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Taking Time to Breathe

Hello all,

I wanted to take this quiet Friday afternoon after a busy week and morning with clients and before Pam’s and my next Intuitive Movement workshop tomorrow morning to get some work done on some upcoming blog posts about weight set-point theory, about the Minnesota Starvation Experiment, and about sleep/stress/metabolism. Alas, life does not always work out as planned, and sometimes the message you think you’re supposed to be giving in a certain moment, ends up being something completely different.

So instead, I would like to share something I posted in my Instagram stories today about taking time for rest and breaks to avoid burnout in the hopes that this message I am personally feeling right now might resonate with you:

I also decided that in the name of celebrating movement and bodies and finding movement for each and every person that they can enjoy and have fun being in their bodies, that I would share some of my Instagram posts from over the last couple weeks from some chilly hikes. Hiking is something I have grown up with as a part of my life in one capacity or another, whether it was long walks on the farm I grew up on, running 5ks through the woods when I did cross country in high school, or hitting the trails in Shenandoah or along the Parkway as often as I can recently. Currently, I’m working towards letting go of that voice in my head that says a hike has to be ~intense~ to “count” as cardio and learning to appreciate that I absolutely loveee walking in any and every capacity, whether it’s a strenuous all-day hike with lots of elevation change, wandering around to explore the streets in a new city for the day, or my 5-30 minutes at the beginning of every workout where I stroll on the treadmill (usually at a fairly casual pace and with minimal incline) and clear out all the notifications on my phone and then listen to music or a podcast to clear my head for the task ahead.

The point is, find how you love to move your body without judgment of what you should want to do, and then build a routine around it that supports your body in doing what you truly enjoy. If you love taking dance-y group exercise classes for example, find a trainer who can help you build a few key strength training exercises and a stretching/myofascial release/recovery routine to support the cardio, agility, and balance you’re developing in class while preventing injuries that hold you back from doing what you love. If you love yoga, find a trainer who can help you develop a strength and cardio routine that supports making sure you are strong and stable in all your poses and have the endurance to keep doing what you love without injury. Maybe you love dancing at concerts, or gardening, or baking, or playing basketball or badminton, or any of the other infinite possibilities for bodies to enjoy; whatever it is, the goal with fitness is to find a way to support your body in engaging in your passion, not to change how your body looks or to take up all the time in your day with a fitness routine that leaves you drained and frustrated. This is why exercise is not a one-size-fits-all fix; your routine doesn’t need to look like the person next to you, and it especially doesn’t need to look like that celebrity trainer’s you follow on Instagram.

Also, it’s probably pretty unreasonable to expect that even if you do find your passion that you will want to work out all the time to support it. There is a name and a place for these types of people: fitness professionals. Yep, while we are just like you, human beings with flaws who do plenty of “unhealthy” things, we are also different in that we are abnormally interested in exercise, though we may not always enjoy every workout in the moment (yep, we also phone it in sometimes too!). You wouldn’t expect to take us to your job one day and have us be fantastic at it and totally enthralled immediately, would you? So stop using someone else’s passion, career, and livelihood as a bench-marker for where you should be, and find what it is you truly want to be doing! And another note: a lot of (I would say a majority of) fitness professionals who are thin & say “you can be thin just like me if you just do what I do!”? Well, most of them are probably naturally thin and genetically predisposed in some way to like and be good at what they do. So don’t be fooled. You’re probably naturally better at your job than most people who didn’t choose the educational path you did to get there too.

And now that this rant has gone on longer than planned, here are the pictures I have promised you of my happy little time in the woods:

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2 more #EPBoutdoors

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If this is all confusing or overwhelming, shoot me an email. I’ve found my passion; now let me help you find yours! 


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About Ellen

Every body is a good body, and my goal is to help you feel your best!