Updated: Jan 10
This week, we chatted with Raquel Benitah of @bettersorethansorryy all about her inspiring journey of body positivity and self-love.
Name: Raquel Benitah
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
Favorite TV Show: Schitt’s Creek
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would it be?
What are 3 words you’d use to describe yourself?
Optimistic, loyal and funny
Talk to us a little bit about who you are!
I am a recent Kinesiology graduate from Wilfrid Laurier University and am now studying Holistic Nutrition in Toronto! I am a lover of all things health, fitness and wellness. I enjoy travelling and have been to many different cities and countries around the world but my two favourite places are New York City and Toronto. In my free time I like to attend group fitness classes, see my friends, craft, bake and work on content for Bettersorerthansorryy. In the next few years I hope to continue working on and growing Bettersorethansorryy, as well as being a practicing Holistic Nutritionist.
Can you talk to us a little about the story and inspiration behind @bettersorethansorry?
I started Bettersorethansorryy when I was in first year university as a side hustle to help me and other students stay motivated in the gym and with nutrition while balancing school. I found it challenging at the beginning of my university career to find a balance between keeping up with school work, student living, health and fitness and free time. I found that posting and showing what I was doing everyday on Bettersorethansorryy acted as a guide and an aid for me. Throughout the years, I have learned so much about myself, my followers and the community at large. The health and fitness industry is so large and vastly growing which is great as it leads to continuous opportunities. I recently have transitioned the account over to a body positivity account. I found that I was becoming too obsessed with health and fitness and not allowing 100% of my true colours to shine through to my followers which is why I decided to make the change. It has only been a few months, but I am loving it more than I did before and I feel as though I can now fully be myself. There is such a great body positive community on social media and I am so thankful that I am part of it.
Your account is all about self-love, accepting your body and promoting body positivity. What does body positivity mean to you?
Body positivity for me means accepting your mind and body for all that it is. I believe that everyone regardless of their race, religion, age or size has the right to be body positive. I have struggled with what the definition means to me as it is ever changing but I do believe that everyone should love their body at its current state and embrace all that they are. My mom always taught me that if you do not love yourself, no one can love you which is one of the most important lessons I have ever been taught. Self-love is one of the most important things in life.
How do you manage to stay motivated and positive?
How to stay positive and motivated is one of the most asked questions I get from my followers. My number one answer is that it is just part of my routine. I have been going to the gym and fuelling my body with healthy food for many years now and I love how it makes me feel. I have also found a balance which works for me and my lifestyle which is why it also sticks. I make sure that the things I choose to do are sustainable and attainable so that I can continue to do them week after week. I allow myself to take rest days and eat a variety of foods without feeling guilty about it. Bettersore is also a huge motivator for me because I need to show up for my followers everyday, even if the topic of the day is anxiety or feeling down. Staying positive takes constant work and effort. No one is just constantly positive 24/7. Some days I wake up and automatically feel happy and positive and some days I have to convert my mood from negative to positive as the days go on. It’s all about allowing your mind and body feel what it needs.
What challenges have you overcome to reach this place of being so comfortable and confident in your own skin?
I’ve had to work on myself and my thoughts everyday for the past few years to become confident and comfortable in my own skin. It is a constant struggle and something that I know I will have to work on for the rest of my life, but it’s worth it for the end result. Being confident, loving myself and feeling comfortable in my skin is one of my goals in life, especially throughout the different stages in life as my body will continue to shift and change.
What advice do you have for individuals who are struggling with remaining body positive?
My advice is to be kind to yourself and think about why you are upset with your body. Understanding why you are having a negative self dialogue is crucial to changing it and turning it into positive self-talk. As well, everybody needs to understand that every single human being struggles with body image issues. Something that has helped me a lot is talking about it and realizing the things that trigger me. Standing in the mirror and saying I hate my thighs is a huge trigger for me, and is something I've learned to stop doing which has helped a lot. Just remember it takes time to love yourself but it is a very important task to master in life.
How has dance and fitness impacted your life and who you have become and helped you on this journey?
I have been dancing since I was a little girl and partaking in fitness classes for many years. The idea that dance and fitness are both healthy ways of moving our bodies to honour them rather than doing it to punish them is why I found my love for fitness. As well, the accepting that dance has shown me is incredible. I was always a larger girl from childhood into my teenage years but that did not stop me. I was always accepted and never felt embarrassed to dance or be on stage in the same costume that the smaller girls were wearing. I have visited my old dance studio and have told the owners that they played a huge part in shaping my childhood and setting the ground work for the woman I am today. As well, knowing that there is always a safe place to move my body that doesn't require calorie burning or running on the treadmill is such an amazing feeling.
What does the future hold for Raquel and @bettersorethansorry?
Although the future is unknown, I am very excited to see where my life takes me. After graduating from Holistic Nutrition school next summer I hope to practice and see clients to change their lives for the better and give them the positive experiences that fitness and nutrition have provided me. For now, Bettersore will continue to be a side hustle but hopefully will continue to grow into something more.
Check-out Raquel on instagram (@bettersorethansorryy) for your daily dose of inspiration, body positivity, wellness tips and so much more.