Do you use movement and exercise as a punishment tool or as a positive activity? What does it mean to be healthy? Why does body size not relate to health? In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks about Body Neutral Exercise with Marissa Hussain.


Marissa is a personal trainer & fitness instructor committed to empowering people to feel good about themselves so that they can take care of their well-being in a healthy sustainable way! Having left the toxic standards of the dance & mainstream fitness industries behind, Marissa recently founded The Self Love Fitness Club - a body-neutral fitness platform that champions body diversity & creates fun, feel-good, accessible workouts that are free from diet culture!

Visit The Self Love Fitness Club website and connect with them on Instagram and TikTok.

Connect with Marissa on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


  • The meaning of health
  • Practice critical thinking
  • Bringing exercise into your life

The meaning of health

We’ve misconstrued what the meaning of health is … we’ve associated health with body size. Dieting and exercising may lead to a smaller body, but a smaller body doesn’t necessarily equal a healthy body. (Marissa Hussain)
Health encompasses much more than the shape of someone’s body. Health has got to do with your organ functions, your immune system, your respiratory rate, your blood, mental wellbeing, social and emotional health, and so forth. People with smaller bodies can have severe illnesses or be “unhealthy” in comparison to a larger body. Size does not directly equate to health.

Practice critical thinking

Many people on the internet are trying to sell products to make money for themselves, and they may feed you misinformation or skewed statistics to get you to purchase their products, services, or systems. When it comes to taking advice from people online, think critically about it. Do not simply absorb everything you read as the truth and apply it to your life without considering it first.
We have to think critically, and we have to make our own decisions about what feels right for us … all of our perspectives are limited to an extent, so we have to be conscious and critical of how we are using social media. (Marissa Hussain)

Bringing exercise into your life

There are many different types of physical activities or things you can try. Focus on how they make you feel instead of how “effective” they are as workouts.
  • Find something physical that you enjoy and feels good in the moment.
  • Experiment with different forms of movement. Try swimming, walking, hiking, cycling, dancing, stretching, climbing, and so forth.
  • Work with the internal and the external. How do you want to feel after exercising, pleasant or unpleasant? Happy or frustrated?
As much as exercise is a physical and external activity, you can find things to you that make you feel good inside as well as out.
Movement is effective and good for our bodies whether we’re seeing physical changes or not. (Marissa Hussain)
Fitness can aid the function of our bodies. It does not need to be used as a punishment tool.



I am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well. One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "hey, I've been there. I understand". Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it. If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times. My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it". I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades. But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share. I am so happy you are here!


Did you enjoy this podcast? Feel free to comment below and share this podcast on social media! You can also leave a review of Behind The Bite on Apple Podcasts (previously) iTunes and subscribe!

