Episode 53: Sexy Soul Series with Kelcy Valletta: Body Image

body image Aug 02, 2021

Sexy Soul Series with Kelcy Valletta: Body Image

Kendall: Welcome to another episode of the Sexy Soul Series.

I love this conversation of body image and that's a great, I mean, that was a really kind of high level meditation, but to really start to think about your physical body and why do you love each and every piece of it, whether it is the dimples in your chin or the curve of your hips, or, you know, the shape of your fingernails, whatever that may be, you have such a unique body and to really think about why you that and what it does for you and how it presents into the world as this unique human being. I think that's such a cool way to start. I love doing mirror work. I know we talk about this a lot, but to be able to do that in front of a mirror gives you a different way to look at your physical body.

Kelcy: I feel like I'm at this point in my life now where, you know, I have a healthy, I feel like I would say I had a healthy body image and I've done a lot of work around it and of course we're always changing and growing in our body's always changing and growing, but that hasn't always been the case, right? Like, I'm about to turn 30 and I'm finally at this place where I can learn to love and accept everything about my body, even things that I didn't love before. I love also, like you said, having this conversation about body image, because there's so much, I wish I would've known when I was younger or I wish that there were these conversations being had that I could've heard overheard as I was younger in the learning to love myself. What was your experience with body image growing up as a young girl? Cause I feel like as women, we are so severely impacted with our body image from the time that we are young.

Kendall: I think now growing up, I think body image was one of those things. It was really interesting. You know, I have a lot of gratitude for my mother because I grew up with a love of my body. I never heard my mom talk about, oh, I'm fat. I don't like the way my body looks. My mom was just really present. And so I think that that was really beautiful for me. My mom really embraced her natural beauty. I think my mother is absolutely stunning. If I look as half as beautiful as she does that, you know, 50, whatever she is. I won't tell you exactly how old she is. I'm going to be doing really well. But my mom always had this really beautiful, um, comfortability in her own body and in her own skin, she has naturally small boobs and long legs and she just never complained about what her body looked like. I really appreciate that. I know that that wasn't the experience for a lot of women that I'm friends with today. I think where a lot of my influence on body image came from was hearing it outside of my home. So I heard it from TV. I heard it from my friends. It was one of those things where it was like, it was just the thing that your friends talked about of, oh, I don't like the way my body looks or I don't like my nose. I don't like my lips. I don't like this. I don't like that. And that was just the common conversation. And as you're growing up and you're going through puberty, your body's changing and all of these different things are happening well for a lot of my friends, when I was in fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh grade, they're stepping into puberty, they're all getting boobs.

I never got boobs. I still don't have boobs. And I remember having so much body shame about that, where my friends who maybe weren't the best of friends at that time, but they would make fun of me. And they're like, oh, you'll have little mosquito bites for your boobs. And that hurt my feelings. That didn't feel good. And now I'm like, oh, look at, you have huge boobs and your back hurts and you hate them. And I still love my body. Like I'm so grateful. Matt likes to call my boobs sporty boobs, because they make me more aerodynamic and efficient practice. But there's absolutely pros to everything. They never have to wear a bra. But looking at that, like that took a lot of work for me to get to this place of, I love my body the way that it is. I love my boobs.

I think we have so many things that we hear that you're always thinking, well, what about my body? What's wrong with my body? What do I need to change? What do I need to do differently? What makeup do I need to put on? What plastic surgery do I need? I think there's so many influences that young women are growing up with. Young girls are growing up with that. It's shifting how they think about their bodies from such a young age and it just hurts my heart that women can't embrace their bodies for their natural beauty, their natural, perfect essence as this.

Kelcy: I want to share a little bit of my experience kind of going off of with what you shared, you know, for me, I kind of had, first of all, I love that you grow up, that you grew up with a, with a mother who never complained about her body. I think that's so powerful. And that's a choice that I've made for, if I, if, and when I ever have children one day, that is going to be a choice. I make 100% because I grew up with the adult women in my life, making comments about a lot of things that didn't like about their body. And I love them so much. And my heart goes out to them because they, they didn't know better. And they weren't raised with a different example other than that.

