In the process of writing and publishing my book, I have contracted with a wonderful company called Book Launchers to assist me with the publishing and marketing of a “self-published” book. When I was looking into whether to spend the money on this support, I looked at their other books and found another Canadian writing in the health space. Her name is Gillian Goerzen and her book, published with the help of Book Launchers, is called The Elephant in the Gym. She is a fitness trainer from Alberta who feels very strongly about the Body Positive approach to fitness and body love. I reached out to her and she graciously gave me a half hour of her time to help me with the decision whether to hire Book Launchers for my book process.
I have followed her on Facebook ever since and she has really impressed me with her approach to wellness. Including all body types and reveling in what you body can do, not what it looks like and whether it fits with society’s ideals. She is a runner and supports runners of all levels. She promotes and helps her clients find joy in the strength and abilities of their awesome bodies, not worrying about whether they look “right”.
Today, in her Facebook post, she ended with the following: “PS. You’re awesome. Your body is AWESOME. Your health is not contingent upon the size, shape, colour or ability of your body. Rock your health YOUR way not to fit in the box, but to feel phenomenal. You do you.”
This resonates so strongly with me, and probably with all cancer survivors. My body does not fit into “bikini” fitness mode and never has, probably (at age 60 now) never will. I’ve had a “mummy tummy” and slight batwings all my life. And my thighs rub together… So what!
I have hiked the 4 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. I can ride my bike for over 50 km, including pushing it manually up the Niagara Escarpment if necessary. I can bounce out of bed, do sun salutation to stretch my back and shoulders back into proper posture, then take on whatever my day holds… Zero medications, zero aches and pains, lots of energy, lots of joy.
I shouldn’t care that my lower belly is flabby, but I have spent most of my adult life caring – and stressing about just that. One of the things that I have learned from going through cancer is to cherish my body for its strength, its resilience, its innate wisdom and its beauty – jiggles and all.
This was a message that I needed to hear today. I hope that it’s a message that resonates with you as well. Be well, be awesome, be yourself. You do you…