The following is a guest post by Marisa Faye, MPH RYT
Are you fed up with feeling like you don’t look a certain way or feel a certain way about your body? Do you find yourself googling the terms “body positivity” and “body acceptance”? Ever heard the term “health at any size”? Does this all sound like a nice idea, but you don’t really know how this fits into your own life? And, what do people really mean when they use these words?
Well, I’m your girl here to give you the 101’s so you can get moving and grooving with a positive mindset to achieve all of your dreams - no matter the size of your body.
My name is Marisa Faye, and I’m a yoga teacher, women’s retreat entrepreneur, nutrition professional, and girl’s girl through and through. While my professional experiences inform a lot of my thoughts about health - it is my own experience of health, and a lifetime inhabitance in a bigger body, which has led me to loudly and proudly share the message of body acceptance and enjoyment of so-called healthy habits.
After a childhood and adolescence peppered with nearly every diet trend, at the age of 20 I decided it was time to truly take control of my weight. I set off to learn as much as I could about nutrition, physical activity, and mental health – all the factors my education told me contributed to my medically identified obesity. After I was halfway to my goal weight and the scale plateaued, I restricted A LOT and my weight stalled. Upset and still in my bigger body I knew I had to get real – get angry even at how unfair it all felt – and try to find a way to be present in the body that I had at that exact moment. What follows are ideas that I’ve melded from a number of resources and years of experience working with others, so that you can learn to focus on your inner and innate wisdom to guide you to make informed choices for your health. That sounds pretty great, amiright? So, where to get started? I’ve got a few suggestions:
1. Mindset first – Our thoughts influence our actions.
Now this is not me asking you to stand in front of a mirror and tell yourself you are beautiful. In fact, I think that can be a negative experience for some people. This is about uncoupling the idea that what you look like, and how much physical space you take up, is linked to the value you bring to the world and the way you deserve to be treated. Hear me loud and clear – THE SIZE OF YOUR BODY HAS NO CORRELATION TO THE GOODNESS AND WORTHINESS INSIDE OF YOU.
ACTION: Find a quiet moment each day to take a few deep breaths and repeat in your mind: All bodies are worthy of love and respect. I am worthy of love and respect.
2. Awareness & Exposure – Be aware of what you’re consuming visually.
I’m not talking about food here. I’m talking about images, thoughts, and ideas that place value on appearance. In order to redefine what health looks like, we need to expose ourselves to a variety of people of different ages, shapes, sizes, genders, abilities, religions, etc. We need to observe others being human.
ACTION: Pull out your phone and open up Instagram: Search a hashtag that interests you that is not linked to dieting or body size (think a sport that you like, a topic you want to learn more about, a city you want to visit). Now scroll through and follow at least 5 people that all look different. Next, view the accounts you follow, remove anyone who is consistently posting photos or stories about dieting and/or weight loss.
3. Compassionate Choices – Treat your body and mind as you would have your best friend treat theirs.
Your behaviors and daily choices directly impact your health. You can absolutely be making changes to your lifestyle in pursuit of health and not weight loss. For example, endurance exercise (such as jogging or speed walking for 30 minutes) can improve cholesterol, according to the American Heart Association. The key to this step is to try things, and identify how they make you feel to consider if it’s a change or adjustment that you’d like to make or maintain in support of your health.
ACTION: 1) Select a behavior to change or activity to try. For example, walking 30 minutes after work two days per week. 2.) Ask yourself when considering this change: What is my intention? 3) Try it! 4) After you try it ask: How did I feel during? How do I feel after? If after trying a few times you aren’t enjoying it, then nix it and move onto trying something else if you’d you’re up for it. Give yourself a high five, or reach out to me for virtual fist bump for listening to your body and mind!
As you can see, being healthy is about so much more than a number on the scale or the size of your pants. Let this be another tool in your toolkit to love, accept and take care of yourself – inside and out!
Passionate about wellness and nutrition? Want to share your unique viewpoint with people all over the world AND get paid for it?!? Learn more about creating an authentic, profitable wellness business here.
Marisa Faye is a champion of self-empowerment and self-awareness. As a recovering perfectionist, Marisa has found home in her body and mind through movement and conscious choices to support her well-being. She is a registered yoga teacher (Yoga Alliance), certified group fitness instructor (ACE), holds a Master's in public health, and studies nutritional therapy. As a full-time hustler, Marisa demonstrates a mix of passion and persistence as she works by day developing educational trainings for health professionals and by night delivering workshops, retreats and classes on mindfulness, yoga, body awareness and nutrition. Marisa believes you can be healthy at any age, stage of life, or size through increased access, information and support. In her own words: “I believe in movement for everyBODY, nutritious food for everyBODY, and a healthy mind for everyBODY.” Learn more about her at www.marisafaye.com/.
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