Joyful movement -- so what?
Last week, I introduced you to Intuitive Eating. It’s a concept and program that teaches people how to break out of the diet mentality and start making real peace with food and eating.
Part of the overall idea of Intuitive Eating is to embrace exercise and movement for what it is — a chance to move your body and feel good.
Joyful, or intuitive, movement is not about “punishing” yourself for eating a delicious meal by going to the gym. It is not worrying about how many calories you’re burning by taking a walk outside, or if you’ve “earned” enough to eat your next meal.
It’s about finding ways, that can be super subtle or way in-your-face, that make you feel good by moving your body.
For me? I enjoy going to a yoga class every once in a while. Can I be honest with you? I’m actually trying to go more frequently — not because I want to have six-pack abs or be able to show off by doing a handstand after crow pose, but because I love the way I feel afterwards! I have so much energy and I walk out of every class with my head held high and a good attitude running through my bones.
I also have two dogs, one of whom is a 6-month-old puppy!, so you can imagine the number of trips up and down my building’s stairs plus patient potty walks around the block I do every day. But taking a walk in warm sunshine (which we’re finally getting more of, thank goodness) is one of my happy places. Even though walking a dog can be difficult and it requires a lot of your focus/attention, it’s still a way to move your body and get some much-needed Vitamin D.
I’m not the kind of person who enjoys going to the gym. I have never, not once, set foot inside one. It’s just not for me.
Some people really enjoy going to the gym, or a bootcamp class, where they sweat for an hour and get yelled at — not me! However, if I made myself go to the gym every day even though I hated it, I could see why exercise would be seen as a punishment for some people. Not every form of exercise, or movement, is for everyone, so we shouldn’t expect people to want to move in the same way as everyone else.
I encourage you to find a form of movement that’s fun for you to do. Maybe a daily dance party in the shower (very carefully) or while you’re cooking dinner. Maybe you enjoy doing yoga but get too intimidated to attend a class in person; may I recommend Yoga With Adrienne? Maybe you can’t start your day until you do 20 push-ups and then say some affirmations to yourself in the mirror.
Whatever it is, the movement (and subsequent exercise) is good for you and is a necessary part of relieving stress and staying healthy.
Let me know in the comments below where you find your joyful movement, or a new form of movement you’re going to try soon.