Episode 44: Your Body Has Always Been A Beach Body with Alyssa Scolari, LPC
Episode 44: Your Body Has Always Been A Beach Body with Alyssa Scolari, LPC
Kick off Memorial Day Weekend with Alyssa as she offers advice to those of us grappling with a fear of wearing shorts, tank tops, and bathing suits this summer. Tune in for some inspiration so that this summer can be one where you embrace the incredible body you have – at any shape and size!
Alyssa Scolari: Hey,how’s it going? You know what time it is. We are back out it with another episode of the Light After Trauma podcast. You know the deal. I’m your host, Alyssa Scolari and life is pretty good right now. Just wanted to take a moment to kind of check in with all of you. And sometimes I feel like with the interview episodes, sometimes I feel like my personality or my connection to the audience can get lost in translation, just because I think there’s a lot of obviously getting to hear and understand and process the stories and the information from the guest speakers.
[00:01:27] So while I absolutely love having guest speakers, I also really want to maintain an authentic connection with all the listeners out there. So, today I was supposed to have a guest speaker come on and unfortunately there was just some kind of confusion in scheduling. So we had to reschedule and I have some free time and I was like, you know what:
[00:01:53] “I actually have some things I wanted to talk about.” So it’s kind of nice to be able to do a solo episode. I have not done one in a while and that is not because I haven’t wanted to, but life has been a little bit, how would you say this: wild, insane all over the place, aah I shouldn’t say insane. One of the things I’ve really been trying to work on is trying to avoid the use of certain words.
[00:02:25] When we talk about the concept of linguistic evolution, right?.We don’t use certain words anymore. I think one of the words that I’m really trying hard to stop using is crazy and insane. So my reactions to things, because I’m such an animated person, my gut response is to always be like, “oh my God, that’s crazy.”
[00:02:45] Or, “oh my God, that’s insane.” But you know, it can be offensive calling somebody crazy. You know, the word crazy itself has a very negative connotation and was, I think a lot of people who struggled with mental illness were called crazy and I’ve been called crazy actually. And it’s, it cuts pretty deep.
[00:03:07] So, that’s just my own personal preference. Some people may be listening and may be like, “oh my gosh, that’s way too much of a stretch,” but that’s just something I’ve been trying to work on. So that was a little tidbit, but life has been so wild. We are in the process of house hunting. And if any of you know anything about this market, it is…
[00:03:29] I mean again, I’m not going to say crazy, but it is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before in my life. People are coming in and offering literally a hundred thousand dollars over asking price for homes, because there’s such a high demand for homes. And there simply aren’t enough sellers. And we know we’ve been looking for homes for….
[00:03:50] I want to say coming up on a year now. And it has been a really defeating process. The last couple months in particular, we thought that we had found something and we’re still actually not entirely sure if it’s going to go through, we don’t know. So we may be moving. We may not be moving, but our lives have really been house hunting every spare minute that we get.
[00:04:13] And I live in New Jersey as many of you know, but we are looking to move to a different state. So, we’re looking to move to Pennsylvania. So I would still be able to commute to my office in New Jersey. It’s been so tough and every second has been spent traveling to another state to look at homes and making offers on homes and getting your hopes up and getting deflated essentially when you’re told that somebody else came in and offered a hundred thousand dollars over asking price. And it’s just, I don’t know, it’s very defeating. I have wanted to get out of the town that I live in for quite some time. It doesn’t hold the best memories for me.
[00:04:58] And it’s, I think very triggering to live in the same town where a lot of your trauma occurred and no, that’s not to say I haven’t had some good times in this place. I certainly have, but it’s really hard living in a place where you’ve had traumas because I am reminded every day of my life. So. I really have been itching to get out of this town and get out of this area.
[00:05:28] And sadly, it’s just not working out, which I have a very hard time with being told no. Or with having to wait. I’m not very patient. I kind of want what I want when I want it, which is something I’m working on. So yeah, it’s just been…it’s been rough and we want to have a bigger yard for our dogs and it’s been, it’s been a hard time, you know, things could certainly be worse.
