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Meditation – A Beginner How-To Guide

Meditation – A Beginner How-To Guide

One of the biggest trends out there right now is meditation and mindfulness!

These words get thrown around like confetti, and you may wonder what the big deal is. Perhaps you want to try meditation but don’t know where to start!

“Did I do the laundry?” “Are those papers filled out at work?” “I wonder what he’s doing right

now…”

These thoughts are totally normal and happen to everyone!

A common misconception about meditation is that it must be free of thought and done in silence, in a so-called comfortable seated position.

For many people, the seated position just isn’t comfortable-and I speak from experience! When I

first started meditating my back would throb as I forced myself to sit with proper posture and

attempt to quiet my mind.

I always left my meditation sessions feeling frustrated, like a failure, and nowhere near calmer!

So, what changed? My perspective. As a yoga teacher, meditation and mindfulness coach, I have learned and tried many ways of meditating!

What I have learned is that it is a different process for every single person. You may need to do a workout before being able to meditate as you have a lot of energy moving in your body. You may need to lie down comfortably and have silence, only listening to the sound of your breathing. You may even need to listen to a repetitive mantra and sit in a chair…

The HOW TO of meditation is really HOW TO relax your body, mind and soul-and this all depends on what works best for YOU.

Thoughts are going to come through the mind because humans are designed to think!

A thoughtless mind is not a human mind…therefore, when in meditation, one practices the witnessing of thoughts. This means that you allow the thoughts to come in, witness them, and release them with no attachment.

For instance, “I can’t believe I forgot to bring that container today” could be looked at with nonjudgement, a smile and an invitation to bring the focus back on your breath.

The goal of meditation is to pause the stream of thought and continually bring awareness back to the present moment. Focusing on the breath or a sound can help you come back to the moment of NOW.

There are many other meditation techniques and tricks that you can learn by participating in yoga classes, exercise regiments and even dancing! The mindfulness that you bring to any focused activity is the same mindfulness that you bring to your meditation!

Here’s an exercise you can try today for your own simple 5 minute meditation

Body Scan Meditation

Sit, lie down, stand, curl up, whatever feels best!

Begin to focus on your breath and notice the inhale and exhale flowing through the body. As you focus on your breath, start to notice your feet, beginning with each toe. Then travel up the leg, noticing how that feels, and continuing up through your stomach, back, arms, hands…and finally coming to your chest and head, making sure to relax all your neck and facial muscles as you breathe.

Allowing yourself the space to notice any thoughts that come through and simply watch them continue on, focusing back on your body and the parts that you are bringing awareness to.

Don’t feel bad if you fall asleep…that means you did something right!

 

Capturing strength, confidence and beauty: Why every woman deserves to step in front of the camera

Taking photographs has become a customary part of daily life – from selfies to photos of the kids, day trips and vacations, interesting architecture, fancy meals, the list goes on. But how often do we go back and look at these through our phone, computer or social media channels? How many photos of ourselves do we print off and place on display?

My family has a photo shoot done every couple of years where we have family portraits done as well as various staged and candid shots of the kids, the pup, and my husband and I together. These photos are always printed and put out on display, then dated and put away in an album when the new ones are ready to be framed.

We have fun as a family doing these shoots, coming up with ideas and spending time together. These photos reflect where we are in life, our interests and show how we are growing.

I have thousands of photos of my family on my phone and computer, they aren’t organized in folders; there are hundreds of duplicates to sort through, some are complete duds, and only a handful include me or my husband.

That is why we have a photographer – so we can be with our children in photos that we love and are proud to display around our home.

It was these family photos that led me to a personal photo shoot. This isn’t an idea I would have come up with on my own, however the opportunity arose to have my hair and makeup done, wardrobe styled and photos taken. I jumped at the chance.

I’ll admit, at first I felt a little awkward about getting dressed up and being in front of the camera. After all, there was no special occasion and no exact purpose for these photos. But, my goodness, it was a breath of fresh air. As a mother I have no issue setting up elaborate newborn shoots and cake smashes, arranging portraits of our children to hang on the wall. The kids get all the glory, and you know what? I deserve a bit of the same.

Participating in this photo shoot was lively, fun, and honestly, empowering. I felt beautiful, confident and successful as the photos were being taken. Those feelings stayed with me for days afterwards, and came back even stronger when I received the images.

That shoot was a wonderful reminder of who I was prior to becoming a mother, and who I could still be outside of motherhood, my career, and other responsibilities.

