How to be Body Positive
It’s a trending hashtag, but what exactly is body positivity, why should we embrace it, and how can we feel great about ourselves… from our undies upwards!
Body image advocate, coach and sex educator Lahnee Pavlovich is passionate about helping women love themselves better. After all, she tells Tweak, if you’re in love with yourself then you open yourself up to loving others, attracting pleasure and living a more fulfilling, connected existence, whether you are in the gym or in the bedroom. And that can only be a positive, right?
Body positivity has become a huge trend on social media. What is it, and why is it so important to be accepting of our own bodies?
Body positivity is a broad and important subject, with three main aspects. Firstly, we need to work towards accepting our body. Secondly, to appreciate all that it does for us and how lucky we are to be able to dance, move, exercise, play with our kids and so forth. Finally, there is the third part which is about bettering ourselves. We need to keep working to be better: to nourish our body with movement, good food and to nourish our mind. Mindset is a big part of body positivity. We live in a world where we are flooded with images of women. We need to focus on acceptance, appreciation and betterment in order to find our own place, our own personal body positivity.
What are some of the ways that women can become more accepting of their own bodies?
Accepting our bodies isn’t an easy thing do to because we have this ingrained impulse to compare and contrast ourselves with those around us and on social media. So the first step is to get back in touch with your body. I get my clients to do a mirror challenge. This involves stripping naked and looking at themselves and choosing five things that they like about themselves, whether it’s their eyes, or their hair or the shape of their breasts. I get them to say it out loud. The more we talk to ourselves in a positive way, the more we can start to believe it. That’s a first step, because for a lot of women, even something as simple as giving themselves a compliment can be surprisingly challenging!
How does movement help women connect with their bodies and allow them to be more receptive to pleasure?
Movement is the key to energizing ourselves. If you are sitting down for long periods of time, you ache and feel fatigued, and over long periods of time it makes you feel stagnant. Whether you stretch in the sun for five minutes, go for a walk, or a run, it sends a rush of energy through you. When I work with clients to help them embrace their sexuality, one of the first things I get them to do is to dance, to move their hips so they bring that sexual energy up through their body. The more we move, whether weights in the gym or running, the more energy we have. Energy creates energy. And the more we have, the happier we are because we are releasing endorphins and happy hormones through our bodies. We stop feeling stagnant – and a lot of our mental health issues such as anxiety and depression can come from that feeling of being stagnant. Movement is a core thing to kickstart feeling better about ourselves.
What has been your own journey of self-acceptance, self-love and learning to love your body?
There have been a few phases in my life where I felt very down or anxious. I suffered really bad anxiety at one point when I was working in the corporate world and I was sitting at a desk for 12 hours a day. I was so tired at the end of the day it was really hard for me to do a workout or go for a walk. I needed to explore this and I started using yoga and weight training to energise myself. You don’t need to go into a gym and lift as heavy as you can. Just moving, doing anything, brings those benefits straight away, and it helped me to find more energy and feel better.
You’re a Tweak convert… what do you love about the brand?
I love everything about Tweak! I wear them all the time. What you wear affects your workout; I used to wear loose tops and granny pants and I felt like a sack of potatoes. When I started my fitness journey, I treated myself to new gym clothes including Tweak undies which feel so comfortable that you can’t even feel them. They don’t ride up your bum when you’re doing squats and they are moisture wicking so they don’t feel sweaty or leave things feeling wet down there!