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Image searches for "healthy" typically turn up a bunch of photos of thin white women doing yoga at sunrise. But is this the only way to live a healthy life? (Spoiler: no.)

What does healthy look like?

A cursory image search suggests that “healthy” looks like thin young white women running through a park or doing yoga at sunrise. The $66 billion-dollar weight-loss industry argues that healthy looks like everyone weighing a little (or a lot) less than they do right now. But an increasing number of Portland professionals are arguing that you don’t need to be thin, or young, or white, or wealthy to have a positive relationship with health and wellness—and you certainly don’t need to lose weight.

This Saturday morning, I’ll moderate a discussion with body-positive lifting coach Lacy Davis (Liberation Barbell), hiker extraordinaire Jenny Bruso (Unlikely Hikers), badass business lady Kiki Littlestar (the Perlene) and OB/GYN Marni Carlyle (Women’s Healthcare Associates). Together, we’ll bust health myths, question fitness paradigms, and explore ways to build a more inclusive and holistic wellness community. Most importantly, we’ll explain why it can sometimes actually be healthier to not worry quite so much about the pursuit of perfect health.

The panel is just one small part of Woman Up!, a “weekend of wellness” hosted by Portland Monthly. (Hey, that’s us!) The two-day event is jam-packed with fitness classes, cocktails, yoga, music, snacks, inspiring speakers (including Adrienne Nelson, Oregon’s first black Supreme Court judge) and, of course, panel discussions with local experts. It’s all in conjunction with our Oregon Woman issue, which highlights pioneers like guitarist Fabi Reyna, politician Ana del Rocío, and abortion activist Judith ArcanaSo, what are you waiting for? Grab the incredible ladies in your life and head to Woman Up! 

In conjunction with Portland Monthly’s Oregon Woman issue, our second annual Woman Up event (May 12–13) will bring together experts from across the city—and state—for a weekend of wellness and a celebration of the bold women shaping Oregon’s future and those who’ve paved the way. Get tickets!

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