Podcast Transcription

[DR. CRISTINA CASTAGNIN] Behind The Bite podcast is part of a network of podcasts that are good for the world. Check out podcasts like the Full of Shift podcast, After the First Marriage podcast and Eating Recovery Academy over at Welcome to Behind The Bite podcast. This podcast is about the real life struggles women face with food, body image and weight. We're here to help you inspire and create better healthier lives. Welcome. Well, hello everyone. So we've all heard it before. I hate to even say it because it makes me absolutely cringe when I do, but yes, we've all heard this diet and exercise, diet and exercise. They're all one in the same. You can't hear one without the other. I wonder, why are they even linked, really? We need to eat. We need fuel to stay alive. Why can't we just leave it at that? Because our body actually does use what we eat to stay alive. The food doesn't just sit there, waiting for us to exercise it off. I recall when I was in the worst of my eating disorder, that I honestly thought that whatever I ate, I just had to go exercise it off. I don't know why I never thought that the food actually had a purpose, like a real purpose. I really don't know what I was thinking other than whatever I ate was so tied to how much I had to go exercise later or the other way around too. But how much I exercised determined how much I was allowed to eat. If I did not exercise, then I did not earn my food for the day. No way. Me and my eating disorder were really going to have a sit down negotiation on those days, we were going to determine what I was not going to eat to make up for not working out. For any of you out there who are still doing this, I get it. It is hard not to believe that what you eat and exercise are connected. It's everywhere. It's in our toxic diet culture. This message is so loud. It's in ads, it's told you by doctors, it's everywhere. So yes, I get it is hard not to believe this, but the purpose of exercise is not to burn off what you just ate or to stop feeling guilty for what you feel you shouldn't have indulged in. Really, it's not about weight. It is its own separate entity with its own purposes. For instance, if I want to be able to run up and down the court for an entire basketball game, I would need to exercise to build up the endurance, to do that. That would require a lot of cardiovascular training and that has absolutely nothing to do with burning off the breakfast I just ate. Or if my goal is to do 10 pull ups, which would be awesome by the way, I would also need to tailor my exercise to achieve that goal. So with me today is someone who is here to talk more about exercise and how it has everything not to do with your food. [DR. CRISTINA CASTAGNINI] Marissa is a personal trainer and fitness instructor committed to empowering people to feel good about themselves so they can take care of their wellbeing in a way that is healthy and sustainable. Having left the toxic standards of the dance and mainstream fitness industries behind she recently founded The Self Love Fitness Club, which is a body neutral fitness platform that champions body diversity and creates fun, feel good, accessible workouts that are free from diet culture. Marissa, welcome to the show. [MARISSA HUSSAIN] Thank you so much. I'm so happy to be here. [DR. CRISTINA CASTAGNINI] I love your Instagram. That's how I found you. It's been it so inspiring and I'm actually curious, how did you get started doing what you're doing? [MARISSA] I actually, I trained as a professional dancer. I went to a dance school, did all that and then when I graduated, I went straight into the fitness world in the boutique fitness studios of London. Initially it was just a side hustle, something for a bit of financial stability. Then I just got deep and into it and I started working at a studio that was particularly toxic and sort of seeped in diet culture and toxic fitness culture in the sense that they were very judgmental of people's body types and physiques. There was a lot of talk around like the instructors bodies, even the client's bodies that would come to class. It was like, instructors wouldn't get a job unless they had a six pack or visible abs. The whole environment, I just, yes, it just woke me up to a lot of things and brought back a lot of memories from being at dance school as well and the sort of toxicity there around body shape and size and how we'd just been constantly taught that our worth was intrinsically linked to the size of our bodies and that there was one body type to aspire to. It was interesting for me to have all this realization because I have the privilege of being in a body that had always fit that box. It was only working in that fitness studio that I started to realize how people were treated differently for their bodies and how that toxic belief affected people's relationships with their bodies and with movement and how everyone there was just doing exercise as a chore and as a punishment to change their body and that thing. When I had that awakening, I just had to get out. So at that point I left that studio and then I pretty much at that point stopped teaching for anyone else and just sort of decided to go my own way. I wasn't initially part of the anti diet community. I didn't really know it existed. I just knew that I had an issue with mainstream fitness and I had an issue with the way that people were taught to perceive their bodies, but I didn't really know that an alternative already existed. So in that first year, and