You’ve got a dream. You’ve got to protect it. You’ve got a goal. You’ve got to execute it. Pray for what you need. Fight for what you want.
by Lindsay Miller
The term “body positivity” is popping up in publications everywhere. Runways, magazines, and the entertainment industry have recently been making an effort to represent all sizes, ages, races, and genders. Dani Dyer has made a valiant choice to use her platform as a voice and opportunity to help others see the light inside themselves by becoming a fitness professional and using her own experiences to led the positive movement.
After years of hard experiences and dealing with the same struggles as many of her clients, she promotes self-confidence, self-care, and persistent love for our own inner beauty. It is never easy, but for Dani, it is always worth it. “The main thing is embracing your body. Not just loving your body on the outside but embracing your own image. What makes you, you?” She says it is much more than just saying, “Oh I love my body…” in the mirror – it is how we treat the entirety of our health.
Through her teenage years, self-confidence lowered to the point of revolving around food, or really the lack of nutrition. As a dancer, Dani was constantly compared to others. Instead of celebrating what made her unique and special in a crowd of young, slim, teens, she felt like more of a hassle to her teachers rather than being recognized and accepted for her talents. Nonetheless, dance gave her a time to perform – a time to let go of the outside world and other’s opinions. “It was a chance to enjoy something I loved, which has now translated to Strongman competition.” Although Dani has transitioned from dancer to heavy lifter, she intentionally harbors the confidence she felt she was lacking at a younger age.
Everyone wants to be happy, healthy, and confident individuals. But that’s often easier said than done, especially during the teen years when our bodies are changing, self-confidence is fragile, and we are trying to make that tricky transition out of childhood. She tried to eat low-calorie diets and drastically restricted her diet to the point of stomach issues. Because of these “comments” or “looks” or the things people considered “wrong,” Dani altered her lifestyle. It wasn’t until she consciously let go of the limitations others had placed on her that she was able to stop caring about outside opinions allowing her to grow as her best self.
“I was always told what to fight for,” she remembers. Her goals were set for her. Telling her clients to “fight for what you want,” is now her message to explain that your goals are personal and you don’t owe anyone an explanation for the things you want. Start to look at all the things that make you different in a positive light instead of all the reason you are different, she encourages. Being different isn’t negative. It is the reason you stand out, says Dani, versus any idea we might have of fitting in. She often uses the motto, “Turn a negative into a positive,” and suggests everyone to simply “get your movement in,” because that is where it all starts.
Today, she remembers her major changes stemming from being fed up with the negativity and disapproval in an industry she believed in. “I had been beaten down too much,” she says. And when you try for so long to break someone, it is inevitable – they will break. When she couldn’t exactly find that person to look up to, she decided to become that version of herself. Of course, inspiration has a role to play, but she explains, “it is a very real thing that is difficult and it often comes down to how we talk to ourselves and even others.” Since starting Dani D. Fitness, she has embraced her body’s abilities but more importantly, the person she has become. Her goal is to embed in her clients the same self-preservation that she found on her own. She says, “I try to set an example in my own life and I love my body for what it can do, not what it looks like.” She also highly recommends surrounding yourself with the right people – the ones that believe in you and support your goals. For Dani, right now, this is her team of Strongmen (and women).
Dani states, “When you allow yourself to love who you truly are, you open up to other’s loving you the same way.” Once you agree to your own self-worth, the way you look isn’t who you are. How you treat yourself and the process of evaluating the reasons for why you feel strong or healthy – that is when you’ll see that you don’t need outside approval and the way you look truly doesn’t matter through someone else’s perspective.