I spent years hating, battling, and trying to force my body to into some impossible standard. Through the years, I would stumble across things that were body positive, but figured I'd get body positive when my body was good enough to feel positive about. Here's the thing: my body was good enough all along.
Things escalated to a point where I was working out multiple times a day, following an extremely restrictive eating plan, and taking supplements to help me lose weight. It was excessive, unsustainable, and unhealthy.
This is the point when I learned about intuitive eating. In intuitive eating, we talk about "joyful movement." Gradually, my approach to movement shifted from being something meant to force my body to shrink, and I started to approach movement as a way to feel stronger, empowered, and good about my body. It became less about punishing myself or earning food, and more about enjoyment. Don't get me wrong, just because I do workouts I enjoy doesn't mean they aren't hard as shit sometimes! You can move joyfully and still get your ass kicked in a workout.
I started to find body positive movement communities, and from there, my horizons broadened into weight-neutral fitness, and body liberation-oriented movement. While there is a lot of overlap in these concepts, they all mean something a little bit different. Body positive fitness is fitness approached with the belief that everyone deserves to feel good about their bodies. There are people out there who embrace body positive fitness and still coach intentional weight loss. I do not coach intentional weight loss.
Knowing this steered me towards the label of weight-neutral coach. I like the label of weight neutral fitness because it describes what I'm doing, but when I was introduced to body liberation oriented movement, I knew that was what I'd been looking for the whole time. Body liberation oriented movement focuses on liberating all bodies, and making fitness spaces work for everyone. This means fitness spaces that are inclusive for all races, genders, gender identities, and all abilities. In my opinion, this doesn't mean that any one single class or space is inclusive of literally everyone, but instead focuses on creating spaces that re inclusive of a many different people. It doesn't mean everyone in one place, but a place for everyone.
My journey to body positive fitness, and eventually to body liberation hasn't always been smooth, and it surely hasn't been perfect. It's okay for your thinking and your approach to evolve over time.
Mom in charge at Enlighten Well. I do body positive fitness, intuitive eating, and whatever else I feel called to do. Get to know me here.