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Stop Dieting And Start Reconnecting

By Claudia Camarena
11 September 2022   |   6:00 am
As millennials living during a pandemic, challenges to our mental health and physical insecurities have been unavoidable. As other women can relate, throughout these past two and a half years, companies aiming to profit from our insecurities have incessantly targeted us. Whether it’s through Instagram ads for skin-care products or body-shaping tights, or recalling newsstands…

Body positivity thoughts start from the mind. Photo: Pixabay.

As millennials living during a pandemic, challenges to our mental health and physical insecurities have been unavoidable. As other women can relate, throughout these past two and a half years, companies aiming to profit from our insecurities have incessantly targeted us. Whether it’s through Instagram ads for skin-care products or body-shaping tights, or recalling newsstands with titles like “10 Lazy Ways to Lose Weight” or “A Flatter Belly In Day Not Weeks,” companies have been racing to profit from vulnerable and health-conscious consumers who have seen their wellness suffer during the pandemic.

While times are changing, old reminders of our inadequacies are still being laid onto our laps as we scroll through our phones and find ourselves clicking “add to cart” on a new waistband product. Although we can’t predict what the latest health fads will be, we can protect ourselves by reconnecting with each other and building an armour of self-love to support ourselves and inspire others.

During the pandemic, I started Womxn in Motion, an online community with the goal of inspiring vulnerability in order to help others navigate their wellness and mental health. The pandemic allowed me to not only reexamine my priorities in life but encouraged me to redetermine what health looks like in my life. I remember going to the gym and feeling completely mortified because a male trainer attempted to tell me what areas of my body he thought I could improve. In fact, these were the parts of my body I was most happy with. Looking back, any time I entered the gym, I felt completely isolated from others and felt the male gaze on my body. It questioned who I wanted to workout for: Was it for me? Was it for internalised male standards? Was it to impress other women? Was I seeking approval from social media? Why had I only just related thinness to health? Why haven’t I questioned the role that genetic history, food sensitivities, stress and more have on my overall well-being? This was when I decided to stop dieting and start reconnecting.

I started Womxn in Motion to explore these questions and challenge these stereotypes and biases towards women. The pressures associated with our bodies directly impact our mental health, self-worth, and ultimately, our identity. I realised that in order to explore the concept of my relationship with wellness, I needed to provide a safe space for community and dialogue. A space where others could safely reflect on their self-perception and self-value. By being in a community with other women, I grasped a deeper connection of wellness and was inspired to be healthier for both myself and those I love.

As we draw to a close in this third year of the pandemic, we can’t ignore the lasting effects that these past years have had on our wellness. In the era of shutdowns and social distancing, I invite you to find spaces to break down and find wellness for yourself (and not through a product or regimen). The trauma and pain that you are feeling are not just yours. Share it with others, find your inner peace, and aim to rekindle the love you have for yourself and your community.

ABOUT

Claudia Camarena is an entrepreneur, actor, and human rights activist. She is a champion for world kindness and an advisor at the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP). Claudia is also the founder of CGE bond consulting, a marketing and brand strategy consultancy specialising in wellness and fashion. Most recently, she founded Womxn In Motion, an online community dedicated to empowering women through open dialogue and vulnerability. Claudia is currently building a Biohacking company that aims to advocate for mental health, environmental sustainability and the power of community.