Every woman deserves to feel the way I felt and continue to feel whenever I look at those photos. It isn’t just about the cosmetic or outward beauty that is captured. With the right photographer your personality shines through; you will see strength, perseverance, confidence, and the beauty within.

These photos can extend to your professional life as well, be it on your LinkedIn profile, business website or blog. Having quality pictures that reflect who you are and what you do will set you apart. They show that you’ve invested in yourself and that others should too.

When hiring a photographer their price and portfolio are often the main considerations. However, if you don’t jive with the photographer, the photos will reflect that. You want to work with someone you feel comfortable with and can even be vulnerable with. Ensure they are good with kids and pets if they will be in the photos as well.

Have a plan in place for what you want to accomplish, and ask if they can honestly offer what you are looking for. Are they available to come to your home? Can you have multiple set-ups? What kind of packages can they offer?

With any profession there are varying degrees of experience and price points. This is not something that should break the bank, however it isn’t something to skimp on either. Once you decide how much you want to spend, take time to speak with different photographers and get an idea of who will be the best fit.

Finding a photographer and having professional photos taken of yourself and your family is worth the investment. Even if you only do it once, you have the images forever.

 

Don’t fall for the fads this New Years, Toronto

I was watching television last night when it started — the parade of weight loss commercials encouraging women to join and lose those 10 pounds. The sheer number of advertisements being pushed on social media is just as disgusting. I can only imagine the affect this has on younger women who are already struggling with their body image.

To be clear, I am not opposed to seeking out aide in weight loss. Some weight loss programs can be incredibly helpful and can offer support to those struggling with their journey. But, these decisions are incredibly personal, and women (and men for that matter) should know there is no such thing as a quick fix. Any program promising you a 10lb loss in one or two weeks is bullshit — which means that most of them are bullshit.

This is the biggest problem with New Years. Most people treat January 1 as a reset, a time to set goals and work towards becoming your “ideal self”. It’s like all of a sudden, people reflect on the worst parts of themselves and try to come up with a plan to change them.

What some fail to realize is that things like the happiness that comes from something like changing your appearance can also come from confidence and acceptance. Instead of focusing on a number on a scale, try to learn something new. Set a goal to run a 5k, learn to skate, or go on a hike every month. Maybe it is something artistic like painting or taking up creative writing? By becoming active in something new, you gain confidence and focus that you can channel to other areas of your life.

It’s also about knowing that you can’t change overnight. If change is really what you want, you have to take it in steps. You need to be content with the journey or else you will become disappointed when you don’t achieve your goals quickly enough. Be kind to yourself. Be confident in your abilities. And know that you are perfect the way you are.

But, if weight loss is your goal for 2018 — and there is nothing I can say to change your mind — here are a few things you need to know:

  1. A program can help, but it is not a magic solution. Do your research and make sure your program does not deprive you of a whole food group and that it works for your lifestyle. Remember that whatever you choose, you must also be able to afford it financially. Many of these programs are not cheap in the long run, despite the New Year discounts available.
  2. A safe and steady weight loss is 1-2 lbs a week. Sometimes, it is less, and that is okay! Remember,  it is better to lose slowly than to lose quickly — as most people who do lose weight quickly gain it all back within a year.
  3. Anything with a pill is most likely not good for you. The same goes for any company that insists juices and cleanses that promise you a drop on the scale.
  4. The best way to lose weight is to eat healthier and move your body. Be active. Enjoy life to the fullest.

I am, of course, not an expert. The advice above is from personal experience. Please consult your doctor for more information.

Best of luck in the New Year!

5 benefits of doing yoga in the morning

I’m a big yoga fan. The movement and breathing wakes my body up and forces my mind to start working, without the added stress of work or life’s challenges. Even a short five or 10-minute practice is enough to to wake me up and send positive vibes throughout my day. While many people say doing yoga at night is advantageous, I think doing it in the morning has just as many benefits.

Here are five benefits of doing yoga in the morning:

Peace of mind: People often start their day by thinking about all the tasks they have to complete before 5 p.m. And then we think about what we need to take out for dinner and who is going to be home and who is going to take out the dog. It gets crazy. Instead of starting your day off stressed out, a 10-minute yoga routine can help you slow down and be completely in the present. Whatever you need to do can wait. These 10 minutes are yours alone.

