First of all, I would like to say that whether you are a size 2 or a size 18+, you are gorgeous. (Hopefully, you already know that.) Second of all, I would like to say that being plus size in a country where the people are all about a “pura vida” lifestyle has been the best body positive/self esteem building experience that I’ve ever had. You are probably now dying to know why; be patient, I’m about to tell you.

1.You are not allowed to ignore the beauty around you.

Have you ever had those days where you just feel like a blob and want to disappear into your safe haven of chocolate and Netflix? Well surprise! That is not magically cured when you come to Costa Rica. If anything, with the combination of culture shock and homesickness, sometimes that’s all I want to do. But before you go off thinking that I just spend all of my free time cooped up in my room, I will tell you that there’s absolutely no way to always feel like this while you’re here. Anytime I step outside, I instantly become more energized and ready to take on whatever the day throws at me. Sunshine + clear skies + beautiful landscapes = an optimistic attitude. It’s amazing how much your environment alters your way of thinking. With all of the beauty that surrounds me here, I find it hard not to believe that I also play a small, beautiful part in this paradise that I get to call home for 3 months.

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Let’s be honest, with a view like this, no one is paying attention to my body mass index

2.There’s too much delicious food to try.

If you’re worried about losing weight and want to go on a diet, you probably should not start said diet in a place with new, exciting, mouth-watering, tasty food. Hands down, the food here is some of the best that I’ve ever had. Here in Costa Rica, there’s no time to be worried about calories. You should be more worried about which delicacy you will try today. From local Costa Rican cuisine, the countless number of batido shops, to the occasional pastry from the many bakeries located near Veritas, the skies are the limit. Don’t let your brain convince you that the calories of that torta chileno will somehow be worse than not trying this delectable dessert.

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This is me, unapologetically enjoying a smoothie without a care in the word. Notice that there’s nothing but satisfaction in that smile

3.The only person that cares about your weight is you.

You know what? Not everyone who goes to the beach has a “beach body”. And guess what else: no one cares. (I’ve seen more grannies rocking bikinis here than I have ever seen before.) The pura vida mindset applies to literally everything here. So, stop worrying about the circumference of your waist, and get out there and enjoy this beautiful place with your beautiful self

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”Love yourself girl or nobody will” -J.Cole

 

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