How Movement and Exercise Fit Into Our Healing Journey 

Welcome back to The Balanced Dietitian Podcast! We are in November already. Times are changing. It is getting darker and colder. Life can be so go, go, go sometimes so just being able to slow down and check in on how we are doing can be so helpful. 

Today we are going to talk about movement and exercise, how that can fit into our healing journey, and how we can have a good relationship to movement. 

In this episode, we discuss:

[02:13] Marie’s relationship to movement

During my disordered eating years, my relationship with movement was really, really difficult. Prior to my eating disorder years, I was always someone who enjoyed movement. In my family, most people do not enjoy movement and I was very much the odd one out always wanting to participate in sports. I always really enjoy team sports and always found them very joyful for me. With my disordered eating years, my relationship with moving completely changed. Movement became a way to control or a way to either punish my body or punish myself.  I was obsessed with movement and doing more and more and more. The intention behind the movement was always sneaky and disordered.

[04:41] How do we know if our relationship with movement is disordered

Honestly, for me, it’s pretty black and white. If you are using movement as a way to control your body it is disordered. If you’re using movement as a way to either allow yourself to eat or won’t eat or comp and seek for food or earn food that is disordered. If you’re unable to take a break from movement, because either you’re injured or you’re tired, or you just don’t want to that day and you’re not able to take a break, that would be disordered. If you’re injured and still pushing through your injuries, that’s not discipline. That’s not kind to your body and that is disordered. I really believe that for a lot of the things that we do in life, it’s the intention behind the behavior that truly matters.

[08:18] Movement in our everyday lives

Movement can be such a cool part of our everyday life. Our body does like movement. We like to move, we like to be mobile, and we like to be able to move energy through us and that looks different for everyone. One of the best things we can do in relationship with movement is to have intentions. What is the intention behind movement?

What benefits do I get for moving my body? Why am I choosing to move today? 

[12:38] Try different ways to move 

There’s so many different ways that we get to move. There is weight training, yoga, stretching, biking, walking, skating, snow sports, and more. There’s so many different things that we can do to move our body. And one thing that I have learned over the years from my partner, being a personal trainer, is really trying to focus on three different ways of moving. One way is strength and engaging my muscles.  The second way is cardiovascular so making my heart work. The last one is mobility and stretching. Focus on how you can incorporate those three types of movements throughout your week. It is important to have a mix of these things. 

[14:28] Tips for working out at a gym 

If you are going to work at a gym a couple of things that can help are if you’re doing any type of cardio machine hide the freaking calories. It is really inaccurate but it doesn’t matter because you’re not moving to try to burn calories anymore. We really want to shift our thinking and the way that we are showing up with that. I found it extremely helpful when I was doing weight training to turn around so I wasn’t seeing myself nonstop in all the mirrors. I really believe in wearing clothes that fit really comfortably. If tight workout clothes on your body do not feel comfortable, wear clothes that fit comfortably for you. It is important to really make sure that we set ourselves up for success. 

[18:27] Scheduling movement in your day 

I have chunks in my day that’s dedicated to moving but moving can be anything. In those moments, I get to decide what I want to do. Although I typically will book an hour of time, I don’t have the expectations that I need to use the full hour if I don’t feel like it. I am aiming for consistency over time and I am aiming to have movement be part of my life. The goal is not to crush it this week. The goal is to develop the routine and a habit and things that you’re able to continue to do in such a gentle and caring way. So it really doesn’t matter if today I didn’t go all out because the goal is not just today. It is important that I’m kind to myself and I do things that are supportive for me long term. I want to engage in some health behaviors, but I know that forcing myself into it or adding pressures of how exactly it needs to look does not lead to sustainable results.

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