There are so many definitions for the word evolve, but there is one thing they all have in common! CHANGE! Change can be a terrifying thing as it is met with uncertainty. There is one change you should not be afraid of! Aerial Dance has recently partnered with Evolve Healing which is a mental health clinic that specializes in eating disorders. You have seen their posters at both studio locations. I am floored by some of the information these posters share. Most of all I was blown away by the member seminar that Aerial Dance hosted on Feb 27. We were given a plethora of information and it has taken me quite some time to figure how to best share my view on the information I received.

First off let me start by saying THANK YOU AERIAL DANCE! This seminar was very informative not only in the sense that it applied to me, but I feel it applies to all women. This seminar addressed the struggles women face trying to fit “society’s beauty standard”. We all know that our society is skewed and frankly just f**ked up when it comes to how women should look, weigh, and act. The perceptions of others can truly make or break someone’s mental health and that is not remotely okay!

The most shocking fact I learned at this seminar was that the diet industry has grossed over $60 billion dollars! Did you hear that!?!? Over 60 billion! No wonder we are always being bombarded with “Lose weight fast”, “This Magic Pill”,”This drink will”, “This the weight loss fix you’ve been waiting for!” Well I call BS on all of those adds. There are so many people advocating to change the definition of heath! Our presenter shared this definition of health and I find it to be spot on!

Definition of health – American Association for Size Diversity and Health

Health, Wellness, and Self Acceptance are all scary things with blurred definitions depending on what source you use to define them. Health is traditionally categorized as the absence of physical/ mental health(see link for better definition). Merriam Webster defines wellness as the quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal. I agree with this definition as longs as you are using a definition of health that meets your unique needs.

Self Acceptance is knowing your authentic self. If you are like me….. I was like……. What does that even mean? Knowing my authentic self? Here is the simplest version I can come up with for you. Your authentic self is the person you are when no one else is around. It is the person who doesn’t have to put on a show to be cool or fit in. It is the person you are behind closed doors. During the seminar I was also introduced to the term Shadow Selves.

Your shadow self encapsulates all the parts of yourself that are harder to accept. For me a shadow self would be identifying that I have body image issues. As a result of listening to this discussion about our shadow selves, I learned that we need to honor and respect our shadow selves, instead of acting as though they do not exist. No matter how unflattering they may be. We need to give ourselves self respect by understanding that YES! I do have individualized/unique self needs, but I have the agency to say I can accept where I am now. I can see where I want to go. I can take myself in that direction whether it by my own drive, with help, or in time! You have the control and power to make a change for yourself if you understand what is in your control and what is not!

What’s in MY control and what’s NOT in MY Control – Many people have trouble accepting themselves as they truly are due to things they do not have control over. If you have constant stressor on your mind, take a step back and sincerely ask yourself do I have control over this? This isn’t just defined as a chronic illness, but also people/situations in your life. One stressor for me is being a step mom of child whose birth mother is very high conflict. I cannot control what she says about me or what she tells her child. This causes me a tremendous amount of stress and emotional pain. It effects me so much it makes me question my self worth. Each of us have only so much that we can give of ourselves each day. We need to understand our limitations and respect those boundaries to protect our health. Attending this seminar helped me to refresh my ideas of control, self acceptance, health, and wellness.

I have so much more to share with you! Please stay turned for my future blogs about Health at Every Size (HAES) and Set Point Theory.

Until Next Time,