It’s an easy question to ask. But it’s an extremely hard question to answer.
What do you love about your body?
This question has been the driving force behind Western University’s Love Your Body Campaign.
For the past four years, a student fulfilling a marketing internship has undertaken the weeklong campus campaign, which involved fitness classes for charity. But this year, there was no such person.
Cheryl Madliger, 26, a graduate student at Western stepped up to the plate and took it on as her own personal project along with another student.
“The campaign is usually in February and people were asking about it. I knew I couldn’t let it die this year,” said Madliger. Madliger is a fitness instructor at the Western Recreation Center and has been a personal trainer in the past. She is involved in triathlons, cross-fit exercises, and cycling.
The Love Your Body campaign focuses on encouraging people to love their bodies.
In the past and this year, students have been asked to write down on a white board one thing that they love about their bodies. Madliger has noticed that, “people are shy, and that it’s hard for them to focus on what they do love about their bodies. It’s easy to focus on what’s wrong and the negative.”
For Madliger, the journey to loving her body has been an uphill battle. She struggled with a combination of anorexia and bulimia in high school and once again in university.
“Part of what helped me in my recovery, was therapy and learning how to use exercise to improve my life. I started to do things that focused on what I could do in fitness as opposed to how I looked,” said Madliger.
Madliger will share her story at this year’s Love Your Body one-day event on April 8.
The event will start at 2:30 p.m. and go till 4:30 p.m.
“We are doing a spin class to start. Then we will move into the studio where we will do some talks. I am going to tell my story, and we are trying to support others to find their own story and their own journey to loving their body. Then we are going to end with a yoga class.”
Madliger will be at Western for the next two years.
“I want to keep it going and expand it to the community. I think this is an issue that is on campus and off-campus. I think it affects boys and girls. I think it affects women and men. And I think it affects kids, too. I think everyone needs this and the more we can talk about fitness, the better.”
Madliger is now at a point in her life where she wants to share how exercise and fitness changed her life, for the better.
“I want to keep touching people and I want them to keep this positivity and carry it forward with them.”
If you are interested in registering for the Love Your Body day the registration link is below.