it was actually the first year of the pandemic where I'd decided to leave everything else behind anyway and go alone, then we locked down and I didn't, I had all this time to actually really delve into this. Then on Instagram I just found this community, the anti-diet community, certain fitness coaches that were starting to speak about things like intuitive movement and then found intuitive eating, all of that. I found Health At Every Size and just started reading more and more and just this massive light bulb moment of being like, oh my God, this is where I fit in. All these little inklings of beliefs that I started to have and the words, I started to question things. They were all just being reinforced by the fact that there was already this safe and inclusive space created that encouraged people to move their bodies just for joy and encouraged freedom around food. So, yes, I started to find that and then gradually my brand evolved. I came up with The Self Love Fitness Club. About a year ago, actually I first came up with the name and then began the Instagram account and started to build a community. It's just been really amazing to find that community, like you said, we met for Instagram. I've met so many amazing people and every time I find someone new, I'm like, yes, there's more of us fighting this good fight and pioneering this alternative view that still feels quite radical, but it really shouldn't be. [DR. CRISTINA CASTAGNINI] I love it that you say that. I get that too. It's like, why is it such a radical concept that exercise is not linked with weight loss or dieting. I'm wondering what do you think about that? Why do you think it's such a radical concept? [MARISSA] Honestly, just these ingrained beliefs are so deeply ingrained in society. I think I've really felt this over the festive period this year, actually like spending time with family, just how often we criticize our bodies and we talk about our weight as if it's something that we should be constantly micromanaging and we should be constantly in control of. We've just been taught that diet and exercise is the way to do that and is something that we should always be aspiring to. It's just, yes, it just baffles me now. I think when you come out of the other side of it, I always say it's like coming out the matrix when you look back on everyone else and you're like, oh my God, everyone else, they've, we've all genuinely been taught that we should all be in a thin body. We should all be aspiring for that thin straight sized body. That's the only way to be healthy. That's the only way to be happy. That's the only way to be desirable. That belief is so deeply ingrained in our society. You see it by the way, people in larger bodies are treated every day and how normalized it is for them to be treated that way. Therefore, obviously that feeds into the diet industry, because then they just capitalize on that belief and they just, they find people's insecurities and they know that they can profit off them. So yes, I think at the end of the day it's money that drives it it. [DR. CRISTINA CASTAGNINI] Absolutely. But I can't even imagine a world in which people, for some, can't even imagine a world where people aren't saying a sentence like, well just diet and exercise to be healthy. When I challenge people to really think about that, because why are we connecting diet and exercise and health, they just blindly believe it. They don't even question it or critically think about like, well, why are we? I know what makes those things equate to health or why are even diet and exercise connected in general either? [MARISSA] So linked. Food and exercise, like they go hand in hand and it's that whole earn to burn mentality. We've been taught that to earn food, we have to move our bodies and then vice versa to burn that food off. And it's just, yes, I think most people genuinely don't understand how much energy our bodies need just by being alive because we've just demonized food to that point of feeling like we're being excessive or we're being greedy just by eating enough. Then we've been taught that exercise is the way to, I don't know, repent for that sin or like, yes, I don't know. It's all just so negative. I think, I just thought when I was saying that thing about money I've learned from building my own business that the number one thing in marketing is to prey on people's pain points. That phrase pain points always comes up. I think that's why its so prolific diet culture because it's just nailed that pain point of people's weight and it just preys on it. It's when you realize that it's so tragic. It's sad that we've all been made to feel that way for somebody else's game. [DR. CRISTINA CASTAGNINI] Well, and I think it's horrible too, because I don't think most people understand, just to your point that you just said, I don't think most people understand just how much fuel, how much food we actually need just to sustain life and to maintain a level of health. So when I ask most people, how much do you think we need on a day to day basis to exist, we don't plug in like a cell phone. I always say we don't. It's so much less than what we actually do need. It baffles me and I always wonder that is so pervasive in our society that people think we need almost like half of what we really do need. Then on top of that they think, well, I need to then go exercise and burn off even more. They're not even eating enough on a day to day basis so how can they even have a level of health at all if they're not even