Movement, not exercise

Movement, not exercise

Movement, not exercise

Your body is the most complete and miraculous piece of gym equipment you’ll ever need

Toni Sorenson

Do you exercise and love it, or struggle to find the will to get up and do it?
Do you feel excited to do the activity, or feel fear and anxiety? 
Do you exercise somewhere you love and feel safe, or somewhere you feel you are constantly being watched?
Do you do it because you want to, or because you feel you should?

I feel so sad for people who don’t enjoy their exercise. Not that you have to do the traditional definition of ‘exercise’ but if you do you should at least enjoy it. All too often people moan about dragging themselves out for a run, or to the gym, or to a class that they detest. And don’t even get me started on people who say they have to do it because they had something to eat earlier that they feel they now need to burn off. Let’s just get this straight – exercise is not a punishment and you never have to earn food or burn calories. 

I like to think of it as movement, not exercise. Movement is good for you. It’ll keep you supple and keep your muscles in a good functional condition. It keeps your bones healthy and helps with circulation. It helps you regulate your energy levels and your sleep. It has a multitude of benefits throughout the body that you wouldn’t even think of.

Movement should be done for the sheer love of it. It should be something you can’t wait to do, something you do because you enjoy the way it makes you feel.

Remember when you used to jump on a trampoline as a child, or when you used to dance around your bedroom with a hairbrush as a microphone. Do you still dance around the house when music is on, or has that disappeared from your life? What about when you used to kick a football around the park, or ride your bike so far that you got lost and had to find your way home (oops! Navigation never was my strong point!). What about when you used to go to the swimming pool and splash around, just having fun?

Where has the joy gone? Where has the fun movement gone? Has it been swapped out for sweaty gym classes or the dreaded spin bike?

two ballet dancers

If you don’t enjoy it just don’t do it. It’s as simple as that. What is the point in half killing yourself because you think you should be doing it? Life is too short to spend time doing things you don’t enjoy. Find a way to move that you do enjoy. It’s going to be each to their own.  One man’s pleasure is another man’s torture, but that’s fine. The world would be a dull place if we all liked to do the same things.

Even if you really truly love the activity you have chosen you should not be uncomfortable in that space while exercising. If you are in the gym and feel like people are criticising you for example that’s not ok. The reality is they’re probably not! They’re far too busy checking out their own ‘guns’ and their abs in the mirror, but whatever the reality if you feel awkward and can’t get past that then you are not in the right space for you.

Find a friendly class where you’re welcomed with a smile when you walk through the door. Go jogging with a friend you love to catch up with. Do some YouTube videos with your partner or kids if they’re up for a giggle and a bit of movement with you. Or just do something alone if you like your own space.

legs wearing running shoes on the beach

Find something that you love to do, something you are excited to start, excited to go to, in a place that makes you feel joy, with people you enjoy spending time with. If the by-product of this movement just happens to be health benefits then that’s amazing, but it shouldn’t be the main reason you choose your movement.

It doesn’t have to be overly strenuous or make you feel like you’ve been trampled on by a herd of elephants the next day. Ideally something that gets the blood pumping and the heart rate up a little for the health benefits, but you do you and if you are finding a way to move every day that’s got to be better than spending your days on the couch.

Move in a way that makes you feel fantastic, empowered, strong, free, mentally stronger, excited. Walk, dance, run, skip, ride, play, lift, breathe, stretch, connect. Which of those words makes you feel good and like you’d find happiness doing them?

What movement do you do that makes you feel amazing? Maybe have a look at possible new opportunities locally. Is today the day you try something new?

Please note:  This post is intended to be general information that applies to people who don’t have diagnosed medical conditions and are not pregnant. As always, please see a registered professional before undertaking any new exercise routines. Please continue to follow any professional advice you have been given in respect of movement and exercise. 

Break the cycle

Break the cycle

Break the cycle

If you always do what you always did you’ll always get what you always got.

Many Wise People!

It’s groundhog day. You shower, avoid the mirror, get dressed as quickly as you can so that no-one catches a glimpse, wearing the same clothes that make you feel terrible, that are either too small because ‘one day they’ll fit’ or too big so that they cover the ‘multitude of sins’. 

