What is your go-to Sunday self-care routine?
My go-to self-care routine is skin care, movement, rest, and time with my husband. Movement helps me to rest better. Rest helps me to settle before the week ahead. Skin care allows me to do something for just me, and spending time with my husband helps us feel connected for the week ahead.
How do you stay focused and continue to practice self-love with so many trolls online?
I’ve always said that I’ve been meaner to myself than any stranger has been to me. But I also understand that the hate people have for me as a fat person is learned, and it’s the same hatred I had for myself. The difference between them and me is that I’m living in a fat body, and I was motivated to unlearn it.
Why is it so important to destigmatize what “healthy” looks like and redefine beauty standards?
Your thin friends can be suffering, and your fat friends can be thriving. Beauty standards force thin people to suffer in silence because they “look healthy” and force fat people doing wonderful things for their bodies to make drastic decisions because they “don’t look healthy.” Health isn’t a look; it’s a series of habits accumulated over time. Two people can have the same habits and still look different! Understanding that health doesn’t have a “look” helps people prioritize their mental health. We often get lost in our bodies and forget our brains are important too. By getting rid of these trash beauty standards, we can support everyone.
Something you mentioned a lot is “not having to hate your body.” How can Canadians continue to feel empowered when social standards have often told us we shouldn’t like our bodies?
You don’t have to hate it, and you don’t have to love it, but you do need to respect it. My view of my body changed when I separated who I was from what I looked like. When I realized that I couldn’t be the kind, funny, and supportive person I was without my body, I knew I needed to start treating it with respect. These social standards have been created to oppress and make money — diet culture is a billion-dollar industry — and it doesn’t exist unless you hate your body.
Do you have any tips for readers who are struggling with self-love?
Start by separating who you are from what you look like. Start making choices for yourself and your body out of love, not hate. Make sure your social media is filled with people who make you feel good about who you are right now.