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Body positivity. What EXACTLY does it mean??

I’ve noticed that the definition has evolved over time as the movement has gotten bigger and bigger. And in my own personal experience, it’s been frustrating to have my name and face conveniently thrown in and out of this movement by whoever wanted to make their point.

Seeing people tell me that I am not being body positive and that I am misusing the term itself makes me feel really confused. And to be honest with you, I had never actually looked up the origin of the word until a couple months ago. I just thought if I was loving my body, then I was being positive with my body. But it seems to be a lot more complicated than that. And you know what, if I’m wrong, I can accept that! But I’d love to know why, and that’s why I made this video.

It’s one of the most important videos I have ever made. Please watch.

 

 

Let’s step back in time for just a second. When I posted “The Perfect Body” – a video me photoshopping myself to reflect the mean comments I was getting about how I was too fat to be a trainer, 4 years ago in 2015, it really was to help me fight back against the cyber bullies and to help me heal from all of the negativity I was getting about my body. But incredibly, it ended up going viral, racking up nearly 14 million views!

It was really cool to see how many women and girls related to the pressure I felt to have the “perfect body.” National publications and TV shows like Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN, AdWeek, People Magazine, and US Weekly began picking it up and my name became synonymous with body positivity. The crazy thing was…back in 2014 and 2015, body positivity was something new to me. I wasn’t trying to be body positive, I was just trying to be be me, teaching Pilates without a six pack. And somehow my undefined abs solidified my role as a “body positive role model.”

Now let’s step back just 2 and a half months ago. On August 16th, 2019 I announced that I would embark on a 90 day journey to to get in the best shape of my life – mentally and physically. This meant doing more workouts that made me happy, like dancing. This meant cooking for myself more because making food brings me joy. This meant blogging everyday to practice not letting other people’s opinion of me censor my true authentic self, as it had over the past several years of being on online public figure. Sooo what was the problem? Well, I announced some numerical goals for my weight and my body fat. And just like that, it was like the world burst into flames.

All of a sudden I was called anti-body positive, too skinny to lose weight, a promoter of eating disorders, an embarrassment to women, a disappointment to my fans, a traitor to my own brand, psychologically unstable, and best of all, I was formally “diagnosed” in the YouTube comments by a number of people who seemed to know that I was mentally ill and needed to seek professional help. Then the media got involved, as they always do, and all of a sudden there were a bunch of articles being written about how my 90 day journey was “controversial”.

The video above explores the history of body positivity and how it is being defined today. I interview a number of women from the body positive community, including the MOTHER the movement. I also had a super enlightening chat with a plus size model who’s ready to expose something crazy about the double standards in the plus size modeling industry. This is a MUST WATCH.

To me, body positivity means loving what your body for what it can do today and for what it has the potential to do in the future. Body positivity does not mean accepting where you are now and staying there forever. It means evolving your body as your evolve as a person. Change does not mean you hate yourself, it means you love yourself enough to put effort into growing. And guess what? Growth looks different on every person. Doesn’t matter if they are fat, or skinny, or whatever – if a person wants to grow and embark on their own journey in a healthy way, LET THEM. Let them define their own markers for happiness and success. You are not here to judge someone else’s journey. If you want to help someone feel more positive about their body, then you won’t make mean comments on the sidelines. You’ll either join the journey or cheer them on.

What’s your definition of “body positivity”?

Yesterday’s Recap:

Fit Journal entry. It was another Halloween party night. And me at parties = I wanna try everything. I pretty much did :)

It was a Wild West themed party that one of the companies we work with put on (they were very specific and passionate about the theme), so I dressed up as a saloon girl and Sam was an 1800s aristocrat!

Jackelyn borrowed my skeleton costume from my heels dance, and then wrapped a bandana around her neck for the wild west bandit effect!

Can you believe this was the CEO’s house!!?? He apparently spent 6 months decorating. It was INSANE.

He hired a small army of caricature artists, fortune tellers, makeup artists, a live DJ, a magician from The Magic Castle, a much of gambling tables – I mean WHOA. It was like a wedding but Halloween!!! It inspires me to know that my wedding doesn’t HAVE TO be the biggest party of my life…hahahaha.

