Justine Shera from My Balance Project. Image supplied.
Justine Shera is passionate about helping women love their bodies and find their confidence and she’s launched her own four week self love program online. Through her blog and social media channels as My Balance Project she has shared how she changed her life from hating her body to loving and accepting it, and now Justine wants to help other women do the same. Her self love program includes helping women undo a lot of the negative learning about their bodies and learning to shift their mindset. Self love is a deeply complicated topic but one that Justine is very familiar with having successfully turning things around for myself. Her program has opened for enrolments now with the first course starting on 3rd October.
We caught up with Justine to find out more about her program, what participants can expect from it and how important it is for women to lift each other up?
Where did the idea for your program come from and how did you go about creating it?
I first had the idea to do women’s Self Love Workshops a few years ago after seeing a need for it through my Instagram. Because my account talks a lot about body image issues, I hear from a lot of women who struggle in this area and have terrible relationships with their bodies (like I used to). And when I say a lot, I mean hundreds and hundreds of women. I was shocked at how deep this issue goes. So I wanted to help share what I had learned about body acceptance through my own self love journey and how I turned things around for myself. I first held small number in person workshops in 2018 in three cities in NZ (which was amazing!), and ever since have wanted to take it digital to reach more women. And now, three years later, I’ve finally done it!
What can participants expect from your program?
Transformation! First and foremost, a safe and supportive environment to work on your relationship with your body and yourself. This program is designed to kick start your self love journey, build your confidence, help you understand yourself better and learn to love yourself, every day. It is a four week online program with new modules being dropped each week. We will be covering different topics that will help improve your relationship with yourself. Everything from how to stop comparing yourself to others, changing the way you view your body, mindfulness and nutrition (just to name a few!).
What does self love mean to you?
I have thought a lot about this.
Self love means many things to me, but first and foremost for me Self Love means acceptance, and comfort. Acceptance of yourself, as you are, without the condition of needed to lose weight, or fit a certain size and knowing that you are worthy. And by comfort I mean that feeling of being at home in your body and feeling comfortable in your skin. It’s the best feeling.
Justine Shera wants women to love and accept their bodies.
What are your top tips for people struggling with their body image and self-esteem?
To go easy on yourself! Be kind to that girl inside who is struggling and needs help.
Any change must start with challenging the mean girl inside. To do this, get a little feisty and argumentative with yourself – challenge the negative self talk that you have! Fight back. Stick up for yourself like you would for a friend. You deserve better, no one is perfect. My other top tip is focusing on what your body DOES, not what it looks like.
How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?
It is very important! We all tend to feel like we are alone in our experiences, and because of that we feel alienated. But shared experience or a sense of community makes us feel less alone and normalises how we feel. It’s invaluable and it’s actually the reason that I have designed my program the way I have, instead of people being able to sign up and do it alone and whenever, there are intake dates so that you have a group of women doing the program with you. You have someone to talk to, and people who understand what it’s like to be in your shoes. You still get to do the course in your own time, but we meet weekly over zoom to share our experience and learnings and have a small private Facebook group to talk as well, if that’s what someone wants.
What are you most proud of doing?
Oh gosh! Super hard question. I’m happy to say I’m proud of a lot in my life, my son, my family etc. But most of all I’m proud of changing my mindset when it came to my body four years ago. I went from being someone who carried a LOT of shame about her body, to someone that is comfortable in her skin, proud of her body and confident. I changed the way I thought about EVERYTHING because I wanted to stop spectating in my life, and to be able to keep up with my son. I turned my life on it’s head, and I’m really proud of that.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received that you keep referring back to?
You can’t control what other people say or do, but you can control your response to them.
What are your goals for the future?
I have so many! I’d really love for this program to reach as many women as possible and transform their lives, the way I transformed my own. That would be my most immediate goal – a successful launch and first program. Outside of that, I want to continue with what I’m doing in the social media world, reaching more women, showing them it’s possible to be happy and fulfilled in a plus size body and challenging peoples ideas of ‘healthy’.