consuming enough to stay alive and to begin with on a day to day basis. [MARISSA] For sure. And I think it's the same mentality around sleep and rest as well. It's the same thing we've been taught that that's like an unnecessary luxury that we shouldn't afford ourselves unless we earn it by doing the most. It's the same thing we need so much more of that than we realize. [DR. CRISTINA CASTAGNINI] It's like, there's some virtual of like, you're more virtuous, oh I only got five hours of sleep. I get six or I can last off of six. It's almost like an indulgence to get seven or eight hours of sleep, almost like you're doing something almost to be forgiven for, like laziness or something. It's you really need that much. It's okay. [MARISSA] Yes, exactly. Then when you link that back as well, as you say, that's like over resting enough and eating enough. They're linked to those words, laziness over indulgence, greedy and that's again, what we've associated with a higher weight and it just all comes together. It's just this whole web of lies, this big myth that we've been sold, but we've been sold it for our entire lives. Generations before us was sold it. Our parents have sadly passed it down and it's a lot to try and break out of that.. There's so much to unlearn and untangle. I think you said something earlier about why, I don't know why are they so linked? I think, we taught it right from medical professionals. There's these, and the government campaigns on better health. They're always associated to weight loss. So why would we even start to question it when the people that we believe to be a power and we believe to know the most, why would we question those things when we've been told that from those bodies. It's hard. I think that's why we feel the work we are doing is so radical because it does go against the mainstream. But maybe we're biased, but it makes the most sense. [DR. CRISTINA CASTAGNINI] I don't know if you get this too, but people constantly are challenging me saying, "Well come on. How could exercise be unhealthy? How could it be a bad thing? Or how could dieting be a bad thing?" Curious what you say to people, if you do get those questions because I know what I say, but I'm curious what you say. [MARISSA] I think it's the whole thing about that, like we've misconstrued what the meaning of health is. So we've again associated health with a body size. So yes, dieting and over exercising may lead to a smaller body, but a smaller body doesn't necessarily equal a healthy body. How it looks different on everyone and health encompasses so much more than that. It encompasses our emotional wellbeing, our mental health, our social health. There's so much to it, not to mention all the factors like environmental health and all those things that are beyond our control as well. But we've been taught again for, I know capitalism purposes that we are in sole control of our health and the only way to manage it is diet and exercise. It's just not true. There's so much more to it. I think it's, I don't want to, don't quote me on this number, but I think it's something like 11% of our health is influenced by diet and exercise. It might even be 11% is influenced by individual choices and the rest is all predetermined genetics, so many other factors. But we are taught that we have to micromanage it all and that's a lot of pressure to put on people and doesn't usually end up in better health. It often, as we've seen with our clients ends up in obsession and disorder and that's not health. Just because you may be in a smaller body, doesn't make it healthy. [DR. CRISTINA CASTAGNINI] I love that you say that because I mean, I see on a constant daily basis, people who are in smaller bodies and they're told by the "experts," as you say, "Oh, you're so healthy," but their bodies aren't genetically meant to be in that smaller body. So they're doing all of these very unhealthy things and unhealthy behaviors to be in that smaller body. So their body is very unhealthy. They're not eating enough, they're malnourished, they're exercising way too much. Their body is very unhealthy and they're at risk for heart attacks and strokes and malnourishment and they're being praised like, "Oh, you look so great." These are the people that, you know, people are shocked at like 35 they may fall over and die of a heart attack or something and people are, "What happened? They were so "healthy." They ate so healthy. They exercised all the time." It's like, yes, but their body wasn't meant to be in that tiny body. They weren't meant to be that way. They were doing all these horrible things to starve themselves or do things to look like. That's to me is like, what are we doing? What's happening here [MARISSA] Completely. I mean, that's the whole BMI argument, isn't it? I mean, that's a big one to get into, but yes, and that's the problem. That's why so many things are misdiagnosed because our literal medical professionals are using body size as that measure. Yes, it's so dangerous. I think that really feeds into the fitness industry with this popularization of body building and the body building physique. I really think that's where a lot of this toxic culture and diet culture has fed into the fitness industry from, because we've started to put that body type, the incredibly lean body type we've been taught that that's what health and that's what fitness looks like; if you are fit, you must have muscles that are popping and you must have no body fat and what fitness is. But again, the behaviors