Before I dive right into intuitive movement, I want to give you a little more background on my story. All this exploration into intuitive eating has led me to re look at a lot of other aspects in my life. First, exercise and my relationship with exercise. My journey with intuitive living began when my unhealthy obsession over food and exercise got to be to much for me. Re-arranging my life over fitness and nutrition was not how I wanted to live my life anymore. It was taking up WAY to much of my time and causing me a lot of anxiety.
Again, I was fortunate enough to have a long vacation to South East Asia lined up right at this time where I was exploring intuitive eating again, and really admitting to myself that my obsession with healthy eating and fitness was normal. This vacation allowed me to take a step back from it all, get out of my normal every day environment and really just go with the flow and live intuitively. I did't eat foods I was accustomed to, I didn't exercise AT ALL and I have never felt so free from myself.
What is intuitive movement?
Intuitive movement is exactly how it sounds. Its taking the same ideas of intuitive eating and making them fit exercise. Intuitive movement means participating in movement or exercise that feels good to you. It means taking a break when you're body needs a break. It means being forgiving of yourself when things don't go as planned and putting your mental health above
How did I start intuitive movement?
When I got back from Asia I wasn't sure how things would go. All I knew was that I wasn't going to force myself to do workouts I did't like and I wasn't going to try eat a certain way. I was just going to do the things I liked and eat the foods I liked. For the few weeks after I got back from Asia I was exercising a lot less than I had been before I had left. I was exploring a bunch of different types of workouts that I had done, and really taking the time to think about what I enjoyed doing and what I didn't like doing.
What I learned about myself is that I really do love running. I love running when I do it because I CHOOSE to do it. I don't like having a mileage goal, and I don't like feeling like I am doing something wrong if I don't hit that mileage goal. I love the freedom of running and being able to choose how far I go while I'm running. I love being able to listen to my body, see what it needs, see how its feeling and make that decision as I go. I love running because it gives me alone time, without my phone, without disturbances.
I also learned that I enjoy circuit training because I love pushing myself to the next level and I love challenging myself. I love working my cardiovascular system, breathing heavy and getting stronger at the same time.
I do not like treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes or stair masters and I will be completely content with never using one of these machines again. I learned that I don't really like lifting weights. I don't like the pace of being in the gym, I like workouts that keep you busy the whole time. I don't like resting and wasting time, I just like getting in and getting things done.
I learned that yoga is really challenging for me. For me yoga is a physical challenge, but it is more mentally challenging. Moving slowly and being hyperconscious of what I am doing is hard. Focusing on my breathing, and holding isometric positions is a huge challenge. But I love the way I feel after yoga, I don't always want to practice, but I want to reap the benefits of yoga more than any other exercise I participate in.
So where should you start?
Exercise. Be hyperconscious about your exercise. Think about why you are doing that kind of exercise. If your only reason for doing that exercise is to look a certain way, then you may want to re evaluate.
How do you feel before your exercise, during and after? Write things down, start a journal to collect your thoughts about exercise.
Remember that exercise is something you do for YOU. Not anyone else. Someone could tell you that a certain program is the absolute best thing in the world for you, but if you hate every second of it, and quit after 1 week, is that form of exercise really good for you? No, because you are't really doing it.
Life is about so much more than looking a certain way and fitting a certain ideal. Exercise is something we can do for our body so that we can function at our best every day. Don't make it another form of torture for yourself. Doing something is always better than doing nothing.
Biggest take home?
Make movement something you enjoy. You should never force yourself to do anything you don't want to. Exercise is a great thing, and a powerful tool we can use to improve our health. So don't hate it because you choose not to participate in things you really enjoy.
I really hope that this helps you on your journey to more intuitive living. If you're not quite there yet, then I hope it gives you something to think about.