You know those yoga retreats that promise serenity, peace and being one with your inner goddess? Yeah that stuff never really applied to me. I never wanted to spend money where I had to work out and try to meditate knowing my ADHD ass wouldn’t focus. But I’ve always been intrigued by the thought of going away with a group of women and feeling empowered. I’m not talking about a bachelorette getaway, I’m talking about a moment to find yourself in a way that was meant for me- which really meant dance and adventure mixed in with calming moments of alone time. ENTER KILLERCATION!
I could write a whole blog post on just my relationship to owner and founder of Killer Bodies, Meliza Fernandez. But in short, we met when she was a dance instructor for Vixen Workout and we bonded almost instantly. We became friends and even journeyed into motherhood together (we were pregnant at the same time and gave birth 3 weeks apart). We were our biggest cheerleaders for each other but often our biggest critics to ourselves. 4 years ago Mel took a huge entrepreneurial step into making a new workout class of her own, stepping in faith and loads of guts. Now she owns her own studio, has 4 different versions of the Killer program and debuted her newest addition (which is what this post will be about), KILLERCATION!
What is a KILLERCATION? In the words of Meliza:
"First and foremost this is a wellness retreat, A KILLERCATION. which means we define wellness in our own terms and understand that that one word can have many meanings to different people. Every day we will have two workouts. The formats will be interchangeable depending on that day’s activity. During the day we have excursions, beach time and bonding with other babes. "
I jumped on the opportunity as soon as I heard about it and was ready for it all! I know this sounds cliche but being a working mom really doesn’t give me much liberty to have a ladies night. Typically I am rushing home from work just to see my daughter and spend QT before bed. So now I had this opportunity to take 4 days and just be one of the girls. I’ll take it!
Let’s start with where we were staying:
Samana is DR’s secluded, paradisiacal escape of wild beaches, coconut plantations, and rainforests. We were at the very tip of the island, nearly 3 hours away from the airport. Truly secluded and breathe taking. We were literally up in a mountain. Which of course meant nature was everywhere. Funny story, my roommate freaked out because there was a toad just hopping around in our bathroom. We had to get the maintenance guy to come and guide the critter out into our balcony so he can hop his ass back to nature.
And let’s not forget about this beautiful workout studio. I mean WOW could you imagine dancing or workout out overlooking down a mountain with the ocean glistening from the sun?!!! How did I make it here? If this isn't paradise, I don’t know what is!
Meli planned an amazing schedule where we had 2 workouts a day plus adventure in between. Here is a sample:
Killer Beats is a favorite of mine because it’s a follow along dance class with amazing beats that get you shaking and sweating. I love the music she uses and how she incorporates culture into her workouts. Being that we were in DR, many of the songs included bachata, merengue, palo and dembow elements mixed into Afro beats and dance club vibes.
Is a slower and less jumpy version of KILLER BODIES. Where KB is more of a HIIT/Tibata and strength class, HK focuses on stretching, sensual movements and yoga elements. It’s everything I’d want in a yoga class that I never get bc I never really got into Yoga. The music is more visceral and animalistic yet sultry and soothing. It’s almost as if you are stretching for your inner goddess to come alive. Definitely a favorite of mine. This was a debut of her new class and will be at her studios come late April/ early May.
In between the workouts we had amazing day trips/ adventures. One of my favorites was the hike to Salto Limón.
Watch our journey here
Now all of this sounds amazing right?! Well it gets better- I had the opportunity to teach one of my Body Positive Dance Classes!!! I can honestly say for the first time I was very nervous because this wasn’t my typical class setting. Usually we are in a dark and sexy studio, with mostly plus and curvy women and a couple of straight sized women mixed in. But THIS CLASS- This was a class of women whom some would consider have “killer bodies” with maybe a sprinkle of curves here or there.
I decided to do a class favorite where I give them affirmations and ask how it relates to them, whether it be positive or negative. And to my surprise, some of the women I considered to have great physiques were the ones most critical of their bodies. And that’s when it dawned on me- we need a revamp of what Body Positivity looks like.
Yes it started as a fat girl movement, and then moved into those recovering from eating disorders, but where does the middle fit?! To society they are fine, they don’t need body positivity because they are the norm. And while this may be true that there bodies are normal part of daily media, mental positivity is really what they and ALL of us need to strive for in order to be ok with your body, your temple. What we would consider a beautiful body, they themselves would consider unworthy.
For example we had a beautiful woman on this trip with the most luscious natural booty that most girls would literally pay for. And no matter how many compliments she received, she would respond with “I just hate the way it jiggles.” Another girl with abs, toned arms and killer legs expressed that she uses humor to make her desirable because she doesn’t see her outward appearance as such. That was a total shock for me because I saw her as both funny and smoking hot!
You see it’s not just us fat girls, most women have insecurities about something! And don’t get me wrong, us big girls started the BoPo movement because the media and society has taught us we are undesirable and unworthy. So it is crucial we make our voices heard and bodies seen. But as my friend Cathleen from FatGirlsDance and A Naked Podcast says “Fat bitches stop getting at skinny bitches and skinny bitches stop getting on fat bitches.”
I say this all to say that we should be more inclusive when we talk Body Positivity. Maybe you feel alone in this journey because you are the only big girl in your family or at your job. But I guarantee you that your coworker, sister and mother all share some sort of body criticism mindset. By talking with our peers, we can help each other break the cycle and help to hype each other up. Put up affirmations at your job and have your coworkers join in! Talk to your mom about her insecurities and learn how to undo the negative thoughts together. Don’t feel like you have to do this alone or find a fellow babe to do it. And if you can't find one, email me! I'M HERE FOR YA BABE! Be fearless, be brave, be you!
Thanks for reading!