Once upon a time most of us thought of movement as play. We found joy and happiness in moving our bodies. As children we often shared the joy dogs do in just running around and playing, without a goal other than to be running around. Our imaginations soared with our joy. We played like puppies!
- We can learn to play again!
- Movement does not have to be about punishment, guilt or shame!
- Your body is wonderful and you can nurture its strength in a loving, joyful way!
- You can decide what movement you take joy in, what you find fun and you do not need to be stuck to one routine, even one you enjoy. You can find many ways to play, keep things fresh!
I hated gym glass, it was ruining movement for me. Perhaps I was “saved” because we no longer had gym in high school and I became interested in becoming stronger for myself rather than being told I should. I learned from trial and error what worked, it took a very long time, but it freed me from the feelings of judgement I remembered from gym classes.
No one should feel judged for their movement!
I did learn to love the “traditional” fitness stuff. Weightlifting, running. But not everyone ever will love those things, so now I am on a mission to help others find what they can love. And, yes, sometimes it might turn out to be those “traditional” things they hated before, but not always. And not only.
I practice the Health At Every Size® (HAES®) approach. This means that I put getting healthier* before a media driven appearance of “health” which often can only be achieved by unhealthy and dangerous means. The standard weight loss paradigm also contributes to the body shaming and self-hate that creates the idea of exercise as a tool of control and punishment. Message of body hate are everywhere in our culture, from advertisements to family dinners. And the fitness industry is right there, for the most part, but ASADH’s principles of HAES® offers a different message. A focus of loving our bodies to be more functional and to move for the joy of movement.
This means no shame, no judgement! This means improving what our bodies can already do. And this is going to be different for everyone.
I especially like helping those who feel they are too big or too frail or too old or too femme or too sick or too disabled to find their own strengths. These strengths may look different for each person but they are all glorious!
We can, indeed, nurture the strength within us. Whether you have hardcore sport goals, want to be able to keep up with your grandkids or just want to get through the day with your illness a little bit better.
*We must keep in mind that health is relative. Fitness can improve certain aspects of health, but one can be fit and have health problems which cannot be addressed through fitness activities. In some cases, being fit can help manage other chronic conditions, but we must also remember that some conditions require specific nurturing around, as well.