Meet The Women Championing The Body Positivity Movement in Three Very Different Ways and Discover Their Secrets to Gaining The Ultimate Self Confidence
The body confidence coach: ZOE MCNULTY The former UK fitness and dance presenter turned founder of the School of Strut (schoolofstrut. com)extols the virtues of finally being free to let it all hang out.
Becoming truly body confident has been a journey for me, starting 13 years ago when I taught my first high- heeled dance class. Women of all shapes and sizes came in, vulnerable and embarrassed, and left feeling confident and empowered. It dawned on me then that we don’t need to change our bodies to be confident in our skin – it’s all in the mind.
Meet The Women Championing The Body Positivity Movement in Three Very Different Ways and Discover Their Secrets to Gaining The Ultimate Self Confidence Photo Gallery
YO YOING WEIGHT
Growing up and working in the fitness and dance worlds, I was always bigger than I apparently should have been. My body prevented me from getting work, and I went through periods of restricting my diet, then bingeing, and putting on even more weight. I knew there had to be another way so I forged my own path, eventually setting up the School of Strut five years ago – an education and events company teaching four core subjects: Raunch, Strutology, Divanomics and BodyLanguage. Each class has the same ethos – that women should be able to feel fabulous, regardless of their shape and size but uses different ways of delivering the movement. Raunch is rather seductive and I describe it as you to walk tall in heels and feel fabulous is a sensual yet energetic dance session, focusing on posture and grace.
All participants sign a code of conduct, promising to be non-judgemental. ‘When the body-positive movement emerged, I thought I’d invented it, because I’d been promoting self-acceptance for so long. But it was only two years ago that I understood what I’d been preaching about on a much deeper level. Until then, I’d still hoped I’d be a size 10 again to feel more accepted within society (thin privilege is real). But then I decided to accept my size 16 body. Until you do that, I think it’s difficult to love your body. I’m now finally in a place where I’ve ditched the shape wear and am happy to let it all hang out.
It’s so freeing not worrying about my weight, and it’s given me more space and time to do many positive things. Health isn’t a size, especially mental health. The idea that a bigger body is unhealthy is something the diet, wellness and fitness industries exploit to make money from our insecurities, and there’s a ton of buried research that backs me up on this.
In promoting self-acceptance, I’m not suggesting people sit on their bums and eat pizza. Saying “just be you”. an ideal body type to live up to, and Then you can treat yourself with kindness and make positive changes from a position of love, not fear. I still fight fierce criticism, but I’m inspired to carry on by all the women who message me saying “you’ve changed my life”; from the woman who cancelled a tummy tuck to the girls battling anorexia. It’s so much deeper than dancing around in heels.
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