Male Body Positivity and Body Image

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While girls are given Barbie to live up to, boys are given the image of Ken, G.I. Joe and He Man. At a young age boys are being told to “man up” or “be a man”, which in our society means a man is the muscular, virile, strong and silent type.

Even at an young age, we are being told how to look, what to eat, and expectations are thrusted on us according to someone else’s standards. Parents, teachers, coaches, society, commercials, social media, etc. Society glorifies the idea of a strong, healthy and muscular man.

Is it any wonder that boys are growing up with insecurities and negative body image?Eating disorders in young men are on the rise! 1 in 3 people with an eating disorders are men. A recent study showed that one third of boys ages 6-8 thought they weighed more than they should.

In a society where we are constantly being bombarded with images of perfection and what we should strive for, it’s harder for men to speak up about their body image issues. It’s time to change the way we talk to children, both male and female. It’s time to start showing kids at a young age that all bodies are accepted and loved. 

Body of Love Podcast

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So I went and done it. I’ve decided to start another podcast. My new podcast “Body of Love” will cover the topics of Body Positivity and Wellness/Wellbeing. I will share conversations and interviews on these topics. I also wanted to start this podcast to share some of the topics that I’m covering in my upcoming book, “Body of Love” which is all about my journey with disordered eating, my recovery and how I found true self love and self acceptance.

In Episode Two, my good friend Coach Jennie and I had an amazing conversation on the topic of “Compare Equals Despair”. The idea of how when we compare ourselves and our journey to someone else’s it keeps us playing small. This prevents us from doing and achieving the things we really want to do in our lives. We also talk about the idea of Social Comparison and Body Image and how this holds us back from accepting ourselves and stepping fully into our own badassery.

I hope you guys enjoy listening to this episode as much as we did making it. The podcast is currently only on Sound Cloud but I hope to have it up on iTunes soon.

Self Love & Self Acceptance Through Body Positivity

As someone who has struggled with body image issues for decades, it has been hard to come to a place where I not only accept my body, but I have learned to love my body.  I have let go of the days of skipping meals, doing grueling workouts and hating what I saw in the mirror for true love and acceptance of my body, as it is right now.

Learning to accept my body as it is has also shifted the way I think about my business and how I can be of service to others. Being in recovery for disordered eating for over decade now, I’ve always thought about how I can use my experiences to help others. I think now, through the coaching services that I offer, I am able to do that. At least, I hope that I can do that.

There is still not a lot of exposure for men with eating disorders or that are in recovery for disordered eating. There is still not a lot of exposure for men in the Body Positive Movement (although I think that is changing). It is my hope that I can be a face and a voice for men dealing with body image issues.

In this video, I share what the Body Positive Movement means to me. How it is helping me to love and accept myself a bit more, and how it is inspiring my business as a Yoga and Pilates teacher and a Wellness Coach.

Client Spotlight: Felicia

If you read my first “Client Spotlight” post about my student Marianne, you will know that she has been a student of mine for years. Marianne has a unique perspective on taking Yoga and Pilates classes since she has been doing so three times a week, every week, for years.

When I initially talk to people about Pilates there is usually two responses: 1. They have no clue as to what Pilates is or 2. They have some sort of an idea but are a little afraid to start. My recent post “What to Expect from Your First Pilates Class”  was an attempt to hopefully prepare new students and squash any fears they may have about starting a Pilates practice.

So when a new student, Felicia, expressed interest in trying out Pilates, I thought it would be great to feature her in a “Client Spotlight” post to get her perspective on taking classes at the studio being a new student. So introducing Felicia…

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img_7675Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a local Realtor who strives for work-life-balance.  I love my job and I also like knowing I am taking the right steps for a continued healthy life.

If you, or anyone you know, is looking for a realtor in MA you can contact Felicia at her Facebook page Felicia Mancuso Realtor – Coldwell Banker or through her website, Felicia Mancuso Realtor.

Why were you interested in trying Pilates?

