Chakras & Chardonnay

Ep. 32: Breaking Stigmas, Seeking Support & True Body Positivity with Zane Landin

January 24, 2024 Maria Mayes
Chakras & Chardonnay
Ep. 32: Breaking Stigmas, Seeking Support & True Body Positivity with Zane Landin
Show Notes Transcript

In Episode 32, Maria Mayes welcomes Zane Landin, a communication professional, NAMI Next Gen Advisor, mental health and disability advocate, queer rights activist, body positivity proponent, entrepreneur, and positive change maker. 

Zane earned their Bachelor of Science in Communication and Public Relations from Cal Poly Pomona and is the founder of PositiveVibes Magazine, a digital magazine dedicated to telling authentic stories about mental health, wellness, and inspiration. Zane is a passionate storyteller who regularly writes about wellness, psychology, and culture for the Power of Positivity, Entrepreneur, Brainz Magazine, and Lady Gaga's Channel Kindness. Zane is intrigued by how we can leverage powerful stories to create a more inclusive world for all to thrive.  Zane strives to reduce mental health stigma, normalize the experience, and uplift the voices of those with lived experience.

Zane shares insights into his background, passion for communication, and his role at the National Geographic Society. The conversation delves into the intersection of mental and physical health, discussing Zane's ongoing weight loss journey.

Zane emphasizes the importance of seeking help for mental health, breaking the stigma surrounding it, and highlights the availability of free resources. He encourages listeners to explore their feelings, understand the reasons behind them, and reach out for support when needed. Zane also shares his perspective on body positivity, stressing the significance of making conscious health choices while embracing self-love.  

The episode closes out with a guided relaxation to invite in present moment awareness, the breath, and a bit of self-compassion.  

To Connect with Zane:

To learn more about Soluna:
he new free mental well-being resource available to youth ages 13-25 in California visit

Learn more about Maria and her work at Take5.Health and subscribe to receive tips and free Guided Meditations each Wednesday. Connect with Maria on social:

Episode 32: Breaking Stigmas, Seeking Support & True Body Positivity with Zane Landin

 Mayes: [00:00:00] Welcome back Chakras and Chardonnay listeners. I'm super excited to have another amazing guest with me today. Today, Zane Landin is joining us. So grateful to have you here. Thanks for joining us, Zane. 

Zane Landin: Well, thank you so much again 

Maria Mayes: for having me. Yeah, so if you don't mind just sharing a little bit about your background, your story, and then we'll talk well being.

Zane Landin: Sure, yeah. My name is Zane Landon. I'm 25 years old. I came from California. I actually live in Washington, D. C. now because I actually work for the National Geographic Society. I help them with internal communications and As I just recently graduated from Cal Poly Pamona, I got my bachelor of science and communication.

So communication and storytelling and how we connect with people through any form of communication is what I'm incredibly passionate about. And communication comes up in many different ways. A lot of people are shocked to hear that there are many communication professionals that are shy or introverts.

That's because we communicate in thousands of ways. It's not just speaking and being a public speaker. I do enjoy that, but there are [00:01:00] many other ways to, you know, communicate your message. And yeah, other than that, I'm a huge disability mental health advocate. I'm always pushing for bringing wellness into your life that is going to benefit your physical and your mental health, kind of like bringing in like a holistic approach to health.

And yeah, that's why I would say, I love, um, listening to podcasts. I love like. Paragliding. I just tried it and it was a lot of fun. I love exercising and a lot of my suggestion is, you know, always having a modification or a combination of things like because I started a weight loss journey and what helped me was I got really passionate about cooking and I just lift weights all the time.

Like I was doing things that I really enjoyed. So exercise felt more of recreation rather than a chore that I had to do for a certain goal. 

Maria Mayes: Right. I love that. I love that. Can we explore that a little further? Cause I think a lot of people would probably resonate with that. So tell us a little bit about your weight loss journey, if you don't mind.

Zane Landin: I don't, I started in February and you know, what's interesting is being a bigger person. I'm still big and I'm still on the, [00:02:00] you know, the weight loss journey, you know, I I've always been big for the longest time. Like there's, there wasn't probably a time where I, I don't realize I wasn't except probably as a kid, but I don't really remember much back then.