Focus: The peace of mind you get from practicing yoga can help you set an intention for your day. What do you want to accomplish? What do you want to feel? Whether you want to maintain positive thinking, despite a meeting-packed day, or if you want to be confident during a presentation or networking event, an intention will help you create the frame of mind first thing.

Helps digestion: Practicing yoga in the morning can help your body metabolize food throughout the day. By doing gentle stretches, especially twists that massage the internal organs, the body becomes more capable of releasing toxins from the body. It also allows for the body to better absorb nutrients in food.

Better posture: Many yoga poses focus on muscles in your back, forcing you to push your shoulder blades back and breath deep into the stretch. Once you start actively thinking about how your head connects with the rest of your spine, there will be no going back. These type of exercises are ideal for those with a desk job.

Overall fitness: While yoga may not burn as many calories as running a 5k, it can help you strengthen your muscles and tone your body. Through the movement, you are essentially supporting your entire body mass using your own muscles. Whether it’s a simple downward dog or something more challenging like a balancing practice, every movement activates your core. If you are looking for something to supplement your cardio — yoga is the perfect routine.

Do you practice yoga in the morning? Let us know your favourite poses in the comments below!

5 tips to dress for a sweltering hot day

Dressing for hot weather can seem impossible — running makeup, frizzy hair, sore feet, and of course, all of the clothing clings that to your body. It’s gross and can really ruin your day.

But, Women’s Post is here to tell you that it’s NOT impossible to dress to impress in the summer heat. In fact, the key is embracing your natural beauty and having a bit of fun with your summer choices.

Here are our top five tips to dress for a scorching summer day:

Natural makeup: I don’t know about you, but in extreme warm weather, the mere thought of foundation, eyeshadow, and lipstick makes me cringe. All I can picture is my face melting off as I’m walking outside with friends. It’s not even worth it. Instead, go for a more natural look. Stick to a bit of cover up if you have dark circles under your eyes and a bit of mascara. If you really want to go crazy, add some eyeliner on your top lids. Lipstick (or preferably a light coloured gloss) should be fine — just make sure you do a teeth check with a friend after that first glass of wine.

Updos: Do you ever feel like the simplest thing to do in the summer is to chop off all your hair? While short hair looks good on some people, others may want to keep their long locks despite the frizzy mess the humidity creates. In those cases, the easiest thing you can do with your hair is to put it up. Whether it’s a lazy bun or a braid, just get it off your face. Sure, curling your hair or straightening it may look professional and sexy, but once the humidity or head sweat attacks, those luscious curls will turn into a crimped monstrosity.

The best part is that updos can be equally fun. My biggest piece of advice is not to pull your hair back into a really tight ponytail or bun, as it may give you a headache throughout the day. Instead, put your hair up as you normally would and then tug at the ends to create volume. Add a headband if you want some texture. Let a few pieces hang down around your ears. If it’s not perfect, that’s okay! Perfection in an updo is overrated. Play around with braids and hair twists until you find something that works for everyday wear. If putting all your hair up is simply too horrifying to imagine, try the half bun. This hairstyle is very trendy this year and still allows you to get your sticky hair off your face while having the rest of your hair down.

Wear comfortable and loose clothing: Ditch the spanx and wear what’s comfortable. No one needs extra layers on when the humidity hits. Luckily, the trend this year is to embrace the baggy and bohemian — lots of colours and patterns. Tops are flowy with peek-a-boo shoulders and can be paired with shorts or a comfortable skirt. Try to find dresses that flatter your natural body shape. The trend this year is to have a dress with sleeves, which is perfect to protect your shoulders from the harsh UV rays of the sun. Dress these outfits up with a pair of cute laced sandles and a hat or dress it down with a pair of converse or walking shoes (see below).

The biggest tip: stay away from black (however slimming). This summer, embrace light colours and breezy materials. You won’t regret it.

shoes

Walking sandals: What used to be old and clunky has been reborn.They come in multiple styles and colours, including ones with laces and funky straps. I recently bought a pair of walking sandals that I love, and received a compliment at work about how they looked. The plus side? They were incredibly comfortable. Most walking sandals have cushioning and an incredible amount of support around the ankle — perfect to avoid those nasty falls. No blisters for me this summer! With all of these new styles, walking sandals can be worn to work or a night out on the town.

