Body Warrior Series: Body positive people you need to know

What is the Moderation Movement Body Warrior Series?

We’re sharing quotes from our favourite ‘Body Respect Warriors’. People who are spreading the word that all bodies deserve respect and care, and that our worth is not tied to our appearance, nor our health, nor even our level of effort spent on improving our health. They lead by example and encourage others to question the damaging cultural messaging around bodies, and help women and men to respect their own bodies.

Read and feel a surge of inspiration to make your thoughts and words about bodies kinder – especially your own…


 

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Body Warrior Series #1

First up, the wonderful Meret Boxler. If you haven’t already, please check out her website and podcast called Life Unrestricted. It’s awesome, and she hosts the most amazing guests!

 


 

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Body Warrior Series #2:

Sarah Harry! Sarah is the director of Fat Yoga Australia, and the co-founder of Body Positive Australia. She’s a counsellor, lecturer, researcher, yoga teacher and writer. Sarah is the person who inspired me to undertake my Masters in Counselling (yes, I’m a huge fan-girl).

Here’s a wonderful quote from Sarah that I know will help so many of you…

“My body, it was never wrong and it isn’t now, even if sometimes I don’t see shapes like mine in the media, my work or my yoga practice.

I was told I was wrong over and over and over and now I am looking back at that person and showing them some kindness. I am sorry for her and how she suffered. You could do the same (just a thought..)

Now my hope is that you too can find both self compassion and loving kindness towards yourself and embrace the idea (shocking I know) that you and your body are not wrong, they are just the way they should be right in this moment.

If you find this statement very confronting and your mind says “that’s rubbish” ( I love minds sometimes), then I would pay that some attention too. If you can’t feel ease in your body or feel that it is fundamentally right regardless of its lengths and widths then maybe you need to explore this a little more with someone, because it’s really, really hard to feel wrong all the time.” – Sarah Harry

 


 

 

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Body Warrior Series #3:

Virgie Tovar is an author, activist and world respected lecturer on fat discrimination and body image. She started the hashtag campaign #losehatenotweight and edited the anthology ‘Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion’. She rocks. Check out her work now. Virgie writes…

“Ironically the diet and fitness industry actually creates the really negative relationship that people have with food and with physical activity.

When you give foods (like cookies or kale) magical powers you create a situation in which people will act irrationally and inauthentically around food.

When you endow physical activity and movement the magical powers of success and failure you create a situation in which people will develop a really fraught relationship with movement of any kind.

I know that for me, sometimes even going out for a walk – because it’s gorgeous outside and I just want to see some gorgeousness! – can trigger feelings of shame or “yay me” or goal-setting. These feelings are NOT natural or innate; they are learned.

So, Fitspo, I’m sorry but I’m going to have to say that you are anti-humanitarian, you are sexist, you are ableist and you’re just a plain misnomer. There ain’t no inspiration in suffering.” – Virgie Tovar: Fat Activist, Sexologist & Author

 


 

 

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Body Warrior Series #4:

Harriet Brown is a science writer, editor, and professor of magazine journalism. Her book ‘Body of Truth: How science, history and culture drive our obsession with weight and what we can do about it’ absolutely blew Zoe and I away. Check out her work here: https://harriet-brown.squarespace.com/

She writes:
“Unfortunately, the evidence suggests that dieting makes people neither thinner nor healthier. Quite the opposite, actually: Nearly everyone who diets winds up heavier in the long run, and many people’s health suffers rather than improves, especially over time. Repeated dieting in particular causes a cascade of negative physical and psychological consequences.

Dieting can make people thinner for a while — six months, a year or two, maybe three. Which, coincidentally, is about how long most studies follow dieters and how they claim success.

In reality, your chance of maintaining a significant weight loss for five years or more is about the same as your chance of surviving metastatic lung cancer: 5%.

It doesn’t matter what flavor of diet you try — Paleo, Atkins, raw, vegan, high-carb, low-carb, grapefruit, Ayds (remember those chewy chemical-infused caramels?) — only 3% to 5% of dieters who lose a significant amount of weight keep it off. Weight-loss treatments are cash cows, in part because they don’t work; there’s always a built-in base of repeat customers.” – Harriet Brown, Body of Truth


 

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Body Warrior Series #5:

Isabel Foxen Duke first blew me away when I heard her interviewed on a podcast. I then keenly sought out other interviews with her. If you’ve heard her dynamic, sweary, powerful words you’ll know exactly why I loved hearing more. Isabel coaches people to give up the dieting mindset and make peace with their body, writes a fabulous blog and has an email coaching course. Ricki Lake sings her praises. Earlier this year we chatted via Skype and I loved hearing about her amazing energy for her coaching goals.
You can find her work here: Isabel Foxen Duke

 


 

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Body Warrior Series #6:

I only recently discovered the work of the magnificent MelissaToler. Previously a pharmacist, she’s now a rocking Body Image Warrior with a blog, FB page, and 12 week course. She’s full of wisdom on giving up the diet mentality and respecting your body. Please check out her work.

Filling your social media feeds with news and info that makes you feel better about yourself – not worse – is an important part of developing body respect. We’re sharing work by Body Image Warriors in this series to help you build a newsfeed that supports, not harms, your body image.

 


 

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Body Warrior Series #7:

 
Recently the bopo dynamo Shelley Lask from Body Positive Health & Fitness – Personal Training wrote this on her FB page…
 
“We need to look critically at messages that say that if we start to love ourselves or our bodies that we will magically start to lose weight.
First of all, this is not supported by the evidence.
 
Second of all, this implies that people in larger bodies must not love themselves (awful, dangerous and untrue).
 
And third of all, can’t holding ourselves in positive regard and having a good relationship with our bodies just be ENOUGH? Isn’t it actually a wonderful place to get to – do we really have to pretend that nothing counts unless we’re thin?
 
Don’t let diet culture co-opt body positivity.” – Shelley Lask
 
Shelley is a Melbourne fitness professional dedicated to spreading the word that ALL bodies deserve respect. She helps people to reframe exercise to be about enjoyment and feeling good in the body you have.