6| Sarah Johnson: Fitness is for Every Body

If you’re trying to raise kids with good body image- despite the fact that you still don’t have all your sh*t figured out- this is a must listen. (Also, if you’re forcing your kids to master martial arts, you might be on to something!)

**Trigger warning: eating disorders**

Guest bio
Sarah Johnson is the Association Director of Group Exercise for the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington. She grew up in Des Moines, Iowa and graduated from Simpson College with a degree in Sports Medicine and Management. She then moved to Washington, D.C. to pursue a career in Corporate Wellness as a Group Exercise Coordinator and 7 years ago joined the Y. Sarah is a Certified Personal Trainer and holds certifications for varying group exercise formats. Through her work in the wellness industry, she has become passionate about promoting body positivity and sharing the message that fitness is for every BODY. 

Connect with Sarah

In this episode we talk about: 

  • Her parents’ pushing her to obtain a black belt in Tae kwondo as a kid, and the doors that opened up for her later on; most notably it was her gateway to group fitness instruction. 
  • Playing volleyball as a teenager and discovering her love for team sports and competition
  • Dabbling in track events 
  • How majoring in athletic training was a great background for her to build a career in wellness 
  • Working at a weight loss camp for teenagers right out of college 
  • How the heck you pronounce “Tae kwondo” as well as variations on the pronunciation of “bagel”
  • “Getting your body back” after pregnancy and why this is an expression that needs to die. 
  • “Dad bod” and all its implications
  • Kids clothing labels (specifically, “husky”) 
  • Thin doesn’t necessarily equal healthy
  • Diets don’t work 
  • The struggle to raise kids with a healthy body image
  • Covid as an opportunity to connect
  • Impostor Syndrome 
  • Showing up as a group fitness instructor in a bigger body
  • The joys of being a fitness instructor 
  • What is an athlete? 


On impostor syndrome: “I’m so grateful I know that [impostor syndrome] is a thing” -SJ

On fitness (and life): “If it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you.” -SJ

On marriage: “If we can get through a pandemic together while raising two littles while working full time the whole time, we can make it.” – SJ 

On the pandemic and work: “2020 has boosted my professional confidence more than I would have ever expected.” -SJ

On the definition of an athlete:  “An athlete is someone who has movement as a part of their healthy lifestyle as pleasure” -SJ 

On “balance” and being a working mom: “You can’t be everything every day” -SJ

On being a total badass: “I have power. I have strength.” SJ

Relevant Links: 

Grit by Angela Duckworth

National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)  

Health at Any Size

Bacon, L., Aphramor, L. Weight Science: Evaluating the Evidence for a Paradigm Shift. Nutr J 10, 9 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-10-9

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