Embracing My Inner Boliche

by gisela giardino on flickr

This essay is part of the series, Accepting the Self: Latinas on Body Image. For links to the full series, please read the introduction.

maria aquilino

By Maria Aquilino

Confessions of a recovering pastelito de guayaba addict! Growing up Cubexican had it’s challenges. I come from two cultures, Cuban and Mexican, where food is a major focus. What a surprise, I know.

Cubexicans eat if we are happy, anxious, sad, bored or sometimes just because. We were also taught that we must eat everything on our plates. Yes, even if we are full. To leave food on the plate would be offensive to the host or cook.

So, from a very young age I did as I was told, and I ate, and ate and ate. By the time was in third grade I was offically a gordita. One of my fathers’ nicknames for me was “Boliche.”

Thank goodness I didn’t know what it meant or I would have certainly ended up on El Show de Cristina seeking counseling.

Thus began my struggle with my body image and my weight. I didn’t wear sleeveless tops until I was in my early 20′s and only briefly had a bikini bod during that time.

I don’t believe in diets and, truth be told, I am a lazy ass and need serious motivation to do any cardio. The only running I do, mi hermana, is to the fridge! However having said that, me he mirado en el espejo de mis padres. I therefore remain vigilant about any hereditary healthcare issues.

Luckily with age comes wisdom. While I am still overweight today, I’m healthy and for that I live in gratitude everyday. I’ve come to embrace my curves, my rolls and my inner Boliche! I’ve “unlearned” bad habits and know that if I don’t eat everything on my plate, it will be okay. Nadie se va a cortar las venas!

I’ve also grown spiritually and have found other means of maintaining healthy both physically and spiritually, like yoga. My focus has shifted from what I look on the outside to who I am on the inside.

Maria was born and raised in New Jersey by her Cuban father and a Mexican mother. A Miami resident, she is a registered nurse who was ordained as a Lukumi Priestess, to Ochun in 1997. She does spiritual work and is currently pursuing Reiki, and Energy Medicine/Life Coach certifications.

Latinas on Body Image

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By Contributor on July 3, 2011 · Posted in the habla habla

3 Comments | Post Comment

Bren says:

oh my gosh! ur the first Cuban-Mexican I’ve ever come across. What a great combo. I’m all about the guayaba pastelitos. the best! i hate running, too so you’re far from being alone. I love running and skipping to my fridge. If someone has an issue with mis curvas, oh well!

Posted on July 4th, 2011

Aurelia Flores says:

Great post, Maria, and I love that you talk about being comfortable with yourself and focusing on being healthy on the INSIDE — the most important thing! And so interesting that we have these nicknames that are meant to be endearing, and yet… Know what you mean. :)

Posted on July 4th, 2011

Presley's Pantry says:

I loved reading about your childhood. I don’t run to my fridge, but I do dance in my seat while eating. I’ve done it since I was a kid.

Posted on July 5th, 2011