You diet, grab the food you thing you should have, not the food that you actually want to eat. You don’t eat certain food because it’s ‘bad for you’ and you eat something else because it’s ‘good for you’. You pack a lunch that people around will approve of, so that they don’t give you the look that says ‘that is why you look like that’ or so that they’ll praise you for your consistent efforts. But you don’t enjoy it, and you are certainly not satisfied. It’s ok though because this diet will work. Loads of people have said so!

You exercise, you step count so much that you’re jogging on the spot in the living room at 10pm just to get the recommended amount done. You break your back to get to the gym in the morning or to that spin class you detest, and once you’ve done doing the things that are oh so painful you still aren’t doing the things that would be fun. The swimming, the sunbathing in a bikini, the trip to the theme park and going on the rides, the games in the park with the kids. But it’s ok isn’t it, because you’ll look and feel fabulous for all of this and then one day will do those things. But you don’t…… and you’re not…… yet?

Deep down are you happy? Deep down are you enjoying life, or just putting that brave face on for the benefit of others? Are you hungry for something more exciting on your plate, or even just something that has some flavour. Do you want to just for once not give a damn what your Fitbit says and sit on your backside on the sofa? Don’t you want to be comfortable in those clothes of yours? Don’t you want to love yourself, or even just like yourself a little bit?

Stop, just stop. I know all of those feelings. I understand all of those actions you’re taking. I have felt that pain and anguish and despair that you feel. And that’s why I can tell you with hand on heart that now is the time to break the cycle.

There is a famous saying that goes something like this – ‘If you always do what you always did you’ll always get what you always got’.

How true those words are.

All that dieting doesn’t work. Temporarily you’ll lose a bit of weight but you will put it back on, and possibly more, when you stop. You never get to that ‘ideal weight’ target that you have set for yourself because that goal keeps shifting. ‘Just a little bit more’. Free yourself. What if you didn’t follow a diet plan? What if you ate the food that you love? What if you ate what your body was telling you it needed and wanted? Your body is amazing. You can trust it to do that with a little bit of work.

What if you don’t have a target weight to get to? What if you just learnt how to be happy with yourself in the wonderful shape and size that you are right now?

Coffee cup and book

Exercise is good for you, sure, but are you exercising because of the health benefits or for your weight to change? Are you enjoying it? Is it a chore? If you love the gym then by all means carry on. There’s lots of satisfaction and health benefits to be found there, but I know it’s not for everyone. Exercise shouldn’t be an activity that you are dreading before you’ve even begun. Choose movement. Go for walks on a sunny day along a river bank. Go for a bike ride to explore new places. Try some fun new classes if you’re happy in that setting. Have a look around YouTube for some short exercise videos that you can try. You never know what you might find a new love for.

Give your body a break and instead of criticising it how about you take a little bit of time each day to praise it for the wonderful things it does for you? How amazing is it that your legs carry you around wherever you need to go. How incredible is it that behind that bit of weight around your middle that you are so unhappy with a baby once grew. How insane is the amount of weight that those arms and hands can lift. And how wonderful is it to use those hands to touch another human, to hug, to hold hands. See, there are some reasons to love parts of your body, regardless of the shape or size of them. 

This takes time. You can’t instantly love every part of yourself, but wouldn’t it be nice to just start to not dislike it? A little bit of kindness to yourself each day and it will come.

Wear the clothes that make you feel good and to hell with everyone else’s opinions. If you want to wear skin tight and skimpy then you go for it. You want to wear loose and light and airy for a summer day then go for it. Whatever you wear make sure it fits, feels comfortable, and essentially that you genuinely like it. Time to get rid of the clothes that don’t serve you well.

You also may not be able to do all of these things at once. One at a time is fine. Whatever you do though, break the cycle. Make that change. Make yourself happy.

Have a day off. Have a week off. In fact, get rid of all of that pressure once and for all. Today is the start of something new, but this time something good! 

Please note:  This post is intended to be general information that applies to people who don’t have diagnosed medical conditions and are not pregnant, and any figures correct at the time of writing. As always, please see a registered professional before making changes to your diet⁠.


Set up home in your body

Set up home in your body

Set up home in your body

House: a building you can live in.
Home: a place you can live, love and belong in.

Maddie Deakin

This line hit me hard. I listened to an incredible podcast today with Maddie Deakin and she summed it up so beautifully for me with that one sentence. Have a think about this:

Do you live in a house or a home? No, I’m not talking about the building you are in, but the body you are in. Have you settled into it and made it yours, or are you seeing it as a pit stop, as somewhere to wait while you get the new one ready?

