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What is body positivity, really? Plus, a Jane Goodall Barbie doll.

Have you ever struggled with the conflict between honoring your body the way it is and pushing yourself to do something new and different to improve your health? It's a weird conundrum. Do you make peace with the way you are or actively try to change? In this week's Hey Health Coach at Forbes, I offer that those two things don't need to be mutually exclusive. Body positivity has been a hugely important conversation in recent years. The pushback against cookie-cutter beauty standards has been inspiring. I hear different language than I used to from my clients about the goals they're pursuing, and advertising campaigns have started to feature people of all different sizes, colors and abilities in their marketing.

Photo: Athleta

It blows my mind to think about how different my own assessment of my body might have been if these powerful images existed when I was growing up as part of the Victoria's Secret generation.


But as a health coach, I’ve seen first-hand that many people who are genuinely thrilled by body positivity—and actively working to set new standards for themselves—remain quietly conflicted about diet, exercise, and how their bodies feel.


So when I got the following question from a reader, I was excited to address it.



My answer?


"Making peace with your body is about acceptance and appreciation, and it’s also about giving yourself what you need to heal."


Body positivity is a practice of caring for your current body—which can include pushing yourself to move more when you need it.


In the article, we discuss how maintaining a healthy body image and building new habits to support your health can go hand-in-hand. Read it here, and send your own anonymous question!


Trigger warning! There are some ads on this column for various fitness and diet apps that don't pair well with the message. Unfortunately, this is beyond my control. Please skim past them to get the true message, which is that exercise is one tool that can be used to help you heal, body and mind.


I can't say exercise is always easy, but it doesn't have to painful either. If it's your thing, your way, it can feel like fuel on the fire.


Sarah

 

Speaking of doing things that make you feel strong, Ms. Langdon (pictured above) is a champion weightlifter from Southfield, MI. After a 35 year career as a real estate agent, she realized she was out of breath climbing stairs while showing houses, so she started working with a friend's husband who was a personal trainer at a local gym and driving Uber Eats to buy the gear she needed.


Her first lift was a broomstick, and now she has 23 metals to her name. She doesn't have a sponsor yet, but she has raised more than double her goal through a GoFundMe page to continue her training. Read more...

 

Last in awesomeness for this week, there's a new Jane Goodall Barbie Doll! 😍


60 years after her groundbreaking work with chimpanzees in Tanzania, Mattel has partnered with the Jane Goodall Foundation to produce the Barbie, inspiring young people to "protect others, animals and the environment. The doll is made of recycled plastic.


Goodall told CBS News, ""There was a little boy of 7 in Burundi, and I had given a talk to the school and he came up to me and he said, 'If I pick out a piece of trash every day, it will make a difference, won't it?' And I said, 'Yes it will. And suppose you persuade 10 of your friends to pick up a piece of rubbish every day.' He said, 'Oh, that would really make a difference and then they could all get 10 of their friends, couldn't they?'... So, that's it. The cumulative effect of small actions can lead to big change."


I also just discovered Jane's podcast, Hopecast, an inspiring alternative to the news if you need a little break.

 

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Past posts can be found HERE.

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