1. Get to know you
2. Accept you
3. Forgive yourself
4. Be grateful
5. Pamper yourself.
Plastic Surgeon from the Dominican Republic, she entered the School of Medicine of the Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC), graduating with the highest honors (summa cum laude). During her internship, she prepared for the National Medical Residency competition at the Salvador B. Gautier Hospital, and stood out for having the highest rating ever obtained by a contestant at the moment. She graduated as a specialist in the prestigious National Residency in Reconstructive and Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in the Salvador B. Gautier Hospital.
She is an active member of: Sociedad Dominicana de Cirugía Plástica, Reconstructiva y Estética (SODOCIPRE), Sociedad Dominicana de Cirugía Plástica y Estética (ASAPS), American Society of Plastic Surgeons, International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), Federación Ibero Latinoamericana de Cirugia Plastica (FILAP), Colegio Médico Dominicano (CMD), World Gluteal Association (WAGS). Medina is a constant guest expert in the media, like HOLA! Magazine, El Listín Diario, Univision, Ismael Cala, among other important media networks. She has been also featured in international media such as: Univision, Despierta América, El Gordo y la Flaca, Glamour Magazine, El Nuevo Herald, Telemundo, Un nuevo día, NBC, Imagen Magazine, Estylo Magazine, The Maria Marin Show, Marko, People en Español, siempremujer.com, The Daily Directory.
Thank you so much for joining us! I’d love to begin by asking you to give us the backstory as to what brought you to this specific career path.
As a teenager I had no breasts and I did not feel comfortable with my physique. I asked my mother to give me breast implants as a gift, she told me that to do that I needed to be the best student in my class and I did that. When I turned 18 years old, she gave me the breast implant surgery as a reward. After that, I looked in the mirror and felt such immense joy. The surgery changed my self esteem. I became more confident. I thank God for that moment of gratitude and what it changed within myself. I realized I wanted to make other people feel what I felt when I had the surgery that changed my life. That is why I decided to be a plastic surgeon.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you hope that they might help people along their path to self-understanding or a better sense of wellbeing in their relationships?
Right now I am working on publishing my first book, it’s a great dream of mine. It is not a plastic surgery book. You will find in its pages my story — how self-love changed my life and the tools to reach the point where you can create magic in your life. It has recipes to become a happier and beautiful person from within.
Also I am implementing monthly campaigns on Hispanic national television to teach people how to love themselves and understand the importance of seeing imperfections as a great gift to self love and happiness.
Do you have a personal story that you can share with our readers about your struggles or successes along your journey of self-understanding and self-love? Was there ever a tipping point that triggered a change regarding your feelings of self-acceptance?
I have a giant mole on my right leg that made me feel embarrassed for years. I thought that because I was not perfect, people were not going to love or accept me. When I competed for Miss Dominican Republic and other beauty contests, I would get up at 3 a.m. to put makeup on my mole so that no one would know. I even hid this large mole from my husband today. I lived enslaved to my perfectionist self that would not let me enjoy life. After I had my second daughter, I had a dark moment of postpartum depression and with a lot of help I overcame it. At that moment, I understood that self-love is the basis of happiness. As Physiologist Walter Riso says, ‘self-love is a containment for him to avoid mental suffering,’ so through the application of different tools that I was using I began to fall in love with myself and I changed my life completely. Since then, I have become more grateful, compassionate and confident.
According to a recent study cited in Cosmopolitan, in the US, only about 28 percent of men and 26 percent of women are “very satisfied with their appearance.” Could you talk about what some of the causes might be, as well as the consequences?
The first and most important thing is that we are living governed by beauty standards imposed on us by social networks and celebrities. Through the screen. they are perfect and nothing is further from reality, this is creating psychological stress in our young people for whom they are more unhappy and dissatisfied with their physique and this results in unhealthy self-esteem.
In a study conducted by Florida State University and published by the International Journal of Eating Disorder, they found that a group of women who were asked to browse Facebook for 20 minutes experienced greater body dissatisfaction than those who spent 20 minutes researching felines from tropical forests.
Another point to work on is that we are not receiving emotional education in our homes or schools and without a healthy self-esteem we will not have the appropriate tools to support ourselves in such a competitive world, since constant criticism from the outside without a healthy inner world is a fierce threat to our satisfaction and therefore to be more unhappy with our body and life itself.
To some, the concept of learning to truly understand and “love yourself,” may seem like a cheesy or trite concept. But it is not. Can you share with our readers a few reasons why learning to love yourself it’s truly so important?
