Body Positivity Challenge: Meet Sarah Clem

We can’t wait to officially kick off the Body Positivity Challenge ((the entire month of February!)). In the meantime, make sure you grab your spot [sign up here!] + meet our leaders! Sarah Clem is our Director of Leadership at CHAARG HQ! Sarah works with all of our leadership — from CLCs to our Exec Teams! She has so much wisdom on what it means to be body positive + she is extremely passionate about mental health. She’ll be covering topics like quieting your inner critic + creating a fitness routine that works for YOU.

Q + A with Sarah —

1] Profession + City:

CHAARG Director of Leadership / Chicago, IL!

2] Go to healthy breakfast:

GIANT Smoothie! Frozen Berries, Banana, Spinach, Maca Powder, Ashtanga, Rhodiola, Flax Seeds, + a big scoop of almond butter. Ashtanga + Rhodiola are great mood stabilizers + energy balancers so I love sneaking them into all of my smoothies. I have this almost every day + it keeps me feeling full all the way until lunch!

3] 3 things always in my pantry:

  • Birch Benders Paleo Pancake Mix [my go to for a lazy meal night]
  • Beef Jerky [this is one of my favorite snacks]
  • Sweet Potatoes ; )
  • Not in my pantry, but my fridge: Kombucha

4] Favorite sweat sesh:

There is no way I can possibly choose…

  • Running outside [when I’m healthy + can do a good sprint workout!]
  • SoulCycle [every Monday I try to go to Aya’s 5:30pm class ; )]
  • Barry’s Chest, Back, + Abs day… YES [Check out Kate Lemere’s class + do DF!]
  • SolidCore [Megaformer Pilates – the slowest + most painful full body burn!]

5] Favorite restaurant in my city:

Cincinnati, OH [where I’m from]: Skyline Chili ; )

Chicago, IL [where I’m at now]: Bad Hunter — SO GOOD.

6] Physical aspect of my body I love:

  • — Smile : ) Sometimes I smile so big in pictures that I crinkle my nose + look kind of possessed [lol]… But I still love it!
  • My Shoulders/Back — one day after a SoulCycle class the guy behind me told me I have nice shoulders. I was so taken aback! I had never heard this before + I don’t typically look at my shoulders/back in the mirror : p. It was such a surprise compliment + now I look at my shoulder definition as one of my favorite physical parts of me!

7] Quality I admire in myself:

My mom said this about me a few weeks when I was home + it brought tears to my eyes. My family was arguing over some political views [I have pretty different views from my family] + my mom said, “Sarah, you are just the most understanding person.” I really admire that even when people have views or opinions that are very different than mine, I do my best to listen + try to understand them without making them feel judged or like their view is wrong.

8] Currently, I’m working on:

Figuring out what is really important to me + letting the rest go. I’m a recovering perfectionist ++ tend to hold on to every little detail of what goes wrong in situations rather than looking at what went right. A big part of this is identifying – what are *big deal* things for me at work + in my relationships? Is it a *big deal* if someone doesn’t call me back right away? Is it a *big deal* if someone is 10 minutes late to a meeting? Is it a *big deal* if I don’t respond to an email right away? There are so many things that I would get worked up over that really aren’t a big deal [or even in my control] so I’m really trying to grow in that part of myself.

9] Proudest wellness moment:

Being authentic + vulnerable about my journey with mental illness [you can read about it here or check out this podcast!]. I can be a fairly private person + don’t particularly enjoy sharing when I’m struggling or the things I’ve struggled with in the past – so opening up + sharing my journey was probably the hardest thing [+ most rewarding thing] I’ve ever done.

10] Wellness trend I love:

Weighted Blankets : ) Check out some research on weighted blankets here! They really feel like sleeping wrapped in a permanent hug! **They are expensive — so I’ve kind of *made my own* by layering up my thick comforter on the second half of my bed // putting pillows on it… it works!

11] What I learned through my wellness journey:

How freakin’ important SLEEP is! I used to wear *being busy* as a badge of honor + was always proud when I was running on 3 hours of sleep… until I realized how bad that was for me + started to have more + more breakdowns. If I’m not getting 8-9 hours of sleep every night; I’m not the best version of me!

12] When I’m stressed out I:

Run or go to a group fitness class! I find working out + getting outside to be my ultimate stress reliever. I’ve never left a hard workout in a bad mood : )

13] Habit that changed my life:

Meditation. I did an MBSR program a couple of years ago that changed my life through introducing me to meditation + all the benefits it can offer! The best things it’s taught me are how to stay in touch with my body as well as how to be more accepting of my thoughts/feelings.

14] Body positivity instagram crush:

Kate Lemere + Aya Muramatsu. I take both of their classes regularly in Chicago ++ they are two of the most inspirational women I’ve ever heard! They are both so real + raw ++ I can’t get enough of their content. <3 So happy they are leaders in this Body Positivity Challenge!

15] Body positivity tip:

When you find yourself in the trap of negativity around your body – ask yourself, “who hasn’t felt this way?”. Focus on the fact that everyone struggles with some aspect of themselves – there is no one who hasn’t felt what you are feeling in this moment… your mom, your sisters, your best friends — we’ve all felt this. Ask yourself, “how would I comfort them?”. Then, treat yourself with that loving kindness that you would give to another woman who is struggling the same way you are.

16] 3 resources every CHAARG girl should know about:

I honestly don’t have 3 specific resources — but I would recommend ALL students research the resources + programming that their University offers! Universities offer so many different types of programming to help you reach your goals while in college — whether it’s physically, mentally, emotionally, or financially. The biggest resource that most [if not all] Universities offer: Mental Health Services! Most offer free counseling sessions for students — take advantage of this! Therapy is not a *weird* thing + having a counselor can be one of the greatest things you do for your health while in college!

17] Advice I wish I could give my 20 year old self:

Don’t over-generalize. Just because something happened once, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen over + over again in the future.

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