Featured in Elephant Journal: “Finding Self-Empowerment Through Community & Headstand” by Mary Chang

Self-empowerment through words and headstands. The power of perseverance and encouragement.


My article is live and published on Elephant Journal: “it’s about the mindful life, an online mindful life magazine”. Read the full story here on EJ at: https://www.elephantjournal.com/2020/09/turn-the-heck-upside-down-finding-empowerment-with-headstand-mary-chang/

We’re all human beings supporting each other in some way – in our village, earth, universe. Gratitude for reading, sharing and “clicking the heart” on EJ.

My article was edited by Elizabeth Brumfield, Editor at Elephant Journal. Below are excerpts from the article along with three headstand photos I chose to showcase on my blog (that are not displayed in the the EJ posting).

Photo by Christine B.

Selfempowerment is taking control of your own life, setting goals, and making positive choices that can create a meaningful impact in some way.

Photo by Jude RM.

Whenever I do a headstand, a sense of power and confidence overwhelms me—I’m on top of the world, upside down. Wow!

Photo by D.

Encouraging others to persevere can be just as self-empowering as mastering a headstand, because it might be those words that inspire them to keep going.

Note: My original title of this article was “Self Empowerment through Words and Headstands”, edited by EJ to”Turn the Heck Upside Down: Finding Empowerment with Headstand” (Sept 3) and then re-titled by EJ (Sept 20) to: “Finding Self-Empowerment & Community through Headstand.”

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Want to see a “Real Ordinary Person” Featured on the Cover of a Fitness Magazine?

Voting for the Underdog: I made it to the TOP 10 in an international contest for Hers, Ms Health & Fitness Magazine!


Author update (as of August 21): After writing this story and posting it on a few community Facebook groups I belong to, the night before the Aug 20 Top 5 Voting deadline, as well as my regular daily reminders to my own FB page, I moved from 6th place and I’m now 4th place and made it to the TOP 5 ROUND!

Thank you everyone who voted for me to get me this far!

Voting for the “Group Winners” is on now until August 27th. Please vote (hopefully for me!) here: https://mshealthandfitness.com/2020/mary-chang

I still can’t believe it, but I made it to the TOP 10 in an international contest I entered for the chance to win 20K and be featured on the cover of Hers, Ms Health and Fitness Magazine! 

If I’ve inspired you by reading my Six Word stories or made you laugh, reflect or encourage you in some way — if you read my fitness journey story, https://marychangstorywriter.com/2020/06/11/something-about-mary-guts-glory-the-grouse-grind/, I hope you can please vote for me DAILY until August 20 to help me reach the TOP 5 round, by clicking my profile link below for your “free daily vote”:

https://mshealthandfitness.com/2020/mary-chang

I rediscovered myself through persevering with exercise for the past 19 months and in the process I lost 19 pounds and gained strength and self-empowerment.

I can do cartwheels, cross monkey-bars and mastered my first yoga headstand at age 50 this summer!

I’m a kid at heart. 

I learned I’m never too old or too late to start working on myself by carving space for my health by making exercise a part of my daily life. 

When I was depressed, suffering anxiety and feeling “useless” when Covid-19 overwhelmed our lives at the start of spring break, I knew that I needed to find some self-purpose and find a way to make life brighter.

In April, I decided to help others better their health during the pandemic by forming and leading a free online Facebook fitness group where our members were invited to participate in various monthly fitness challenges, check in daily with their progress and encourage each other with positivity.

Leading this group saved my mental health.

During the process, our fitness team formed a healthy online community built on connections through exercise, perseverance, encouragement, laughter and support.

I’m not extraordinary like some other competitors in the Hers Ms Health and Fitness competition, but I have great admiration for fierce athletes.

By entering this contest, I feel like I’m “keeping it real” because I’m one of the underdogs.

I don’t have humongous muscles, although last week —two 9-year old girls at the playground told me my right bicep is “SO BIG!”

PLEASE VOTE FOR ME & SHARE ON FACEBOOK TO HELP ME MAKE IT TO THE TOP 5 ROUND! VOTE DAILY UNTIL AUGUST 20!

https://mshealthandfitness.com/2020/mary-chang

I don’t excel in any sport or fitness activity, and don’t work in the fitness industry, but I love promoting health, wellness and exercise, especially when it’s free!

I don’t have a whole lot of Facebook or blog followers, I’m new to Instagram, and I’ve never entered a fitness contest like this before. I didn’t understand how to use a hashtag or what it meant — until last month! It’s awkward and uncomfortable for me to ask people to vote for me, but I do it because stretching out of my comfort zone makes me gutsier and doing scary and new things make people stronger.

I’m sometimes clumsy and uncoordinated but I’ve been trying hard to stay active, continue to be a healthy partner for my husband and a strong role model for our 9-year old son.

In the process, I rediscovered my feisty spirit, and boosted my confidence and found my inner shine. To me, that counts!

Please click below to vote for free DAILY until August 20 with your Facebook account! Click “IN HER GROUP” to see the competitors in my group phase. Every daily vote counts! Please share my profile link on your Facebook page and social media.
https://mshealthandfitness.com/2020/mary-chang

You can also help me be on the cover of Muscle & Fitness Hers while also helping support Homes for Wounded Warriors in their mission to build and remodel handicap accessible homes for disabled veterans by donating $1 Warrior Votes in Mary Chang’s name. These votes count too!

Please vote for Mary Chang, an underdog and a free-spirited 50-year old kid at heart who loves encouraging and inspiring people, and keeps trying. Help her be on the cover of a fitness magazine so she can show other ordinary people that it’s not an impossible goal!

Thank you with cartwheels, monkey bar crossings and headstands! View my complete profile and all my fitness photos in my profile link.

https://mshealthandfitness.com/2020/mary-chang

(Fitness photos courtesy of Natalie J. McMillan, Christine B, Judith R.M, Joanna Y and Chelsea)

To make a comment or to contact the writer, please visit the
"About the Writer" page or leave a comment below.