[00:05:58] Thank God. My health is improving. I’m healing. I’m getting better. My autoimmune disease is, it appears, knock on wood, to be in remission. I hate to even say that out loud because I’m terrified that I’m going to get a flare up again. You can, if you’re curious to hear more about the auto-immune issues that I’ve been having, you can tune into episode 41.
[00:06:21] I believe it is where I talk a little bit more about the autoimmune disease I was diagnosed with. So with all of that said, it’s just. It’s been a little hectic. So I have not, I feel given my own, I haven’t really put the personal touch on a lot of what I do because I really just haven’t had the space to do that.
[00:06:46] So I appreciate all of your understanding and that I am really working on getting back to adding a little bit more of a personal touch. I was really excited about all the feedback I got for the mini-sode series, the Survive and Thrive stories. It’s been so fun and such an honor to be able to read everybody’s story.
[00:07:08] So please, please, please. If you feel called to do so. Please send in your story to firstname.lastname@example.org. I really, I am just so honored. And so, so many are so funny, those emails that you send and I love it cause I’m a big fan of humor therapy. So I love being able to kind of take what you’ve been through and take things that are really, really dark and very serious and find kinda some light or some humor in them. Again, that doesn’t take away from the seriousness of what happened, but some of y’all just have a really good sense of humor. So I appreciate, hearing your your stories. So with that said, I wanted to come on to talk about an experience that I had today, which felt so liberating. And I think now’s a really good time to share this experience. I went to the beach today and that might not seem like a big deal for people who don’t struggle with body competence. But for me, that was huge. And I went by myself. First of all, because of the pandemic, I really haven’t been to the beach in over a year.
[00:08:25] So I have not had to like do the whole bathing suit situation in quite some time. And second of all, I was alone, which is always extra hard for me because it’s one of those things where, when you’re alone, I think you’re more in your head and you feel more like people are looking at you.
[00:08:48] So today is, it’s a Wednesday. I don’t see clients on Wednesdays. It’s my day off. And I decided, you know, the weather is beautiful. I’m heading to the beach today. And I packed my stuff up. And I went to the beach all by myself and I struggled. I went with shorts and like kind of an oversized t-shirt and I struggled with whether or not I was going to take my bathing suit off…take my bathing suit off!?!?
[00:09:17] Yeah, no, I was not going to do that. Hoping to not end up in jail for public indecency. What I was trying to say is I was debating whether or not I was going to take off my shirt and my shorts and just kind of be in my bikini and it was really a battle. Of course, I had to like look around at the people next to me and kind of size them up and be like, well, are they looking at me?
[00:09:45] You know, what are they going to think? But then I just did it, right. I tried to get out of my head and into my body and I was like, what would feel good right now? And what would feel good is to be able to lay down on this huge beach blanket that I have that I think my aunt got me when I was in the fourth grade is still have it because it’s amazing
[00:10:06] All I want us to do is just chill out on my beach blanket and have that like warm sensation of the sun on your skin, glorious. Well, obviously I can’t do that when I’m covered from head to toe and, you know, clothing and not a bathing suit. So I was like, all right. Screw it taking off my clothes. So I did it.
[00:10:28] I was in a bikini and. Just as an aside, it was a bikini that I enjoyed. Right. It wasn’t a bikini that I bought because I was like, oh, well this is going to cover up the most. So let me just buy this one. This one was so fun. It was like a light blue, like a sky blue with like gold throughout. And it was strapless, which like….
[00:10:57] why am I talking about the details? So I’m talking about the details because I love the bikini and I’m allowed to love the bikini. And I don’t think it hit me that I was allowed to love a bathing suit that I was in until today. When I was just laying on that blanket with my toes in the sand and the sun on my body.
[00:11:17] And I was like, wow, I really liked this bikini. It’s really comfortable. It’s really cute. And I’m allowed to like it and you know what you’re allowed to like your bathing suit too. So it was, I think really a transcendental moment for me, where I shifted from I’m just gonna wear whatever hides the most of my body to I’m going to wear whatever feels fucking fabulous.
[00:11:47] And so I did it now. I struggled a little bit when it came time to like sit up. Right. And I know that there are people out there who can relate to this. So when it came time to sit up, I’m like, oh God, who’s going to be looking at the rolls on my stomach. Now, I’m like looking around to see who’s looking.
