energized and beautiful ll elyssa shares

energized and beautiful ll elyssa shares

I have wanted to write in for some time. And this week was just a catalyst for me. I have been becoming since the very first beta round. I was then working on my obsession with exercise and restrictive eating and it seemed you found me at the perfect time. In the 18ish months I have been be.coming my whole outlook on health and fitness has become healthier. But the reason I am writing is more personal than that.

In December I found out I was pregnant. We were so happy. And 3 weeks later I miscarried. It was crushing. This weeks routine fell on the week of my miscarriage. I would go into my room, play the video and sit and listen even though my body physically could not complete the workout. It was just time to myself. I watched, I listened. I cried. And as I felt better I slowly started becoming again and it felt so good to move.

energized and beautiful2

I am pregnant again and the whole 10 weeks has been anxiety filled. But my one saving grace has been movement through be.come. Because I don’t feel less than for modifying or taking breaks. It’s the only workout I have been able to do and not feel awful afterwards. I feel energized and beautiful.

And this week, I just finished the routine and I’m sobbing. Because I am reminded of that week in January, and how so much can change, and how strong I am. And I felt so good doing the routine today, with every modification and breaks. My children watch me be.come and comment on how wonderful you are. And they aren’t wrong.

energized and beautiful3

INTERESTED IN BE.COMING?

try your first 10 days free

ALREADY A MEMBER?

start be.coming now

WANNA SAY HI?

we’d love to hear from you

the be.come project ll the zoe report

the be.come project ll the zoe report

In the opening scene of the new Hulu series Shrill Aidy Bryant’s character is cornered in a coffee shop by a personal trainer who insists “there’s a small person inside” dying to get out of Bryant. As infuriating as it is, the interaction is actually based off of Bryant’s real life and truly mirrors the day-to-day challenges many people face in relation to their bodies and exercise. My realized sentiment over watching this TV moment couldn’t have been more serendipitously timed, as I also happened to be headed to Texas to experience a popular viral fitness app specifically designed to combat this form of body criticism and shaming.

I admittedly hadn’t heard much about Bethany C. Meyer’s the be.come project before attending the The Retreat by Funkshion in Austin, but I knew it was a mix of yoga and pilates combined with some dance. What I learned after the weekend was that it is simply so much more than that. “the be.come project came out of a really personal space,” Meyers tells The Zoe Report. “I was in fitness for over 10 years and I had an eating disorder. I spent a lot of time in the mirror hating my body and I realized through training clients that this was a reoccurring theme.”

Becoming fed up with their disordered eating and body dysmorphia, Meyers made a rule: No working out unless there is a purpose behind it — and it couldn’t be vanity. “It couldn’t be like ‘oh I ate too much this weekend and now I have to go take a spin class’ it had to have real purpose, like feeling empowered on a day I had a big meeting. In doing that I started creating different motives for the reason why I would move and I started to have this new appreciation of my body.” Once this shift took place Meyers brought that message to the masses and eventually founded the be.come project a little under a year ago.

The Class Format

Meyers is based in New York City and you can take the in-person class on Mondays at Studio B. (Editor’s Note – classes will be resuming soon!) However, the ethos behind the be.come project is about movement no matter where you happen to physically be that week. The be.come project is a $35 monthly app subscription and each week you download one 25-minute routine that everyone else is simultaneously doing (in other words, there is no library of content to choose from). “Every single person is doing the same routine at the same time, which creates a connection back and forth because they feel like they’re part of my class — because they are,” Meyers says. You can do the routine as many times as possible in the span of a week; at The Retreat we did it twice and I was surprised by how quickly I was able to memorize the movements and let loose the second time around.

thebecomeproject-smaller

Inclusive Community

Meyers is a member of the LGBTQ+ community and identifies as queer and non-binary. Though the be.come project is inclusive to all (perhaps the most inclusive fitness program I have ever encountered), it especially resonates with individuals who have not felt safe or comfortable in gyms and workout classes because of their gender identities. “I think when it comes to fitness we don’t consider what it means for somebody who is trans or non-binary identifying to go to a studio or to choose a locker room or go to a workout class and have the fitness instructor say something like, ‘Hey ladies, it’s time to get your bikini bod’ or whatever. It’s really not an inclusive space,” Meyers says. People have come in to share that the be.come project has given them a space where they can experience movement and, even if it’s in their home, still feel connected.

Another hugely impactful way Meyers built their community was through the branding of the be.come project. “When I was launching the website I went onto Instagram and said ‘Hey, if you feel like your body is not represented in fitness and you’ve been doing the be.come project and you have a story, send me a picture of yourself and tell me your story.’” It resulted in 15 real clients participating in a photoshoot that, as you can see above, beautifully represents the range of body sizes and shapes that are not often shown in campaign imagery.

