Founder of Loyobo Fit shares the path to body acceptance and loving your body.
How do I find body acceptance?
How do you find body acceptance? What does it take to move from a negative to positive body image? Founder of Loyobo Fit, Courtney Gioia, shares the journey to loving your body. Her mission is to empower women to build confidence and connect with their bodies through fitness.
In this podcast episode:
- Guiding Women to Body Acceptance
- The Hidden Cost of Dieting and Negative Body Image
- Moving from Appearance to a Healthy Body Image
Here’s a quick summary of the podcast episode:
Fitness for body acceptance?
Courtney’s mission is to guide women on the pathway to body acceptance, using fitness to build confidence and connect with their bodies. Traditionally, fitness has been used as a tool to manipulate or control our bodies. Often, we’ve even used it for punishment (for example “burning off” the “bad food.”) This isn’t sustainable or nourishing to our bodies. Courtney shares a more powerful approach built around joyful movement.
Disrupting beauty standards
Pursuing the societal ideal of a specific body shape and size comes at a hidden cost. Not only do you miss out on enjoying meals and moments, but we all know that diet and exercise fatigue, right!? Chasing beauty standards leads to physical and emotional exhaustion. It creates a host of body image issues that take time to heal.
The loving your body mindset
Challenging and deprogramming societal beauty standards requires ongoing work, self-reflection, and dismantling deeply ingrained beliefs and thought patterns. It’s not a clean, linear path and Courtney is real about the messiness of the journey. It involves bringing awareness to negative body image thoughts, questioning where they come from and small, everyday actions to move away from judgement of our bodies and the bodies of others.
LISTEN TO NEXT
Episode 90: Love Your Body
Episode 225: Why Diets Don’t Work
Answers to frequent body acceptance questions
How can I start my own journey towards body acceptance and a healthy body image?
It’s time to challenge the norms, question those beauty standards, and start a journey of self-discovery. It begins with self-reflection and questioning the societal messages influencing your perception of body image, beauty and worth. Look at your own beliefs and values about your body. What do you think of it? And what do you think of the bodies of others? What messages are you repeating?
What are practical steps I can take to build confidence and re-connect with my body?
It’s all about finding activities that light up your soul and make you feel alive. Forget about striving for ideals; focus on how movement makes you feel, the joy it brings, and the strength you’re building. Embrace activities that allow you to listen to your body and choose movement that feels good for you. Start with one activity a week that feels playful or creative.
How do I navigate the societal pressures and beauty standards that often contribute to negative body image?
Surround yourself with a community that uplifts and celebrates diversity. It’s time to turn your gaze inward and rediscover the unique beauty that exists within you. Shift your focus from external validation to small habits that create self-acceptance like neutral self-talk. And remember you are worthy, my friend!
How can I add fitness into my life to grow body acceptance?
It’s about finding joy in movement, celebrating your body’s incredible abilities, and nurturing a healthy relationship with exercise. It’s not about punishment or striving for an unattainable ideal. Choose exercises that interest you, that maybe you did as a kid and loved or that feel like adventure and play. Let your first decision be about movement that excites you not how many calories you’ll burn or if you’ll sweat enough. Start with at least one joyful movement choice a week!
How can I challenge and overcome negative thoughts about my body?
It starts with awareness. Challenge the thoughts that arise and ask yourself if they are based on societal expectations or personal values. Take a pause, breathe deeply, and practice self-compassion. Remember that if you’re not ready for positive body image thoughts you can start with body neutrality or the ways that your body works for you. For example, instead of saying “I hate my thighs,” you can say “my thighs allow me to move and explore.” It’s a simple practice with powerful impact, especially when you interrupt those negative body image thoughts multiple times a day.
What role does self-reflection play in developing a positive body image?
Start by challenging the beliefs that have held you back. Ask yourself, “Is this about taking care of my body or conforming to society’s unrealistic standards?” Shift your focus to self-care, nourishment, and honoring your body’s unique needs. Understand that body acceptance is an ongoing journey that requires patience and a willingness to confront old narratives.
How can I let go of rules and expectations around exercise and instead listen to my body’s needs?
It’s time to break free and rewrite your story. Surround yourself with body-positive influences, educate yourself about the damaging effects of diet culture, and commit to a mindset of self-acceptance and self-love. Embrace movement that feels good to you, whether it’s high-intensity workouts or gentle activities like yoga or walking.
What self-care practices can help me to focus more on well-being and less on appearance?
Focus on activities that bring you joy, relaxation, and a sense of fulfillment. Prioritize mental and emotional well-being, engage in hobbies, connect with loved ones, and practice self-compassion. Again, start with just one a week and find consistency. By showing up for that one self-care practice weekly, you’re telling yourself a different narrative.
How can I reconcile the desire to improve my health with the need for self-acceptance and body positivity?
These are NOT mutually exclusive when you follow a non-diet fitness approach. By listening to your body and making choices that support your well-being (without judgement,) you can foster a healthy body image while still working towards non-numbered health goals.
What resources or support is available to help me with positive body image?
Dive into books and organizations like those in the list below.
Body Acceptance Book Recommendations
- “The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love” by Sonya Renee Taylor
- “Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach” by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch
- “Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight” by Linda Bacon.
- “Embody: Learning to Love Your Unique Body (and Quiet That Critical Voice!)” by Connie Sobczak
- “Body Positive Power: Because Life Is Already Happening and You Don’t Need Flat Abs to Live It” by Megan Jayne Crabbe
Healthy Body Image Resources
National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) – resources, support, and education on eating disorders, body image, and body acceptance.
Health At Every Size® Community – offers articles, research, and tools for promoting body acceptance, joyful movement, and well-being.
Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) – promotes body acceptance and advocates for Health at Every Size® principles. Their website offers resources, research, and information on weight stigma and size diversity.