Do you constantly try to change it, to always wish it was ‘better’, feeling like it’s not good enough to show anyone? Cramming it into clothes that are a size (or more) too small?

Or do you make it comfortable, dress it with nice things, in clothes that are the right size, and make an effort to make it look and feel like somewhere you want to spend time, relax in, enjoy yourself in?

Now, are you living in a house or do you have a home?

Your body is there for the long haul. It’s the physical being that your spirit hopefully gets to spend many many years in, and it is AMAZING! Take some time to gently make peace with that. Make some changes that make that body the most fantastic place to live.

Shop for clothes that are the right size for you. There are some amazing stores, both high street and online, that provide clothes for the larger body. Get rid of the stuff that you feel awkward in, that is hurting you by the end of the day because it’s too tight, that really doesn’t suit your shape. Treat yourself to a new wardrobe, or if you can’t financially manage that in one go try a new piece or two on a regular basis. They’ll soon add up and shopping is good for the soul! Now imagine how amazing that feels.

Accessorise. Do you love jewellery, or belts, or hats, or scarves, watches, or hair accessories? You do you hun.

Get a hair cut, a new colour, grow it long or shave it all off! If you love to put a face on then treat yourself to a new lip colour. At the very least be sure to freshen up every morning and prepare yourself for the day ahead because you are fabulous and your day is going to be fabulous.

woman in red cropped top and black shorts standing in front of a brown curtain

Treat it well. Beauty treatments, a fresh set of nails, a foot soak in front of the tv at the end of the day, a bubble bath with candles.  

Be proud! Your body is a wonderous thing. All those things it does to keep you alive. All those things it does to move, dance, exercise, have fun. It’s the most incredible piece of art and it’s yours. Show people your worth. Show people how amazing you are. Show people that you are not ashamed – you are PROUD of your body.

To quote Maddie – you will never settle if you don’t unpack your bags! Unpack those bags and make your body your home.



Maddie is a HAES and fat positive nutritionist and I thank her for this inspiration. You can find her on Instagram if you want to look into her work further.

Please note:  This post is intended to be general information that applies to people who don’t have diagnosed medical conditions and are not pregnant, and any figures correct at the time of writing. As always, please see a registered professional before making changes to your diet⁠.


References and Links:

Maddie Deakin, Messy Health: 


Diets don’t start on a monday

Diets don’t start on a monday

Diets don’t start on a monday

If I must start somewhere, right here and now is the best place imaginable.

Richelle E. Goodrich

 ‘I’ll start again Monday’? You’ve been dieting, fallen off the bandwagon, and now you’re looking for that fresh start. Monday, that’s a good day to start, isn’t it? 

A new week, weekend eating and drinking is done, you’re feeling ready. Monday arrives. Where is that motivation? Weren’t you going to start that diet today?

We’ve all been there, many times, which just goes to show that if starting on a Monday was the way forward it would work and we wouldn’t have to keep restarting on Mondays.

I’d like you to try a new mindset. You’re done dieting. Dieting involves restriction and guilt, both things we don’t want to associate with food. What you are going to do is eat in a more nutritious way instead. When you eat you’re going to choose more nutritious foods. You’re going to put a lovely mixture of food groups on your plate or in your lunch box. Some healthy wholegrain carbs, lots of lovely colourful fresh fruit and veg, some lean protein and some dairy or other healthy fats.

As you are making it, think how great that food is going to taste, how it will make you feel, how much energy you’ll have, and how much longer you’ll feel satisfied for. Doesn’t eating a meal like this feel so good? Isn’t it better than that food you usually grab because it is easy, but knowing you’ll beat yourself up for it later?

Start this TODAY.

Start this NOW.

It doesn’t matter what happened yesterday. You can’t change that. It doesn’t even matter what happened earlier today, because that’s been and gone.

What you can change are the choices you make from now on.

What is the point in waiting until Monday? You’ll just add to your guilt and by the time Monday comes you’ll feel worse than you do now.

So start NOW. Make your next meal a meal of great nutritious choices and feel good about it.

Planner that says today is the perfect day to be happy

Please note:  This post is intended to be general information that applies to people who don’t have diagnosed medical conditions and are not pregnant, and any figures correct at the time of writing. As always, please see a registered professional before making changes to your diet⁠.