Learn to Love Your Body
Anna Guest-Jelley is a writer, teacher and lifelong champion for women’s empowerment and body acceptance. She’s the founder and CEO (Curvy Executive Officer) at Curvy Yoga, a training and inspiration portal offering classes, workshops, teacher trainings, retreats, a virtual studio and lots of love and support to women of every size, age and ability — in six different countries, on three different continents, as well as in over 30 of the United States. Here, she tells Lisa about the long road to loving her body, and shares some inspiration for all of us who are walking along that same road.
Lisa: Could you tell us a little about your body acceptance journey?
Anna: I began accepting my body completely by accident. I started practicing yoga because someone told me it might help with my then-chronic migraines. I never expected to do it more than once, but much to my surprise, I really enjoyed it — even though I didn’t think I’d really “get” it until I lost x amount of weight, which was the focus of at least 90% of my brain at that time. Over time, though, I began to notice how I was more connected with my body because of how yoga was asking me to tune into it during every practice. From there, body acceptance continued to unfold for me because, once I knew my body better, I found I naturally wanted to be kinder to it.
Lisa: Why is reading an integral part of the process of body acceptance?
Anna: We learn through stories, and I think hearing from other people who are on a similar journey to you can be so powerful. That’s why I love and am so grateful for books that light the path.
Lisa: With that in mind, what books would you recommend for readers that want to start on the path to body acceptance and a more positive self-image?
Anna: Oh, there are so many great ones! Some of my favorites include:
- Radical Acceptance, Tara Brach
- The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown
- Body Respect, Linda Bacon & Lucy Aphramor
- A Life of Being, Having & Doing Enough, Wayne Muller
- Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself, Kristin Neff
- Beautiful You, Rosie Molinary
Lisa: Are there any social media accounts or specific thinkers/writers that we should follow for more inspiration?
Anna: Yes! The beauty of our connected online world is there are so many wise and compassionate people writing and teaching about self- and body-acceptance. Some of my long-time faves include:
Do you have any recommendations for body-positive writers or thinkers? Share the the love in the comments!