Alright, now let’s get to the food.

BREAKFAST:

24% carbs, 29% fat, 47% protein

128 calories

1 chicken skewer, 1 egg thin quesadilla with Daiya vegan cheese, plus pico de gallo. This was more like a tiny snack 20 min before my workout.

LUNCH:

15% carbs, 46% fat, 39% protein

581 calories

Salmon, green beans, coconut aminos, and sriracha. I also had a small snack of sea bass.

PRE-DINNER SNACK + DINNER:

36% carbs, 37% fat, 27% protein

977 calories

Before we left for the party, I made 3 egg thin tacos filled with sea bass, power greens, and pico de gallo.

I had salad, broccoli, mushrooms, succotash, baked beans, caramelized onions, jalapeños, beef stew and beef chili. I went back and got seconds of the beef chili because it was so good! I also snacked on some bacon and a mini hot dog. For drinks, I just had sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon as well as tea! (I don’t like alcohol!)

SNACKS:

24% carbs, 54% fat, 11% protein

259 calories

I had 1.5 gluten free apple cinnamon muffins!

Kombucha!

Yesterday I came in at 1,946 calories, 140g carbs (28%), 90g fat (42%), and 144g protein (29%).

Ready to get back on track starting Monday! 17 more days. AHHHHHH!!!!

The Conversation (29)

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  • DC says:

    Response to Guess Weight Video: at 45% body fat! I needed, craved to build muscle. Fact is, I’ve been called “sir” approached from behind, as I have weight lifter arms, Shoulders and thighs and calves. Therefore weight loss made me more etched and still bulky. I’ll be thinner but there’s also another goal, not to be mistaken for a guy! Hubby likes that too, not so bulky as now. I’m still “positive”’re lady with weight lifter heavy body, minimal body fat. Kind of exotic too. BMI is used for pharmaceutical dosing rather than a weight index, except for insurance risk tables. Cassey you are a daring gal for holding a mirror to our own self images.

  • DC says:

    I’m eating less than you! Thank you for modeling body positivity for my weight loss journey. Since Jan I’ve removed 30 pounds. And with 1200 cal days, minimal
    Meat firvflavor Im inspired to work out looking better in my shorts! Your goals are realistic and…yours. haters gonna hate- you are my birthday gift missy Casey.

  • Charity says:

    My definition of body positivity is being okay with where you are, and not being mad just cause you don’t have your exact dream look. I think if you can improve them that should be a good thing, as long as you do not obsess with your problem areas. For parts same we arent all perfect.

    And to Cassey. You are totally being body positive. It hate that people are upset just cause you want to better yourself. You were and are body positive and helping me be that way. I use the PIIT pocket app and have done the ab and flute challenge. Thank you.

    PS I lost an inch in my waistline during the 100 an really shaped up a lot during the glute. Thank you so much

  • Anyo says:

    Thank you for having the bravery to delve through this very difficult subject! It is truly a messy area that I’ve also been struggling with lately.

    While I would agree that body positivity means loving your body for what it can do today and the potential it can do tomorrow (growth) – I don’t believe that you can’t love your body the way it is. I think fundamentally, that would go against “love your body the way it is today” (unconditional love of your own body).

    Because ultimately, sometimes you won’t have time in life to grow or change your body in ways you would prefer. Your lifestyle when you are in your 20s, for example, can vastly change when you’re in your 30s, 40s, 50s, etc; whether you have kids, have a job, a job with steady hours, time to cook, money for gym, injury or disability. If you go from working out 6x a week and cooking your own meals to just going up the stairs 1x a week and eating convenient foods due to a new circumstance, would the latter circumstance make you less body positive? Could you still be body positive if you couldn’t be “at your best”?

    I think ultimately, body positivity is you loving your body as its current reflection of the ways you do love it. You can’t control how it looks or what it does due to external circumstances, but you can love it for the way it shows that you do love it – whether it’s by being kind to it and accepting it, by thanking it for what it has done for you today, by not wishing it looks something different. If eating via the method above and exercising 6x a week is your way of loving it, then body positivity would mean that you would love your body regardless of whether or not it dropped those pounds.

