At first blush, the phrase “body positivity” sounds like a wonderful thing.

A movement that pushes health and being respectful of your body and proud of your physique can help people eat healthier, exercise, and avoid disease, eating disorders, body dysmorphia, and more.

Unfortunately, in many ways, extremists have co-opted the publicity, and turned “body positivity” into something that’s no longer fully correlated with health and can actually harm individuals and society as a whole.

Some people say you can be perfect, beautiful, and healthy at any weight. No matter what the scale says, or how you feel, you should be proud of who you are. 

Others are diametrically opposed. They believe people who aren’t in shape should be mocked and ridiculed until they’re motivated enough to start dieting and hitting the gym.

If you’ve read much of my work, you know that how much fat you carry around and how much muscle you have has real effects on your health. On the flipside of the coin, you probably intuitively know that shaming others isn’t too helpful if your goal is to motivate them to get healthier.

Here’s the home truth: “body positivity” when taken too far, can rob people of a better life.

But it’s not all bad. With a more moderate, nuanced approach, the movement can help motivate people to start taking steps towards getting healthier. And that’s exactly what I’m discussing in this podcast with Jordan Syatt.

In case you’re not familiar with Jordan, he holds several powerlifting records, has a Bachelors of Science in Health & Behavior Science, and hosts a successful mini-podcast. He’s also a thriving strength and nutrition coach (with clients like Gary Vaynerchuk), and as such, has a firm grip on some of the finer, “softer” points of coaching people from all walks of life to adopt healthier lifestyles. In other words, he knows a thing or two about helping people navigate mental roadblocks to get motivated and go from completely sedentary and unfit to lean, athletic, and healthy. 

In this episode, we chat about . . .

  • What the body positivity movement is the problem with extremist viewpoints
  • What body shaming is and why it does more harm than good
  • How you can damage someone’s health by trying to protect their feelings
  • Why “love yourself as you are” isn’t helpful and limits the possibility of self-improvement
  • Beauty standards and whether it’s important to maintain them
  • How obese models can be both harmful and helpful
  • Where the movement should go in the future
  • And more . . .

So if you’re curious about the merits and downsides of the health at any size movement, listen to Jordan break it down.

Lastly, if you want to support the show, please drop a quick review of it over on iTunes. It really helps!

Timestamps:

8:11 – What is the concept of body positivity?

11:23 – When you say body shaming, what does that mean?

19:00 – What are your standards?

32:26 – Where would you like to see this movement go?

Mentioned on The Show:

Jordan Syatt’s Podcast

Jordan Syatt’s Website

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What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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