Social media is a truly incredible platform, and I am so grateful to it for developing such a wonderful reach and community to work with. Over the years the health industry and those working in it have grown astronomically and with that so have the opinions. I will put my hands up and say some of the things I thought in my teens weren’t backed by science, but by personal preference and feeling. As I continued to learn, mature and start a career in the Health & Fitness industry it was my mission to give to my readers and clients evidence based advice, and my opinion from professional experience. My mindset shift was from education, with learning and growing my knowledge came a yearning to share this with you. It also came from my change in professional focus, from food to launching my Ballet Blast concept – fitness and dance being something I’ve trained in for the last 12 years.
With this in mind I wanted to talk a little bit about a trend I’ve noticed on the gram, and why some of the more constructive conversations just leave us more confused.
Body Image is something I have spoken about time again due to my experience growing up in an industry where aesthetic is everything, a heightened reality which emulates certain elements of social media. There is a real conversation going in regards to “Body Positivity” which I welcomed to my feed, and also feel passionate about, for obvious reasons. My mission with naturally sassy is to inspire women to love the skin they’re in, but that doesn’t mean we can’t feel like improving our strength and physique too. As a former ballerina I am more than aware of the pressure men and women and young girls in particular face when it comes to the way they look and the aspirations they have. In honouring this, telling thousands of people they should love their bodies as they are, there comes a movement for criticising those who talk about toning and transforming their bodies.
As a personal trainer 100% of my clients want to see a physical change, and are aiming towards their idea of a better, strong, sleeker body. Who is anybody to criticise that? I truly believe that transforming your body can be a transformation to your life – it shows discipline, strength and commitment. For my clients they often experience changes to their everyday function – they feel better, healthier and stronger as a result. I believe that what we should be promoting in cases like this is a positive place to start – with a view to transforming your body for health, strength and performance and loving where you are at in the process. Starting from a place of hatred, hating your body and the way it looks is never positive and absolutely not something anybody deserves to feel. Yes, seeing abs like a chocolate bar can make us all insecure, but the real lesson here is to understand that we don’t need to look like that. Does that mean we can’t aspire to look stronger and slimmer? I don’t think it does. I believe it’s all about the mindset we start with and the long term intention.
As important as it is to nurture those of us out there who are insecure about our bodies and let’s face it, we all have those days, it’s also important to support those that need to lose weight for their health and future. Talking about this topic on social media provokes conversation that is important to have, but from my standpoint it is one sided. Sometimes loving your body fully comes from connecting with it through a physical journey, and one that may include or be based in physical change.
I’ve written this blog post to explain my definition of Body Positivity which, simply put, is all about accepting and loving the skin you’re in, and knowing you do not need to change yourself for anyone, but you.