Photo courtesy of @SI_Swimsuit

Hit the beach proud: Worried your body may not be “beach ready”? Screw that! If you have a body, and you go to the beach, it is beach ready! When I went to Mexico on vacation, I was really worried that I would look terrible in a bikini. But, when I got there, it was so hot that I decided to ignore what everyone else thought and I rocked the two-piece. I was able to survive the excruciating hot week thanks to that decision. The best part? I wasn’t the only one. Everyone on that beach, no matter their size, was wearing a bikini. Some were even going topless! If it’s a hot day, wear as little clothes as is legally allowed and be proud of your amazing body.

How are you going to dress this summer? Let us know in the comments below!

Why is everyone talking about Wonder Woman’s thighs?

Warning: possible spoilers below!

Apparently, Wonder Woman’s thighs are a big deal. Or rather, the fact that her thigh jiggled during the fight scenes inspired a tumblr post that has since gone viral.

“There were absolutely NO eye candy shots of Diana,” tumblr user creativepowerfulideas said. “There were Amazons with ageing skin and crows feet and not ONE of them wore armour that was a glorified corset. When Diana did the superhero landing, her thigh jiggled onscreen. Did you hear me? HER FUCKING THIGH JIGGLED. Wonder Woman’s thigh jiggled on a 20-foot tail screen in front of everyone.”

 

http://creativewordspowerfulideas.tumblr.com/post/161378925721/watching-a-super-hero-movie-directed-by-a-woman-is

 

I saw the movie last week, despite my earlier reservations, and have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The DC Comics universe has finally seen the error of its ways and developed an action-packed super hero film that doesn’t base its entire storyline on explosions and dark music. There was actual character development, comedic relief, and a storyline that made plausible sense.

Fans were introduced to Gal Gadot’s fierce portrayal of Wonder Woman in the film Superman vs. Batman: Dawn of Justice. Her role was small, but enough to make an impression.

Wonder Woman — the first standalone female superhero movie AND first female directed superhero movie — picks up where Superman vs. Batman leaves off; although, you don’t have to watch that disaster of a movie to make sense of this film (thank goodness). In this origin film, the viewers get to watch Princess Diana (later to be given the alias of Diana Prince) grow into her destiny on an island full of Amazons. She chooses to leave home with an American pilot and spy, played by Chris Pine, to kill the god of war, Ares, whom she blames for the First World War.

Suddenly, Diana finds herself in a man’s world, being told not to speak, not to show her skin, and most importantly, not to fight — rules she breaks as often as she can to the amusement and frustration of others. The movie is full of quirky conversations about power, sex, and ice cream in addition to the intensely epic battle scenes.

And all the while, Wonder Woman is portrayed as a strong leader with an even stronger heart.

What stood out the most in this film was the women were not quite built like the average size zero models you generally see in super hero movies. The Amazons were fit, with big muscular arms and thighs. They were beautiful, but they weren’t dressed up for the eyes of men. They weren’t sidekicks or love interests. They were warriors. And when warriors fight, they jiggle.

Director Patty Jenkins fully embraced the idea of a film that didn’t just portray a strong woman, but a film that was MADE for strong women. My only hope is that when Wonder Woman returns in the Justice League series, she maintains that strength and power.

What did you think of the film? Let us know in the comments below!

Women’s Post top 5 spring-summer fashion trends

This Canadian weather is such a yo-yo. One day, it’s 27 degrees, sunny, and humid like hell. The next, it’s 11 degrees, rainy, and damp. How’s a girl supposed to decide what to wear with weather like that?

The answer is to dress for the transition. Try to find outfits that can be layered with a jacket or a blazer, while still cool enough for that warm commute on the subway or warm lunchtime walk. To help you navigate this strange weather, Women’s Post has compiled the top five current spring-summer fashion trends in Canada:

Tunic dress: These dresses are great for in-between summer whether, when it’s a bit cool in the morning but sweltering in the afternoon. The light fabric allows for breathability while the sleeves provide protection from those intense rays. A string waistline is perfect for creating shape and flaunting your fabulous body! Wear it with a blazer for the office or with gladiator sandals for the weekends.

Picadilly, $145.oo

Florals: Spring themes are continuing into the summer this year, with floral designs decorating store windows throughout the country. Whether it’s a dress, a top, or a shawl — floral is still trending! Floral jumpsuits are comfortable, edgy, and can be worn in both a professional and a casual setting. Women’s Post suggests the ones with light straps as opposed to the ones with full sleeves to help beat the heat.

