Last week, I asked you to start thinking about exercise and movement and your feelings toward it. Missed it? Not a problem! Catch up here!
So let’s start here: You miss a workout. Do you:
a. freak out like it’s literally the end of your world, feel guilty and then go extra hard the next day to make up for it
b. understand that life happens, while it would have been nice to move a little, you will be just fine
c. find yourself somewhere between a and b.
Finding yourself in letter ‘a’ or perhaps somewhere in a place that just doesn’t feel super positive? Let’s talk.
It could not have been more perfect to be honest with you. My favorite podcast, Food Psych with Christy Harrison was titled: How to Heal From Over-Exercise and Find Joyful Movement with Jessi Haggerty this week. I mean, just perfection. As a person who for years exercised too much, felt guilt over missed workouts, exercised extra “to make up for” what I ate, this podcast reminded me of how far I have come.
I talked recently with you about the fact that having a baby has made a big shift in my ability to workout as much as before or in the same capacity and yet I am finding the extra “squishyness” of my body not to be a problem as it may have been once before.
But it still feels so good to move. And so I do it, but the ‘why’ is so different.
Tis the season that we are bombarded with so many messages pushing us to think we need to shrink, tone up, bulk up, you name it. How does one navigate life in this day and age without seeing such messages? It’s not easy.
And so enters the concept of Joyful Movement. The phrase ‘no pain, no gain’ is very much the mentality that we tend to see at the gym and where we may work out. When joining a gym, you may be pushed by a trainer to think that the main reason you have joined is to lose weight. (Been there done that, apparently it’s weird to join a gym not with that being the goal. Or just the two times I have done so it has been the case.)
So why. Why do you move? How do you feel when you do? What do you do?
Are any of your answers in anyway related to manipulating or altering your body’s appearance? Is anything about the way you move related to changing a part of your body that you do not like? Then that is not joyful movement. Because joyful movement is a type of movement that first and foremost, you enjoy. For some, this may be running. Others, this may be walking or dancing. And even others may find the joy from lifting heavy things. While the exercise industry often works to get into our heads, joyful movement gets us into our bodies. When we move in a way that feels good and we separate the movement from the end result of altering our bodies, then we can be fully present in our bodies and feel the joy of moving in the body we have.
Yoga is the perfect embodiment of this for me. When I move and breathe, I forget about everything else and am able to appreciate my body. Dancing and walking are the same. I feel good, I move and I can set everything else aside just to be in my body and be aware of its movement for a moment in time.
I can’t even tell you the number of workouts I have forced myself through over the years–my body aching for rest, but I wouldn’t let it; my mind thinking about how this workout would help tone my body, because that was the reason I was doing it; pushing, forcing myself to move in a way that brought me so little joy. All for the promise of a smaller body, sculpted abs and so many things that in the end will bring me no real joy. Joyful movement? Hardly at all.
Are you trapped in the same pattern? Do you workout out of fear of weight gain? Do you find yourself feeling guilty over one, maybe two missed workouts? What if you changed your why? What if instead of pushing and forcing, you allowed yourself to move in a way that allowed you to feel free? What if the result was nothing but joy, joy in your body, joy in your mind, just joy? What if you let go of the no pain, no gain mentality?
Try it on. Shift your why. Move in a way that makes you happy–not in a way that makes you change or alter any piece of you in any way.
Plenty of food for thought for you to digest today so I won’t delay anymore on the treat I have for you today.
Dinner. It can be the biggest pain at times–you’re tired, it’s been a long day and the last thing you want to do is cook. You wanna know what will help you with that? This recipe!
Rosemary Parmesan Chicken Meatballs to the rescue, my friends. I made a TON of these before Sam was born and on the nights when we wanted a real meal without a lot of hassle, I pulled some of these out of the freezer, simmered in some marinara and tossed it all with pasta. Done. That’s it.
I’ve become quite the fan of Rosemary these days. I took a big leap when I added it to these Rosemary Orange Almond Cookies and let me tell you, I am very happy for it. These continue to be on the rotation of cookie baking in our house regularly. Then we have these Rosemary, Pomegranate and Brie Stuffed Crescent Rolls–need I say more?
These Rosemary Parmesan Meatballs are easy to make, helpful on a night you really need a quick meal, and the real reason you want them–they taste amazing, rich and savory. Make a few batches and throw them in the freezer and you will be glad you did down the road!
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1/2 c breadcrumbs (gluten free if needed)
- 1 egg
- 1/3 c grated parmesan
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-2 tsp fresh Rosemary, chopped
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly cracked pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk egg well. Add in all other ingredients and mix well.
- Add a touch of olive oil to your hands to prevent sticking and roll into balls.
- Place on a parchment lined or greased baking pan.
- Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Add to your favorite pasta dish and dig in!
- Refrigerate or freeze leftovers if desired.