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Conversations with Christopher Barry

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christopher Barry.

Hi Christopher, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
My mission is to help others learn to love the skin they’re in through physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness so they can live a more joyful life. It is about everything it takes to be comfortable in your own skin, from the world we live in, to what we put in and on our bodies, to how we care for ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

I personally struggled with negative body image and my self-confidence for decades. I punished my body with an eating disorder in my teens, twenties, and early thirties. The truth is that I never felt comfortable in my body and used dieting and intense exercise to try to feel better about myself. However, even at my thinnest, I still hated my body.

Now I use my experience as an esthetician, yoga teacher, Pilates teacher, and Wellness Coach to help others on their personal wellness journey to learn how to become comfortable in their own skin. I help guide others to make healthier choices to achieve their goals and to find the best versions of themselves. It isn’t about a number on the scale or fitting into a smaller size at lululemon. This is about meeting your body where it is right now, accepting and loving your body, and moving for the sake of moving so that you may find strength, flexibility and ease in your own body. Exercise and movement should be a way to celebrate your body, not punish it.

I help both women and men FALL IN LOVE WITH THE SKIN THEY’RE IN through my passion for Beauty, Lifestyle and Wellness. I take a holistic approach to help them on their journey to finding SELF LOVE and living a more high vibe, JOYFUL life.

In the midst of being in lockdown during COVID 19, my marriage of 20 years ended. The past year since as been a great time of self-discovery for me. I have grown a lot and learned a lot about myself and the type of person I want to be in the world. This has led me to think about how I can best be of service to others, and I am not returning to school for Nursing. It is my hope that this will allow me to help others on a larger scale, in addition to the coaching work I am already doing.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I think most people think growing up in Florida means you went to Disney every weekend and surfed everyday. However, I had a different experience growing up in Florida. We were very poor (sometimes not even being able to afford electricity) and I grew up on farms in and around Central Florida. Instead of surfing at the beach, we swam in creeks. Instead of exploring theme parks, we explored and played in the woods around my house. Growing up poor made me want to work harder to have more as an adult. So I worked full time and went to school full time to become a licensed esthetician. Later I put myself through training to become a yoga and Pilates teacher.

I also struggled with an eating disorder from the age of 13 into my 30s. I punished by a body with intense exercise and even at my thinnest, I never loved the body I was in. Through my yoga and Pilates practices, I have learned how to really love the body that I am in and be grateful for all that it can do for me. I am a huge believer in that movement matters and everyone should do some sort of movement everyday. I now bring that into my teaching today. However, it isn’t about a number on a scale, but about building strength, flexibility, ease in the body, and celebrating your body for all it can do.

Last year at the start of COVID lockdown, my marriage of 20 years ended. While a lot of people expecting me to be devastated, in fact it was a blessing in disguise. The last three years of my marriage was full of chaos due to my the alcohol and drug addiction that my ex-husband was dealing with, eventually leading him into rehab. At that point, I was in the darkest spot in my life that I had ever been and I almost left during that time but thought I needed to stay to help him into recovery. So when we agreed to divorce, I looked at it as a new beginning, not an ending. The past year I have really leaned into vulnerability to learn more about myself and the type of person I want to be to those around me. I reconnected to my body, to yoga and Pilates practices, and to my relationship with God. And now I am happier than I have been in years. I am using my experiences to help others come out of dark spots and to learn to love the skin they’re in so they, too can lead a more joyful life.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
My blog, YouTube channel, and social media accounts all focus on helping others to love the skin they’re in. Unlike others that focus on what I cover, I look at everything from a wholistic point of view. It is about everything it takes to be comfortable in your own skin, from the world we live in, to what we put in and on our bodies, to how we care for ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

I am currently working on a book that will cover what I call the Four Pillars of Wellness: Physical Wellness, Mental Wellness, Emotional Wellness, and Spiritual Wellness. It will include tips that I personally used to come out my darkest period ever. I believe that in order to heal, we need to take a look at and balance all four of the Pillars.

For instance, if you have skin disorders, you can apply lotions and potions all day and might not have the best results. But when you do that in a combination of looking at it wholistically, you add in things like reducing stress, eating more whole foods, etc. These work together to balance the body and heal from the inside out.

I’m known on all of my online presence as The Fab Flamingo. I believe in spreading kindness, being your most authentic self, finding balance, being flexible, standing out in the crowd and the color pink. I’m basically a flamingo! That’s probably why my spirit animal is the flamingo. Flamingos represent a more vibrant, outgoing, well-balanced and resourceful life. Something I think we all inspire to have. Flamingos also represent my favorite color, pink! Pink is a peaceful, charming hue that resonates with harmony, friendship, openness, tenderness and a smattering of romance. All traits that I hope I embody in my relationships with others. The pink flamingo represents serenity and contented life.

What was your favorite childhood memory?
Some of my favorite childhood memories involve my grandmother. She was a perfect blend of Dorothy and Blanche from the Golden Girls. She even lived in Miami. I used to sit in her backyard in Miami and eat lemons and limes straight off of the trees. I loved sitting with her when she got ready to go out with friends or on a date. I always thought she was so glamorous, and it was actually those moments watching her get ready that led me to my interest in makeup and skincare. And she was the one who encouraged me to go to school to become an esthetician and makeup artist.

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