    • Anyo says:

      (con’t) and that you would still continue to love you body in those ways (dancing, eating, cooking) – by the sheer experience that it makes your body feel good and loved, not because it is the means to achieving a certain number or look.

  • JessicaLea says:

    My definition for body positivity would have several aspects:
    1. Accepting our bodies as they are, both their potentials and their limitations
    2. Always striving to be the best we can be, yet not hating ourselves if we fail for a time to reach our goals
    3. Accepting others for who they are without judgment
    4. Emphasizing character over outward appearance

    Cassey, I feel that on the whole you do all these things. Some of your earlier videos were perhaps more focused on outward physical appearance, and I don’t prefer that emphasis. But you are on your own journey, and are continuing to grow as we all are. You’ve come a long way from where you started, and continue to grow, and encourage us your followers to do the same.

    Your workouts are the best out there. They have helped me to reach goals that I never thought I would, and to set my sights on higher challenges. Thanks for providing these great workouts–and the motivation that comes with them :-)

  • Laura says:

    Your sister is so beautiful and sweet, I can feel get childish energy from photo. ♥️😊

  • Angie says:

    That party though!!!

  • Lisa says:

    Cassey Ho, you are an inspiration and role model. I’ve been a long time follower and this video only makes me admire you more. I’ve been on my own fitness journey and have around two weeks left. Coincidentally, I started my 90 day around the same time you did! I can’t believe how fast it went and how much progress I have made. It is incredible how things change, once you start to accept yourself and commit yourself to be better than who you were yesterday. Keep being you. <3

  • Rose says:

    Hi Cassey thank you for sharing your journey. Just a quick thought, do you think you could be overestimating your calories? Do you mean sure them before logging in to MyFitnessPal?
    Just concerned as you may be undereating afterall as well.

    • Laura says:

      I think that might be the case too, even the estimated amount is low for such an active person. Please check this Cassie :)

  • Lucy says:

    For me, body positivity is about appreciating your body for what it can do, and honouring it with a healthy lifestyle, regardless of size. I think weight loss can be part of body positivity in that changing to a healthier lifestyle, or spending time doing an activity that you love (be that running, lifting, dancing…) may have a side-effect of weight loss. However, if a person is losing weight because ‘I’ll be happier when I weigh 5 kilos less’, or ‘I need to be smaller/larger because that’s how fit people/plus-size models/whoever look’ is not body positive because that is not loving and respecting your body for what it can do for you.

    • Charity says:

      Totally Lucy. We weren’t all made to be models.

  • Ellie says:

    This video is great. I feel like people have used body positivity to combat eating disorders like anorexia while ignoring that people with larger figures can have an unhealthy relationship with food as well. To me, body positivity is loving your body no matter what because it is AMAZING and dress size doesn’t define a body’s incredible power and potential. Body positivity to me is treating your body like the gift that it is and taking care of it so that you can achieve the happiness attached with being healthy. That means different things for different people. Some people may feel like they need to lose weight to feel their most healthy and happy and some may need to gain some. We can’t really compare ourselves to other people because we are all different and it’s just pointless and unhealthy. Comparing your “negative” parts of yourself to someone else’s positives is never going to make anyone feel good. Thanks for this video. I feel like you address this vague topic in a really good way and gave it some real definition.