To Feel the Burn (Or Not To Feel the Burn)

Once the day’s panels concluded and I was changed into my sports bra and leggings I settled onto my mat, barefoot, alongside 20 or so classmates who were all ready to give the be.come project a go. I have a background in dance and do yoga several times a week so I was excited to experience a little familiarity. The class began with Meyers walking into the room in a cobalt blue matching set and a headpiece wrapped around their ears. They pumped up the jams and started us all off with a series of movements that we repeated a few times before moving on to the next set. The first thing I noticed was that, because it was to the beat of the music, I was forced to not only control my movements more tightly but I couldn’t cheat on form and alignment (it hurts to lunge with control if your knee is in the wrong spot, ya know?).

Meyers describes the movements best: “It’s the alignment of pilates combined with the lengthening of yoga with sequencing on the beat.” The class is not easy. I found myself sweating very early on and after the third or fourth repetition of each series I was mentally begging to move on to the next. Thankfully, Meyers’ approach to instruction is not about pushing yourself to the point of injury. “The main goal with fitness is that we make it less about the toning up, go lower, push harder, hold longer, sweat, make it burn, and more like ‘what would it feel like if you did this? Do you need to go deeper or do you need to pull back? Are you feeling it in your oblique or are you feeling it in your neck?’ Language is important to me.” Meyers shared that now instead of calling something a ‘modification’ it is an ‘alternative.’ This takes away the negative associations of listening to your body.

After 50 minutes of planks, crunches, bends, twists, kneels, balances, and everything in between the class was over. I smelled. Everybody smelled. I felt amazing. Meyers concluded with one quick note that “any movement is better than no movement at all” and we were all instructed to turn our heads to the right (or left) and kiss our shoulder. All of the classes end this way.

the be.come project turned out to be more challenging than I expected from a fitness perspective. I’d recommend it to anyone looking to add a quick, convenient routine to each day of the week. If you’re the kind of person who craves fast-paced, intense cardio you’ll still enjoy this but also want to supplement it with your weekly cycling class, weekend runs, or however else you like to sweat.

The entire experience was a practice of self love and self awareness. I felt un-judged and connected to the community and, the next day, I was ready to download the app and do it all over again — and for the right reasons.

This article was written by Nicole Kleist for The Zoe Report. You can find the original article here.

INTERESTED IN BE.COMING?

try your first 10 days free

ALREADY A MEMBER?

start be.coming now

WANNA SAY HI?

we’d love to hear from you

thank you, body ll cheryl shares

thank you, body ll cheryl shares

say anything nice

I’m Cheryl and a new be.come user. I’m also a mom of two young children which means life can sometimes feel chaotic, loud, messy, silly, and joyful… but I struggle to find peace, stillness, and time to connect to myself. In the past couple years, I’ve used my exercise time as my “me time”. I would banish my kids away from me-distracted with a screen or toys- while I lifted, cycled, burpeed… and when they inevitably interrupted, I felt anything but the peace I was seeking. I felt frustrated and resentful.

It didn’t help that my main motivation for working out was a frantic desperation to shrink my body. “Get rid of the mummy tummy”…. “lose that baby weight”…. we are bombarded with these messages within days of giving birth. I obsessed over and tracked every bite of food I took and punished myself with extra workouts if I ate “bad foods” that day.

I came to realize what kind of behavior I was modeling for my kids and it wasn’t what I wanted for them or for me. We all deserved better.

The first day I did be.come, I apprehensively decided to try and include my three year old. I set up two yoga mats and let Z know, “this is your very own mat! You can do the moves they teach on the video or move however feels good for you!” She’ll follow the video for 10 seconds, then twirl, then kick, then run off and play, then come back and rejoin. She doesn’t feel the stress and rejection of being told to “leave mommy alone”. And I get to surrender to the unexpected. Maybe I pause the video to clean a spill or give a hug and that’s OK! She also gets to see wonderful role models- people moving their bodies because it makes them happy and strong, not as punishment or to make themselves smaller.

video courtesy of @cherylholdaway

I’m so glad I’ve now found that peace and time to connect to myself WITH my child. We find it together. We kiss our shoulder and say thank you to our strong bodies.

INTERESTED IN BE.COMING?

try your first 10 days free

ALREADY A MEMBER?

start be.coming now

WANNA SAY HI?

we’d love to hear from you

body neutrality ll bethany shares

body neutrality ll bethany shares

mind bully body

You’ve definitely heard the term “body positivity” before, but “body neutrality” may be a new one. The first time I heard the term “body neutral” was from right here at mindbodygreen! I was taking over mbg’s Instagram stories and Ray, mbg’s movement editor, suggested I use the word “neutral” over “positive” in my messaging. My immediate question was, “Why?” Why would I not tell people to be positive about their body? Given I’ve dedicated my life to encouraging humans to be more comfortable in their skin, this seemed counterintuitive.

