Want To Find Freedom With Exercise? Try The Movement Menu
I can remember a time when my life was dictated by my exercise rules + schedule. I’d do anything I could to get in my workout – cancel plans with friends, skip a class in law school, ignore an injury, or wake up so early it felt like the middle of the night to get in all the miles of my run or make it to my daily hot yoga class.
People praised my dedication to “health” but the truth is I did NOT have a healthy relationship with movement. I felt obsessed, exhausted, + checked out of the other areas of my life.
I work with so many women in private coaching who are experiencing this same thing: They started exercising as a way to take care of their bodies + at some point it went from a healthy practice to an unhealthy obsession.
Here are some things they share with me they experience:
They feel guilt + fear if they miss a workout.
They prioritize exercise over other things in their lives at almost any cost.
They don’t feel safe or ok to rest when they are exhausted, sick, or injured.
They obsessively think about exercise + how / if / when they will get in their next workout.
They are trapped in their exercise rules about what “counts” — how many minutes, how many times a week, what kind of movement, rather than guided by what their bodies truly need.
Can you relate to any or all of these?
If so, I’d love to offer you a mindset shift that can help you experience more freedom in movement.*** I call it the movement menu.
The movement menu is a great starting place for someone who wants to have a nourishing, intuitive relationship with movement FREE from obsession, exhaustion, guilt, fear, + rules.
On a piece of paper, I’d love to encourage you to create your movement menu — a list full of all the movement options available to you.
Here’s an example of my own:
- relaxed walk outside
- at home streaming class
- barre class at a studio
- easy jog
- dancing at home to my favorite 90s music
- fun random workout class with a friend
- stretching / foam rolling in front of the TV
- intentional rest
On your own movement menu, make sure to include that last one: intentional rest.
Rest is 100% an essential part of the movement menu mindset shift. Because YES rest is sometimes the very “movement” our bodies need.
Each day, you can look at your movement menu + “order” what’s best for you that day. It gives you loving flexibility within the intentional structure [which can be much appreciated when you’re first starting to find your freedom] of the menu.
Here are my favorite questions to ask to help guide your “order” from a place of love + nourishment:
#1] How do I feel today? Check in with your mood, your energy, + how your body feels physically.
#2] How do I want to feel after movement? If it’s the afternoon + you’re exhausted but you want to feel energized, then a gentle walk outside might be the answer! If you’re exhausted at 7PM at night + you want to feel rested, then getting into bed or into the bath for some intentional rest is likely just the ticket.
#3] Is there anything specific I feel myself craving? Maybe you’re craving some quiet alone time. Perhaps you’ve spent the day alone in your office + want to socialize! Or maybe you find yourself craving some fresh air. Movement is so much more satisfying when you ask yourself what you’re craving more of.
#4] What does my life look like today? Movement can work for your REAL LIFE. Everyday in your life isn’t the same + you have 100% permission for movement to look different day-to-day, too.
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I’d love to hear from you… what’s on your movement menu? Comment below + let me know.
***A little note here: if you’re in ED recovery or for any other reason are taking a break from formal movement, please wait to incorporate this mindset until a time if / when movement is nourishing for you again.