WTF is joyful movement?

Michelle Yandle Joyful Movement Skates

Joyful movement. If you’d have put those two words together for me a few years ago, I’d say that it’s an oxymoron. How can moving my body for health and fitness ever be joyful? I hated exercise!

I know where it all started too…

As many of you know I was a ‘bigger’ child. Because of this, not only was I often teased and bullied but I was also discriminated against when it came to sport.

I was terrified of team sports because I constantly felt like I was letting others down. Either that, or they’d let me know themselves.

I’d make every excuse in the book to not take part in physical education at school (I can actively remember writing lines instead of playing badminton) and when I ran out of excuses I’d always be chosen last for anything involving teams.

That was how it went at school, but I wasn’t safe at home either. By this point I’d already started my first few diets and as part of those diets came strict exercise plans. I remember doing aerobics classes with mom to lose weight and doing workout videos at home. The only point of exercise then for me was to lose weight and be ‘accepted’ and I internalised this idea that exercise was simply punishment for being in a bigger body.

So, long story short – I experienced a LOT of trauma growing up in regards to exercise and moving my body. It wasn’t until I was older and battled with my hatred of exercise that I realised why I detested it so much.

So, this idea of ‘joyful movement’, wtf?

“Joyful movement is a way of approaching physical activity that emphasises pleasure. We know that physical activity offers a host of physical and mental health benefits, and by emphasising pleasure, you're more likely to regularly move your body.”
Rachel Hartley RD

This idea of exercise and moving my body being self-care not self-punishment was new to me and it’s taken me a very long time to embrace it because of the trauma I experienced when I was younger. But here I am, moving every day, not because I ‘have to’ or because it will keep me slim, but because it’s fun, it’s meditative and I can actively choose not to do team sports ha ha.

What are my favourite ways to move?

· Walking

· Riding my bike

· And now… roller skating!

For the first time ever I can actually say I am excited to exercise! To move my body in ways that feel great and make me feel like a kid again, a kid who appreciates what their body can do and worries less about what others think and if I can’t move my body every day, that’s ok! I’ve made peace with that too, and so can you.

It’s so important to me now to support people to find the types of physical activity that they love and I do so through the Empowered Eating course. Yep, Empowered Eating isn’t just about what we put into our bodies but how we live our lives and enjoy the body we’re given.

Sound good? Click on the image below to learn more.

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