[00:12:08] And in fact there was a guy who was, I don’t know. He honestly, he was probably like 50 feet away from me. And I noticed that he got up and actually moved his chair further away at one point. And do you know what my eating disorder brain did? Right. Get a load of this shit. My eating disorder brain was like, oh, he probably got up and moved because he couldn’t stand the sight of your body.
[00:12:34] That is what my brain did. And it’s horrible. And it’s so body dysmorphic and it’s so like eating disordered, but I was able to recognize it and I was able to talk back to it. And I told myself two things. I’m like one…well, I told myself a couple of things. One that’s your fucking eating disorder, right.
[00:12:57] Two, look at the tide, the tide had significantly risen, so there was much less beach and he probably didn’t want his ass sitting in the water because his chair was very low to the ground. So he probably picked up his chair and moved it back so the water didn’t hit him. It’s still the middle of May. The water in New Jersey is still freezing.
[00:13:20] That makes the most sense. What really doesn’t make sense is the fact that he would take one look at me from 50 yards away and be so repulsed that he had to get up and move his chair. Like what come on, what is my eating disorder doing? Right. So, you know, at that moment I kind of just laughed at myself and I was like, honestly, Ed, I call my eating disorder, Ed.
[00:13:42] It’s a little tip that I got from a book that I read called Life Without Ed, by Jenny Schaefer, highly recommended by the way. So I call my eating disorder, Ed, and I was just like, you know what Ed, like, fuck you. Fuck you. Because you’re not ruining my perfect day at the beach. And I sat up and that is a very hard thing for me to do.
[00:14:05] I used to struggle and take like five minutes to sit up because I would have to have the towel wrapped around my stomach so that nobody could see my rolls because I was so embarrassed. Well, guess what? Today I just fucking sat up and it was so liberating. I sat there and I looked into the ocean and I could feel my stomach rolls, right.
[00:14:32] Because who doesn’t have a stomach roll when they’re bending over or sitting like, that’s what our bodies do. Right. Our skin rolls, the fat that we have in our stomach, like rolls, stomach rolls, aren’t bad. And I just breathe and I was very, very in tune with my body. I was very in tune with my surroundings and I just didn’t care if anybody was looking at me, you know, I ended up having a couple that came and sat actually somewhat close to me closer than what I’m comfortable with for sure.
[00:15:11] And honestly, closer than what was necessary, because there was so much space on the beach. I don’t know why they needed it to be that close to me, but whatever. I was uncomfortable and I was really just, I, at one point I just stopped caring and I became so much more infatuated with my body and sitting down and processing all of the turmoil.
[00:15:36] My body has helped me to survive over the last year of the pandemic and then a whole bunch of things that happened in the middle of that pandemic that were pretty traumatizing. And I was filled with such gratitude, such gratitude for my body. Such gratitude for the tree trunk thighs that I’ve had my whole life that I have hated my whole life.
[00:16:06] I found myself sitting in gratitude for these legs, for my stomach, my belly, for all the scars on my body, the stretch marks that are so natural that almost any body has quite frankly. I was just in gratitude and I felt so at peace with this body, I kind of just sat criss cross applesauce on the beach blanket, which I’ve never done before at a beach.
[00:16:39] I truly, I’ve never done that before. And it hit me that I have lost so many valuable beach years because I spent time hating my body. There was a time where I would claim that I hated the beach because I simply didn’t want to go because I didn’t want to be seen. So I would be like, oh, I don’t like the sand or I don’t like the salty ocean water.
[00:17:07] It makes me feel gross. That’s such a load of crap. I love the sand, what a wonderful exfoliant. And I love the saltwater. It feels so healing to me. And I used to say for years that I hated the beach because I was terrified of being seen. And I just wasn’t today. I was alone with myself, with my body, with nothing to distract me, and I felt completely at ease and there are people who come in my office and they ask me, or there are people who I connect with on social media.
