Mom Writes First

75: Adding Joyful Movement to my Fittest Year Ever [FYE Series]

January 22, 2023 Jen Larimore
Mom Writes First
75: Adding Joyful Movement to my Fittest Year Ever [FYE Series]
Show Notes Transcript

What if exercise could be something that served your body? 
What if you LOVED to work out? 
What if moving your body was fun and joyful? 

Let's ditch toxic diet culture and the toxic fitness industry to create a new way forward for ourselves. By focusing on joyful movement, we can move our bodies in a healthy way that serves us in the long term. And we teach our kids how to love their bodies too! 

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75: {FYE} Adding Joyful Movement to my Fittest Year Ever


[00:00:00] hi, I'm Jen Leramore. I'm the host of Mom. First, you are listening to a special episode series about how I am making 2023. My fittest year ever. This isn't your typical fitness podcast series. I'm not a trainer. I don't run marathons. I'm just a regular working mom, living in a small Midwestern town who after five kids, 20 years of desk work and a pandemic is ready to make 2023.

[00:00:28] My fittest year ever. Mentally and physically. That means loving myself just as I am today, nourishing my body and giving it the joyful movement that it needs today so that it will serve me decades down the road. Imagine what it would be like if you ditched the body shame, toxic diet, culture, and yo-yo results so that you can make 2023 your fittest year ever too.

[00:00:55] So come with me. Get those earbuds. Grab your [00:01:00] yoga mat and let's go.]

[00:01:02] Hello my friends. Welcome to this episode in my series Fittest Year, ever. . In this episode, I'm sharing how I'm thinking about exercise and movement.

[00:01:16] I can remember back when I was a teenager, maybe even a tween, when I thought for the first time that I really needed to exercise in order to change my body. I'm not sure if it was something that happened really quickly or slowly over time. , but gradually I began to see my body as something that had to change, something that wasn't good enough.

[00:01:45] And I began to see exercise as really the only way in which I would move my body, the only way for which it made sense to move my body. And it was then that lot shifted.[00:02:00] I stopped doing things just for fun things like tag or swimming or riding my horse, So in this fittest year ever, I'm working on making sure I change my mind back. I'm working on making sure that I go back to having fun in my body I'm working to make sure that I ditch the idea that exercise is something that I do to fix something that is not right with my body. I know now that my body just how it.

[00:02:31] Is fine. It's wonderful, it's perfect. It's a wonderful partner just as it is right now in this moment. And I know now that I want to use my body for many years to come and I wanna take care of it. as part of my fittest year ever. I'm committed to moving more, getting more exercise, doing more things with my body, even [00:03:00] pushing my body, but only in a way that feels really good in that moment and never in a way that feels like punishment. Never in a way that feels like it is to fix. So, It has to feel good in my body.

[00:03:16] I have to wanna do it not from a space of fear, anxiety, or punishment toward my body,

[00:03:22] not from a toxic diet culture mentality. That forces me to make up for eating an Oreo by taking a run around the block Not ever from a space that criticizes my body or feels like my body has to change in order to be good enough. This is movement for the sake of fun, not out of obligation.

[00:03:47] In order to really embrace this new way of thinking of movement, I have to give up a lot of thoughts that I've been taught, but that just don't serve me anymore. Here are [00:04:00] some of those things that I'm giving up Believing I need to be a certain size or shape in order to do something like a particular workout.

[00:04:11] Did you know that back in the day, I wouldn't go to a yoga class if I felt like I was too bloated and I didn't allow myself to swim for nearly 10 years. Because I didn't like how I looked in a swimsuit a whole decade where I wouldn't get in the water. How many of us have refrained from going swimming with our kids because we're ashamed of how our bodies look?

[00:04:42] Because we don't like how our suit fits or because we're frustrated with how our thighs or arms jiggle when exposed and. , I'm so done with that thought. I'm so done with shaming myself to force myself to work out regularly.

[00:04:58] Instead, [00:05:00] I'm transitioning to a mindset where I only work out when it feels fun or joyful. And since then, I have worked out consistently and regularly for a month.

[00:05:13] and this idea relates very much to my next idea in terms of something that I'm done with, which is making fitness or exercise overly complex, time consuming or expensive. Movement is movement and it should feel good in our bodies. If moving my body feels good, then that's good enough for me. I know now that I don't need a trainer.

[00:05:39] A new bike or the perfect class at just the right time of day with my favorite instructor in order to work out or to move. Don't get me wrong, all of those things are so good and so fine. 

[00:05:51] It's just that I have noticed that I often use those things as a reason to. Get movement. 

[00:05:59] Deciding [00:06:00] that all I need is to have fun when I move has freed me up. It's given me so much freedom and it has taught me to just focus on the joy of moving instead of on whether I was doing it right, on whether I was doing it for long enough on whether I was burning enough calories on, whether it was the right time of day.

[00:06:21] Whether, whatever I am so over it all movement needs for me right now is to be fun and that's what I'm focusing on. I'm over the class instructor, personal trainer, Instagram influencer or TV personality who shouts at me to go harder to push through pain, No thank you. I'm listen. To my body from now on, and the idea that I don't take days off or that I don't make excuses, I'm so done with that mentality too.

[00:06:54] If it feels forced, I'm not doing it when I want to rest, that is what I'm [00:07:00] doing. . And finally, I am so done with the Pinterest pins and the Instagram reels that focus on thinness, that idolize youth or that try to sell me a product.

