Recently, I read The Fat Chick Works Out: Fitness That’s Fun and Feasible for Folks of all Ages, Shapes, and Sizes by Jeanette DePatie.
Have you let go of the Diet Mentality? Have you unhooked exercise from weight loss? If so, you might be ready to move forward in journey into incorporating joyful movement back into your life.
Jeanette DePatie is a Health at Every Size advocate and exercise instructor who wants you to rediscover movement, and the powerful benefits it can bring to you at your current size. Those immediate benefits can include: lower risk of cancer, improved mood, better joint/bone health, stronger muscles, and a reduction in stress.
If I’m struggling with a relationship or feeling angry, one of the best ways for me to work through an issue is by getting my heart rate up. I like to do that by interval training on the treadmill, or even a short step aerobics class. Those activities feel good in my body. Not only can we trust our bodies to tell us what and how much to eat, our bodies can tell us how to move as well! You may find a walk around the lake or a vinyasa yoga class a better match for you.
Jeanette lays out a 12 week Fat Chick Plan to enable you to have long-term exercise success and sustainability. Green Mountain mantras like “Your Pace is THE Pace” and “Something is Better Then Nothing” align well with her program. Jeanette encourages readers to take it slow, have the proper equipment, and find activity that you love to do.
Along the way, there are mental exercises that are recommended to help aid you in your quest to pursue health.
The exercise that was the hardest, yet most powerful for me was Exercise #10: Full Body Walkin’. Jeanette asks her readers to spend an entire workout session being in their body. As someone who has struggled with disordered eating and has absolutely done EVERYTHING to avoid being in my body, this task seemed impossible. I decided to face my hear head on.
Here’s how it worked. As you move you body, name a body part that you are using in motion. Try to be in the moment, and really feel the sensation of that part working to make you strong. In addition, be an observer, and just take notes. No judgment. Jeanette even asks us to say the name of the body part out loud.
I tried this exercise as I was going up The Logging Trail while at Green Mountain at Fox Run. As I trudged up the hill, I really tried to be present with different parts…. Legs…arms… fingers…. Lungs…
The exercise didn’t ask me to give honor to my body as I did this, but I felt a deep appreciation for what my body can do, as opposed as bemoaning what it looked like.
In the past, I mainly focused on how good I feel AFTER I’m done with my workout! Sometimes this feeling might not feel good enough to get me to continue moving my body consistently. Jeanette suggests that you take time WHILE you are exercising to connect with your body.
This experience taught me that exercise can feel good IN THE MOMENT, when I take time to slow down and really experience the motion and sensations of it. It’s not just about completing an activity, but rather living the joy of being in my body, especially when it is working so hard to sustain me.
Now that I’m home from GMAFR, I’ve continued my practice of being in the body. Whether it’s in Warrior One pose, crunching my abs, or walking around my neighborhood, I’m now able to live in my body, instead of using food to avoid it.
Have you been able to enjoy your body? If so, how? What movement feels good?