So that's interesting for my, like my body image to kind of shift. Um, and I even made a post yesterday from a photo shoot that I did that don't expect weight loss to solve all your problems with your body. So I think some people look at that as, Oh, I'm going to lose weight. I'm going to feel good about my body.

It's not that simple. It's not, it's not a black and white. solution. You might be changing your body physically, but I think there's still a lot of mental work that you have to perform if you want to see the results. Because again, you can only see the physical, but if your mental is blocking you from seeing your progress, it can feel kind of traumatizing and it can feel like you haven't had a lot of progress, which is why you might hear people that have had great progress, but when they look at themselves, they still see the same thing or they think, I haven't changed much.

Um, and sometimes that's why it's always good to take those before and after photos. I know people don't like to see themselves that way. But it can be a good physical indicator of, [00:03:00] oh, I actually have changed. I have to actually see it and visualize it rather than. When I'm thinking and so that has been kind of a journey and I did a photo shoot in December with this photographer and I did another one recently, and I realized I was a little more self conscious of my body than I was back then and that was 75 pounds bigger.

And it's always interesting what comes up and I think that sometimes when you lose weight, you're actually focusing more on it than you did before, because maybe you didn't even focus too much on it. But now it's like you're putting all your emphasis in it, and now you're looking at every little detail.

So I always try to tell people like, you know, just take one day at a time, give yourself a break, and you know, it's okay if you have one of those off days. And I love that more like, food and health influencers are like pushing this narrative that you can still eat what you want. Doesn't mean you can go overboard, but be very conscious of what you put in your body.

You don't have to give up every single food that you like. You just can't have it every single day. 

Maria Mayes: Right. I love that. I love that you're telling in the consciousness too, because that's truly what this [00:04:00] podcast is all about. Becoming really present and conscious and intentional about whatever we consume, whether it be wine or food or social media or news media.

Right. So I love that. And. You know, such self awareness at such young age, Zane, to be able to reflect back and say, oh, I noticed that I'm a little bit more conscious or self conscious and like a little self judgy here versus when I was, um, starting my journey. I love that. I 

Zane Landin: think that What I was going to say, when I think feelings like that come up, I think people try to avoid them, but I, you know, I got really good advice from someone that, you know, I was feeling, having like negative body image issues again, even with progress, but what someone told me was, you know, don't avoid those feelings because they're coming up for a reason.

Kind of like, kind of like when people say, if something triggers you, look. . Don't avoid it, explore it. There's a reason why something triggered you, and if it's like traumatic and it's really bringing up terrible memories, that's different, but if something did make you a little upset, maybe it's worth exploring, understanding why in your consciousness that [00:05:00] triggered you.

Same with body issues, instead of going, oh I don't I don't want to deal with this. I'm just going to avoid it. Maybe like look into yourself and think why am I feeling this right now? What's come up for me? How can I start feeling better about myself or whatever that I can do to start feeling better about myself, whatever people do.

Sometimes when I feel bad about my body, I of course look at the past images or write down five things that I love about myself. Doesn't have to be about my body because again, our whole experience, the human experience is more than the body. So if you can like visualize and write out things that you love about yourself.

I think it, you know, it's a good reminder of you're more than your body and you are worth it. And there are many things you can love about yourself. I 

Maria Mayes: love that. I love that you're looking at it from one, a really holistic perspective, right? Because we are more than just these physical vessels that we're inhabiting in this lifetime.

And just that, um, that wisdom that you're sharing in terms of tapping into that, right? Getting curious. I'm hearing you say, get curious about why you're feeling that way. And that's, [00:06:00] um, That really ties into a lot of, you know, the Ayurvedic teachings in that we, the perception or the perspective there is that all of these things, emotions, feelings, as well as what we physically eat, as well as any of our experience and traumas, they're all meant to Process through be digested and released, right?

Rather than retained and held onto or pressed and suppressed and ignored. So I love that you found that in your journey that, you know, it's time to just get curious and and dig a little deeper. So such good, such good advice as well as the five things I love about myself. I think that's a daily practice we could all put into play that could be really game changing rather than you.