[00:07:15] This is such a big one for me right now, my friends. if you watch your kids and look at what they're doing on some of these sites. Whether it's Instagram or Pinterest or TikTok, whatever, you might start to see that they are doing things that you don't really like. So look at those sites and ask yourself, what are my kids looking at?

[00:07:34] What are they pinning? What are they being sold? What are they being taught? when I saw that one of my children pinned a post that promised a workout for thinner legs. Thinner, not stronger, not faster, but thin. , I realized something had to change and I had to be the one to make that change first.

[00:07:58] I'm committed to making this [00:08:00] year my fittest year ever, but on my terms, that means having fun and embracing joyful. Movement. And that's the example that I wanna set for myself and that I wanna expect of myself. And that's the example that I want to set for my kids from now on.

[00:08:21] I'm curious and I wanna know, what would you add to this? , what ideas from toxic diet culture are you leaving behind now I get that. All of this is so much easier said than done. I get that. Chances are if you grew up in the seventies or the eighties or like me the nineties, this is not going to be the easiest thought to shift in your.

[00:08:46] my kids, by the way, they like to refer to that time period the seventies, eighties, and nineties as the late 19 hundreds. Isn't that just lovely? So my friends, if like me, you grew up in the late [00:09:00] 19 hundreds, chances are that you have received a lot of negative and destructive messaging about your. and how you need to exercise to change it, how you need to use fitness to tweak and tone and manipulate your body or maybe even punish it.

[00:09:17] Because you have heard these messages for so long and because you heard them at a formative stage in your development, you have probably truly internalized those message. All this conditioning over so many years means that our brains are going to be super resistant to letting go of some of these mentalities, some of these lessons that we've been taught.

[00:09:42] But guess what? That's why choosing to focus on joyful movement is so helpful. instead of asking yourself the questions that you've been programmed over and over and over to ask yourself like, what exercise would help me lose weight the fastest? Or How [00:10:00] many calories will this burn? Or How much should I exercise in one day to lose two pounds?

[00:10:05] Or perhaps what should I do to lose this stomach so that I can fit into the wedding dress from 25 years ago 

[00:10:13] Instead of that question, ask yourself what feels good in your body in this moment? , when you ask your brain that kind of question, Hey, what movement would be fun right now? You surprise your brain. Brains love questions, but let's face it, let's be honest, our brains are also just a little bit lazy, and they like to be asked the same questions over and over again so that they can provide the same answers over and over again.

[00:10:47] When you throw your brain a curve ball, like a surprise question, it has to pause and reevaluate things instead of becoming immediately resistant to the idea of [00:11:00] moving your body or telling you all the ways that something is wrong or not good enough or won't work. If you ask your brain a surprising question, it gets to figure out a new answer.

[00:11:12] You get to try something new. For me, asking a question like what would be fun right now serves me so much more than those default questions. Like, what exercise would help me lose weight? How can I tone my arms or whatnot? I want my brain to look for an answer to a question that is actually going to help me.

[00:11:34] this is a way to hack your brain, and so that's why it's so important to give yourself the freedom and ease to truly focus on fun and joy. I have a coworker who adds the phrase, but make it fun. To all kinds of things that we do at work

[00:11:52] and by adding that phrase, but make it fun to everything. She has created a space for fun and creativity and [00:12:00] joy in our work together. For example, she might say, let's present. at next week's meeting, but make it fun. Or she might suggest, let's get here early on Monday, but make it fun and then show up with a treat or a fun coffee drink.

[00:12:20] so my friends. Move your body, but make it fun. Exercise all you want, but make it fun. Jump dance, run, swim, whatever. Do yoga, Pilates, kettle balls. But make it fun. When I think of movement in this way, it feels way more inclusive because you get to do whatever feels fun and good and safe to you at the time.

[00:12:48] If it feels good to go to that gym class or to lift those weights, go do it. If it feels better to take a walk around the block, then do that. [00:13:00] If what you want and what feels good and safe right now is stretching in your room at home, that's okay too.

[00:13:08] Do what feels good. Now,

[00:13:10] the added bonus of this is you get to check in and tune into your body. , listen to your body, let it talk to you. Ask your brain the question, what would feel good and be fun right now in my body? And then listen in to see what really resonates.

[00:13:28] What if movement was something that you did to serve your body? What if movement was something to make sure that your body was having fun? What if it was something that you. To take care of your body and what if above all else it was joyful? What does joyful movement look like for you? My friends right now, joyful Movement for me looks like yoga almost every single day.

[00:13:58] Sometimes just for 10 minutes a [00:14:00] day, but every single day, none. Joyful movement looks like bouncing on a small trampoline that I have hidden under my bed, and it looks like this super fun class called Pound that I've been going to where it's all about drumming and movement. It's fun music. It's wonderful people, it's great instructors, and it's so fun.

[00:14:24] I invite you to ask yourself what would joyful movement look like for you? I can't wait to hear the answer. I will see you next time.

[00:14:35] Okay, my friend. Thank you for checking out this episode. If you like this content and you're ready to take the work to the next level, then I wanna invite you to get coached by me. I offer one-on-one coaching and group coaching too. Imagine what it would be like if you could ditch the overwhelm and lead with joy so that you could finally [00:15:00] enjoy the season of life that you're in right now, and imagine what kind of example that would set for your kids. An example of joy and fulfillment that is possible for you, and I'm here to help. All you have to do is head over to mom first to find out more.

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