#BLPFAM | Edsa Estella, Sharing Her Self Love Journey
The expressive, high-spirited, and charming content creator Edsa Estella has been utilizing her platform to spread positive body image and healthy habits. Despite her rising success, her journey was not smooth sailing. She has gone through bumpy roads and self realizations to be who she is today. We sat down and talked about her relationship with herself, an inspiring transformation journey, as well as the love for fitness and dancing.
My love for dancing started when I was in preschool. I had a lot of confidence to dance during events and gatherings as a kid! Sadly, my confidence started to crumble as I grew older. I felt that my physical appearance wasn’t something to be proud of and the bullies got me. Fast forward to middle school, I was introduced to fitness and started to do home workouts and basic movements. After I graduated from high school, I decided to join the college’s dance team.
Both activities allow me to express myself freely. Whenever I’m dancing, that particular moment gives me a safe space to show my emotions and be whoever I want to be. The same goes for fitness. It is my getaway to relieve stress, keeping my mind at ease.
Let’s talk about your journey to finding self love that you share on your TikTok.
It all started in 2006 when I was in primary school. At that time I was obese, weighing 80kg. My mom took me to the doctor to consult for a proper diet but I bluntly declined. As a kid, I thought dieting meant not eating at all, although I ended up dieting in my third or fourth grade. I successfully reached 60kg. However, it didn’t last long. My weight jumped to 110kg.
Because of my body, I was bullied. I experienced the bad words and violence. Those bullying hardships created this mindset in me that to live comfortably I have to work hard. So I climbed my way to be the first rank in class and collected achievements. My parents often told me that it’s okay to be “fat” as long as I’m smart. Well, I did not resonate with that. I believe that we should be smart and take care of ourselves at the same time.
A turning point happened in junior high school. I had a crush on my friend but the feeling wasn’t mutual. My brokenhearted self saw that all my positive traits were covered just because I was not pretty enough. At the end of the day, I realized that I didn’t need him to like me. I needed me to like me! This moment triggered me to go on a diet to feel better about myself and to be healthier. I didn’t diet for a boy, mind you!
It took me two years to go from 100kg to 53kg. It was a huge progress but I felt something’s off. The bullies didn't vanish as they commented on my new “skinny” body. I was stressed, overworked myself and got diagnosed with anorexia. Then, I suffered from bulimia.
Thankfully, I recovered from those low points of my life. After my recovery, I realized that the world isn’t just about physical appearances. There’s so much more you can do! I then fell in love with fitness. I like weight lifting and gaining muscles. This process also allowed me to take care of myself better and focus on who I want to be. Loving myself isn’t easy, but here I am trying to do it every single day. I don’t want a mediocre life without giving any impact to people around me. So I share my journey through social media while maintaining a healthy balance in me.
How do you practice self love these days?
There are a lot of ways to practice self love. Mine is to have a healthy lifestyle – having enough rest, managing nutrients intake, doing regular workouts and enriching my knowledge. I also believe that loving yourself doesn’t mean you can’t have body goals. Don’t get it wrong, you can do what you think will benefit your body and health!
In addition to that, I always have a conversation with myself to understand my needs and how to fulfill them. Most importantly, I treat myself as how I love others. Don't be afraid to share kindness around!
Why do you think it’s important to love yourself before you love someone else?
Loving someone else without loving ourselves first will be tiring. How can we give love to someone else when we don’t have any love in the first place? So I invest in loving myself first, to give back to others without expecting anything in return. Whenever I give love to others, it’s because I have enough love for myself and not the other way around.
Looking back, what changes do you feel before and after practicing self love?
The most drastic change is how I treat others and vice versa. Nowadays, a lot of people ask me how I can be so positive. I recognized that self love has the power to transform one’s character, mindset and perspective. Back then, if I didn’t get the response I hoped for, I would dwell in sadness. Today, I can accept that people can go different ways and have different interests. I am content and happy to spread positivity through my platform while knowing my limit to care for myself.
Moving on, what do you think about beauty standards?
As a communications student, I truly believe that beauty standards are images created by the industry to market a certain product or service. Just because you don’t fit a certain standard, doesn’t mean that you don’t fit anywhere else. You fit in with yourself. This is what I think: Let’s just make our own standards. If the industry can make one, why can’t we? Don’t waste your time trying to follow a standard if you feel uncomfortable.
What is beauty to you?
Beauty is feeling comfortable in my own skin despite other people’s judgments. The definition itself is subjective to each beholder and it doesn’t need any rules. I know that not everyone will agree with what I consider beautiful, and that’s totally okay.
What’s your relationship with makeup?
To be honest, I don’t mind going barefaced. I will still feel equally beautiful. However, I am very open to new possibilities, in this case, to enhance my features. To me, makeup does not only make me beautiful, it makes me feel good about myself. It serves as a little boost when I have restless nights or when I am not feeling my best. Wearing makeup makes me feel empowered, ready to face the world.
Lastly, can you share your go-to makeup products?
I’m a simple person [laughs]. When I’m feeling lazy, sunscreen and lipstick are all I need. If I’m about to hang out and need a little oomph, I’ll throw on a little coverage and a pop of color!