You know, a lot of folks will talk about a gratitude journal, or we'll do, you know, these different positive affirmations or different things, but to specifically focus on self, when we are oftentimes the most critical on [00:07:00] self, and what are five things I love about myself. I love that. 

Zane Landin: Why I like that because it is reflective and I think that You know, positive affirmations are always great.

You know, always great to hear them and gratitude is always great, too. But is it about you, though? Like, if you're doing affirmations, you are repeating something said to you, kind of, or to yourself. And I think also with gratitude, you're focusing on gratitude of things. That you have, and those are all great though, but like, how do we focus on ourself and what we bring to the table?

And also, if you're gonna be, if you're gonna have gratitude, like maybe write down, I'm gratitude for myself. I have gratitude for myself that I am here, a good person, I exist, have good intentions, whatever, you know, you have gratitude for, you know, instead of it always being I'm gra I have gratitude for my family, the things around me.

What about the stuff in your life, in you, that you've done? Yeah, 

Maria Mayes: what did you do to get yourself there, right? I love that. So, much, um, focus on, I'm just seeing a lot of just self awareness, right? And then that self [00:08:00] compassion. So, in addition to the five things you love about yourself and just the curiosity, is there anything specific you want to offer the listeners in terms of something that could help them maybe on more the mental well being side since you are an advocate in that space?

Zane Landin: Well, I think if you're having a I was going to say like serious mental health conditions, not even that, you know, if you're starting to see a decline in your mental health or it is like impeding your function to do well in your work or your relationships, or you're isolating yourself from people, you don't always have to do everything on your own.

I think that, you know, sometimes Ask for help, huh? No matter, like, whoever's listening, maybe they live in a collective culture, um, but you know, like, I live in the United States, it's very individual based, and I think that has some benefits and downfalls, and I think one of the downfalls is, you know, you feel like you have to navigate everything alone, which means you can't ask for help, um, because you think you have to accomplish things on your own, um, when in reality, it's not how a lot of things work.

When you see some of the most accomplished people, they've always had mentors, they've always had teams, [00:09:00] um, so it's easy to look at the individual, but they have, A whole village that has supported them. And I think that it's great to acknowledge that. And so that's, sorry, that's what I would say is, you know, you know, actually do your research and find if you actually can get a therapist or, um, get a psychologist or a psychiatrist, whatever works for you.

And I understand it's not feasible, especially when you look at the mental health system, it's not definitely feasible for all socioeconomic people and their understanding. Like, you know, if you have more money, more privilege, it is a bit. easier to get mental health care. Unfortunately, there's always a stigma.

Um, but there still is a harder access for people who, you know, are underrepresented or disenfranchised. But I think what some people don't realize is there's so many resources out there that are free. Um, like I'm on the youth board for NAMI, which is the National Alliance on Mental Illness. All their resources are free.

And there are so many also organizations that even give you a stipend so you can afford to go see a therapist or a psychologist [00:10:00] because They, again, they recognize the barriers that people face in mental health care. So that's what I would say is, you know, actually, you know, look at and see if you have, you know, this issue or you need help in this way.

And just, you know, reach out for help. And again, there's nothing wrong with that. And I understand it, it might feel weird at first, like, or might, might feel negative. Like, oh, I'm reaching out for help. Why can't I control myself? And I think that mental health is particularly unique because when you look at physical health, I think it's easy to look at physical health in certain areas and say, Oh, well, this isn't my fault.

I have a heart condition. It's genetic. But for some reason with mental health, it's so much more difficult for people to face because there's this like notion that we have to have our mind in complete control. That like, if our mind is not in control, we're not in control. But again, we forget that your brain is part of your body just like your heart is.

So if you're going to take medication for your heart, Your brain isn't, your brain is, it's the same thing. And so, we don't have complete control of our thoughts sometimes, and that's what can be scary, [00:11:00] and that's when I promise people to, you know, reach out for help. And if that doesn't work, at least be aware of the people around you, and if they need help, there's nothing wrong with you reaching out and saying, you know, is there any way I could share resources, or how are you feeling right now, how can I show up for you, whatever it is.

