I had the honor to interview another one of my favorite body positive influencers for all of you! Meet Maya!
Maya is a 20 year old college student, She has a Tik Tok account dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle with almost 8,000 followers, as well as a health Instagram account with around 700. She shows her followers that living a healthy and balanced life is possible.
When did you start your health journey and how has it improved your overall life?
I guess you could say I have always cared about health. My mom was very health conscious and I grew up dancing which allowed me to work out often. When I went to college and quit dancing, I realized I needed to put more time and energy into my health. I started learning how to cook simple, whole foods and found a huge passion for the foods I put into my body. I also went through a barre certification process. I was teaching barre classes weekly before COVID, and I cannot wait to get back! Health to me, also relies heavily on the mental side. I make an effort everyday to work on my mental health just as much as my physical health. Focusing on all aspects of health has allowed me to become the best version of myself. I no longer feel fatigued, sleepy, or bloated everyday. I am able to live my life feeling great!
What do you do on bad body image days?
I think it is very important to recognize that everyone has bad body image days. When I feel bad about my body or start comparing myself to others, first, I get off social media! No one needs to be on social media all day everyday, so I give myself a break. Then, I put on a cute outfit, do my hair and makeup, and move on with my life. I genuinely try not to give negative feelings much of my energy. I find it more useful to let the feelings come and then leave my mind.
What are some specific affirmations you try to remind yourself of?
I love affirmations so much, and start and end my day with them. Some of my favorite affirmations are, “I am confident in my abilities” “I deserve happiness” and “I am constantly learning from my mistakes and making better decisions”. I change these up quite frequently, but all my affirmations set the tone for a great day, or great sleep.
How do you balance a healthy lifestyle with school, work, social life, etc?
Honestly, it is so hard to balance being healthy, doing well in school, and maintaining a social life. My biggest tip for staying healthy in chaotic times is meal prepping! My go-to meal prep is rice, veggies, and Yai’s Thai Coconut Curry sauce. I also cut up all my fruits and veggies the day I buy them, so it is easier to grab and go. As for time management goes, I have a planner which literally holds everything in my life. I write down all my school assignments and other to-do’s in there. I have a physical planner and I also write everything down on my computer home screen as well, so when I open my computer I know exactly what I need to get done that day. As for social life, during quarantine I definitely have lacked on this. I am fortunate enough to live with my boyfriend so we get to hangout quite often, I also love to FaceTime with friends and family.
What is a tip you would give someone who wants to start their own health journey?
Just start!! There is no perfect time to do anything, especially starting your health journey. Make small, sustainable changes first and then slowly incorporate more health into your life. When I was starting my health journey, I slowly began cutting out processed foods. Before I knew it, I was eating 90% whole foods! The same goes with working out. Maybe try once or twice a week to workout or go on a walk. Once you feel up to it, gradually increase your workouts per week. Starting is the hardest part, but it is so worth it!
What inspired you to start making body positive content online?
I started posting body positive content on TikTok during quarantine. I mostly did this as a way to hold myself accountable. Quarantine was very hard to stay motivated, but I knew if I started posting I wouldn’t want to stop. I also noticed a lack of body positivity on TikTok. I would get so many videos about diet culture, and I sincerely wanted to change that.
Were you afraid to start making body positive content?
I was VERY nervous to post on TikTok, and sometimes even Instagram. I am definitely a shy, introverted person, but I realized people talk no matter what. I was not going to let the fear of other people’s judgments stop me from doing something I love.
YOu have so many followers on Tik Tok and instagram, did you expect your platform to grow so much? How has it affected your life?
I did not expect my platforms to grow as much as they have! I started posting TikTok’s with about 50 followers, all of whom were my friends in real life. However, now I have made so many amazing relationships through social media. I am so thankful for finding other body positive accounts, because it allowed a space for us to connect about things we are all so passionate about. Having a platform has not changed my everyday life much, but it was significantly changed my relationship with social media. I am no longer nervous to post what I want, because of the seriously incredible girls I have met these past few months. They inspire me os much to continue and I cannot wait to meet them in real life once COVID is over.
What do you hope others take away from your content?
I hope people can take away motivation happiness, confidence, as well as gain a community from my content. I pour my heart and all the knowledge I have gained my from personal experiences into my content. I want people to understand what a holistic approach to health is, while still having freedom in their life. I also hope by posting workouts and healthy meals people feel inspired or motivated to do the same. My goal is to provide a community full of people who are constantly aiming to be the best versions of themselves!
What advice would you give someone struggling with their body image?
I think body image takes a very long time to feel confident in. I would say I am confident and happy with my body, but I still have days where I do not feel that way. My best advice would be to give yourself a break. It is really easy for me to fall into perfectionism and comparisons, especially on social media. I say ditch social media for a few days. The most important of body image is actually how you feel. If you feel good and are fueling your body, there is no need to worry about other people.
Thank you Maya for being on the blog!
Tik Tok- mayafiorella