From a very young age, I kind of felt like, okay, these are things we're not supposed to like about our body. And then you mix that with what the media constantly was showing us, especially in the nineties, early two thousands, when, when you and I were growing up of what a beautiful woman looked like. And at that time, like there was no diversity whatsoever. It was basically like you had to be thin and white and tall, you were beautiful, otherwise like, and you had to have like, just the right boob size. You had to have just the right but size. And that was going to be beautiful. I feel like now it's gotten a lot better in a sense that there's a lot more representation and inclusivity of like different body types. I actually just saw before we started recording that. Um, uh, oh my gosh. Why is this magazine blinking me? Uh, oh, us, um, what's the swimsuit, the swimsuit it's illustrated.

They just had a runway show with women of all different shapes and sizes in swimwear, walking down the runway. You know why that's so great for, for young women and little girls to see this because they will think, oh my gosh, I could, I could do that. No matter, no matter what my body looks like, my body is celebrated no matter what it looks like. So that makes me really happy that we're starting to see that change. I feel like, I feel like that's something that totally impacted my body image growing up. And I had to slowly learn like, no, it doesn't, it doesn't matter what the world thinks. I have to learn to love my body. I almost had, I had a similar experience to you in school with friends as a kid, except for me, I developed earlier than anyone else, any other girl in my grade, I got boobs. First, I started my period before anyone, I was the tallest and I like to joke that I haven't grown since I was 12. Like what I look like now, it's basically what I looked like when I was 12 years old. At the time I felt very isolated because I was made fun of for having boobs and for being developed. And then I just didn't grow ever since then. And then everyone else, you know, started to develop and they hit puberty and it almost, it almost reversed like the effects, the most reversed for me as I got older, I felt like, I felt like I was struggling to feel like I was becoming a woman because I was still a really petite person. Like I'm very petite and small, you know? And so sometimes I thought like, oh, um, should I be developing more to feel like a woman? And I feel like I dealt with a lot of that in my, in my early twenties. And it really just took, you know, a lot of mirror work and, and really getting to know myself on a deeper level and gratitude is the answer for everything. Just being so grateful for your body and everything it can do. And really understanding that, like, it's not a competition, there's no perfect body. Like every single woman. I know, like they have the perfect body because it's their body. Right. And it does for them what they need it to do for them.

Kendall: I think, you know, as you said, it takes a lot of to get to that place and a lot to really come into that perspective that every woman's body is perfect for them because it's their body. It's perfect for them. But when we think about this idea of body image, how do you see, it's still showing up with challenges for women today because there's so many women in our community that do have beautiful body images, but what are some of the big challenges that you think are still highly prevalent in our society today when it comes to body image?

Kelcy: I feel like in the media, there's a lot more body types being represented. Um, which is great. I feel like we're, we're making strides in that area, but now, now with social media, I feel like that's where a big challenge that's in and a lot of women I talked to and some clients, they have a really hard time not comparing themselves to other women on social media and that can get really dangerous in and of itself because a lot of what we're seeing online, isn't real to begin with. Right? It's like, it's kind of a cycle. Like there's women are posting photos that are being edited because they have negative body image. They're editing the photos because they want to appear to look a certain way and then other women are seeing those photos and thinking, wow, that's what I wish I looked like. Tthen they're torturing themselves with diets or exercise they don't want to be doing or, or just being severely unhappy. And it's kind of this, this cycle, right and it's no one's fault. I don't think it's anyone's fault. I think it's just this, for some reason, natural insecurity that a lot of women have with the way they look and their bodies. I think that's a huge challenge and I think the, the answer, not that there's just a magical, simple answer, but it's really being aware. Number one, if you find yourself comparing your anything about yourself, the way you look your body, to anyone on social media and understanding that you can unfollow them and choosing to follow accounts that maybe do represent body positivity and make you feel, feel proud of the way your body looks. Um, and maybe even just like limiting your time on, on how much time you spend on social media, because you can get sucked in.

We all know that you can get sucked in. For me, that's the biggest challenge I see with, with women I talked to because it's not so much, uh, other women that they meet in real life. Right. I feel like we're to this point where we are kind of coming together more as a community, as women, and are there to support one another and, and kind of be each other's biggest cheerleaders and tell each other how amazing we look, right? Like we want to celebrate our friends and the women that we meet. It's more so like we're being negatively effected by, by people we don't even know online.

