“This makes me SO happy!!” I smiled to myself on my first bike ride of this season.
There was a time when I was absolutely driven to “do my exercise” and didn’t even consider whether it brought me joy. Many of those years included relentless movement according to calorie expenditure, heart rate monitoring (for calorie expenditure), and “doing” more than one strenuous activity in a day if the calorie expenditure didn’t meet my requirements.
Not much joy there.
Does this resonate with you or maybe an earlier version of you?
This exercise behavior is all part of the disordered eating, not-thin-enough mindset, and finding my way through was similar to how I healed my relationship with food. Shifting from a punishing exercise mindset to a joyful movement mindset starts with listening to your body and a great deal of self-inquiry. Notice how your various activities make you feel. Do you feel bored, uninspired, weighed down, resentful, exhausted, controlled or forced? Or do you feel uplifted, inspired, excited, energized, joyful? How do you want to feel?
Include in your self-inquiry a list of your current physical activities.
Next to each activity describe the environment in which you do them:
- Inside or outside
- Loud or quiet
- Alone or with others
- With or without music
- With an instructor or coach or alone
- Home or public gym
Circle the activities that bring you joy
Add a list of activities you have always wanted to try! These will very likely bring you joy.
Here are some of my joyful activities:
Riding my bike outside
Walking with a friend
Weight training with a personal trainer
Private Reformer pilates session with an instructor
Hiking in nature
Canoeing or kayaking
Mucking stalls and carrying water buckets at the animal sanctuary where I volunteer
Joyful movement feels like something your body wants to do, not a chore that you have to do.
Joyful movement is something you look forward to, can’t wait to do.
Joyful movement is a healthy flowing relationship with your body; moving in a way that feels fantastic and your body smiles back at you.
Let’s continue this conversation in a 30-minute Discovery Call to clarify how you would like to see yourself in relationship with food and your body. Schedule your call here: https://calendly.com/melissapickell/discovery-call
I look forward to connecting with you soon.