Q: What is your definition of the perfect body?
A: I have thought about this question often because I used to tell myself, “when I have the perfect body, then I’ll fully be confident.” I think the perfect body is a body that you respect and a body that you take care of with diet and exercise. One that can carry me to the gym, class, meetings, internships, girls nights, and even sitting on the couch with my best friends and a good movie. My perfect body is a balance of mindset, love, and being proactive with the way I take care of my body so I can be the best version of myself every day.
Q: You’re the healthiest person I know; what gives you the energy/motivation to stay healthy?
A: I believe in the saying, “When you put good things into the universe, you will get good things back.” This holds true to my diet as well. When I eat healthy, I am the best possible version of myself that day, and I love that. My mood, improves, I feel motivated, and I feel more confident because I am proud of the conscious choices I am making. You are the most important person in your life, and if you take care of your body, it’ll take care of you. I do try and leave some room for forgiveness as well, because I also believe in treating myself. Everything in moderation, right?!
Q:What’s your diet/exercise routine like?
A: I do my best to exercise ever day. I enjoy working out so I make sure that I only do physical activities that bring me joy. My favorite thing to do is run. I’ve always enjoyed long distance, and I usually run about four miles. It’s therapeutic for me. It quiets the stressful noise in my head so I can finally have some “me time.” I also go to the gym three times a week, and try to incorporate group classes to keep me motivated. I always feel ten times better after a work out, my mood is boosted and I feel immediately accomplished. That feeling keeps me motivated. My diet is pretty hard to term. I’m meat free, but I eat fish. I don’t eat dairy or bread, but I will definitely cheat to eat a slice of pizza or some ice cream every once in a while. It works for me, and after being meat and (mostly) dairy free for two years, I feel like a whole new person. I am way more conscious of what I put into my body and because of this, I feel good. When you feel good, good things happen.
Q: What’s the biggest act of self love/self care in your daily routine?
A: I’ve made it a habit each night to write a journal. I reflect on my day, my goals, my concerns, etc. This helps me identify how I’m really feeling without keeping it all in. And I end every entry with, “I am Chloe Lyden, and I am a beautiful, intelligent, hardworking, positive woman.” It’s my personal mantra because it’s a good habit to remind yourself how important you are!
Q: Does shopping make you feel more or less body positive?
A: I love shopping, but there have been times when shopping has upset me. If I don’t fit into a pair of jeans that I like, or if I don’t look as good in a dress as I thought I would. Now, I realize that all clothes are different, just like our bodies. They look different on everybody. When I do find something that really compliments my figure, I feel confident and can’t wait to wear it out of the store. A good outfit affects my attitude for the rest of the day. It’s really true that when I look good, I feel good.
Q: Does modeling make you feel more or less body positive?
A: When I first started modeling, I felt a little uncomfortable in my own skin. I was afraid to see how I looked in pictures, and would overthink my smiles and poses. But after modeling with Momni for a year, I feel so body positive after every photo shoot. I really look forward to modeling, and having the chance to celebrate the way I look.
Q: Does embracing body positivity create other positivity in your life or towards yourself?A: I have always struggled with body positivity since I was a little girl. But I’ve come to realize that you can either be your biggest fan or your worst critic. I’ve chosen to be my biggest fan. I am not like anyone else inside or out. I love being unique, and I love that my body helps me continue this authenticity. I also choose to recognize the beauty in others. I think that it is important in body positivity to learn that someone else’s beauty is not the absence of your own. I feel the most beautiful when I can make a positive impact on someone’s day, and that’s the truth.
Q: Body positivity is a big part of the feminist platform; do you consider yourself a feminist?
A: I do consider myself a feminist. I grew up with my mom as my example. She is the hardest worker I know all while carrying herself with considerable confidence. I do believe that women can do anything, and that we should lift each other up by encouraging one another to work hard and never give up. Nothing good comes easy, so I believe in myself and other women, and that there are no limitations to what a hard worker can accomplish.
Thanks to Chloe Lyden for answering all of our questions. Photos and editing by Mara Strobel-Lanka.