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08/11

The Rise. The Shine. Series Featuring Mik Zazon

Mik Zazon, an entrepreneur and content creator, focusing on mental health and body confidence, is the owner of a few different businesses, ranging from The Rose Retreat, a women’s empowerment event company to a clothing company, Shop Commen, to HIIT 30, a body weight workout program which is designed to be customizable to individuals’ lifestyles and 100% not diet focused.  After reading that, you may assume that Mik always knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur. However, that’s simply not the case, and although Mik is only 25, she has already overcome so many obstacles that ultimately led her to where she is today.

Standing

Mik grew up dealing with issues related to mental health, and it has been a part of her life for as long as she can remember. For a long time, she often questioned, ‘why me?’ Dealing with depression and anxiety, especially at a young age, was very confusing to her.  Mik  also felt like she never fit in with other people and often found herself trying to mirror everyone around her.  To add to this, she also grew up dealing with cystic acne which was added to her challenges attempting to fit in and feel comfortable with herself. She entered the fitness industry with a lot of the same mindsets and found herself striving to be a bodybuilder, a powerlifter, and a weight loss coach because that’s what she saw other people doing.  As a result of these early experiences in fitness, Mik ended up struggling with three eating disorders.

Fitness has also always been a part of Mik’s life. She grew up playing soccer and was a nationally ranked soccer player. Training and athleticism was her identity. After suffering multiple concussions and three knee surgeries, Mik had to quit playing soccer. This was a very difficult period of her life because she didn’t know who she was outside of soccer and fitness, and ultimately led her into a deep depression.

The turning point for Mik, which prompted her to go into eating disorder recovery, occurred when she was working as a weight loss coach. Because she was trying so hard to fit into the fitness industry, Mik was photoshopping her pictures to the point that she almost didn’t even recognize her own reflection in the mirror.  She was eventually outed on gossip sites on the internet and decided it was time to make a change because she couldn’t live with the fact that she was giving people a false narrative about who she was, while also helping people striving to lose weight. Although this was one of the scariest moments of her life, Mik took the opportunity to take accountability for her actions and make a change.

After going into eating disorder recovery and taking a break from fitness, Mik re-engaged into fitness with a new mindset about what fitness could look like in her life. These days, she focuses on movement that she truly loves and enjoys, whether it be biking, walking, gardening, or swimming.  Speaking of this, Mik states, '‘I came to the realization that moving our bodies in ways that we love and enjoy is what health and fitness is for each of us individually. Our movement and health goals aren’t going to look the same, nor do they need to. Ultimately, fitness has so many positive effects for mental health, and I’m finally engaging with fitness in ways that help my mental health instead of detract from it. It’s been a journey, but I’m grateful for the experiences that led me here. ”

Using her platform to speak so honestly and vulnerably about mental health as well as her struggles with body image has resonated with people across the entire globe, however, the internet can be a cruel place, and Mik is not immune to receiving harmful and hurtful feedback.  In the earlier days of her platform, this was particularly hard on her mental health, but these days, she has better coping mechanisms and outlets in place to deal with the realities that accompany sharing your life on the internet.

Sitting

Mik is so passionate about sharing her message for several reasons, but one thing she wants to show people is that despite her mental illnesses, she is highly successful because she received the help she needed.  Instead of asking myself “why me?,” I now choose to manage my mental health and share about it with others because I don’t think my experience is unique. For a long time, I felt shame about my struggles with mental health, but now I hope to break stigmas and  normalize dealing with mental health issues.”

Written by Chrissy King