How do I hate this tank top? Let me count the ways… Listen friends, if you puke or faint during exercise, your body is telling you to stop! Intuitive eating and intuitive moment go hand-in-hand and have the same underlying philosophy—Listen to your body! Our culture has done us a huge disservice to by making us believe exercise has to be painful or unpleasant to be beneficial. Even just the word “exercise” fills most people with a sense of guilt or dread (or both). How many times have we started exercising only to quit because we hated it?
Just like how intuitive eating requires dieting rules go out the window, joyful movement (as intuitive eating author Evelyn Tribole calls it), calls for tossing the exercise rulebook out the window too. You don’t have to burn X calories, exercise for X minutes, or do X workouts a week. You don’t have to throw up or be able to barely move the next day. Many people are turned off from moving their bodies because they think if they don’t do it hard or long enough, it doesn’t count. It does! Even light exercise can have a lot of physical and emotional benefits, so give yourself the freedom to explore what kind of movement feels good to you. Maybe it’s stretching or some simple yoga poses on your lunch break? Or maybe riding a bike with a friend? One of the ways I love to move my body is to push my daughter in the stroller outside while I listen to an audiobook.
Movement can be challenging physically but it should be something enjoyable! It shouldn’t injure you or make you miserable and it certainly should NOT be a punishment for something you ate. Let’s be kinder to ourselves when it comes to exercise and maybe we’ll discover it really can feel joyful!
Cherie Miller, MS, LPC opened Dare 2 Hope Counseling to help clients all over the country get free from their food, weight, and self-confidence struggles. Her specialty is eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating, orthorexia and other unhealthy eating patterns. Contact her here.