that those body builders put their bodies through is so extreme and so dangerous. That's somehow seeped in to become mainstream fitness advice, which is, yes, it's awful and there's just not enough talks about the risks of those behaviors. [DR. CRISTINA CASTAGNINI] And the pressure. The pressure's really up because people want to do well in those competitions. So People are doing these extreme behaviors then what are you supposed to do if you want to compete? [MARISSA] Yes. [DR. CRISTINA CASTAGNINI] Stay competitive. [MARISSA] Yes, for sure. I mean, yes, I don't know a lot about that world. I've never been in it, but yes. I think it's something, isn't it like they're athletes. A lot of athletes do take extreme measures, but that needs to be a completely supervised and something that you enter into knowing all the risks and you can center that. But I think the danger is when it feeds into the mainstream and when it becomes banded around as fitness advice on Instagram from professionals that don't really know what they're talking about that's when it becomes such a risk factor for a lot of very vulnerable people. [DR. CRISTINA CASTAGNINI] So it's interesting because you're on Instagram. I know Instagram just got a lot of flex from the whistleblower. So many when listening out there, it's like, well, how does somebody know who to follow on Instagram that's legit and is giving the right messages and giving information that they can follow? I look at yours and I'm like, yes, she's got the right information. It can be so confusing now because there's so many people out there. It's like, well, how do they know that Marissa is giving the right information and isn't just trying to influence people to do something that's not correct? [MARISSA] Exactly. I think that's, I don't think you can ever know and that's why I think we all have to think critically and we have to make our own decisions about what feels right for us. Again, like you said, we are only spreading information based on what we've read and we've researched, but all of our perspectives are limited to an extent. So I think we have to be really conscious and critical of how we're using social media and instead of just blindly following information, just really assessing whether it feels right for us. Because I think if we're being honest, when we've all entered these restrictive diets or we've made these choices because we think that someone's told us that's the best way to live, I think we know deep down whether they felt good for us and whether they were right for us. Sometimes I think it's only in hindsight that you can really tell. I know for me, I genuinely didn't really see a lot of the disordered behavior until I was on the other side of it. I think sadly that is how we learn but I think to just, my biggest thing is like a fitness professional that I teach my clients is that they are the experts of their own bodies. Just because I'm a fitness professional and "expert" doesn't mean I know their bodies better than they do. Because we're all the individual and we're also different and we all have different needs that change day to day, minute to minute. So the fact that a lot of these influencers and professionals are selling these one size fits all programs and meal plans and things like that, it's just they can't be right for everyone because we're not all the same. [DR. CRISTINA CASTAGNINI] That's so true. So we were talking a little bit earlier about how the media always brings about these ads for diets and exercise programs and bombarding us. As we're getting a little bit further out from that maybe people are starting to get off of maybe whatever they took on the diet or the exercise program. If somebody's out there listening going, okay, maybe I don't want to continue on this or I don't know the exercise regimen I took on in the beginning of the year, what can they do to maybe incorporate in their life, but not have it be about weight loss or incorporated with a diet? [MARISSA] I think number one is finding something that you actually enjoy or at the very least feels good in the moment. We are taught that, again, there's this one type of exercise that's put on a pedestal and it's all about the one that burns the most calories or the fat blasting, blah, blah, blah. But actually movement is something that our bodies are made to do. We were born wanting to move our bodies. It's just those negative perceptions around it, like we spoke about earlier, all those negative connotations that have turned into something that's not enjoyable and that feels like a chore and a punishment. So I think we really have to go back and experiment because I think a lot of us haven't experimented and maybe that's a confidence thing, but experiment with different forms of movement. There's so much, you know we are lucky now online there are so many things you can try. A lot of them you can try for free. So I think number one is experiment with what actually feels good or at least doesn't feel at all. Like I personally hate running. I don't think I will ever enjoy running. So I don't make myself do it because there are so many other forms of exercise, so many ways we can move our bodies. So yes, I think that's number one. Then I think it's going back and switching our perspective to the internal rather than the external. So how do we want to feel like after we exercise or during? What do we want that exercise to give us and how can we take a step to achieving that and then being selective on the type of movement, the duration