WEEK 3:  Love Who You Are - Now
Jan. 24, 2016

Welcome to Week 3 of the 90-Day Challenge!  

This week we get to the crux of the matter and what I believe fundamentally sets Embody, our programs and offerings apart from what you're likely to find anywhere else. Today, we bring our attention to self-acceptance and self-love.  

The truth is, you can change your exercise and eating habits... you can drink more water and give up sugar and caffeine... but until this foundational piece clicks, long-lasting change in body, mind and spirit will continue to be elusive.  

Please set aside some time this week to really reflect, journal (see journal activity below) and look within.  If you only spend time doing this one time throughout the entire challenge, let this be the week. 

Read on for the this week's Weekly Wellness Tip, Journal Activity, Deal of the Week, features, prize details and more.

And remember, join us in the Facebook Group and make sure you've scheduled your one-on-one Wellness Consultation.

With love and admiration,
Christina Wolf

Wellness Tip: The Quest for Self-Acceptance
Zander is a cool guy.

I ask my stepson, "Do you love yourself?" 

Without hesitation, he answers, "Yes." 

Amused by his  lack of a lack of self-esteem, I question him further. "When you look in the mirror, what do you see?"

"A cool guy."

We should all be this up on ourselves, I think. At 16, Zander's already a good model for the rest of us. But let's break this down. I of course believe my stepson is the bee's knees, but look, he's no Hollywood it-boy, no Justin Bieber of the moment. Or, using his own standard measurement for success, he's no mega-rap star, like Hopsin. Washboard abs, this kid does not possess.

But none of that matters. In Zander's pubescent wisdom, he's got it goin' on. He's smart, funny, sensitive. His friends adore him. He gets along--most of the time--with all of his parents. He has the gift of gab, is comfortable in his own skin, and looks to the future with optimism. He can't afford the cool jeans at retail, but he knows how to spot them in a thrift store.

Zander makes self-acceptance look easy, but it's a struggle for many of us. I've written about this before in a post called " I Suck at Self-Love." The problem is mighty, and it comes first in the form of our parents, who might not have fostered the kind of self-acceptance that Zander exhibits, and then in the form of society, which likely isn't providing stunning examples of individuals who look, sound, and act like us.

It's particularly tough in the area of body image. Even if you've excelled in your career or as a parent, you might still berate that image of you in the mirror.

And this is the case no matter what you actually look like. In his book  How to Have Style , fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi writes:

There's something I need to get off my chest. Every girl I've ever met, skinny, large, or average, thinks she's fat. I have rarely met a girl whose appearance matches her self-perception. No one is comfortable in her own skin. Ironically, to me, most of the time she looks just right.

Mizrahi's mission in the book is to guide women toward true style, going against the fact that most women do not resemble the women who model his own clothing lines. It's a small step toward making fashion and style more accessible. 

But I want to go further and expand our notion of what beauty--and health--look like. Here are a few facts. 

Skinny doesn't equate to healthy. Perhaps you've heard of the "skinny fat" phenomenon, which is when people "with stellar metabolisms and magical genes," to quote this Time article, develop diseases we tend to associate with obesity, such as type 2 diabetes, blood sugar issues, and high blood pressure or cholesterol. There are also many examples of athletes whose body types defy the skinny mandate, not to mention a growing recognition that a lot of the stereotypes we hold just aren't true. For example, a lot of people think of yoga bodies as long and lean, but here, demonstrating advanced poses, are some yogis who don't conform to that stereotype .

In fact, it looks like weight could actually be a sign of health. Recent research confirms that some people with body sizes we have traditionally considered overweight or maybe even slightly obese are actually protected from a wide variety of diseases, by virtue of their weight. This seeming "paradox" has basically rocked the medical establishment. You can read more about it here .

The common denominators are nutrition and fitness, regardless of size. The above shouldn't be taken as an invitation to eat with reckless abandon and embrace your inner couch potato. Quite the contrary. It seems kind of obvious when you think about it, but the research points to a need to measure such things as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and other biometric markers  instead of fixating on weight. 

There's even a Health at Any Size movement, which pledges "compassionate self-care" comprised of "eating in a flexible and attuned manner that values pleasure and honors internal cues of hunger, satiety, and appetite" and "finding the joy in moving one's body and being active."

Gee, that last part sounds familiar, doesn't it?

I invite you to join me in perhaps the greatest challenge of all these 90 days: self-acceptance. Let's gaze compassionately at ourselves and each other in the mirror, honoring the diversity in the room and recognizing that, like my stepson, we're all pretty cool!

Journal Prompt: An Exercise in Self-Love

Taking the information above, lovingly assess where you are right now. Scan your body, head to toe. What do you love about your head and face? Your upper body? Your core? Your hips, legs, feet?

The next time you're facing the Embody mirror, if you hear yourself issuing negative self-criticisms, be aware of them, and then try letting them go. Come back to your journal and write about the experience. What did you say to yourself? Was it really true? What's useful in that information? What's not useful?

Consider this. If you finish the challenge the same weight as you started, but your blood pressure and cholesterol levels have much improved, will you call that a victory?

