Fitness: Letting Go of Body Judgment, by Sandra O’Brien

Living in freedom is really the ultimate feeling of Nirvana for me. The ability to act, speak and live with the power and authenticity to be myself without feeling restraint or hindrance. It is a constant journey, this state of bliss I long to live moment to moment.

We are bombarded by images in the media, TV, and print, of what an “ideal” body needs to look like to achieve success, to hang out with right crowd and land the perfect job. Media attempts to make us right or wrong, for the haircolour we choose, the way we express ourselves with clothing, the words we speak, and the attitudes we have and values we believe in. So much effort seems to be made in herding us, like sheep, to think and act the same.

Being in the fitness industry for over 12 years, it still boggles my mind how many women consistently put down other women for being a particular body type or dressing in a manner they deem “inappropriate.”

If a woman has more body weight than ideal for her height and is “sloppy” (a term used in the industry for not having a tight body), than she more often than not be called fat, obese or lazy. She will be told to just start working out and she will look better. Another woman may work out regularly and have a “tight” body, yet still be viewed as fat because her stomach is not completely flat, her butt too large, or her thighs not the size of matchsticks. This woman mostly will be told to stop eating so much, so she can become smaller and look more “acceptable”.

Then my favorite type of woman who gets ranted on is the skinny woman. The model type who is told she needs to eat a burger and put some meat on her bones. Heaven help her for having a naturally thin body type and a fast metabolism. How dare she!

Our worth is not dictated by our dress size or number on the scale.

I am ranting here because the stupidity of it all makes me crazy. Imagine a society where we gave ourselves and others the freedom to just be? To embrace how we look, to stop judging others for how they show up? What if we stopped needing the designer yoga pants, the latest and greatest running shoe? What if we were comfortable walking around in a bikini not being a size 8? What if we allowed our cellulite to be seen, held our heads high and gave ourselves the respect we deserve? Imagine the freedom of fully embracing our beauty and uniqueness.

Imagine if we moved our bodies for the sheer joy of being able to do so. For the bliss and health benefits we are rewarded with for doing so. Imagine the euphoria of not caring what anyone else thought about you. How would life be if we all evolved to granting ourselves and other complete freedom to live our authentic selves?

Sandra O’Brien
 is mother to the world’s three most fabulous children. She is also a Law of Attraction Life Coach, Personal Trainer, yoga instructor, published author and Reiki healer. Her work has been featured on CityLine Television, and The Toronto Star. She is owner of Muskoka Hot Yoga, and Muskoka Goddess, offering hot yoga, tabata bootcamps, personal training and coaching. She created the Goddess Creation system, a female fitness program to blowtorch body fat, sculpt sexy lean muscle and empower women everywhere to be the best version of themselves, inside and out. She enjoys dancing, reading, hiking in the forest, meditation.
For more information on Sandra, please visit