An accomplished journalist, TV personality, speaker, activist, yoga instructor, and most importantly, dedicated parent to three beautiful children alongside our current Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau — Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau is an inspirational woman of many talents. Who better in 2016 than Sophie, an active women’s health advocate, to offer her personal experiences with women’s health issues and how she stays active as a busy political figure and mom.

Mediaplanet You have become a spokesperson for several different women’s health issues. Why is it important to raise awareness for these issues and what outcomes are you hoping to achieve?

Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau It’s important to me personally to raise awareness for these issues because it’s 2016, and because I am a woman. Women count for more than half of the global population, but we are still the gender lacking full social, political, and legal recognition. Women and girls around the world are still being oppressed simply because they are female.

"For communities to be prosperous economically and socially, men and women must be given equal opportunity to contribute."

Therefore, it is critical to raise awareness about women’s health and their overall societal contribution within their communities. For communities to be prosperous economically and socially, men and women must be given equal opportunity to contribute. By raising awareness about the benefits of physical and mental health care, and by making educational tools and resources widely accessible, we can enrich and transform the lives of women across the country.

The reality is, women are outstanding and powerful — we carry life itself! The physical and mental well-being of women reflects the heart of a society. We should empower women to focus on self-care, so that they can be confident in demanding better throughout all facets of their lives. We have so much to give and to offer.

MP Have you overcome any health obstacles in your life? If so, what advice do you have for women who may be going through the same thing?

SGT Yes, I have. I suffered from an eating disorder in my teenage years. Eating disorders are largely a disordered idea of self: Who are we? How do we adapt to change? Are we loved enough? Will we still be loved if we grow into our womanhood with our own uniqueness? What happens if we’re not like the world wants us to be?

"Nature can help us, in part, get back to that pure state. We need to move, and we need to participate in the activities that we love — whether it’s dancing, skiing, skating, swimming, climbing, or running."

This mind chatter can drive us to a point of despair where we feel like we’ve lost control of ourselves. We must reconnect with our true nature. We must know that we are not alone, and that we can reach out to one another.

We must not suffer in silence. Silence is worse than any awkward conversation you might have. We must be courageous and speak up. Once we share our experiences with one another, we know that we are not the only ones suffering. Healing starts with being honest with yourself and being able to share your truth with others.

MP You lead a very active lifestyle as a mother of three and experienced yoga instructor. Where did your passion for yoga stem from and why is staying active so important for Canadian women?

SGT I am a very active person. I can easily feel overwhelmed if I don’t spend at least 30 minutes outdoors each day. That is why I bring my kids into nature as much as I can. “Get dressed kids…we’re going hiking, even if it’s -30° outside!” (I know you’re not supposed to bribe your kids with food, but homemade chocolate chip cookies usually do the trick!) As a parent, it’s about normalizing and reinforcing to your kids the idea of living a balanced and active lifestyle where you learn how to take care of yourself. That can surely be helpful later in life!

When you bring yoga down to the basics, it revolves around a central idea: to bind, to yolk, to be who you are, and to show up for yourself — without the mind chatter. Body, heart, and soul aligned and at peace.

Nature can help us, in part, get back to that pure state. We need to move, and we need to participate in the activities that we love — whether it’s dancing, skiing, skating, swimming, climbing, or running. The key is to push ourselves and experience what our bodies and minds are capable of.

Staying active releases hormones that make you feel good. It also gives you more physical and mental strength to deal with stress, and contributes to your overall spiritual health.

Canadian women should encourage each other and inspire each other to take charge of their bodies and minds, and to start moving! Not only for their personal health, but for their kids’ health and societal health as a whole. It’s okay to start small — every move counts! Just keep at it. Even if it’s 15–20 minutes a day, make it your time. To heal the world we have to first heal ourselves.