The response was impactful. So impactful that I’ve completely ditched the term “body positivity.” “It’s about loving yourself as a person, not just as a body,” she explained.

The more I started to let the idea sink into my head, the more it made sense. It’s pretty impossible to be positive about anything 100 percent of the time, right? Real-life people (aka all of us) have days when body-positive isn’t attainable. When you just can’t look at yourself with love. When your affirmations sound more like sad sonnets. And your mind hits a dark place where the light seems distant. If you’re only committed to being body-positive, these days will make it feel like you’ve failed, but if the goal is to be body-neutral, the task becomes simpler. Because some days we feel good about our body, some days we feel bad about our body, but on all days, we can respect our body.

I’ve been working in fitness for over 12 years, and I had an eating disorder for at least eight of them. I fell in and out of anorexia, bulimia, and disordered eating patterns for so much of my life, I couldn’t imagine a world where I didn’t fear food. I actually thought my behaviors were validated because they were “part of the job.” I had to be the skinniest if I wanted to be the best instructor out there. And the thing is, I’ve always been a petite person. I think it’s really important to note that disordered eating and eating disorders do not discriminate; they affect people of all shapes, sizes, genders, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds. It’s truly mental, not physical. Yes, large bodies can have eating disorders. Yes, small bodies can have eating disorders. And yes, even wellness people can have eating disorders.

At some point, a shift started to happen. I was fed up, alone in my process, completely hopeless, and hungry. I decided to start making some changes. Here are some tangible things I did that helped me become body-neutral. I hope they can help you, too.

Toss the scale.

Scales measure one thing and one thing only, your weight in relation to the weight of the earth. It does not measure your physical health, mental health, muscle mass, happiness, or how many times you’ve smiled that day. It will tell you less in the morning, more at night, and will fluctuate based on how recently you’ve eaten. It’s unpredictable, and yet we put so much value on the number.

Word of advice: Ditch it. And if knowing your weight is a trigger, you can even ask your doctor to not disclose the number. I have no idea how much I weigh, and I’ve never been happier.

Stop labeling foods as good or bad.

I recently did an interview, and they asked me if I ever fall off the wellness track, and if so, how do I get back on. Do I ever fall off the wellness track? Meaning do I ever eat a burger or indulge in cheese? Hell yes, I do! But is that inherently “bad”? If I eat salads for an entire day is that labeled “good”?

The more we place food and habits into categories, the more we begin to punish ourselves when things don’t go as planned. There are no good foods. There are no bad foods. There are just foods. And we have the power to decide what is right for us to eat, when it is right to eat it, and how much is right for us to consume.

Have talks with yourself.

When I start falling into a low place, I talk myself into a safer mindset. I may say something like, “There is no such thing as a perfect body. The food/beauty industry can capitalize on my insecurities, and I won’t let them win. My body is allowed to change as I age, the same way I don’t expect my mind to think the same way it did in my 20s; I also don’t expect my body to look the same way it did in my 20s. My mind, talent, personality, and character are more important than the size of my pants.” While these conversations may not pull you completely out of the funk, they will help you remember that your thoughts are a conditioned response and not a true representation of the truth.

Talk about your triggers.

Does your mom always comment on your weight? Do you have a friend who constantly body bashes? Tell them. I know this isn’t an easy thing to do, but it will help protect you. Finding the right words can be tricky, but standing up for yourself is empowering. It can be as simple as “I would rather not talk about body weight because it makes me feel unhappy, and as my friend/parent/other, I know your intention isn’t to do that.”

Shift your motive for working out.

OK, this one is important. Oftentimes we work out as a punishment for something we did. Example: “I ate so much this weekend I have to go to the gym.” Several years ago, I told myself I wasn’t allowed to work out unless I could come up with a reason that didn’t involve physicality. “I am working out today because I need to clear my head before a big meeting.” This way, you aren’t punishing yourself but rather gifting yourself with movement in order to enhance your mental state!

My recovery has been a journey, and honestly, I still have to work on it daily. Get skinny quick, join our 12-week program, do this 30-day challenge, prep your summer body…this rhetoric enters our lives in both obvious and subtle ways all the time. It may not be easy to stay positive, but it’s a hell of a lot easier to stay neutral.

This article was first published by our friends at mindbodygreen. You can find a link to the original article here.

INTERESTED IN BE.COMING?

try your first 10 days free

ALREADY A MEMBER?

start be.coming now

WANNA SAY HI?

we’d love to hear from you