Zara, $49.90

Off-the-shoulder: Shoulders are sexy, and this summer fashion wants you to show them off. Whether its the peek-a-boo shoulder or a full off-the-shoulder frilly top, these tops accentuate an area of the body that always looks good. In fact, these tops are rather freeing, and work well with jeans, dress pants, or skirts. This trend has even found its way into summer dresses!

Le Chateau, $59.95

Denim: Yes, jean skirts, dresses, jackets, and overalls are back in style! The best part about denim is that it goes with everything. A jean skirt and a blouse is perfect for the office, but throw on a pair of heels and a halter top and you are ready to party the night away. It’s also perfect for this changing summer weather. The outfit may not be the best for a super hot day, as denim isn’t the most breathable material, but while it’s still in the low 20s, it’s the perfect transition attire!

Mango, $69.99

Maxi dress: Sometimes, a short dress just doesn’t cut it on a windy day. Instead, try a floor-length, light-material maxi dress. They come in all colours and styles, and are perfect for a summer barbecue. A lot of maxi dresses cinch in at the waistline, so make sure to find one that is the appropriate height for you (I’m talking to my fellow short girls). Pair it with some gladiator shoes or a pair of wedge heels (a BBQ is no place for stilettos). Throw on a jean jacket if it gets cool in the evening.

Additionelle, $95.50

What are you wearing this summer? Share your summer fashion tips with Women’s Post in the comments below! 

Stupid Dove campaign gets body positivity wrong

Do you ever pick up a bottle of body wash and think: this doesn’t represent my body type? Or do you look at that tall and slender piece of plastic and wonder: wouldn’t I love a bottle that’s just like me, short and pear-shaped?

No? Me neither.

Apparently, Dove — a company that prides itself on celebrating “real beauty” — wants me to care about the shape of the body wash I purchase. In a ridiculous new campaign, the beauty corporation is showcasing diverse body types in their packaging.“From curvaceous to slender, tall to petite, and whatever your skin colour, shoe size or hair type, beauty comes in a million different shapes and sizes,” a Dove statement read. “Our six exclusive bottle designs celebrate this diversity; just like women, we wanted to show that our iconic bottle can come in all shapes and sizes, too.”

That’s right — Dove has changed the bottles for their body wash to represent different body types. Take a look at some of the examples below:

Photo courtesy of Dove

This is one of the stupidest attempts at body positivity I’ve ever seen.

There is nothing about a regular body wash bottle that is offensive to women, not unless it displays sexist remarks or hate messages on the label. It’s a bottle. It is a package for what is inside it. The fact that it is “skinny” or “lengthy” does not make me, a pear-shaped woman, feel uncomfortable. You know what makes me feel uncomfortable? Staring at a shelf wondering whether I will get weird looks if I pick a bottle that doesn’t “represent” my body type. Will the cashier look at me and go “she really thinks she looks like that!”

I understand the concept — kind of. Women are constantly bombarded by images of what society indicates is “perfection”. Social media is even worse. According to the Dove press release, “one in two women feel social media puts pressure on them to look a certain way.”

And that statement is true. The problem is that this campaign does exactly that. It reminds people they may not be their ideal body shape. It may cause those body conscious people to overthink about their body type, wondering whether or not other people see them as short, skinny, plump, or pear-shaped. Instead of encouraging body positivity, the campaign encourages women to think of themselves differently. It ultimately forces women to consider their body type in comparison to others. Isn’t that what Dove is trying to avoid?

Just because something is described as “feminist” and “body positive” doesn’t mean it should be. In fact, this seems more like a money-grab, capitalizing on the women’s movement in a really moronic way.

What do you think of this campaign? Is this #RealBeauty or #ReallyStupid? Let us know in the comments below!

Wonder Woman partners with thinkThin

I want to be excited about the new Wonder Woman movie coming out this year, but at every turn Warner Bros/DC Comics does something insulting and sexist that makes me change my mind.

Like accepting a promotional partnership with thinkThin, for example.

Wonder Woman, one of the strongest and fiercest female superheroes and first to receive a standalone film, is now the face of a diet bar. Good job Warner Bros. Good job.

Photo curtesty of thinkThin.

Now, before I go any further, I should say that I have never tried a thinkThin bar. The website does not emphasize weight loss, but rather promotes general wellness and healthy lifestyles. The bars themselves are described as a “nutritious” snack to satisfy hunger without the guilt.

But, with a name like thinkThin, the image it creates is not a positive one.

