subjective to our personal experiences and how we've survived life. Just know that, big or small, flat or round… you are B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L and no amount of likes and compliments can validate that other than the ones you give yourself. 

I will continue to challenge myself to increase the level of positive thoughts I have towards myself as I hope others will do as well. Let's be kinder to ourselves and end the war we have on our body image to unlock the inner confidence that is necessary for a hopeful and happy life. After all we are only given one of them.