And she wasn’t alone. In the United States alone, 69 to 84 percent of women report feeling dissatisfied with their bodies. In a world where women internalize the beauty standards set by mainstream media (read: be as skinny as possible) starting at a young age, body checking becomes a key contributor to that dissatisfaction when the mirror is constantly reminding you that you don’t live up to that standard. As a result, it’s not surprising that many people choose one of two routes: Using exercise as a means to an end, or abandoning it altogether.
“While body-checking can start small and innocent, it can easily expand in a way that has a very negative impact on our quality of life,” Long says. “It can steal our joy, suck our energy, destroy relationships, and disrupt our relationship with food and exercise.”
What set Long apart was that she was able to find a middle ground that allowed her to care for her physical body without obsessing over it—and it all started when she discovered Pilates. Instead of scru