[00:17:48] And they ask me questions like, well, Alyssa, why am I doing this work? Why bother trying to recover from an eating disorder? Why bother trying to recover from trauma and it’s so that you can have days like I had today where everything just feels okay inside of you, because at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters, is that you feel good inside. And when you feel good inside, you care less about what other people are thinking. What other people are saying. It was the first time that I didn’t spend my entire trip at the beach just looking at the people around me, wondering what they would think. If I dared to get up and walk over to the water and put my toes in the water, I just did it. I just got up and did it because it was what I wanted to do. And it’s so beautiful. And, you know, I know that this will resonate with a lot of you.
[00:18:58] And I want you to know that you can get to that spot too. It’s a beautiful spot to be in. And I’m not saying that I will never struggle again. I think I absolutely will struggle again. I think that’s just part of life, but all the hard work that I’ve done in trauma and in my eating disorder recovery has helped me get to this moment of truly loving the flesh that I was given, the meat on my body, the weird feet that I have, the you know, crooked smile that I have that some people probably have never noticed. And I notice all the time, I love all of it. And I might not tomorrow, I might wake up full of self-loathing, but today. It was a really, really healing moment for me.
[00:19:53] And I want you to know that wherever you’re at right now with your body and with yourself, you deserve to wear a bathing suit that you fucking love, and you deserve to go to the beach and to sit and to not have to look around and make sure that people aren’t looking at your rolls, you deserve to be able to get to the beach and to take your shorts off.
[00:20:18] And to not have to hide your thighs, be so thankful for this body that has gotten you through, if nothing else than just the last year alone of immense loss and sickness and fear and all the other horrible things that the pandemic has brought. Your body has kept you alive throughout it all. And if nothing else go to the beach and celebrate that and rock whatever body you have, because it is glorious, you are glorious and you deserve happiness.
[00:21:00] And that’s all I have to say about that really. I mean, I know that’s a long winded speech. It’s a long winded spiel, but I hope that it can help inspire at least one of you in knowing that this summer you literally do not have to suffer or hide yourself. You deserve to be seen on the inside and the outside.
[00:21:24] So if this resonates with you, whether you are he or she or they, or anywhere in between, this is your sign that every single body is a beach body. And go where whatever bathing suit you want, have a wonderful summer. Everybody I’m still going to be here. I’m not going anywhere. Still going to be rolling out podcast episodes, but I love you all.
[00:21:53] From the bottom of my heart. I am so incredibly thankful for your support, for your loyalty, for listening, for being on this journey with me, the highs and the lows of recovery I am with you, you are with me. I feel it every day. And I just feel like I have thousands of new friends and. I’m really grateful.
[00:22:17] So thank you all. I love you all. If you haven’t done so yet, please feel free to subscribe and leave a review and rating. Most important of those is a rating and subscription to the podcast. And yeah, that’s all I got. Have a wonderful week. Go enjoy some sunshine and let’s get a pop in the summer and our beach bodies. Love you all. Take care.
[00:22:47] Thanks for listening everyone. For more information, please head over to light after trauma.com or you can also follow us on social media. On Instagram. We are at light after trauma and on Twitter. It is at light after pod. And if you’re on Facebook, please be sure to join our Facebook group.
[00:23:07] It is a private community where trauma survivors are able to connect and chat with one another. That Facebook group is called light after traumas. So just look us up on Facebook and be sure to join. Lastly, please head over to patrion.com/light. After trauma to support our show, we are asking for $5 a month, which is the equivalent to a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
[00:23:32] So please head on over again. That’s patrion.com/late after trauma. Thank you. And we appreciate your support.
Thanks for listening everyone. For more information, please head over to lightaftertrauma.com or you can also follow us on social media.
On Instagram. We are at @lightaftertrauma and on Twitter. It is @lightafterpod. And if you’re on Facebook, please be sure to join our Facebook group. It is a private community where trauma survivors are able to connect and chat with one another. That Facebook group is called light after traumas. So just look us up on Facebook and be sure to join.
Lastly, please head over to patreon.com/lightaftertrauma to support our show, we are asking for $5 a month, which is the equivalent to a cup of coffee at Starbucks. So please head on over again. That’s patrion.com/lightaftertrauma. Thank you. And we appreciate your support.