Kendall: What's your perspective on filters?

Kelcy: I think some filters are fun. I will use some filters on Instagram stories. I think it's great when it, this is, this is obviously I have a lot of thoughts going through my head with this. I think what I do like about, and of course I'm thinking of Instagram and I guess you, I guess there's probably filters on Tik Tok too. I don't really use Tik Tok that often, but the main platform I've used them on is Instagram. It tells you that there's a filter being used. I think it's gets to a dangerous point when we're not being told that there's a filter. I think if you're using fun filters on stories, and it's obvious that there's a filter and you're not misleading anyone to thinking that this is real life, I feel like that's the responsible thing to do.

It becomes a little bit more dangerous if you're using those filters to then post photos, because most people won't put like a disclaimer, you know? It's, it's interesting that you asked this because, uh, I think it's Norway, some other countries, some European country just made it like a law that if any of your photos are edited at all, you have to like, legally like state that as a disclaimer, when it's being posted. People understand that it's an edited photo, which I thought was so interesting, but I'm glad you, I'm glad you asked that question because I feel like it can be very dangerous.

Kendall: I think it just becomes something that we become conditioned to of like, well, if I don't have a filter on, I can't post, I can't get on. Like if I just woke up or I just came from the gym and I'm not putting a filter on, people are going to like, not watch my things or whatever the stories are that come up. This is a conversation I had with my little sister she's 20 something years old. She's kinda in that influencer space where she's really spends a lot of time in social media and what that images. I know that she has a pretty big movement with some of her and some of her other fellow influencers to not post with filters because we get so conditioned to, oh, somebody using, using this filter every single time they're on their stories every single time they're on their Instagram.

I've really been trying to be conscious about not using filters so that I'm not portraying this false sense of reality because there's the filters out there that like shape your nose just a little bit and plump your lips just a little bit and, you know, heighten your cheekbones, just a smidge and all those things are great. Why does that make you prettier than anything else? That that's my, my 2 cents is I'm a big fan of making sure that we honor our physical body for being perfect exactly. As it is. I don't think there's anything wrong with plastic surgery and Botox and fillers, but it's just not for me because I choose to be a national representation of my own beauty. I want to, I don't color my hair. My greys are coming through, you know, my wrinkles are coming in, I'm in my thirties and I'm like, oh, like, look, it that's a wrinkle that wasn't there before. Okay. But that's part of my personal choice choice is to age gracefully and to age naturally. I also reserve the right to change my mind, who knows in 20 years, I may want to change my mind and be like, where's that Botox?

Kelcy: That's kind of how I've looked at aging thus far as well. Like I don't, I don't dye my hair. This is my natural hair color. I found my first gray hair last year and I was like, oh my God, this is terrifying but I was like, you know what? This is life. Um, and yeah, like you said, like, I, I no judgment to anybody. I think everybody, I think that's what is beautiful is that women can feel empowered or anyone can feel empowered to do whatever the hell they want with, with their body and how they choose to age and I love that. You said you also reserved the right to change your mind one day because I agree 100%. It's like, yeah, I haven't done anything to myself. I haven't gotten Botox, no fillers at nothing yet, but maybe one day I will. And that's okay.

Kendall: I don't really want to raise my children when they come to think that I have to have these other things to make myself feel pretty or to make myself feel worthy or valuable as I am. I think, you know, that's one of those things that is really important to me is what message am I sending? What changes am I making to my physical body that could then influence children? Because again, I look at my mother and I'm like, man, my mom, hasn't done and she looks great. I hope I like that. Good. But I also, it taught me from a very young age just to love my body as it is, despite what I hear in the media.

Kelcy: It's how we choose to look at ourselves and view ourselves and you know, the language we choose to use to describe ourselves, it's all perspective. What are some things that have helped you either grow like a positive body image or, or maintain like a positive body image? Cause obviously like, you know, we all have our days, you know, we're human. What are some things that help you?