Um, so it's, it's both ends, like, you know, we have to try and help ourselves, but we should also try and show up for the people around us, so they don't feel as alone, because for the folks that do feel alone in reaching out for help, there is that stigma. But for some, they may have been shamed for reaching out for help, like they might have been shamed for sharing their emotions, especially.

for everyone, you know, especially when it comes to like, you know, men who try to share their emotions, they often, they still receive, you know, backlash or negative energies about that. And when we're trying to create a more world where it's vulnerable, people still have a hard time, you know, showing their emotions.

And I think that there's still a lot of work that needs to be done regarding that. And that. We'll take some time for like, you know, for a cultural shift to happen in that way, but I'm glad some work is [00:12:00] happening. Anyways, off of that, what I will say is that, that is the last thing I would say is just try and find help.

Um, and if, like I said, you can't afford it, there are free resources out there. 

Maria Mayes: I love that. And thanks for, you know, thanks for pointing out the fact that it can be really, uh, culturally suppressed, the ability for us to really feel into our emotions, but also process through and let them go. So, uh, I love that.

Uh, even though we can't change the culture overnight, you're doing a lot to, to change it, right. With being an advocate and speaking up. So I appreciate that saying, and we'll have all the, all your contact information as well as the NAMI links in the show notes. Yeah. Um, I just think, you know, it's so interesting how you pointed out a lot of a, a lot of people might just think there's is no help out there, but there actually are a lot of resources, but it starts with just taking that step of just telling somebody, anybody, [00:13:00] and then, um, go from 

Zane Landin: there.

Right. I understand that people have. You know, their pride or, you know, they want to appear a certain way, but I think people at the end of the day is like, what's more important, how you appear to others or how you're going to live with yourself? Because at the end of the day, who do you go to sleep with?

You go to sleep with yourself, only yourself. And so, again, if the people around you are judging you or harshly criticizing you for receiving mental health support, Is that the best people to be around and I understand that some people are in these situations that are family or very close friends where it's it's not easy to cut ties like it's very difficult.

But, you know, it makes you think on how much you should show up for certain people if they're going to react that way and maybe you need to seek other support from other people that are going to be more open to your mental health journey, if some of the people in your life. aren't. And I think that you trying to convince them that this is a normal thing that people experience is a lot of emotional exhaustion [00:14:00] you're going to have to, you might go through trying to convince someone that mental health is a normal journey and I'm just getting help like many millions and millions in this world do.

Maria Mayes: Yeah. Yeah. That's a really good point that the energetics required of it. And I, you know, just all good stuff. How would you say, I'm just curious, as you kind of let us through a little bit of your journey with the physical health, how do you think that your self awareness, your ability to cultivate self compassion, and you kind of taking charge of your own mental health helped you with the physical weight loss journey?

Zane Landin: What's interesting is Uh, you know, we always hear the, the, the saying, the term, the phrase that mental health is just as important as physical health. I think sometimes we still get stuck in that mental health is more important than physical health. I don't think that's the mainstream idea. But for me, I focused so much on my mental health that I still struggled, but I was making good progress.

But my physical health was not good at all. And I will even share like, [00:15:00] I was really big where I could hardly walk, I could walk, but if I walked for 10 minutes straight, I would get really tired and I would get a lot of pain in my legs. That is coming from someone that was 24 and I didn't have like any disability, any physical disability that hindered my ability to walk.

And so when I, when I think about that, it's like. And I'm not shaming anyone else, but for me it was like that. I can't live like that. Um, there's no reason for me to be this young and I can't live life like a young person. Um, or live life the way that I want to. Um, and even when I did lose the weight, I feel kind of young again.

And I think that we forget that your physical health is going to impact your mental health. Not even just that, but when I was physically unwell, like I didn't want to do anything. I didn't want to go out. I didn't want to see anyone, mostly because I didn't like the way my body looked. And I was worried that I wouldn't be able to keep up with people.

So I like held, I held off on opportunities for myself because of how I felt. Um, and so, yeah, when I actually [00:16:00] started the physical health journey, it was, You know, exciting. It was really difficult. But what I noticed was my mental health slowly got a bit better. And I know a lot of people don't like to hear that because I know some people say, well, exercise isn't the only thing that helps your mental health.

