Mar. 11 2020
“You can’t hate yourself into loving your body,” says Bethany C. Meyers. The fitness guru and Nike ambassador is a champion of “body neutrality,” a movement dedicated to treating your body as “a container you live in. It feels good, it feels bad, but you respect it every day,” they explain, “because your body is your home. And it’s empowering to understand that.”
Two years ago, Bethany founded the be.come project, a subscription workout platform that’s mat-based, interactive, and very fun, thanks mostly to Bethany’s ‘coolest camp counselor in the bunk’ vibes… and partly because of their inclusive instructional videos. “We did a balance challenge a few weeks ago, and… well… there was some falling,” Bethany laughs. “But we didn’t edit it out, because look, people fall. It makes us all feel less alone, whether it’s on a video or in a workout class. And it shows that no matter what your ability is, you show up, you commit to your body and your community, and you just keep going. For me, that’s what it’s all about.”
Here’s how Bethany separates personal self-care from their job in the fitness world… and why they collect designer sweat suits.
Do you think fitness and self-care are interchangeable?
Not at all. In fact, I founded the be.come project because I was frustrated with the way wellness movements, including fitness, often capitalize on all our insecurities! I have so many issues with the way hating yourself gets you to the gym, and then suddenly you love your body. But your body is your body. It comes in all different shapes and sizes and we need to respect and honor the body we live in. That’s self-care.
What’s something you’ve worked hard to eliminate from your life?
I talk a lot about disordered eating. Something that’s always important for me is I never share a day-to-day of what I eat. When I was struggling, it was very hard for me not to keep track [of all my food]. Ultimately, I had to accept that I go through struggles, and I make sure even when I’m advising others, I say, “this is what works for me—it might not work for you.”
What’s a good habit you actually enjoy?
Skincare! My skincare routine is my reset button in the morning and night. For clearing up skin, my all-time favorite product is called Lumion. I live and die by their serum; I won’t go anywhere without it. I swear I break out without it! And then I take long baths; I exfoliate and scrub everything. I like to load it up with Epsom salts and lavender and coconut oil. And you know what? I got my apartment specifically because of my bathtub. There’s no kitchen, but there’s a really deep tub! Sold!
How do you keep yourself balanced in the morning?
In my skincare routine, I use a technique called Gua Sha. You take a very smooth stone or crystal, and you use it in specific movements to help meditate while also bringing better circulation into your face. I can’t sit and meditate—I’ve tried. This is active but it still gets me into a calm and meditative state. And I hold a ton of tension in my jaw, so this really helps. At the end of my routine, I swear my face looks totally different.
Because I’m working out as my job, I have to find moments in my workouts that are more creative, and also moments that are more strategic—“How will a client respond to this? What could go wrong with the form?” I love it, but that’s the work. When I’m making a new routine, I look at that like artistry. That creative aspect makes it really therapeutic.
How do you practice self-care, specifically in the fitness world, if you feel like crap?
Then honor the fact that you feel like crap! On those days, I sit down on the mat and during the warmup, the whole thing for me becomes shaking it out. Get all the stress out of my body. Stretch, wiggle, jump, just get it out. And if you don’t feel better after your workout, that’s ok, you still honored your body! It’s actually pretty empowering to acknowledge you’re sad, or angry, or just not feeling it. It’s empowering to say, “This is where I am today, and that’s cool. I still treated my body with respect.”
What’s one item of clothing that you consider self-care?
Tracksuits! There’s this woman, Suzie Kondi, she makes these tracksuits that are velour and I’m obsessed with them because they’re so soft and so ‘70s. I have them in four colors: burnt orange, mustard, red, and lilac. So ‘70s!
Is binge-watching a form of self-care?
It is if it’s The Office! I still love it. That and Seinfeld. I find reruns very soothing.