I was interested in Pilates because I have heard it’s very different from Yoga. I had heard that there are Pilates people and there are Yoga people!  Now, I can say that I am gladly a Pilates AND Yoga person.  With Pilates I felt that each movement was safe and worked muscles in a different way than I was used to from my Yoga practice.  I am looking forward to adding the benefits of Pilates to my weekly routine.

How would you describe Pilates to a friend or coworker who wasn’t familiar with it?

I have already started telling my friends that Pilates is an incredible, safe work out and the time flew by as I learned each new step and exercise.

How did your first session go? How did you feel after your first class?

My first lesson was great.  Chris shared his knowledge of Pilates and the human anatomy throughout the session.  Chis would make modifications to movements depending on what my body needed and this really helped me appreciate what Pilates had to offer.

What did you like most about your Pilates lesson?

My favorite part of the Pilates lesson was how Chris tailored the entire lesson to what I needed and how my body responded to each movement while keeping my work out on track.

9 Blocks to Achieving Your Goals

 

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Several times this week, I have heard from clients that they feel stuck or unable to achieve their health and wellness goals. As I begin work on a new project (launching in the Fall), this of course had me thinking about why people get to a point where they feel stuck or that their goals are unattainable.

While thinking about this and researching the main blocks that people hit when striving towards a goal, I found a recent study that shows a shocking 92% of people never achieve their goals. Here are some of the main reasons why.

9 Blocks to Achieving Your Goals:

  • Motivation – You’ve set a goal but lack the motivation to achieve it. If this is an area you struggle in, read my recent blog post on Motivation.
  • Accountability – this seems to be one that a lot of people struggle with. It’s hard to achieve those goals if there isn’t anyone or anything to hold you accountable.
  • Having a vague goal – many people set goals that are just not specific enough. For instance the number one goal most people have is to “lose weight”, but that is too vague. How much weight do you want to lose and by when?
  • Procrastination – In today’s society, “Netflix and chill” is totally a thing. The problem with this is that it is easier to binge watch the new season of Orange is the New Black, than it is to workout. If you keep putting off your goals, you will never achieve them. Remember, a little progress each day adds up to big results. #progressnotperfection
  • Lack of support – I like to think of this one in the line of what I call “enablers”. You know, those friends or family members that are like “Enjoy life, eat the cake!” or “One night out for drinks won’t kill you”.  Not having a person or a group of people that share your goal and will help you to achieve it can set you up for failure.
  • Distractions – “Squirrel!!” Do you suffer from “ohhh look something shiny” syndrome? We are constantly being bombarded with things trying to grab our attention, and that makes it easy to get distracted. Trying to multi-task and be a jack of all trades falls in this category too. Pick one thing and give it your 100%!
  • Not having a plan/knowing where to start – It’s a great thing to have goals! It feels wonderful to say “I’m going to achieve XYZ”. However, when it comes time to put your goal in motion, you get stuck. Whats the first step? And then what? What if my goals change? Set a clearly defined plan of how you are going to achieve your goals from the very beginning.
  • Not having a deadline – See “having a vague goal”. I hate to refer back to SMART goals but they totally work! Your goal must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Sensitive. Meaning if you do not have a dead line set, it’s much easier to let Distractions and Procrastination take the drivers wheel.
  • Negative mindset – you MUST believe in yourself and your goals. If you have always struggled with losing weight and keep saying to yourself “I’ll never lose weight. I’ve tried losing weight before and it never works” then guess what? You’re going to fail. Keep a positive mind set towards yourself and your goals in order to achieve them and be successful. Stop the negative self talk RIGHT NOW!

I plan on going into greater detail on each of these points in future blog posts. What are your personal roadblocks to achieving your goals? Sound off in the comments and let me know. Also, what tools have you found to overcoming these roadblocks?

Stocking a Vegan Pantry

Sticking to a nutritional  plan and focusing on your health and wellness goals can be a lot of work. I am a huge believer in setting yourself up for success. When following any nutritional plan, be it clean eating, paleo, vegan, etc, its important to set up your kitchen pantry properly. Being fully stocked with healthy food  options will help you from bingeing on junk.

In this video, watch how we stock and set up our vegan pantry. We share some essentials that we keep on hand and what we use them for.