of movement, the intensity of the movement we do in order to feel like that? So if we are tired or we're feeling a little bit stiff instead of forcing ourselves to do a hardcore hit workout, because that's on the plan that we've brought into our thinking about maybe going for a gentle walk or doing a little bit of yoga or a stretch because that's how we want to feel and that's the type of movement that's going to get us there. So I think it's just being a bit more conscious and mindful and again, knowing that we are the expert of our bodies. So just because as a plan doesn't say that doesn't mean that it's not the right thing for us to do. [DR. CRISTINA CASTAGNINI] So do you ever have people come to you wanting to work with you on I guess on weight loss and how do you have that conversation with them about that's not really the goal in mind for them when they're coming to you? [MARISSA] I think that's a hard one and this is definitely something I've got better at as I've gone along like my own journey and become more confident and validated and in my beliefs. I think I've got much better at explaining to people why we don't focus on weight loss. And it's all those things we've talked about because weight loss isn't a hundred percent within our control. There are so many things that influence it. So if we keep that as our sole goal, it's going to block us from actually taking care of our wellbeing and working towards being fitter, healthier and happier. Because we get caught up in that trap of pursuing a goal that, like you said earlier isn't meant for us. We're not all meant to have that body. So I think it's knowing those reasons behind why it's more beneficial to pursue, like I said, the more intrinsic goals and using that intrinsic motivation. Because when we start to flip it to focusing on the way we feel, we get into a more positive cycle. We all know that negative weight loss cycle when we start a new regime, maybe start to see results for a little while, especially with fitness. You couldn't tend to see results quite quickly, if you start something new, but then often, most often that's going to plateau or those results are going to slow down. If your sole focus is those physical aesthetic changes, you're going to demotivated very quickly, you're going to doubt yourself, you're going to think you're doing so wrong. You're going to stop believing that the movement you doing isn't effective when in reality movement is effective in our bodies whether we are seeing physical changes or not. So when we focus on the internal, we get into that positive cycle of moving because we want to feel a certain way. We feel good, we get that instant reward and then we know that that's enough and that validates that movement. Feeling good is enough of a goal. We don't have to have these crazy fitness goals. We can just have those moments of I want to feel good intentions. When we celebrate that and celebrate those wins, we get into that positive reinforcement cycle and then we want to keep doing it, which is so much more sustainable. [DR. CRISTINA CASTAGNINI] So what would you say are some of the goals people have that work with you if it's not weight loss? What are they coming to you for? [MARISSA] So honestly, most I find most people just want to feel a bit better in their bodies, like we're all here. I always think this, we're here to live our lives. That is our purpose. We're just here to live and I think we get so caught up in all these other things that we need to be and the way we need to look that we forget that actually we're just here to live. So I think fitness should be, and what most of my clients now aspire to use it as is just a way to enrich our lives, make it easier, give us more energy, make us feel stronger. A lot people who have kids want to be able to just keep up with their kids, run around with their kids, whatever it is, and live just a longer, perhaps healthier, just a more nourishing way of life that just takes you into that positive space. Because feeling good in our bodies physically can be a massive boost for our body image as well. It's once we start to flip that perspective and use fitness as a way to celebrate what our bodies can do and nourish them in that way, then that feeds into us being able to see ourselves as more than just a physical appearance and appreciate our bodies for the vessel that they are and everything they do for us. So there's so many benefits to moving and like I said, when you remove that weight loss goal, you can really reap those other rewards. [DR. CRISTINA CASTAGNINI] Fantastic. Because it's true, our bodies are amazing. They allow us to do so many things and when we're just hating on them, it's like, we don't allow ourselves to appreciate everything that our bodies do. [MARISSA] Yes. [DR. CRISTINA CASTAGNINI] That's sad. [MARISSA] For sure. They weren't here to look a certain way. We would never, that's not what they so created for. They weren't created to just be objects to be looked at. They were created to do a job and to function. I think that's the most important thing that fitness should aid. It should aid the function of our bodies. There are so many ways in which it does that, literally benefits every system of our body. So, yes I think that's what we need to focus on and that's what I wish we the industry focuses on more. It's such a sad and shallow place to be in when we boil movement down to just the way it makes up bodies look, because it just ignores the bigger picture and it ignores all the other