Self-love is more than liking the way I look, it is taking care of myself, respecting myself in every way and loving myself. This results in feeling happier due to the release of endorphins which decrease depression. In turn we take care of ourselves more, we face challenges in a better assertive way, we believe in our internal strength, and not what others impose on our lives. We allow ourselves to live our legacy since we know ourselves fully and we know that it makes us happy. We allow ourselves to make mistakes without judging ourselves as an executioner. Self-love has a number of benefits but the most important thing is that it leads you to have a healthy relationship with the most important person in your life — you.
Why do you think people stay in mediocre relationships? What advice would you give to our readers regarding this?
I think people stay in mediocre relationships because they don’t believe that something more is possible as they don’t believe they are worthy and deserving of receiving it. There are cases where people prefer to stay in their comfort zone and others wait with hope that their issues can be resolved. However if the couple’s problems are not caught on time, it could be too late to improve a real connection, or it could also be extremely hard to repair. My advice is divided into nine categories: 1. Live in a romantic way to keep trying every day. 2. Communicate with your partner and let him know how important the relationship is 3. Schedule a time to stay together without interruptions 4. Have a different comprehension 5. Appreciate each other
So many don’t really know how to be alone or are afraid of it. How important is it for us to have, and practice, that capacity to truly be with ourselves and be alone (literally or metaphorically)?
It is key for success. We came to this world as a woman gave us birth, but the truth is that when we were delivered we came alone to this world. Therefore being alone should be part of a daily routine to find ourselves and our inner space.
These are the practices that I do to feel happy and connected with my reality
- Avoid comparing yourself to others.
- Take a step back from social media.
- Take yourself on a date
- Get physical
- Spend time with nature
- Lean into the perks of being alone
How does achieving a certain level of self-understanding and self-love then affect your ability to connect with and deepen your relationships with others?
If you love yourself you feel confident, we reflect what we feel within ourselves. That is why I always recommend to my patients to practice the “Mirror therapy” every day, repeating positive words to yourself in front of the mirror as if you were talking to a friend.
When you love yourself you project happiness therefore you will attract the same to your life.
In your experience, what should a) individuals and b) society do to help people better understand themselves and accept themselves?
a) individuals: Be kind to yourself. Understand your mistakes as opportunities to learn. Reward yourself when you achieve a goal even if it is small. Practice with a friend to recognize your potential and strengths.
b) society: As a group living and interacting is key to connect with people that help us to go to a better level in our lives, remember that you are the five people that surround you. To better understand connecting with people that have similar roles, hobbies, affiliations, spiritual and personalities is part of becoming successful and happy.
Here is the main question of our discussion. What are 5 strategies that you implement to maintain your connection with and love for yourself, that our readers might learn from? Could you please give a story or example for each?
Every day I practice: 1. Get to know you 2. Accept you 3. Forgive yourself 4. Be grateful 5. Pamper yourself.
What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources for self-psychology, intimacy, or relationships? What do you love about each one and how does it resonate with you?
Books: Los cuatro acuerdos de Don Miguel Ruiz — Enamórate de ti de Walter Riso
Podcast: En defensa propia of Erika de La Vega
Authors: Walter Riso
All of these resources have helped me to become the person who I am today as a woman, mother, wife, doctor and also a motivator.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? Maybe we’ll inspire our readers to start it…
I am currently implementing every year two campaigns:
In October I got together with five well-known influencers to promote breast cancer awareness. The name of the campaign is: Women, touching your breast is life.
In November I will reunite the top international hispanic motivational speakers on a campaign called: Graciaton (in spanish) which is like a Gratitude marathon, to promote the importance of being grateful as the best medicine.
Besides, I will implement a campaign that I love and is born from the depths of my being called “fall in love with you”. Love is the force that moves the world and when we love each other, the magic begins. It is also the right path to happiness.
One in three women suffer from psychological, sexual, economic or physical violence this is due to a lack of self-esteem and self-esteem. If we all learned to love each other, the statistics of violence would decrease, that is why this message of self-love is so important.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that you use to guide yourself by? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life and how our readers might learn to live by it in theirs?
Life quote by Albert Einstein: We can see life in two ways: that nothing is a miracle or that everything is.
We must be grateful for every moment, every detail, every event that life gives us. Well, the key for magic to happen is to believe in the miracles that life gives us, a smile, seeing the sun, breathing, being grateful. Being thankful brings more miracles to your life and with that you will have a fuller and happier life.
Thank you so much for your time and for your inspiring insights!