Embody's Featured Wellness Coalition Partner: 
Medical Massage &  Acupuncture

Medical Massage & Acupuncture
Medical Massage and Acupuncture offers Massage Therapy, Structural Integration and Acupuncture services to enhance your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Their skilled practitioners and relaxing environment invite you to experience the healing energy that is within you.
Massage helps promote physical relaxation, improved circulation (which enhances cell nourishment and waste elimination), relief from muscle tension (knots) and other aches and pains, alleviation of nerve compression (like carpal tunnel and sciatica), greater flexibility and range of motion, and enhanced energy and vitality.   
Structural Integration, comprised of ten highly specific sessions, is a type of manual therapy that helps realign your whole body by focusing on the connective tissue called fascia, which wraps, holds, suspends, and lubricates everything in your body. By unraveling the fascia and releasing scar tissue, proper movement and range of motion is restored. Stress, overuse, injury, trauma, and poor posture all work against us. When the body becomes realigned, movement becomes more fluid, stance becomes more stable, and pain is relieved.
Acupuncture takes a holistic approach to understanding normal function and disease processes and focuses as much on the prevention of illness as on the treatment.  An acupuncturist will place fine, sterile needles at specific acupoints on the body. This activates the body's Qi (pronounced " chee ") and promotes natural healing by enhancing recuperative power, reducing pain, addressing addiction, improving immunity, and promoting physical and emotional health.  Acupuncture improves the body's overall function and boosts the patient's sense of well-being.
Medical Massage and Acupuncture is located at 2530 NE Kresky Avenue in Chehalis directly across from Pacific Cataract & Laser Institute. They have twelve massage therapists on staff, five acupuncturists, and one Structural Integrator.  Learn more and visit them today!

"If you don't love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?" 

 - RuPaul


by January 30th

Quick Links
Class Schedule
Workshops & Special Events 
90-Day Challenge Facebook Group
Nia Facebook Group
Yoga Facebook Group
Tribal Belly Dance Facebook Group
Embody on Facebook
Returning Challenger Q & A  
with Sandi Randall
Sandi #LivingNia Practicing 
 "Spear Fingers Ninja"
at Ruby Beach, WA
Q: What was the biggest factor in your success in completing the challenge last year?
A: That punch card.  It was very motivating to see the results of coming to class on paper.

Q: Who or what was is the greatest support for your practice?
A: Knowing that I am doing something healthy that is just for me.  And I come to see and support my Embody family. 

Q: How has your practice enhanced your life? 
A: I like me better now. I am willing to take time to take care of myself because I am worth it and my family deserves the best me I can be.

Embody Staff Feature: Jana Dean, Studio/Boutique

A (Self)-Love Story

Jana and Christina were cleaning the studio together one day. Jana thought about how some of the women in Nia face their reflections in the mirror in a confident, "eating-yourself-up-with-your-eyes" kind of way. While Jana has never really struggled with self-acceptance, she did notice that her inner critic had a lot to say in that mirror, and not all of it was nice. That had made her shy away from the mirror a bit.

"Nia feels very intimate to me," she said. "Like maybe we should dim the lights."

But instead of campaigning for dimmed lights during Nia, she challenged herself to face the mirror instead.

"For an entire month," she explains, "I focused on loving my arms." This was January of last year, so it was the first month of the 90-Day Challenge, and the Nia routine at the time focused on the arms anyway. "I looked at them in the mirror," she says. "I really appreciated them."

By the end of the month, Jana walked past a mirror in the entry way in her home and caught a glimpse of herself. Without pause, her only thought was, "Oh, look how pretty my arms are!"

Noting how much her inner critic had changed its tune in such a short time, she felt she'd successfully rewired her brain. After that, everything came together to support her goals with a lot less effort. She soon realized she had to cinch her belt up about three inches. 

Instead of stressing over scale weight, she had taken a gentler approach, and it was working. "It felt easy to love my body," she says. "It wasn't fake, either. This wasn't me just saying 'Oh, I love my body' over and over and not feeling it. This was real. I was ready."

Week 3 Prize Giveaway
Week 3 Prize:
For the week of 
January 24th -January 30th
Lavender "Warm Up Wonders" Heat Pack from
Medical Massage & Acupuncture
Kuumba Made 
Herbal First Aid Travel Kit 
 from Embody
Week 2 Prize Winner:
Sarah Kostick
Congratulations to 
Sarah Kostick who won our 
"Week 2" Challenge Prize

Gift Certificate for Small CSA Winter Produce Sampler 
from  Boistfort Valley Farm 
$10 Boutique Gift Certificate from Embody

Embody Lifestyle Boutique Deal of the Week:
Kuumba Made Body 
THIS WEEK ONLY! Challengers receive 10% off all Kuumba Made products including bath salts, fragrances, lotions, lip balms and herbal first aid! T hrough January 30th only.

Kuumba Made Body  Botanicals 
Embody is proud to carry Kuumba Made botanical fragrances, body care, and herbal first aid product.

Kuumba Made was created out of reverence and love for the botanical world.  They have been blending oil based fragrances and making all-natural herbal body care products for over 25 years.

They gather herbs, resins, plant extracts and essential oils from around the world, choosing only the highest quality, most effective and unique ingredients.  The herbs they use are grown on organic farms or wild harvested.  

They work with them in their optimal form and at low temperatures to ensure the beneficial and healing properties of each ingredient are still active in your product when you receive it.  

When buying Kuumba Made, you are getting a concentrated, vibrant and effective product that is made with intention, by hand, in small batches.

Watch this short video and learn what makes Kuumba Made Body Botanicals so special!
Kuumba Made 
 Body Botanicals with Pure Intention

Embody Movement Studio & Lifestyle Boutique | www.EmbodyCentralia.com
(360)330-BODY(2639)  | 115 S. Tower Ave Centralia, WA 98631