This is what Michele Kessler, the president of thinkThin, was going for in terms of message: “We wanted to celebrate a hero film featuring a woman in the leading role,” she wrote in a press release. “We love that Wonder Woman has super strength and we’re proud to offer delicious products that give women the everyday strength they need to power through their day.”

 

I respect that comparison, but I doubt that message will get through. Instead, most people, particularly young girls, may see it as body shaming.

It’s bad enough that most female leads in film, especially superheroes, are extremely lean and thin, representing a certain type of woman. The larger, plus-size woman is always the funny friend or the wise confident. Magazines and news publications are jam-packed with articles about diet fads, offering up 10 ways to lost that stubborn belly fat while showcasing dresses only available in size zero. Women are berated with these images on a daily basis — do we really need it from Wonder Woman too?

Wonder Woman should be promoting acceptance as much as physical strength. She should be focusing on self-love, courage, intelligence, and independence. This character is a huge inspiration to young girls worldwide! Remember when the U.N. announced this fictional character was to be the honorary ambassador for the empowerment of girls and women? Think thin — is that the message this former ambassador is sending?

This is a serious missed opportunity. Warner Bros screwed up big time and I’m not sure if they can do anything to rectify it now. Wonder Woman is supposed to be a role model for girls. She is supposed to represent a strong-willed woman, someone who doesn’t need a man to save the day — someone who is smart enough to save both Batman and Superman at the same time!

But so far, all I see is another disgraced sell-out.

What do you think of this new partnership? Let us know in the comments below!

#HealthAtEverySize: Big Fit Girl

As a plus-size woman, I rarely read self-help books. I find them degrading and useless. They make me feel like I’m not good enough. The authors, most of whom are tiny celebrities that can afford personal trainers and in-house chefs, put an emphasis on weight and size. They suggest cutting our carbs, eating only low-fat foods, exercising seven days a week, and attending boot camps to ensure your body is “bikini ready.”

For plus-size women, these recommendations can cause anxiety and depression, and 90 per cent of the time result in fast weight loss and even faster gains after the fact.

Big Fit Girl is an exception to that sentiment. This book follows the personal story of author and plus-size athlete and personal trainer Louise Green on their journey towards athleticism. The book is full of body-positive messages and completely dismisses the idea that health is related to a number on a scale.

For example, did you know that about 40 per cent of obese men and women have healthy blood pressure and normal cholesterol? And yet, most of those people are judged by the size of pants they are able to squeeze into.

 

Green runs through how the fitness industry as a whole discriminates against size and fails to meet the specific needs of plus-size women. Athleticism, according to Big Fit Girl, doesn’t equate with weight or size. It is something that can be measured by ability, strength, and endurance. In essence — a healthy body doesn’t necessarily mean a bikini body and the fitness industry needs to come to that realization.

I’ve been struggling with my own health journey for a while, and reading this book gave me the inspiration I needed to keep going. It begins by shattering stereotypes and discussing the lack of body diversity in advertising, media, and branding. Green asks her readers to make a number of pledges, including avoiding companies that don’t provide options for larger body types and eliminating negative, body shaming messaging.

As encouragement, Green lists the social media information of a number of professional plus-size athletes who, despite their size, have become award-winners in their field. The book is slam-packed with stories and quotes from plus-size athletes, outlining their peaks and valleys, as well as their success.

Big Fit Girl is a wonderful combination of athletic and nutritional advice, motivational success stories, and myth debunking. In between the storytelling, Green includes a number of recipes, simple stretches, her favourite workout playlist, and a training regime for a 5k race.

Green wants her readers to succeed, but not only because she wants them to accomplish their personal goals. Instead, she wants to start a movement: plus-size women have a prerogative to prove to society that they can be healthy and active. The more people that see plus-size women on the racetrack, the more it will be normalized.  “Whether you are an avid walker, a triathlete, a ballroom dancer, or an Olympic weightlifter, or if you aspire to be al these things and more, your presence as a plus-size woman working out in our society is creating a much-needed shift. And because we don’t see women of size as much as we need to in advertising, television, movies, or other media, it’s up to us – you and me – to inspire others to join our ranks.”

Ultimately, this book taught me a number of things, but these three stand out: Don’t be afraid of trying something because you think you will be limited by your size. Aim for health and fitness above weight loss and dieting. And practice self love, because you ARE an athlete.

Big Fit Girl will be available in stores on March 18.