The Refined Collective is back this week with the lovely Joanne Encarnacion. She is a wife, mother of two, photographer, and the founder of gofitjo.com, a blog dedicated to redefining health and wellness. She’s also an integrative health & life coach and has been named one of San Francisco’s top 20 wellness role models by Arianna Huffington! How amazing is that? In this episode we get real about moving through struggles and the importance of diversity in the body positivity movement.
The Journey to Finding Self-Love
- Jo has a loving family, was in a job she loved at VSCO and was a co-owner of a wedding photography business with her husband. But something was missing: self-love.
- She felt the need to prove herself as an adult in this world because she was a mother at 21. “I was trying to find my self-worth in this space called the universe.”
- In 2016 she decided to go freelance and full-time with her blog while going back to school to get certified as a health and life coach. She still co-owns the photography business, but has also made space to do the things that made her feel whole.
“I can’t be the only woman alone in this.”-Joanne
Being Humbled and Learning to Listen
- A few years ago, she went through a difficult season in her marriage – they were really disconnected from each other and she wasn’t sure their marriage would survive. Jo gets honest about how her marriage struggles made her feel like a failure as a woman.
- She went public on social media about the struggle because it was consuming her life. “I can’t be the only woman alone in this.”
- Through therapy (and a lot of hard work), they learned to truly listen to each other, and validate each other’s emotions. It made a world of a difference.
- This has carried over to motherhood as well. She’s found that her children have a lot to express and her daughter even taught her a life lesson recently, something she is grateful for. “This little girl of mine is made from star dust.”
Body Diversity vs. Body Positivity
- Jo also talks about her fitness journey. It was pretty extreme at first – she experienced substantial weight loss and was even a bodybuilder for two years before suffering an injury.
- While recovering and focusing on her marriage and family, she noticed her body changing. She found that the emotional impact of that type of change isn’t something that’s really talked about in the fitness industry.
- She talks about the lack of body positivity, and size inclusivity when it comes to workout clothes and fitness ads. Not everyone gets the same body from the same fitness regimen.
Joanne’s Favorite Things
- She loves matcha lattes, her new house, and plants (though she says she still has a lot to learn). For all of you who struggle keeping plants alive, Jo recommends a snake plant!
I’m going to leave you with something Jo said that is just so powerful:
“The moment that we are able to give space for others to really just be- and I don’t want to say ‘be themselves’ because people are still trying to figure out what that is- but just to be, just to feel as if they can take up space in the world, we would all be able to live relentlessly.”
I mean, how great is that? Give yourself permission to be, tribe. You’re here and you’re worthy.
Thanks for listening! This episode was sponsored by White Rabbit NY, a NYC brand that creates ethical and sustainable undies–y’all they’re so cute. They also employ women in Mexico with fair wages that have over a 100 years of experience in making lingerie . They gave me a special code to share with you for 10% off your first order: (RWxWR). Thanks, White Rabbit NY!
PS Join our conversation over on Instagram today about Body Diversity.