November 30 will see the start of plus size model and writer Melinda Parrish's #HealthyAtAnySize campaign, also running under the title #GetMoving2015. It's a health campaign unlike most that have come before it, in that this health-focused, movement-based effort isn't about exercising for weight loss purposes. Instead, the focus is entirely on self love and finding it through exercise and physical activity.
As Parrish wrote on her website, "This challenge IS NOT about weight loss or changing your body to meet a standard of perfection, it’s just about taking a few minutes a day to focus on taking care of yourself and loving your body through movement. This can be taking a walk during the work day, a trip to the gym, or dancing in your bedroom in your underwear. Any form of movement that makes you feel empowered and works with your daily routine!" The challenge will be running from Nov. 30 until Dec. 4.
In her blog posts for Huffington Post, Parrish has explored the world of being active while plus size several times, and always manages to come to a positive conclusion. In her view, exercising and keeping active can and should have nothing to do with negative body image or a desire to alter our physiques.
In her article "The Importance Of Being Active," she wrote, "Get moving because it is the single greatest thing that you can do for your well-being, physically as well as mentally. Be active because you want to thank the universe for imbuing you with a strong, healthy body that is capable of amazing things. Probably more amazing things than you even realize."
Although #GetMoving2015 and #HealthyAtAnySize are about health and fitness, Parrish's focus on self love and body positivity shines through. The model seeks to remove the stigma that fat bodies are automatically unhealthy. Even though one should never pit fat people who lead healthy lifestyles against those who don't, it's still important to note that weight alone is not an indicator of one's health.
Rather than focusing on creating divide between healthy or unhealthy people, or preaching that one must be clinically healthy to be worthy of acceptance, Parrish's efforts are about empowering yourself through movement; and movement doesn't automatically have to feel like exercise. Activities like going for a walk, going clubbing, doing some stretches in bed, having tantric sex, or bouncing around in your bedroom with a hairbrush microphone in hand are all perfectly valid ways of moving your body.
For Parrish herself, this is all a journey; not a destination. As Plus Model Magazine reported, Parrish has said that a revolution of self love only came to her properly this year. "Today, I’m the biggest I’ve ever been — I’m a size 14/16, I weigh 210 pounds, and I’ve never been more in love with my body. Before this year, I literally can’t remember a time where I wasn’t actively trying to make my body smaller. It took me a long time to learn that taking great care of myself and showing my body love through movement were the keys to being happy with my body, not constantly trying to change it. I want to share that with other women."
To join the #GetMoving2015 Holiday Challenge, sign up for exclusive content from Melinda Parrish online at melparrish.com/getmoving2015.
Want more self love? Check out the video below, and be sure to subscribe to Bustle’s YouTube page for more body positive inspiration!