Delaware gets #bodypositive

Susan Albanese teaches an insanity body pump class at the John W. Pitts Recreation Center at Schutte Park in Dover, Del. (Photo: JASON MINTO/THE NEWS JOURNAL)

Skinny isn’t a word in Susan Albanese’s vocabulary.

To the 20-year career traveling fitness instructor and nutrition counselor, being fit is all about how you feel not how you look. “I’m never going to have a six pack abs … but I’m healthy and I am going to live longer,” Albanese said. Albanese, like many others these days, are embracing the body positive mantra. Model Chrissy Tiegan revealed her stretch marks on Instagram. Danielle Brooks, known for her role as Taystee on Orange Is the New Black, posted a shirtless selfie at the gym with the hashtag #yesmythighstouch. The Huffington Post reported that Kate Winslet tells her 14 year old daughter “We are so lucky we have a shape. We’re so lucky we’re curvy. We’re so lucky that we’ve got good bums.” There’s an obsession in the media with body image and photo-shopping, said Steve Goodwin, a behavioral health and nutrition professor at the University of Delaware. But there’s been a gradual shift to where people are saying enough is enough. “Sorry, this is my body,” Goodwin said, adding more people are embracing the act of exercising and eating healthy and not so much focusing on the results. “This is, I think, a much healthier approach,” Goodwin said Brittany Hall, 25, of Delaware City, said she was bullied for being a fat kid when she was younger. That’s a big part of her insecurity sometime, she said. But a couple weeks ago she decided to put it behind her. Now she’s started a personal training regiment at Anytime Fitness in Bear. She does at least 30 minute sessions and tries to eat a balanced diet. “To me skinny is bad. I just want to be healthy,” Hall said. You are the way you are for a reason, says Robin Brown, of Newark. “I’m 57 years old. I plan to live long and live strong,” she said.

Brown has her son Brendan as her personal trainer, but she’s not trying to fit a typical body type. When she was younger, she admits she’d get self-conscious working out and wanted to stay slim. But now, she’s pretty much over that. “Begin to love you,” she says The worse is over, adds Albanese, of Hartly. “Now more people are embracing [their] body,” she said. “Women nowadays, we workout to be healthier, stronger and fight off diseases.” Albanese, 52, knows she’s not a Barbie doll, but her energy is infectious. She teaches Shaun T insanity workout classes, body pump, yoga and leads a running club. She’s completed four half-marathons, which are 13.2 miles. “The more I ran the more self confidence I got. You can take a class and slack. When you go for a run you have to get back home,” she said. But, she’ll enjoy a beer every now and again. “You got to live,” she joked.  –The News Journal

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