Do you have an experience in your life that has stuck to your core and followed you around? One moment where someone said something so hurtful that it rocked you and decided to follow you around for life?

As a young girl of 8 years old, I was on the chubby side. Short and stubby. That didn’t matter though. My femininity would shine through everything I did. I loved pink, dressing up and dancing in my room.

I didn’t care what anyone thought, because I loved me.

One frosty winter in Wisconsin, while I was waiting for my school bus with the plethora of kids from my apartment complex, the two mean brothers of the group decided to choose me to comment on that morning. One boy said these two words to me: You’re. Fat.

Who knew that two small words could engrain themselves in me and follow me around for 20 years of my life? I desperately tried to convince him that it just seemed that I was fat, because I was wearing my chunky snow pants and winter coat. (I mean, who doesn’t feel like a giant marshmallow in that get-up?) They laughed in my face. They took a girl who loved herself, a girl with no cares in the world and made her second guess herself. How dare they? More importantly, how dare I allow someone to have the power to take a piece from me?

Fast forward a few years to puberty when I traded my chubby cheeks and Oreo-filled belly for curvy hips and boobs. It was like overnight I traded my 12-year-old body for a 16-year-old’s.

I felt great at first, but those two words reminded me of that moment in Wisconsin: You’re Fat. Add that reminder to the friends that acted in awe when they found out my pants size and ding, ding, ding! You have a teenager with body image issues!

So. I was “too chubby” in my snow pants. I lost my baby chub and had the boobs and hips most girls want, and still got some hateful comments. Nothing was enough!

I continued on my journey of beating my body and soul up. I desperately searched for the perfect body in myself. From fad diets, to meal replacement smoothies, to sports drinks that made my heart rate and hormones shoot off the charts…

I found myself stepping into my first yoga class at 19 years old and decided enough is enough.

BYIt was time I do things for my body that please me, not appease the opinions of others.

To this day, I tell people my weight and they are surprised. I have a lot of muscle and a lot of hip; what can I say? The numbers on the scale are just that to me now; numbers.

This is my body. My muscly legs and curvy hips in all their goodness are mine. And this body has brought me on some insane adventures in this lifetime! It guides me through healthy pregnancies. It allows me to move on my mat and defy my own expectations. It allows me to dance around and drink wine with my friends.

Through being a Bad Yogi (a yogi who unrolls his/her mat in the morning and eats pie for lunch; one who doesn’t search for perfection or strive to meet expectations, but flows for his/herself) I have found the power to let go. FINALLY. It only took me 20 years!

Come back to your moment now. Unroll your mat today, hop on and decide—right here and right now—to let go of that moment. Flow for you. Embrace your inner Bad Yogi, and take your power back!