Well, no, of course not. I mean, there's a million things that's going to help with, but with exercise, it did help a lot. And again, it's not going to solve all your problems. You might still struggle if you have an actual diagnosable mental health condition. But I think, you know, having a regimented schedule of exercising, even if it's a little bit a day, because I know like even a good half an hour, 45 minutes, if that's just walking or if that's swimming or if that's dancing, whatever you want to do to just move your body in any way, again, explore that because I think that's important.

And I think I've become. You know, more compassionate because I would say like, I wouldn't say I'm more compassionate to others because they, I, I think I have always been, and I don't think that's taught me to be more compassionate, but it's taught me to be compassionate towards my body more. [00:17:00] I mean, I think that.

You know, I'm a huge body positivity advocate, but the philosophy of body positivity has shifted in my mind that before it was like, you know, size, um, uh, health at every size. It's okay how big you are. You look beautiful. I still believe that. But for me, it's also like now that I've shifted, it's like, okay, but if I'm really a body positivity advocate, it has to have two layers of you feel good about yourself, but you also treat it well.

And again, if you're a body positive person, you're happy with your body, but you are fueling it with unhealthy foods or you're living a sedentary lifestyle. Are you really a body positivity person? Cause you're not treating your body positively. It has to be like two angles you have to, you have to, I think so.

That's what I think body positivity is where you admit you're beautiful, but you also are like making conscious health choices. Not to be healthy, because I don't really like the term, but to be healthier, you know, because I don't know if there's a black and white health, unhealth, it's more like the deliberate choices you make [00:18:00] to reach that path of being healthier.

Maria Mayes: I love that. I'm so happy that you shared that because I do feel the same way. I think that, you know, These vessels, right? If, if we truly look at them as vessels that contain our spirit and our, our, our amazing minds and to help us do all the many roles that we play in life in order to keep that vessel in a state of well being to support it.

At any size, but also working to get more health at any size. So I think, um, you know, I think you just bring up a really good point because there it became a very kind of divergent. Yeah, stream with that. And I think, um, you know, to your point, it's definitely multi layered. So I appreciate you bringing that up.

And I think, gosh, for 25. Uh, you sure got a lot of wisdom in there, Zane. Thank you for sharing with us. So you've got a lot figured out at a very young age. [00:19:00] And so I just appreciate you sharing that with the listeners. So where can people get ahold of you? What can I put in the show notes for everyone to be able to reach out to you?

Zane Landin: Well, I always my myself as accessible as possible. So if you have my name, you'll find me. So if you type that in on Instagram and LinkedIn and Twitter, you'll find me and I will be there and I'm always sharing content about, not always, but I'm always sharing content about the dishes I make or, you know, health choices or what it is I'm doing, but I'm always willing to have a conversation about anything to anyone about.

No health or weight loss. And I'm no coach do not have any certification. It's just, I'm providing you my advice and something that has the lived experience of doing it, but no certifications maybe one day, but not right now, 

Maria Mayes: beautiful. Well, we'll include all that in the show notes. And I've got one last question for you.

And that is what type of wine do you like to mindfully enjoy? If any. 

Zane Landin: Yeah. Okay. I'm not like the biggest wine person, but I have, I have no, I haven't always been the biggest drinker, but I will share. Uh, I actually went out of the country for the first time in [00:20:00] July. I went to Portugal. Um, and I will share that, you know, I discovered something about myself that I do enjoy drinking, but they just need to be sweeter drinks.

I've never been really, I've never really been a fan of, you know, alcoholic drinks, but I tried like, This red cherry shot and a chocolate glass and I tried these sweeter wines. I don't know what they're called, but I really love them. And so even though I don't really like alcohol drinks, I'm trying to explore more because there's so many different types.

Maria Mayes: Sure. Well, and it's, you know, it's a beautiful choice not to drink any too, right? I mean, either way, we can pull in this consciousness approach to anything. And I'm sure you're doing that a lot with the meals that you're recommending to others. So I love that. And I love, um, just your openness to continue to grow and expand.

So thank you so much Zane. It's been such a pleasure and, uh, look forward to continuing to connect 

Zane Landin: with you. Yeah. Thank you so much again.