Today I am excited to introduce you to Ivy Felicia, Certified Holistic Wellness Coach and Body Image Expert. She is The Body Relationship CoachTM at Me, My Body and Love. She herself has gone through a healing process with her body and has lots of wisdom to share. Welcome, Ivy!
What does body acceptance mean to you?
Body acceptance is something that anyone of any body type can practice at any time. I believe that body acceptance is always and option and embracing body acceptance is a choice that is available to anyone. Body acceptance is a component of Body Peace, which I teach to my clients and those in my community. Body Peace begins with learning how to accept your body as it is in this moment. That acceptance is the first step in the journey to body peace. Body acceptance is important because until we each learn how to accept our bodies; it is impossible to be in a state of peace or love with our bodies.
Define and discuss your thoughts on body positivity.
I see body positivity as releasing body shame and judgment for self and others.
What challenges have you faced related to body image and how have you overcome them?
Growing up I was always in a larger body for my age. I was a fat kid, a fat teenager, and I grew into a fat adult. My body size was due to many different contributing factors, but as a child all I knew was that I didn’t look like everyone else. Growing up in a larger body I was often teased by other children and even adults. I was frequently the subject of body shame and judgment.
The shame, ridicule, and teasing that I suffered in my life as a result of my size caused me to have a very negative body image for most of my life until my early 30’s. That negative body image dictated many of the choices and decisions in my life. It affected me mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Because I didn’t feel good about my body, I made choices based on my negative feelings.
It wasn’t until my early 30’s, when I was seeking healing for PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) that I discovered the holistic approach to wellness. Holistic wellness helped me to focus on making positive choices for every part of my being. As I began to focus on self-care, self-love and holistic wellness I began to experience healing in my body relationship and a positive change in my body image. Taking the time to care for myself and my body helped me learn how to love all of me.
If you could write a note to your younger self, what would it say?
If I could write a note to my younger self I would tell her:
“Ivy, you were born perfectly equipped with everything that you need to be successful and accomplish anything that you want to do her on Earth. You are enough exactly as you are and you never have to seek validation from anyone. You come from Love, you were created from Love, and Love empowers you each and every day. Never let anyone define you. Trust your heart and intuition. Follow them as guides to your life’s purpose. Know that even when you make choices that you are not happy with, it’s okay because those choices do not make you a bad person, they are moments that will teach what you need to know about yourself, others and the world so you can be the best you possible.”
How do you encourage body acceptance or positivity amongst others?
I encourage people of all body types to connect with their body in a loving way and to build a loving relationship with their bodies. I help them learn how to do that through compassion, self-care, and holistic wellness. I am passionate about helping people learn how to define their own body journey and to release body comparison, shame, or judgment.
Describe the philosophy of your practice and how you create a safe space for all body types.
As The Body Relationship CoachTM my philosophy is that body peace and self-love empowers people of all body types to make loving and healthy choices for their body and self. I create a safe space that is free of body judgment and shame. That space allows people to explore their relationship with their body and design a sustainable lifestyle that aligns with their own values and goals.
What type of body movement helps you feel most accepting and/or positive about your body and why?
I love yoga! I first discovered yoga through Anna Guest Jelley, founder of CurvyYoga.com. She has a body positive approach to yoga, helping people of all body types and abilities to practice yoga. It was the first time that I practiced body movement without being focused on weight loss centered around body hate. I like the fact that yoga actually connects me with my body and helps me to incorporate compassion and meditation into my body movement practices. Yoga helped me learn that fitness and body movement doesn’t have to be about punishing your body, rather it can be about nourishing it.
Share a favorite body image mantra.
“I honor my body in every stage of life.”
What are your favorite ways to practice self-care?
My favorite ways to practice self-care are through the use of essential oils for skin care and aroma therapy. I have created my own body love and self-care rituals that I do by using essential oils to rub down my body after showering. While I am moisturizing my skin with the oils I say positive, affirming and loving mantras to my body. I also use essential oils to help relax, relieve stress and treat any ailments that I may have. I also diffuse the oils during my private meditation time.
Are there any body parts you have struggled with but now accept and/or love? How did you learn to love these parts of you?
I used to struggle with my tummy. I have always had a round, jiggly tummy. I used to feel bad about it because it wasn’t flat like society tells us that tummies “should” be. I used to hide it with larger clothing and never, ever let anyone see it uncovered. I learned how to accept my tummy by practicing intentional thankfulness. I would write down reasons that I was thankful for my tummy, including all the things that it did to sustain me. I then began to say them to my tummy with loving, positive energy. As I began to be thankful for my tummy, I began to feel better about it and less shame around it. Now I love it! I am not trying to change it or cover it. I am simply embracing love and gratitude for it as much as possible.
About Ivy: Ivy Felicia helps people of all body types discover abiding Body Peace and abundant Self-Love at any stage of life by prioritizing self-care and holistic wellness without body shame or judgment. She offers support through coaching, workshops and public speaking in digital and live format. Connect with Ivy on her website, Facebook Fan Page, Facebook Community, Twitter, and Instagram.