Embrace every inch of your body from your pinky toe all the way through to the crown of your head. So I was asked to fill out some questions around why Love Your Body is important to BUDU Wellness & Fitness and I wanted to share that with you all.
How did you first get into the health & wellness industry? I started out pretty young being involved physically in gymnastics, cheer, powerlifting, and dance which I think inevitably and unknowingly paved my path into the world of health and wellness. I got into the health and wellness industry initially just being a coach for young children for cheer and then tumbling. I’ve been an instructor and coach for 8+ years and I have been helping young kids achieve their goals physically. I then started doing yoga around 7 years ago which overall started my journey into my OWN physical and mental wellness in adulthood. This began my official journey and my path of entering into the health and wellness industry focusing on physical, mental, and intellectual wellness.
How has fitness (or yoga) impacted your relationship with your body? I’d say both fitness and yoga have both challenged me and made me realize the capabilities of what my body is able to do!! It can honestly do some incredible things from lifting over 3 times my weight to contorting into some really cool poses which of course I’m no where near where some yogis are in the way they can move their bodies but I’m okay with that. I think the biggest thing that yoga has taught me or made me realize about my body or bodies in general is that we’re all unique individuals and our bodies go through different stages at different points in our lives and honestly that’s a beautiful thing. I don’t obsess over looking a certain way because I know with the right amount of work, I can mold and shift my body into what I want it to look like at any given time because that’s the awesome thing about bodies; they’re malleable and they change with life. Yoga has taught me a new appreciation of the different stages my body goes through during its many different fluctuations. So yea, fitness and yoga have taught me the strength and abilities my body is capable of but also how to have grace and acceptance of my body.
In what ways do you aim to empower yourself or others to love their bodies? I think one must first work on their own relationship with their body before we can truly begin to shift that energy into others lives. Me and my body have a long-term relationship because it’s the one and only place that houses my soul while I’m here on this earth. We don’t get to switch bodies fortunately. So with this, I began to accept the different stages my body goes through in order to have a healthy relationship with my own image and body and that’s an empowering feeling. My goal is to invite that same energy and ideal into others lives so that they can love their body as I love my own. That’s how I want to empower others. So love your curves, your rolls, your six-pack, love EVERY stage your body goes through and rest in knowing that you can mold and shift your body at anytime with the right mindset, attitude, and knowledge to do so.
Do you have a self-care routine? Share in detail. Hmmm....my self-care routine. It kind of varies day to day I suppose. I’ve always been big on affirmations and just words of motivation so I keep an app called Motivation on my phone that sends me multiple words of motivation throughout the day. I’ve recently started my day with Deepak Chopra’s Soul of Healing Affirmations to set the tone of my day. I keep a list of absolute yeses on my bathroom mirror as a constant reminder of the things that are a priority for me and they’re typically things that feed my soul. So some of the things on my list remind me to pray and put God first, spend quality time with my significant other, listen to music and get some sun. These are only but a couple of the items on my list. And I’m a faithful long, hot bath taker. Taking long hot baths relax my body physically and it does something for me mentally as well. I also try to do yoga at least 2-3 times a week. Last but not least, every Sunday I write one good thing that happened that week and place it in a jar. I also like to put a quote, affirmation, etc. that sums up my week and a power word behind it. This really helps me stay grounded and appreciate the small and big things in life. I would say these are the most consistent things I do for my self-care routine. Some other things that I also do for my self-care but is more spread out is I journal using prompts to help me unpack and learn about myself more. Writing down my thoughts is very therapeutic. And I try to read personal journey type books but I’m a slow reader so it takes me a lot longer to get through books but I enjoy having one that I pick up and revisit. My favorite book that I recommend for this is “Own Your Glow” by Latham Thomas.
While there's obviously a ton of work to be done still, can you speak to the progress around the body positive movement? Have the stereotypes improved even a little bit? I absolutely think there has been progress around the body positive movement. I think it’s amazing to get to see all the different shapes and sizes and beautiful women being represented because honestly that’s what it should be. Again, we are so unique and individual how could there be this “one size fits all” approach when it comes to bodies anyway. So I feel there is more representation now when it comes to seeing all types of bodies. Of course, I’m sure we still have work to do because there are so many different shapes and sizes in the world, I’m almost positive we don’t have all of them represented but I think we’re making strides towards it.
What about advice for someone struggling with body positivity? For someone struggling with body positivity, I would remind them that beauty is a only construct that imperfect human beings created. There is no way to truly define what’s “beautiful” or what’s “right” when it comes to the way our body looks. Remember that our bodies are time-bound, temporary, and ever-changing. Never align who you are as a person or your values with your physical body. Know that what matters is internally within you and your actions and intentions are who you actually are. Your soul is what represents infinite beauty because it is timeless and cannot be shaped or formed. And because of this, your body in EVERY STAGE is so precious because it is the storehouse of something so special...our soul. So forget societal norms of what you think your body should look like and KNOW that where you are right now with your body is perfectly imperfect and that’s what makes this world so awesome with all the varying sizes and shapes and colors. Who wants to be the norm when you can stand out any day. You are bigger than your physical body and so much more!! Love your body in every way, shape, and form!!