I talk a lot about body image; about loving your body for what it achieves and can achieve, rather than how you look in the mirror or a selfie but I also talk a lot about keeping it real.

Fact is, many of us, including myself, don't feel good, we're not okay, some days how we feel in our skin is so shitty that we don't give a flying shit if we can scale a 10ft wall or teach 3 Ride classes back to back. That's the truth, whether it fits our message or not, it's honest.

I'm not anti weightloss, what I am anti, is ruining your quality of life for an arbitrary number on a scale or to live up to an ideal created in a marketing meeting. But we are not immune to it, which is why our community is important.

So, here I am, Melissa, 35, 62kg, strong as all hell, fit as a fiddle but sometimes I don't like how my stomach looks, and I think I have a little too much body fat and I wish I had bigger boobs. I think my ideal body weight is 57-58kg to feel good in my skin, and I tell myself it'll make me a more competitive OCR racer but that could be a construct to make myself feel better about the fact I just feel a bit fat some days. That's my reality and I am not afraid to share it with you. I fully appreciate that I must have a certain degree of body dysmorphia which will probably stay with me until I am too old to give a shit but it is something that some days is an issue and some days is not.

A big thing I wanted to get across today, is that if part of the reason you are on your fitness journey is that you believe you need to lose a few pounds, you are still welcome here. It's okay to have that goal and we will 100% support you and give you advice on how you can do it safety, and in a way that is sustainable to your long term wellness. We also vow to talk to you, privately and with compassion if we believe there is a problem. That is just how we roll. An important part of Fempower is our honesty and we hope that is why you are here.

Now, maybe you do need to lose a few pounds to feel better about yourself. That's cool. But I hope that by joining our community that regardless of that, you really can achieve great things with that body beyond your aesthetic, that you learn to love being fit, healthy and strong not just because it makes you look better but because it makes you feel alive and invincible and happy, that to us is the key to a long and happy life and I hope we can contribute to you having that.

- Melissa x