At The Healthy Shine we don’t believe in a “one-size-fits-all” approach but rather adopting an intuitive eating or ‘food freedom’ approach to food — and in practice that looks different for everyone.

In other words, you can be intuitive in your relationship to food just as you can be intuitive in your relationship to exercise.

Practicing intuitive movement or “joyful movement” means listening to your body and understanding what it needs that day. By choosing to listen and respect your body’s needs helps you to show up your best during runs, cross-training, races, or any type of voluntary movement requiring physical effort.

Consider how you’re choosing to show up for your next training session. Do you catch yourself speaking a language similar to…

  • “I run or cross-train 7 days per week because I have to.”
  • “I do track workouts because I should.”
  • “I hate tempo runs but it burns a lot of calories.
  • “I started training for a marathon because my coworker did and lost a lot of weight.
  • “I do long so that I can eat whatever I want on weekends.”

So often runners get caught in the chase of being a ‘fit and fast’ runner that it’s easy to forget the real health benefits of exercise or WHY you choose to show up in the first place.

Intuitive movement is all about transforming your mentality with movement from something you “have” to do to something that you actually look forward to doing because it helps you feel your best.

1. Quit exercise that doesn’t feel good to your body 

How many of you feel guilty or feel like a slacker when you don’t complete a training week EXACTLY how the training plan was written? Maybe you try to compensate the following week, or maybe you run extra miles to burn more calories that evening because you overate and feel guilty. Oftentimes, what we see with our members inside The Healthy Shine is that IF they’ve struggled with their relationship with food, they’ve also experienced challenges with their relationship with exercise and moving their body in a way that feels good to them. 

Forget exercise that isn’t enjoyable.

Forget exercise that doesn’t feel good to your body.

Get active and feel the difference when you exercise purely out of the reason for YOUR WHY.

If you used to focus on the calorie-burning effects of exercise, now shift your focus to how it feels to move inside your body. ⁣The next time you feel like a slacker, don’t stress about weight loss or weight-gain, losing fitness, overthinking if you did enough cross-training, or even cutting out foods to control your body.

INSTEAD, choose body respect. This may look like taking a rest day or completely changing your choice of exercise at the last minute to one that brings you greater joy or aliveness (i.e swimming, bike riding, a neighborhood walk), you are nourishing your body, mind, and spirit — and you shouldn’t feel guilty for that. 

2. Quit comparing yourself to other runners

In a world where followers and likes can seem like real social proof of a person’s worth, you don’t have to take the bait, my friend. It may be easy to go and assume that some runner on the ‘gram is perfect, fast, and healthy on the outside. But before you fall for the comparison trap, remember that you don’t know anything about their health as a runner. For example, you don’t know things like: ⠀

  • what they *actually* eat all the time or how they feel about it⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • what diet rules they are carrying around⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • how much they edit photos⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • what they need to do each day for their mental and emotional health⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • what their health history is actually like–do they have conditions they need to manage
  • whether or not they are sick or ill–because at the end of the day we shouldn’t be commenting on people’s bodies because we have no idea what they are experiencing.

INSTEAD, choose body respect. Compare yourself to the only other being that is worthy…YOURSELF. If you’re starting to think your relationship with exercise needs help, remember that being a runner isn’t about looking the part. It’s about choosing to show up as your best (whatever it is that day).

The takeaway here is that just as intuitive eating helps you reclaim satisfaction in eating, it also helps you reclaim satisfaction in movement. Your relationship with exercise can get murky if it comes from a place of guilt, comparisons, or compensation. Never subscribe to a definition of exercise that is far from the true benefits, your “why”, or that doesn’t feel good to your body. Choose body respect, always, and find what works best for you and your unique, runner body!

If you’re struggling to nail down your WHY and want to find joy in running again, be sure to download the define your health values workbook for FREE here and learn how to align your health values with your health goals. If you have any questions about intuitive movement, be sure to message me on Instagram @starla_shines.