  • emmadilemma says:

    I agree that people should be allowed to do what they want with their body. I believe true body-autonomy is being allowed to have that freedom, with the understanding that if someone genuinely does have an eating disorder or some other form of illness (like addiction), steps can be taken to help that person get back to a place where they can make healthy decisions again. It’s been interesting following you Cassey while also reading about and listening to podcasts in the anti-diet movement. In some circles the anti-diet movement states very clearly that if you want to live an anti-diet lifestyle, you must be willing to give up dieting and trying to lose weight intentionally, but then in other circles, there’s more wiggle room. And I have to remind myself that the people who flock to the anti-diet movement (myself included) are almost all trying to overcome an eating disorder or disordered eating behaviors that have essentially infused the process of weight loss, or “healthy living” with self-hate and self-harm. So for those people, I understand why they don’t want to follow anyone online that’s promoting weight loss, because to them weight loss = self-loathing. And I relate to that a lot, which is why I have subscribed and unsubscribed to you over the past year based on where I was in my journey. But I have to agree that it’s nobody else’s job to tell someone what they can or can’t do with their body, and that shaming someone into not losing weight is in NO way “helping” them, even if the intention is good. Even if someone does have an eating disorder, shaming that person into getting help will not work. They need to choose help, they need to want it.

    Also, I definitely think of you as more of a “fit positive” Instagrammer, because your whole brand is based around fitness and making your body stronger/faster/more flexible.

  • The party looked rockin! I can’t wait to see how he decorates and goes all out for Christmas if he did this for Halloween…

    Im so glad someone spoke our against the body positivity movement. Its turns into a weight loss, skinny shaming movement over the years and that’s really…counterproductive. I agree with your original definition. body positive means feeling positive about the skin you’re in!

  • Mikayla says:

    Cassey!! Where do you get the egg thin flatbreads/wrap? They seem like such a great staple to make healthier eating more fun

    • Kara says:

      I found them at walmart. Crepeni is the brand. Egg thins with cauldron have 8 calories each. I’ve been using them in place of a wrap.

  • Lady-J says:

    Thank you for all you do Cassey! Your an inspiration to me know matter how others try to pigeonholed you into what they think your trying to achieve in your own Journey. You keep rocking it.

  • Michylle Padilla says:

    Love you Cassey!!!! I hear ya girl. You always keep me positive and moving forward. Keep doing you.

  • Emily says:

    For me, ‘Body Positivity’ is about loving your own body and not judging yourself or others for their size, age, race and everything else under that umbrella.
    If a person is ‘plus-size’, for example, they shouldn’t be treated any differently to someone who isn’t.
    If you want to embark on a fitness journey because you want to be healthy, active and enjoy doing it – then 100% go for it. You’re doing it for you and nobody else.
    If you go into it with the mindset of: “Being X lbs skinnier will make me happy”, to me that seems really harmful, because you’re putting your self-worth as a number on the scale, when you are so much more than that!! Xx

  • Diana says:

    The body positivity movement seems to have become a blend of things. I don’t believe in fat shaming. I believe that is one of the most harmful things we can do. But I do not understand the fat positive movement. I believe in loving yourself at every size, but not loving yourself into an early grave. If you are at an unhealthy weight and are living an unhealthy lifestyle, I believe you should change. However, I won’t tell you that you need to change or shame you for not wanting to change. I would keep my opinion to myself until it is asked. But I think we all should be striving for better health. Not everyone feels that way, but I don’t believe in promoting obesity. With that said, I don’t want people to have eating disorders and go to the completely opposite end of the spectrum either. The goal is not to be as skinny as possible but to be healthy at the end of the day. To love your body enough for it to be at its best. And loving it on the way there. Loving the journey. To me, body positivity means to love your body at whatever state its in and wanting the best for it. To treat it well. If that definition is wrong, I don’t care. That’s how I see it.

    • Angela says:

      Diana, so well put!!!

    • emmadilemma says:

      It is possible to be fat and to also be healthy. Just because a person looks fat doesn’t mean they’re automatically less healthy than a skinny person. I know smaller people who don’t work out, don’t eat healthy, and people in larger bodies who do work out and do eat healthy. We can’t know just by looking at a person what their blood pressure is or their cholesterol levels. So, I understand what you’re saying, I don’t support celebrating unhealthy habits to the point of endangering a life, but it is also possible to live in a larger body and be healthy.

      • Diana says:

        I agree and I actually wrote about that very thing on another forum about plus sized model. I said that you can’t tell someone’s health by looking at them.

  • corrina says:

    i love looking at your food looks so yummy

  • C says:

    Wow! GREAT VIDEO!!!!!

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