A Journey to Find Body Positivity Through Motherhood and Barre

The more I become immersed in the barre community the more amazing like minded individuals I get to meet. That is how I met Briana Milton is a barre instructor who similar to me fell in love with barre around the same time she became a new mom! We connected on Instagram and it was barre babes connection instantly! Continuing reading my interview with Briana as she shares her story and how she hopes to inspire her students and daughter.

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NMF: What do you love most about what you do?

Briana Milton (BM): There is nothing more empowering than hearing the inspirational stories of the students I teach. Every single day, they come to class and work so hard in every single movement. They share their life stories with me, and tell me how much my classes have helped them feel strong not only physically, but mentally and emotionally. That is truly what excites me, and what keeps me pushing to be the best fitness instructor I can be. I do it for them. Hearing women come to class and say, “I never thought I could do this,” and seeing how proud of themselves they are, makes being part of this industry so sweet.

I remember the start of my own personal journey through fitness, and I vividly remember the instructors who pushed me, inspired me, made me feel like I was invincible. I want to be that, and do that for others because I know how important it is.

NMF: Why is a positive body image so important for you to convey through your branding and messaging?

Briana Milton (BM): It took me a very long time to realize that positive body image is THE key. That has to be the foundation. The world of fitness, and social media, is filled with images of perfect bodies, and six pack abs. That’s a tough comparison when one if just starting their fitness journey. I truly believe that emotional wellness and positive body image is the first step in changing your external self. Without it, we can’t create a consistent lifestyle that lasts a lifetime.

That’s why I encourage all men and women to go within, work on healing the heart and soul, and then focus on the physical body. I came across a quote on social media, and it really stuck with me: “sometimes the weight you need to lose isn’t on your body.” That resonates with me so intensely. I personally have struggled with body image. After having my daughter, I was completely off balance emotionally and physically. I was so focused on getting back to that perfect body weight, that I lost track of what was really important. It was a long long road in realizing that I needed to fix my inner self before I could change my outer appearance. That was a tough realization. But it was only then that I started to really feel like I could make changes that I could consistently stick to. I’ve spoken with so many women who struggle with their self image, and I really believe that if they took the time to focus on the inner self, the motivation and determination to work on overall physical wellness would follow. So when I use the word journey, I really believe that that’s what it is. A journey of self discovery, and self love!

NMF: As a mother how important is having positivity, wellness and movement represented in your home?

Briana Milton (BM): This is crucial for me. I’ve always said that I want my daughter to inherit my healthy habits. I want her to understand the importance of movement, healthy eating, and self love. I want her to understand that she has the ability to create happiness in herself, so she doesn’t have to rely on it from any external source. I want her to find something in movement that excites her, that keeps her motivated. All of these things are so incredibly important because they are life long habits, it’s our foundation, it’s what we pull from when things get stressful, it can serve as an outlet. It helps us in our time of need. When my own mother passed away, movement saved me, it gave me strength, it gave me the endurance to get through the darkest phase of my life. Without it, I’m not sure how I would have managed. I want her to have those same emotional tools to pull from. Not only to prepare for traumatic events, but to encourage her, inspire her, and motivate her through life.

NMF: What are your go-to tips for remaining healthy inside/out?

Briana Milton (BM): My biggest go to tip is to move every single day. Anything. A brisk walk, a quick jog, anything that gets your blood flowing. I’m a firm believer that movement helps us process thoughts and emotions. So, after a long (and maybe stressful) day, I’ll do anything that get my body moving.

Healthy eating. Making meals more colorful has been my goal. Cutting down on processed foods, and trying to keep it as green as possible is what I’m striving for.

Taking time to express gratitude for all the things I have, and all the things my body can do. I’ve started journaling in the last few months. It’s helpful because I can go back and see how far I’ve come in self expression, and it’s served as an additional outlet.

I’m a thinker. I process everything internally before I will say or do anything. I have been working on reframing negative thoughts, and seeing the cup half full. That has really helped me in the way I see the world, but also has changed the energy I give off.

For more info on Briana visit: https://barrebybri.weebly.com/

For more fitness inspiration and barre workouts visit Nadia Murdock Fit on Instagram @NadiaMurdock and the NMFIT Blog!