amazing benefits and the amazing things our body can do. [DR. CRISTINA CASTAGNINI] It's interesting, you and I were talking a little bit beforehand, but I don't think I ever have such a perspective on how much I value my body when it's healthy versus when it's sick. Because I was just telling, whereas I was, unfortunately I got COVID and I was so tired and I just realized gosh, my body's healthy. I appreciate it so much more when I'm sick and I'm just going, let's get the energy back. It brings a perspective when it's not functioning the way it normally does. So it doesn't matter what my body looks like or the size. When it's sick, I just want to back to normal. [MARISSA] Yes, exactly. That's so true. When you're in that place, you realize that's all you want. You just want to, I think the problem is, and I think this is just how we are as human, we don't realize those things until we lose them. So it's a lot of the time with our mobility and stuff with our bodies as well. Once you start to lose that mobility, I've even felt it like I swear I've aged like 10 years over the pandemic. And they've started to get some back pain and things like that. I'm like, oh my God. Now I'm really realizing the importance of needing to move my body every day and do my stretches and do certain exercises to strengthen certain muscles and things like that. But yes, I think often we leave it until it's too late and becomes really hard because you've got more of a hill to climb if you're already struggling with those things to then get into fitness, can feel really overwhelming. So that's another thing that I think the fitness industry doesn't do very well. That's probably because it's so focused on calorie burn, fat burn. It doesn't make movement accessible for everyone and it doesn't place value on gentle movement enough as well. It sets the bar so high, it puts all that pressure on that, you have to be doing these really intense, difficult workouts that people feel they need to already be super fit to even participate. That is such a roadblock for so many people and it's not the individual's fault. Again, it's a problem with the industry. [DR. CRISTINA CASTAGNINI] Absolutely true. I'm curious, so if somebody does want to work with you, contacted you to start working with you, what do you offer? Is there a program that you offer or is there individual things for a group? What happens when they contact you? [MARISSA] So currently I have two offers. One is a super affordable online On-Demand workout membership. So it's called The Self Fitness Home Studio. It's just a ton of pre-recorded workouts that range from five minutes to 45 minutes in loads of different styles and feeling hit cardio. That's always like super accessible. There's always options for all bodies. I trying to be as inclusive as possible as I just said. There's strength work, there's dance workouts and stuff. Obviously I came from a dance background and the purpose of the home studio is to really build that intuitive relationship. So everything is filtered by either duration, body part, do you want to work intensity and type of workout? So that idea is that you can really find the workout that you need that day and that fits you. So again, it's like not that one size fits all program. It's really encourages you to tune in. There's even a little quiz to sort of tune into your body, ask yourself what you need and then you can use the filters to find a workout that suits that. So there's that option and then yes, I work one to one as well. So my highest support option is one to one coaching, which is either personal training, which is just online Zoom sessions that are personalized workouts, tailored to people's goals and preferences and needs. Again, like I said earlier, you are the expert of your body. We always tune in, check in with what you need and then I'll create a work out with you that serves those purposes. Then I also do mentoring as well, which is more like the mindset stuff. So we dive deep into relationship to movement, relationship to body and food, talk about how to build that sustainable and healthy wellbeing routine that goes beyond just exercise. That can either be coupled with personal training or for people that maybe already have a form of movement that they enjoy, but they need a little bit of help with the mindset side of things we can just do mentoring kind thing. So yes, those are my options. They're all on the website, I have a few left, although this is probably a bit late now, but for January. Have a see if not, I'm sure there'll be spaces at some point, but the home studio is always open. That doesn't close. So yes come and have a look. [DR. CRISTINA CASTAGNINI] Fantastic. Well, I'm sure people will definitely be checking you out. If they want to find you on Instagram, how can they find you? [MARISSA] So that's The Self Love Fitness Club on Instagram. [DR. CRISTINA CASTAGNINI] Fantastic. All right. Well, it has been a pleasure. You've given us so much fantastic information. It's been great having you here. Thank you so very much. [MARISSA] Thank you. It's been an absolute pleasure. I could talk for hours. [DR. CRISTINA CASTAGNINI] This was a great topic. [MARISSA] There's so much, so much. [DR. CRISTINA CASTAGNINI] All right, Marissa. Well, I'm sure people will be contacting you. So thank you again. [MARISSA] Thank you so much. Speak soon. [DR. CRISTINA CASTAGNINI] This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or any other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.