I'm super excited to share this week's Backstage blog, because it features a new friend who's doing some pretty badass things when it comes to injecting our society and culture with a much needed dose of body positivity. Kimberly Weiss is a body positive, no BS coach for women, and we've bonded over the ridiculous body standards women face, as well as over a love of tacos and dance parties. Especially as my focus has started shifting to teaching dance from the inside out, our conversation felt like an important step towards embracing all the ways we enjoy movement.
KC What's your background with movement? Were you into dance, sports, etc. as a kid?
KW: Not at all. I did a few dance and gymnastics classes when very young, but I didn't like them. I had friends that played softball or soccer but never really found something I liked. I ended up playing tennis later on and actually loving tennis, but when I was young I always hated sports and fitness and movement. It was always a HAVE to - not something I had a choice on. It was the "You have to" in gym class that measured how healthy you were by how fast you could run a mile - a concept I completely disagree with. It took the joy out of movement for me that I didn't find again until I was an adult.
KC: Your work focuses around empowering women to feel good and comfortable in their bodies. Is that a mission you've always been aware of? How did it come about?
KW: It came about because I changed careers and began working with girls from 8 - 18 with at various non profits from different backgrounds. I kept seeing /hearing the same things with the kids and their parents or just out to brunch with my own friends. I got tired of it so I knew I had to stop complaining about it and do something about it if I wanted to see a change. We have such a narrow view of what is acceptable (body size, beliefs, how many grams of sugar we can eat). We don't take time to actually be happy. And we rely on others to define health and what is right/wrong instead of listening to our own needs. We waste so much time on fixing ourselves - life becomes and ongoing fixing journey and I love me some deep conversations and soul searching, but I also love when women free up the mental time/energy/money to stop being an a** to themselves with food and life. We need to stop passing on these beauty/body expectations onto the next generation and it starts with all of us.
KC: What's one message you wish you had heard as a young girl surrounding your body and abilities?
KW: If something doesn't feel comfortable - that is okay. I can find something else that does. I am not bad at sports or unfit because I can't do one thing. Everyone is good at different things and has their own abilities.
KC: What's your most favorite way of moving and why?
KW: I love walking and running and I like to put on a quick video at home and just MOVE in whatever way feels good. I've been doing tae-bo a bit lately which is fun. Also boxing! It changes a lot - but I always do go back to walking as a simple can do thing. I love listening to an audio book and going for a long walk. I do love weights as well - I feel so powerful with weights in my hands!
KC: What's one memory that stands out to you about your jobs where you were working with young girls and the struggles they (or their parents/community) had about their abilities/appearance/diet, etc.?
KW: It's hard to think of just one. I think for me one big thing that stands out is when women are shocked that their daughters say something negative about their bodies when they are 8/9/10 when the mom's/teacher's/society are telling us we need to not eat sugar/gluten/carbs/fat and we go on cleanses and elimination diets that we say are not diets and then we are surprised when girls grow up and think there is something wrong with them. We teach them to think something is wrong with our own actions. It's in the little things and the passing comments. Things like "I was so bad last night. I can't believe how much I ate." drives me crazy. Shaming yourself out loud or talking bout the diet you are on that you don't need to be on and then your daughter is standing right behind you. It's not just about what you say when they are around. It's also about what you truly believe about yourself. Kids are SMART. They know. How you feel about yourself matters and they will take it in.
KC: What's one project you're currently working on in your biz that you're excited about?
KW: MY PODCAST F Your Diet which recently launched. I'm having fun with that. I really like taking to women from different backgrounds and finding the common areas we all relate to. It's a podcast for people that are tired for BS and crave real stories. We talk about body, food, movement and perfection. I'm so glad I started it! I'm also putting together a free video series to introduce people into getting away from diet culture and how to actually listen to their own bodies. I think a lot of the work can be overwhelming or feel like another TO DO on a list so I want to change that by providing an easy introduction to the work. That will be on Kimberlyweiss.com/join if anyone is interested!
KC: Now, just for funsies...
Burritos or Tacos?
KW: Tacos. Always Tacos. WHO is saying burritos!? TACOS! They are the perfect food. I love tacos!
KC: Disco balls or Rainbows?
KW: Rainbows, but I respect a disco ball.
KC: Solo dance parties or group dance parties?
KW: Solo. About 10 times a day minimum.
KC: Flashdance or Footloose?
KW: Footloose. Great soundtrack. (esp. for solo dance parties).
KC: One word to describe yourself?
THANK YOU, Kim, for sharing your genuine, honest, badass self with me! I'd love for you to share Kim's interview with a woman in your life who you think would benefit from hearing Kim's wise words, and you can also get more Kim on her website, , Facebook, and YouTube
I'd also love to hear from YOU! If you're interested in being interviewed for the Backstage blog, hit me up with a message, or let me know if there's someone you'd especially love to see here!