Kendall: I think that's a complex question. I think on the daily, I think having a personal relationship with my body is really important. I talk a lot about self pleasure and honoring my body and having that different perspective than maybe just self-pleasuring to reach orgasm. But it's really like looking at my body and being like, man, I look good. I'm so grateful for this physical body. And I think a lot of that has come obviously just from education and opening my perspective to different stories and different ideas and it's starting to shift from my physical body is just a physical body. I don't like the way this looks to really putting intention behind it. I like, you know, I've talked about my breasts as an example already. I have my fun, small little sporty boobs, but as women, our breasts are an extension of our heart space.

When I think about honoring my breasts and like really loving them and touching them with honor and respect, that's an extension of my heart. I don't want to change that. I don't want to do anything different to that because that's my heart. That's what I mean by that. Putting some intention behind it. That's when I, when we started this meditation, it's like, well, what's the thing that you love about your body and why? For me, I have curly hair. I'm like, I love my curly hair because I don't look like everybody else. I don't have the extensions and the long pretty waves and curls. Like my hair is curly in it's naturally curly and that's what sets me apart. Putting that intention behind it can be a really powerful way for you to be like, this is why I love my physical body.

Kelcy: I think you're a great example of like embracing what makes you and so I think that that's, that's great for people to see. And, you know, we talked, we're talking all about body image and you kind of brought up obviously about, you know, your, your self-pleasure practice. And, and I feel like we have to just mention, you know, I mean, obviously we're still saturations and find her sexy. Like we, can't not just bring up the fact that your body image is going to 100% affect your relationship with your sexuality, whether it's, you know, your ability to, um, to explore your own body through self-pleasure or even just your, your sex life with a partner. Like if you, you aren't loving your body for any reason, for the way it looks for the way it feels, then you're not going to be able to be fully present in those moments.

Kendall: I have so many clients that are like, I'm not going to do that because then he might see this wrinkle or this curve or this line, or, you know, if I bend that way, then I'm going to have a roll there. Guess what? He's not looking at the roll baby. Like that is the last thing he is paying attention to or she, whoever your partner is. We get so caught up in what is my body's supposed to look like, oh, I have to like stand in this position because it's gonna make me look sexy. Guess what your partner, isn't going to give a about that when they truly can honor you and feel your own honor for yourself. I think that it is a really important thing. I mean, Soul Saturations, wouldn't be what it is without that honor as a foundation for ourselves, for our partners and loving our body for exactly what it is. I think when we go back, I was it last month we talked about in June, I think we talked about, um, oral sex being a way to honor the person and using that physical component of their body, whether it's their or their as a vehicle to honor them as an entire person. When we can build that relationship with ourself first, then we're able to receive it from a partner too.

Kelcy: Like it has to start from us first. I feel like I had to work really hard. Well, like anybody, not, not that I'm special. I had to work hard. So did everyone else to create a healthy relationship with my body? And for me, interestingly enough, I feel like it was related so much to, to exercise and finding a workout that I truly enjoyed, where I could move my body and get my blood pumping. And I walked away feeling stronger. And it's funny because at the end of the day, I don't, I don't really know if you know, the, the appearance, the physical outward appearance of my body probably didn't change that much, you know, to anyone else. But me just being able to move my body in a way that felt good for me and taking care of myself and doing something that allowed me to feel strong and empowered like that for me changed everything.

Kendall: I'm so glad you brought this up, right. There are so many things out there that are like, oh, we out to look good naked. Yeah, no, no, no, no, no, no. I think I feel good always to help, to feel good. Yeah. And, and you bring up a really important piece about like being healthy means that you feel good. You're not doing these movements, these exercises, you're not doing this just because of the way it's going to make your body look, you should be choosing this because it makes you feel good. Most of you know who my partner is, Matt is rooted in movement and Instagram. He can go on tangent after tangent about how up the fitness industry is. Yes. All of you people in the fitness industry go check him out because there's definitely some perspectives to consider there.

