Working out should be centered around improving our physical and emotional health. Here to shed some light on diet culture is Body Acceptance Coach, Kelsie Jepsen.
Diet culture refers to a rigid set of expectations about valuing thinness and attractiveness over physical health and emotional well-being. One place diet culture can be present is particularly in fitness spaces. Unfortunately, fatphobia is so normalized and pervasive in our culture that many people and organizations perpetuate diet culture without even realizing it. Jepsen hopes to teach viewers how to respectfully shut down diet culture talk in fitness spaces
It is important that we are not perpetuating the narrative that we need to meet a certain aesthetic to be healthy or worthy. Jepsen shared some advice on how to interrupt these conversations. She recommends meeting the person’s energy. This will be dependent upon who is talking, the way they say it, and who else is in the room. She role-played with the hosts on effective ways to do this.
Jepsen shared some tips for fitness instructors to consider to facilitate a positive fitness space:
a. Leading by example. It’s their space and they have the power!
b. Talking openly about their visions/reasons for being a fitness instructor.
c. Naming the ways diet culture has harmed their life and well-being.
d. Setting ground rules. When we’re in this space together:
i. No diet talk.
ii. No hating on our bodies.
iii. No self-deprecating comments.
e. Creating a mantra to be used as an intention, mindfulness, and/or gratitude practice.
i. I am moving to connect with my body and feel my power.
ii. My body deserves love and respect.
iii. Thank you wonderful body for carrying me through my life.
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