Updated: Feb 9
February 08, 2021
If exercise had ZERO impact on your weight and appearance, would you still workout?
If you answered "Yes” would you workout any differently than you do now? Would you do more or less? …There are no wrong answers.
So many of us have learned that exercise is simply a tool to lose weight and manipulate our aesthetics. Another task we feel obliged to do to feel less guilty about eating, and quite frankly, enjoying our lives.
Perhaps you feel that if you didn’t have to workout for weight or aesthetic purposes you probably wouldn’t bother, because what’s the point, right?
Well there are PLENTY of points as to why movement is so wonderful for you mentally and physically but sadly they aren’t as sexy as the before and afters that are marketed to us.
Because of this view of what fitness is, many of us have developed complicated relationships with movement. Some of us love it, hate it, obsess over it, avoid it, endure it, have rigid rules around it and feel guilty if not doing enough of it.
Enter: Intuitive Movement.
A framework created to help you find fitness that works for YOU, that helps you to work with your body instead of against it, to re-build the trust that diet culture has eroded and to find and experience joy (yes JOY) when moving your body.
Intuitive Movement is inspired by the framework of Intuitive Eating, created by Dietitian’s Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch in 1995.
This is a self care eating framework made up of 10 principles designed to help an individual to break free from dieting and build back inner trust and awareness so they can make peace with food and find food freedom. To date there are over 140 studies which look at Intuitive Eating in practice, so this is an evidence based framework.
Intuitive Movement is an extension of that work. I have re-framed the principles of Intuitive Eating to specifically focus on how we as individuals relate to exercise and movement.
From personal and professional experience I realised that for lots of people, their relationship with exercise can be just as complicated and fraught as their relationship with food.
The goal of an Intuitive Movement approach is to help people to shift their intention and mindset around moving their bodies. I want to help people to shift from thinking of exercise as a chore they must endure to attain certain beauty or body standards, to their workout being an act of self care that helps them to feel good physically and emotionally.
So the framework of Intuitive movement helps us to re-evaluate our relationship with exercise and rebuilding the trust and connection with ourselves so that we can have a positive, joyful and playful relationship with moving our bodies.
This is about helping people get movement back on their own terms by challenging the rules and restriction created by diet culture and creating an approach where all movement counts and all bodies are welcomed.
9 Principles of Intuitive Movement
1. Reject The Diet Mentality.
2. Honour Your Appetite for Movement
3. Stopping When Satisfied
4. Make Peace With Movement
5. Challenge The Fitness Police
6. Discover The Feel-Good Factor
7. Managing Emotions
8. Accepting Your Body
9. Gentle Guidance
You will notice that there are 9 principles here and that there are 10 principles for Intuitive Eating. This is because one of the principles of IE is ‘Joyful Movement’ and this is the principle used and expanded into these 9 principles of Intuitive Movement.
At the heart of Intuitive Movement (and Intuitive Eating) is the first principle; Reject The Diet Mentality. This is often the starting point and the foundation and for many one of the hardest parts as this is about choosing to move away from diets and restriction and instead choosing to use movement as a way to feel good without the pressure of weight loss or changing your appearance.
From there each principle (not necessarily done in order) helps you to tune in to your own body, figure out how you want to move and why? They help you to unpack the rules, habits and restriction around movement and figure out if they’re working for you or not and celebrate and accept your body for what it can DO.
Ultimately Intuitive Movement helps you to get to a place where movement is positive part of your life, that helps to support and nourish you so you have the inner strength and resilience to work on the deeper parts of you that help you to fulfil your potential.
If you’re curious to know more you can read more about Intuitive Movement in my book Train Happy.
Or listen to me chat through each principle and what they each encompass on this episode of The Train Happy Podcast as well as listen to all the previous episodes on Spotify, Apple and more.