I have a complicated relationship with exercise. {Ep 97 with Jessi Haggerty}

Are you struggling with your relationship with exercise while pursuing food peace? Do you attach your self-worth to how much physical activity your body is capable of doing? Listen now for some tips on how to tackle this challenge in the food and body peace journey.

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This episode is brought to you by my online course, Your Step-by-Step Guide to PCOS and Food Peace. Sign up now to get on the waitlist for the next enrollment period in January 2018, and receive my FREE road map: Your First 3 Steps Toward Food Peace with PCOS. You CAN make peace with food even with PCOS and I want to show you how.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • Jessi Haggerty joins us to tackle this listener’s letter!
  • Fat acceptance and feminism can be KEY to finding recovery… and it can help us to keep going along the recovery path if we start to feel stuck!!
  • It’s important to inspect our beliefs about ability, and see how our relationship with exercise is influenced by ableism. Social justice can help us break free from other ways that diet culture holds us back!
  • It’s important to think about the INTENTIONS behind our physical activity… if the intention is about body manipulation, weight suppression, or to “prove” something, then it’s probably time to take a step back and rethink that choice.
  • Comparisons steal our joy!
  • Remember, compassion is key.

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series.

The Worn Out Mom Holiday Survival Guide

Mom Holiday SurvivalHoliday pressures lead many of us to rely on mile long to-do lists, with attendant feelings of inferiority rather than attending to self-care. Don’t you just love the warm fuzzy holiday feelings of peace and joy?!? (Sarcasm intended.)

Many moms feel the month of December is all about providing experiences for everyone else, and typical self-care strategies just don’t fit in. This month, many people put themselves on the bottom of the priority list. While this may help your family attend more holiday parties or have more decorations around the house, ignoring self-care has its consequences. For example, attending your regular weekly yoga class may be tough to squeeze in, yet doing so will help you feel less stressed, sleep better, and be more present this holiday. Remember, self-care is not selfish.

In order to promote health and mindfulness, consider these three sanity saving pointers:

Have One Hot Meal Sitting Down Per Day

I remember that, when my children were infants, I rarely sat down. As the primary caregiver, I was constantly attending to their needs. I have memories of changing diapers, feeding them, keeping them from pinching the dog, keeping them out of the cat litter, and otherwise protecting this fragile new human. I was sleep deprived, and constantly ate on the run–with one hand. If I couldn’t eat something with one hand, I didn’t eat it. And I wondered why I felt like a chaotic mess!

I read a recommendation from Geneen Roth that changed a big portion of my self-care. She wrote that we all need to sit down and eat one hot meal on a real plate each day. The food choice wasn’t important; rather, it was the time spent sitting and focusing on the meal that was important. This recommendation spoke to me, because I connected with this being an opportunity to nurture and nourish my mind, body and spirit. And, oh boy, I needed that!

Even during chaotic holiday schedules, be sure to give yourself at least one eating opportunity each day to eat mindfully, focusing on just that. You’ll find that it calms you and reenergizes you– so you can continue to keep your little human from sticking metal into electrical outlets or eating the dog food.

Stay Off Pinterest and Other Ways to Avoid Comparison

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” I think this quote by Theodore Roosevelt needs to be on the Pinterest disclaimer page. Holiday traditions and activities involve limitless options for creativity. This is cool–for those who love hodge podging or baking decadent desserts–yet it can lead the rest of us down the dark dreary place of comparison and perfectionism.

Instead of looking into what everyone else is doing, consider the holiday traditions that give you the most joyful feelings. What do you remember as a kid that you want to pass on? Give yourself permission to pick the ones, if any, that you have the mental bandwidth for this holiday season. Resist the urge to search online for what you should be doing. Focus on what you want to do, and practice being okay with limiting the choices. To do this, you may want to avoid some social media, like Pinterest or Facebook, until the urge to compare goes away.

By the way, I love this recommendation so much that I’m deleting the Pinterest app from my phone as I type this! Wheee, that felt good!

Move Your Body in a Way that Feels Good

Human bodies are meant to move, and I don’t mean on treadmills in the “no pain no gain” fashion. Our bodies are designed for movement to promote health and well-being.  Our body also has ways of letting us know that the movement we’ve chosen is one worth repeating by the pleasure it gives us.  By staying aware of your body’s response, you’ll know what your body needs and wants. You’ll know that you’re moving in the right direction (nice pun, right?!?) when the movement feels good.

As you experience the holiday, notice what your body is craving. Do you want to dance to your favorite holiday songs? Take a nighttime stroll to admire the lights? Do you crave stillness? Attend to your body’s desire to move or not, and you’ll notice more connection to the present–and less chaos with what life throws your way.

Happy holidays friends!

How does your body like to move?

The human body was meant to move. Yours included. I am not saying we all need to be on that silly treadmill or elliptical counting calories burned.

I am coming from a completely different place.

You have a type of movement your body enjoys, craves, and looks forward to experiencing. This movement feels good and maybe has some challenge. You may or may not sweat. And, here’s the kicker, this movement is done because it makes you thrive. You will feel alive in this movement and it empowers your body image.

What is your movement?

If you are coming up without an answer I think some important things are in the way. Our society has trained us to believe exercise is made to be a part of the calories in/calories out equation saturated with no pain no gain clichés. You have learned exercise doesn’t count unless you sweat and hurt. More often than not, exercise ends up a dichotomous experience instead of pleasurable. How many times have you joined a gym, started a new training program, committed to a boot camp…only to stop sooner than you planned? If this sounds familiar, you haven’t found the movement that is your movement.

How can you connect or reconnect to your movement? Stop looking into fitspiration and rewire your brain to consider movement outside of your food intake. First, step: stop calling it exercise and get used to calling this activity movement. That will reset your brain to consider it pleasurable instead of punishment. Then find something fun that feels good. Make it social if you want more of that. Make it individual if that energizes you instead.

Watch this video. I have watched it several times and each time I feel stronger and more empowered to experience my energetic body. I hope it provides you inspiration to find movement your body enjoys. This can bring you peace and health.

The #FoodPeaceChallenge gathers people and professionals rejecting diets. We want to make 2015 diet free! If you are new to the challenge, welcome! and find the Manifesto here. Find community support by using #FoodPeaceChallenge on Twitter or leave a message in comments.