Athlete’s Corner – Bernadette Henry
Bernadette Henry is a mom, wife, employee, and start-up entrepreneur of MakeItFunNYC, a lifestyle brand focused on getting fit physically and mentally through jumping rope. Bernadette says she’s been jumping rope since she was a little girl, but developed her passion and skill as an adult. She is a coach for individuals searching for a way to keep fitness foremost and have fun while changing their lifestyle.
Why don’t you take a minute to tell us a little bit about your story?
I am a mom, wife, employee, and start-up entrepreneur. I’ve been working out for many years off and on in spite of my busy schedule. I’ve been working in the social services field (mental health) for the last 17 years. I find it very rewarding and personally it gives me the patience to deal with all types of people. I have been jumping rope since I was a little girl; however, I developed my passion and skill as an adult. When I was 19-20, I lost a lot of weight just doing cardio. But as life changed, my body changed. I’ve had children, my schedule has changed, and my eating habits have changed. However, I do not let those changes or my image stop me from being front and center.
When did you begin to embrace your own curves and can you share with me about your own personal journey to self-love and body acceptance?
I embraced my curves several years ago. I had to realize that I am a real person, with a real life. 2013 was my last transformation and when I tell you that I looked great, I really did. I made it to a lean 120 lbs. Of course I had the li’l tummy still because two ounces of protein per meal and the other eliminations were not cuttin’ it for me.
Why do you think it is so important to share our stories with others?
It is important to share my stories with others because people in society are brutal. There is some “standard look” that people are made to feel they need to be. There are many people dying because they don’t look a certain way.
With the online popularity that you have been receiving, I am sure there also comes with it a little bit of negative attention. How do you manage to stay so positive when there are quite a few critics out there commenting on the images that you post of your body?
This is too funny. Someone just wrote a negative comment on my Instagram page yesterday. Most people just message me their complaints. One chose to comment on a video. I am confident in who I am and what I stand for. I also look at the body of work I’ve done and my weight has not been an issue with the opportunities or my influence on others. I honestly don’t care what others think. People’s problem with me is their problem, not mine.
What is the overall message you want our readers to gain from your story today?
Be happy with who you are and do things because you want to do them. Don’t set up your personal goals based on someone else’s opinion of you or you will fail.
What are some tips you can give to women with curves who are just starting their body positive journey?
Be realistic. Only do what you enjoy and what you can maintain. Stay clear of the clutter. Share your goals with others who you trust and who you know will support you. Do what you can with what you have. Pace yourself. Get help/assistance when you are ready.
If you could say one thing to my readers about body positivity, what would that be?
Once you accept yourself, the world has no other choice but to accept you as well. Self-confidence speaks volumes.
What are your plans for the future; what else do you hope to take on?
My plan is to write a book that will definitely discuss body image. I’d also love to be a motivational speaker on many stages.
FabUplus is the only body positive health, fitness, and lifestyle PRINT magazine with weight neutral content specifically dedicated to women with curves. What are your thoughts on this new media platform for the plus sized community?
I believe that it is great and it will save many lives.