NOW is the time to choose Body Liberation Oriented Facilities and Professionals! EVERY. BODY. Studio would be a great place to start!
It is the year 2020 and we are two solid months into a quarantine for a global pandemic. In the last two months, SO MANY weight-neutral, anti-diet fitness practitioners have come online to help EVERY BODY who WANTS to find their own definition of “health” OUTSIDE of Diet Culture, including yours truly.
That means THIS – right now – is your chance to step away from the scale, away from the damaging effects of restrictive dieting for weight loss and away from punishing exercise. If you’d rather not listen to a fitness instructor yell at you about how you “HAVE TO burn off that dessert from last night” or how you’re doing squats to “get rid of the jiggle…” or get a nice [peach emoji] booty; If you’d like to leave size and weight-obsessed fitness instructors behind and enter into the new community of people who move their bodies for mental, emotional and physical health reasons rather than to shrink themselves, THIS is the time to do that.
Body Liberation trainers and fitness instructors are NOT just the new frontier in fitness or the latest fitness fad – they are at the forefront of a complete revolution in the fitness and health industries and are working hard to bring sane and sustainable approaches into an industry riddled with disorder and obsession with thinness.
How do Body Liberation trainers and fitness instructors differ from traditional trainers and fitness instructors? Oh reader, let me count the ways…
1. A traditional trainer or fitness instructor will focus on weight loss and encourage restrictive dieting for weight loss. A Body Liberation trainer or fitness instructor will help you focus on how your body feels and will not encourage you to restrict for weight loss because they know the facts about how restriction ultimately leads to binging, further weight gain and disordered eating.
2.A traditional trainer or fitness instructor will encourage you to use exercise as punishment or to whip your body into shape. A Body Liberation trainer or fitness instructor will help you find what feels like joyful movement to your body and encourage you to partake in that joyful movement as often as you like, while emphasizing the fact that your body is not a problem.
3.A traditional trainer or fitness instructor enforces Diet Culture’s thin ideal and assumes everyone just wants to be thin at any cost. A Body Liberation trainer or fitness instructor embraces Body Diversity, realizes that every single body is meant to be different, and encourages all bodies to seek healthy behaviors, regardless of size.
4.A traditional trainer or fitness instructor may provide you with strict meal plans where certain foods – or even whole food groups – are forbidden and you meticulously count point, calories or macros to make sure you are staying under a given amount (this is also known as restrictive dieting for weight loss). A Body Liberation trainer or fitness instructor may be equipped to coach you in Intuitive Eating (if they are a certified Intuitive Eating Pro) or they will at least encourage you to learn Intuitive Eating and seek out Intuitive Eating guidance.
5.A traditional trainer or fitness instructor will focus on your external appearance and the effect exercise will have on your external appearance. A Body Liberation trainer or fitness instructor will focus on your vitality and vibrancy and the effect exercise will have on the way that you feel both physically and mentally.
6.A traditional trainer or fitness instructor is considered to be the expert of your body. A Body Liberation Trainer or fitness instructor believes that you are the expert of your own body.
7.A traditional trainer or fitness instructor will often engage in shame-based expectation setting with shaming and weight-centered “thinspiration.” A Body Liberation trainer or fitness instructor delivers a compassionate exploration of your unique desires mixed with encouragement that is based on your own unique strengths.
8.A traditional trainer or fitness instructor will focus on self-improvement because they operate from the assumption that there is something “wrong” with you; that self-improvement may lead to self-punishment and self-abandonment (following other people’s rules for your body despite that inner voice that tells you not to). A Body Liberation trainer or fitness instructor encourages you to return to yourself because they operate on the assumption that there is nothing “wrong” with you and that you were BORN inherently worthy of respect, which should lead to an increased sense of self-respect and self-acceptance.
And there are probably many things I could add to this list but you get the picture.
Listen: I have loved fitness for a very very very long time. I love gyms. I love group fitness classes. I love training hard. I love lifting weights and swimming and running and dancing and doing yoga and pilates and barre and kickboxing and ALL of it. I love to move my body.
But, I, for one, found out several years ago that I had had enough with the rampant fatphobia and obsession with thinness that most of my gyms, classes, instructors and trainers operated from. When I first started down this path, I had zero access to Body Liberation oriented trainers or fitness instructors. Everywhere I turned, the only option I had was more and more and more Diet Culture and trainers and fitness instructors who had drunk ALL of the Diet Culture kool-aid with gusto. I would tell myself that I could attend their classes, do their workouts, attend their gyms and just do it for my own reasons; that I could shut out their insanity and know that I workout because I love my body and not because I hate it or because I think there is something inherently wrong with it. BUT… their voices were too loud and Diet Culture was too strong. And eventually, for my own well-being, I had to make the choice to leave them behind.
You, my sweet reader, have more choices today than ever before. Body Liberation oriented professionals are everywhere and ready and willing to serve you! Yes, Body Liberation personal trainers and Body Liberation fitness instructors and Body Liberation yoga instructors BUT ALSO Body Liberation oriented Therapists and Dietitians and yes, even SOME medical doctors, nurse practitioners and other medical-field professionals. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PUT UP WITH DIET CULTURE REARING ITS UGLY, DAMAGING, DISORDERED, HEAD IN YOUR “HEALTH” SPACES ANYMORE. You have the choice to seek Authentic Health by seeking out Body Liberation professionals.
Do I want you to start with Every. Body. Studio and Fitness For Mortals? Of course I do. These are my babies and now that I am ready to share them with the world, I want the world to see how beautiful they are and enjoy them along with me. But, for goodness’ sake, if not Every. Body. Studio and Fitness for Mortals, PLEASE choose SOMEone, ANYone who is working from a Body Liberation perspective to train with and take classes with. Make this one move for yourself, for your body, and for your mental and physical health. It’s time.
And if Every. Body. Studio and/or Fitness For Mortals isn’t doing it for you, use SuperFit Hero’s Body Positive Fitness Finder to find a different Body Liberation oriented certified personal trainer, certified fitness instructor or certified yoga instructor (just for the record, I am all three PLUS a certified intuitive eating professional as well -- just sayin').
Use The HAES Registry (HAES = Health At Every Size) to find Body Liberation oriented health professionals of all kinds.
Use The Intuitive Eating Counselor Directory to find Intuitive Eating Certified Professionals of all kinds.
Use The Body Trust Provider Directory to find a Body Trust Provider certified by Be Nourished, founded by a licensed MSW and Registered Dietician who work and train folks from an anti-diet, weight-neutral, body-liberation perspective.
These are starting places. Body Liberation is a WHOLE journey. That’s why I’ve created Fitness For Mortals Body Liberation Training. Your journey CAN start by making the shift out of gyms and away from trainers and fitness and yoga instructors who are still flying the damaging flag of Diet Culture – and toward Body Liberation trainers and fitness instructors and the facilities they have created just for you, just for THIS purpose.
Hope to see you in the studio (or my inbox) soon!
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is an NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer; an ACE-Certified Group Fitness Instructor; a certified Yoga Teacher; a Certified Intuitive Eating Professional; and a degree-holding Health, Fitness Specialist. She lives in Frankfort, Michigan and owns Every. Body. Fitness and Yoga Studio.