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Gabrielle Union Interview on Body Image and Working Out

Gabrielle Union Wants You to Stop Striving For Someone Else's Body This Year

Gabrielle Union

Gabrielle Union doesn't make new year's resolutions. Instead, she creates a mood board based on intentions for the 365 days to come, she told POPSUGAR during an interview about her new Amazon storefront featuring favourite workout essentials like New Balance clothes, Beats headphones, and weights. Gabrielle, mom to 1-year-old daughter Kaavia and stepmom to husband Dwyane Wade's three children, said that she's been doing vision boards since 2011. After the first year, when she put one together in May, she, Dwyane, and their now-family made it their tradition every New Year's Eve.

"If your soul is crooked or eroding, it really doesn't matter what the hell you look like. You're going to feel like shit."

Those vision boards, the 47-year-old said, focus on what Gabrielle can do more of that year as opposed to what she wants to "take away from" or what she thinks negatively about herself and wishes to change. She sets up her vision board where she's going to see it every day, "so I literally have last year's 2019 vision board sitting next to my 2020 vision board, and I have to walk past it to go to the bathroom," she said. "I just kind of check in to remind myself of what I want more of."

Gabrielle noted, "I think a lot of us, we think we're going to feel better if more people are looking at us positively or desiring us or are envious of us, or we become somebody's goals as opposed to being your own goals." She used to put images of other women's body parts on her vision boards as motivation. "And when I would get a similar body part, you automatically think your life is going to change," she said. "But if your soul is crooked or eroding, it really doesn't matter what the hell you look like. You're going to feel like shit."

Now, Gabrielle has long-term and health-related goals as opposed to those relating to fad diets or body image. Sure, she admitted that she'll forever want to work on her thighs, but her aim is to focus on basic wellness. She's all for "making behaviour modification that is going to be a lifetime lifestyle of personal accountability and, under that umbrella, it includes mind, body, soul."

"Soon you're going to end up with someone else's life that you don't actually want, and it doesn't help move the needle in your own life."

Gabrielle wants other women to make sure that they're chasing goals for the right reasons. "We need to figure out what can work for a lifetime," she said. "What can work better for our long-term health goals." She also urges us to stop comparing ourselves to others. Why? "Because soon you're going to end up with someone else's life that you don't actually want, and it doesn't help move the needle in your own life." That all starts in your head, she said.

For instance, Gabrielle loves working out — and if you follow her on Instagram, then you know that she's damn good at it, too — but she mainly does it to "maintain her peace." That means, she said, she exercises to get out her frustrations, stress, and anxiety, especially in what she calls "blue moments."

Gabrielle continued, "For me, working out allows me to sort of have that mind, body, soul balance. So when I feel overwhelmed, it really helps with my anxiety. I can go to the gym and get a workout in and just release at least some of that." Plus, she said, at the gym she goes to, people are there for the same reason: they all have families and work commitments, and they're working out to find that similar joy.

When it comes down to it, Gabrielle's main motto in life is to centre her peace, joy, and grace. "And I don't want to have to deal with anything in my life . . . not people, not a relationship, not a working opportunity . . . that takes me away from my peace, my joy, and my grace." Let's follow Gabrielle's lead this year and every year thereafter, shall we?

Image Source: Courtesy of Raven B. Varona
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