I have been be.coming from the very beginning. I instantly fell in love with the beta project to the point where I scheduled my life around Bethany’s Instagram live-streams between the trial period and the app release – I just couldn’t get enough. Since then, I have been be.coming most days of the week, and it has drastically changed my relationship to fitness and to my body. Shooting the be.come project videos as a demo babe was an incredibly empowering experience that I am so grateful to have had.
I was a little hesitant to write this despite my devotion to the be.come project and the significant impact it has had on my life. I grew up as a serious dancer and movement has always been important to me. By most societal standards, I appear thin and overall “fit,” but body image struggles do not discriminate by pant size. the be.come project has taught me that the journey towards body neutrality is a universal one. I remember being mortified at 11 because no matter how much I tensed and tightened by body in my pink ballet tights, I could see “jiggling” in the mirror. Now at 22, I still judge my body more harshly than I would anyone else’s, leading me to bizarre conclusions: I find that there’s more of me where I’d like less, less of me where I’d want more, parts that should be harder or softer, that my proportions are off? I scour my memory for past choices I can blame for stretch marks that are actually just a product of growing up. But because of the be.come project, I’m getting better.
I found the be.come project in college, when I wasn’t dancing seriously anymore but craved the combination of discipline, power and grace. Ultimately, I fell in love with the movement. I had experimented – briefly – with going to the gym and other group fitness classes. While I’d been fearless in the dance studio, I felt super intimidated and defeated by other fitness platforms. the be.come project felt both familiar and challenging. It wasn’t mindless working out just to sweat or lose weight. Instead, these were routines that I could practice and perform…and that made me happy.
I’ve stuck with the be.come project because it creates an atmosphere that’s free of chatter about how my body looks or the food I’m putting into it. Everywhere else I’m surrounded with talk about “working off calories” and I’m an actor in an industry that’s obsessed with appearance. I was asked at a recent work event if I “starve myself” to look the way I do, and another boss is constantly commenting on what and how much I’m eating. The reality is that I do my best to maintain healthy relationships with food and fitness and these comments can make me consider whether I should be paying more attention or eating less. However, when doing the be.come project, I’ve learned to quiet those thoughts. My goal is never to do the routine because I think I ate too much or my body doesn’t look a certain way. It occupies such a positive space in my life as a result. I love that I can be.come at home because I have the time and space to find a healthy motivation to move without having to deal with comparisons to the world around me.
Because the be.come project has done so much for me, participating in the shoot was an absolute dream. I was less nervous and more excited for the opportunity to be a part of this platform and to work out in such an inclusive, supportive space. If I had to pick my three emotions on the app, they would be: strong, confident, and joyful.
I was also left with a new sense of accountability to the be.come project’s mission, especially when the videos came out. I had the opportunity to demonstrate the movements, shouldn’t I also be demonstrating the self-love and acceptance? I’ve become so aware of how I’m talking about my body, especially as I work with young children in whom I can already recognize the beginnings of negative self-talk. the be.come project has taught me better, and I feel empowered to share that positivity. I’ve taken the shoulder kisses to heart and ending each routine with a little dose of gratitude has profoundly affected me. I can do nothing but thank the be.come project, if only for showing me how to thank myself.
thanks cassie for sharing! you can follow @cassandra_cloutier_