Shohreh Davoodi is a personal trainer, intuitive eating counselor, private studio owner, podcaster, and this month's Body Positive Superhero! Each month we're highlighting the work of one of our heroes of the Body Positive Fitness community. Shohreh helps people unlearn diet culture while improving their relationships with exercise, food, and their bodies. Read our full interview below.
Who is your superhero?
Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Megan Rapinoe.
What's your favorite activity?
Anything active (trapeze, hiking, strength training, walking the dogs, etc.).
What is your superpower?
What is your personal fitness routine?
I do aerials (trapeze and rope) for several hours a week, strength train usually once per week (maybe twice, if I'm lucky), and walk my dogs almost every day. My routine right now looks completely different than it did when I was in law school and working as a lawyer, and I think that's the beauty of fitness! Your routine can fluctuate and change as you do.
Tell us about your relationship with your body.
I recognize that my relationship with my body is the longest relationship I will ever be in. Trust, respect, kindness, and good communication are hallmarks of any relationship, including my relationship with my body (even though each of those qualities is a constant work in progress). Sometimes I'm in maintenance mode and I don't have to put in too much effort to feel like we're on the same page. Other times communication breaks down and I have to put in the work to repair the relationship. It's a constantly shifting and changing thing, but gratitude is a thread that runs through it all. Because without my body, I couldn't live the life that I am.
What changed your perspective on fitness? Why and when?
When I first started my business, I was definitely more of your typical trainer. Most of my clients were seeking weight loss/aesthetic changes to their bodies so we did circumference measurements, progress pictures, the whole nine yards. About a year in I realized, both through experiences with my own clients and by learning from others, that most people who want to change their bodies are actually seeking something else: love, acceptance, success. I came to understand that there are more direct routes to those goals (that are usually much healthier and more sustainable) than intentional body change. I found that fitness was much more empowering for people when they enjoyed the journey than when they were simply using it as a means to an end.
Who is your perfect client and why?
My perfect client is someone who is honest with me about their wants and needs, open to learning new things, and willing to weather the storm of change. My clients have all been very different from one another, but those who've gotten the most out of coaching have embodied those qualities.
Is there anything special you're working on that you want to promote?
I recently launched a podcast called Redefining Health & Wellness. You can find all the episodes on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, and anywhere you find podcasts. The whole premise of the podcast is to explore the limiting messages we receive about health and wellness and the harm those messages can cause. I expose common myths and misconceptions and critique the diet and wellness culture we're living in so listeners can redefine health and wellness for themselves. As part of that, I delve into all the aspects of health that often get ignored, including mental health, emotional health, spiritual health, sexual health, economic health, social health, and more.