Wellness Wednesday

Wellness Wednesdays!

Every Wednesday I want to remind you to find some wellness!

Today I want to talk about my NEW Podcast Episode!

This week we sat down with Jaimee!

11 Body Image from a group fitness instructor – How to find your weird – learning to love the body you were born with- advice and funny stories – creating connection


We interviewed Jaimee about body image. We talked about being an instructor and finding how to love yourself. We can all speak kinder to ourselves and appreciate more the vessels we are in. Jaimee shares her journey to find self acceptance. We hope she inspires you to live your best life.

Jaimee first heard about Pilates from her high school Drama teacher. She was immediately intrigued by the use of controlled movement and breathing to sculpt the entire body. With a deep distaste for cardio, this sounded like the perfect workout for her. She tried her first Pilates class her freshman year at Savannah College of Art and Design and immediately fell in love. It was effective and it was a total mind and body experience. She found that she was drawn to the instructors who incorporated music into their workouts and after graduating in 2013, she found POP Pilates. Jaimee loved how POP Pilates mixed the fundamentals of Pilates with the fun energy of music and rhythm. This was exactly what she had been looking for! Pop Pilates changed her entire outlook on fitness. Workouts became fun and fitness became a lifestyle. She even developed a working relationship with cardio! Jaimee knew that she had to share the POP Pilates format, so she decided to become a certified member of the POP Army and currently teaches around the NC Triangle. 

I met Jaimee at a Pop Pilates retreat and immediately loved her energy. Not only is Jaimee so much fun to be around, talk about amazing energy! She is also a highly qualified and great instructor. She currently teaches online and in person. Follow her on instagram @thtfitgrl

We wanted to go thru the excuses and barriers to exercise. One of the big ones I get is “i could never go to a group fitness class, I don’t want people to see me” I think there is a layer of not wanting to be seen, or to see yourself. Mirrors make people extremely uncomfortable.

We wanted to dive more into this. One of the things I respect so much about Amy is that she WANTs to be at the front, because she sees the mirror as a tool. If Amy does something, she wants to get the maximum benefit. She wants to see the instructor and she wants to make sure her form is right.

But a lot of people, prefer to hide in the back. I always go to the front and I am the goofey one, the one a couple of steps behind in a Zumba class. I also like to be in front to give those behind me confidence.

Amy and I love to take Zumba together….

I have found so much love an community thru group fitness classes. I really feel like Pop Pilates has saved my life. I am so thankful for Pop Pilates. After a bad break up i went to the teacher training and It was the first time a group of people told me they believed in me. I have found nothing but LOVE and support through group fitness and I am so thankful for that.

I want to share it because, I have heard horror stories. and honestly Amy tells me about some of the clicky girls at some of her favorite group classes and it makes me cringe. It can feel intimidating or a lot to go to s group class and if you are self conscious it can feel like you’re putting your body on display.

You are not alone if you struggle with body image issues…


Exercise can have very beneficial effects on health and body satisfaction, but sometimes
a negative body image gets in the way of exercising. Modern society holds certain beauty ideals
in high regard, and these standards are often unattainable and unrealistic. These outside pressures
to look a certain way can have a very negative effect on an individual’s body image, or the way
that a person perceives his or her own appearance. There have been many studies done that have
attempted to define the relationship between body image with exercise behaviors (Burger and
Diony 2002, Hall and Pearson 2013). Some studies have shown that a negative body image is
related with higher prevalence of exercise, while others have shown that a negative body image
is a major barrier to participation in exercise at all (Berry, McHugh, and Pankratow 2013, Burger
and Diony 2002, Gammage and Lamarche 2012, Hall and Pearson 2013). While the data from
these studies has shown different relationships, there is an abundance of research on the topic.
There is a lack of information, however, on the relationship between body image and exercise
type. Read more HERE

The reason I keep drawing back to group fitness is because, my recommendation, if you know nothing about working out, the cheapest most efficient way to ensure that you not only get a good workout, that you aren’t alone and that your in a supportive environment. Fitness classes are great because they really break down a barrier for people to access fitness and you can do it with friends. Things are always more fun if you can do them with other people.

But some people feel very turned off to fitness and group fitness in general because of body image. We can all work to speak kinder to ourselves. Some people feel objectified in fitness. There are actually alot of scientific papers on this…

Multiple aspects of group fitness classes could contribute to self-objectification in
women. First, fitness classes present environments riddled with opportunities for
social comparison, as students can generally see themselves, the instructor, and
fellow students in a mirror while exercising. Furthermore, because the body ideal is
out of reach for most women, contexts that highlight that ideal as a goal are likely to
result in increased body-related social comparisons (e.g., Bessenoff, 2006). Not
surprisingly, appearance-related upward comparisons (i.e., comparing yourself to
someone viewed as superior on a given attribute) are associated with body image
disturbance in women (Myers & Crowther, 2009). Self-objectification and body
comparisons may feed off each other, with self-objectification driving more attention toward other women’s bodies, in addition to one’s own (Tylka & Sabik, 2010) read more here

Body image can also affect our nutrtion. Often the problem is people eat too much, but sometimes the diet culture can have us swing the other direction and have us not eating enough. Eating too much and not eating enough can be bad news for our health.

Main results showed the association between BD, addiction to exercise and risk behaviour for EDs. Further, individuals dissatisfied with their bodies showed higher level of addiction to exercise and risk behavior for EDs. Furthermore, women showed higher presence of BD than men, and fitness participants reported higher presence of addiction to exercise than crossfit practitioners.


Body image was a significant factor in determining the amount exercised for a majority of participants (58.3%), as well as the location of exercise for some (22.4%)

 largely influenced not only by how they look but by how they think they look


What shocked me even more diving into this research is how few people exercise 🙁

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 19.3 percent of the U.S. population was engaged in sports and exercise each day in 2019.


  • Percent of adults aged 18 and over who met the Physical Activity Guidelines for aerobic physical activity: 53.3%
  • Percent of adults aged 18 and over who met the Physical Activity Guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity: 23.2%


As a personal trainer these statistics make me so sad. I want to help more people find exercise….

The four aspects of body image:

  • The way you see yourself (Perceptual) …
  • The way you feel about the way you look (Affective) …
  • The thoughts and beliefs you feel about your body (Cognitive) …
  • The things you do in relation to the way you look (Behavioural)


Body Image is something I have really struggled with….

My podcast has been SO much fun to put together and create! not only do I get extra excuses to talk to and hang out with Amy, but I have gotten to connect with and get closer with a bunch of bad ass women who inspire me!

How to better FLEX through life, with your hosts Amy V. and Thea M. We’re going to talk about how Mental Health and Fitness intersect, we give you the tricks to better flex through everything to help you create the life you want.  Amy is a Therapist, an expert in trauma with lots of personal experiences in Fitness. Thea is a Personal trainer, an expert in the Fitness world with lots of personal experiences with trauma. We’ll provide helpful lessons to better love yourself, overcome trauma and help you find the best version of you.  We’re 2 friends having a conversation and interviewing REALLY great people and sharing our reasons you should move your body to help get your mind right.

What have you learned from our conversations?

What other interviews would you like to hear?