I am so, SO excited to introduce you to my friend and fellow Ohio-native, Rachel Turner. I’ve followed Rachel’s personal training business, “Strong Chicks Rock”, since college, and her approach to fitness is a huge reason I felt motivated to jump back into sports after spending several years bed ridden and exercise intolerant (#chronicillnessprobs).
Today, with my illness-rooted limitations existing as a thing of the past, Rachel’s approach to fitness–or “movement” as she so refreshingly refers to it–continues to encourage me as I enjoy an active lifestyle again, train for my first marathon, and all the while, work hard to fight against the unhealthy motivations society has wed to exercise (#thinspiration).
Thanks to Rachel’s commitment to empower modern women who are juggling it ALL while also trying to cultivate love for themselves (despite constant reminders of where they seemingly “fall short”), I currently enjoy the healthiest relationship I’ve ever had with my body and exercise routine. Woo hoo!!
Overall, like food, movement is an incredibly important tool when it comes to cultivating strong, sustainable health. However, also like food, movement must be approached carefully…
Today Rachel is sharing her personal approach to movement and how you may create your own healthy approach as well… One which honors your truth, respects your spirit, and supports the holistic health of your body.
Enjoy! And be sure to check out Rachel’s website and social media pages included at the end of this post.
In a society that is so focused on grinding and hustling, going against the social “norm”, can almost seem like a failure. So how we can we go from such an extreme mindset around food, movement, and life, to one that honors your body and where you’re at.
Boot camps, hard fitness routines you see on Instagram? 2 hours in the gym?
How do you navigate honoring your body through some kind of movement when the world is telling you that “good” really means “beat you into the ground”?
We focus on coming inside first, then we move.
As women I feel as though we’ve been taught that honoring our bodies through movement has to be done for the sole reason to alter our body composition. Which leads us to start something, and if we aren’t seeing results fast enough, we quit, because we are only focused on the external.
So bear with me as I walk you through a little movement rebellion. First, I’m going to share several of my client’s responses to the question:
● “I move because it helps me navigate through life more efficiently. I also love the feeling of being strong. Strength training (my preferred form of movement) makes me feel really powerful and in control and I like that feeling a lot.”-Emily Callen/Colorado.
● “I honor my body through movement because I believe in balance. If I do not move physically, I am thrown off mentally. If I don’t move, I feel like I can’t give my best self to the people in my life.” Lindsey/ Ohio
● “It makes you feel good through and through. Even getting up for a quick work during walk changes your mood. I recently have been learning ballroom dance (which I was afraid of—because hello, I’m uncoordinated), and it has helped me connect to my own body in such an empowering way.”-Jenny//Nashville
● “When I move I feel connected to my body and soul. When I lift weights I feel powerful and capable. When I go hiking I feel strong and free.” -Kathy//Ohio
● I do yoga, mind/body movement because I find it way to honor myself. Time and time again I’ll put other peoples issues before my own but taking a yoga class is MY TIME.
● “Because it makes me feel good. I feel more comfortable in my skin” -Anja/Ohio
● “I honor my body through movement because when I’m able to see what my body is capable of I see the strength in all of the struggles I’ve gone through. It reminds me that my mind and body are resilient and that keeps me going and pushing forward.” -Mollie/Florida
● “Moving makes me feel connected yo myself, the world and the people around me.I’ve noticed moving literally gives me a pep in my step throughout the day. It encourages me to grow internally and not just outwardly. It has helped with my anxiety and depression by opening myself to become more vulnerable and get outside of my comfort zone. It allows me to FEEL. I think that’s the best part.” Katie/Ohio
Let’s grab onto one of the words that was used multiple times:
It makes me feel __________.
If you even lightly read over these answers, you see they all move because the way it makes them feel.
That is the answer to changing how you view movement. When we can pick out how we want to feel and then realize that movement can be the pathway to those feelings, it changes it from the do or die, hustle, grind etc mindset. To one that is purposeful.
My ask of you is to take a moment after reading this and write down 3-5 core desired feelings. How do you want to feel each day? How do you want your relationship with movement and food to make you feel?
While I do love myself a really awesome strength training workout that’s short and sweet (each move has a purpose), I also love to dance, hike, and explore other form of movement.
So now when I wake up in the morning, it’s less about “crushing the hardest workout ever” and more about—what can I do to feel the way I want to feel?
When we can create this mindset shift, we open up to a place where true change can be made and sustained.
Maybe you do have body composition goals and there isn’t anything wrong with that. However, we can choose to navigate that journey with a healthy mind, one that isn’t attached to numbers. Instead focused on our core desired feelings.
1.) Decide how you want to feel.
2.) Choose forms of movement that you enjoy and that give you the outcome of those desired feelings.
3.) Commit to creating those feelings, not extremes like 7 days a week in the gym for 2 hours.
4.) I recommend writing your core desired feelings down and putting them somewhere you’ll see regularly. This way you have a constant reminder of why you’re moving, if you feel yourself get pulled back into that “hustle harder, grind” mindset.
I know processing this information seems big and a little different. It’s okay to reread as many times as you need to get comfortable with the idea that your body isn’t here solely so you can beat it into the ground to give it abs.
Let it sink in, find what sticks out to you, and I encourage you to hold onto those desired feelings. Knowing how you want to feel changes everything. Knowing how you want to feel allows you to make empowered decisions about life, movement, food and your body.
Sending you all of the love as you navigate this journey.