There are so many things, so many workouts and exercises that exist that cause more harm to our body than good. And we do things because, you know, oh, if I'm totally jacked or ripped or six packed or super thin, then that must be must mean I'm healthy, but we don't actually consider the impact that it has on our health and our vitality and our energy. Because as you said, moving our body, getting our blood pumping, you know, people come to me a lot and they talk about like, how do I have increased vitality in my life? Or vitality is that life force energy. But we have to consider the foundation of health to be fully healthy means that there's lots of things we have to consider. We have to consider our sleep cycles. We have to consider our hydration, our nutrition, our mindset, our breath work, and our movement.

To have increased vitality, we have to make sure that we're honoring our body from all of these different entry points so that we can have the highest level of vitality energy in our lives. But if we're burning ourselves out in these exercises to get fit and look good naked, you're, you're taking that vital energy away from other areas to make you feel fully healthy as a holistic individual. Body image is one component of it, but it's also the mindset that goes along with it and how we're really nourishing our body from all different aspects. And that's something that's really important for us to like really feel good about our body and to feel good in our bodies.

Kelcy: That's such a good point. It's like I was having this conversation with someone earlier today with a lot of things in our life. But especially, I feel like when it comes to our physical appearance in our body, and as it's related to fitness, we think once I blank, then I'll be happy. It's like a, it's always then like once I get a six pack, then I'll feel confident. You know, once I lose 10 pounds, then I'll feel sexy. And it's shifting the perspective in that, in that mindset from then to, and right. It's like, we need to get rid of using that phrase in our vocabulary because it never ends up being true. Like it, there's always, if it's not the 10 pounds that isn't making us feel happy, right. There's way more layers to that. But that's what we think. That's what we tell ourselves. We need to shift it from like, you know, yes, I'm working toward this goal of losing 10 pounds and I love and appreciate my body just as it is right now. And shifting from that then mindset to an and mindset.

Kendall: How do you just love yourself in this moment? And again, there's nothing wrong with having healthy goals in a certain way that you want your body to look and feel it's also about, are you doing it from a place of nourishment or are you doing it from a place of obsession? And I think when people get really obsessive body image is one of those things that people obsess over and whether that's fitness, losing weight, whatever, you know, piece we're looking at here, it becomes this obsessive thing and that's, that's going to cause dis-ease in your physical body. 

If we think about one thing that we would want people to do an action step, to really start to connect with their own body image, what would you like to start us off with today?

Kelcy: Honoring your feelings about your body right now, no matter what they may be positive, negative. If there's something that you're working toward, if there's something that you, that you want to change, allow yourself to feel that way, but use that and statement and choose to also just be grateful for your body in the moment. Now, maybe look yourself in the mirror. I know we talk about this about mirror exercises and mirror work all the time, but whatever it is that you're you're struggling with with your body right now, just also know that you also can choose to be grateful for your body and everything it's able to do for you right now, in this moment as you work toward any goal, I feel like just having that mindset helps keep your perspective a lot.

Kendall: I think the last perspective also to consider is you're not alone. There are a of world, a bunch of humans that are all up and how we think about what our body looks like. And we're all just trying to get to a place to where we can love our bodies unconditionally. So whatever that is, you are not alone. And, um, you know, if you are feeling stuck like, like this is taking your energy, find a coach like Kelsey, find a coach like me to really start to love your body unconditionally and know that you're not alone and know that there's so many ways that you can support your own journey of falling in love with your body and really respecting your own body.

During today's episode we talk about:

  • What were Kendall and Kelcy's experiences with body image? 
  • How does the media impact body image at a young age?
  • What are some of the biggest challenges prevalent in our society when it comes to body image?
  • What are their perspectives on filters?
  • What are some things that have helped them with body image? 
  • How can you connect with your own body image? 

Memorable Moments:

  • "Really understanding that, like, it's not a competition, there's no perfect body. Like every single woman. I know, like they have the perfect body because it's their body. Right. And it does for them what they need it to do for them." - Kelcy
  • "When we can build that relationship with ourself first, then we're able to receive it from a partner too." -Kendall
  • "Body image is one component of it, but it's also the mindset that goes along with it and how we're really nourishing our body from all different aspects. And that's something that's really important for us to like really feel good about our body and to feel good in our bodies." -Kendall

Connect with Kelcy:

In light, in love, and in gratitude, K 

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Find out more on my website: www.soulsaturations.com

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