Life without restrictions – isn’t that what we all want?
I have never been one to live by the rules. I never enjoyed being restrained in any way shape or form. I don’t even like wearing tight clothes – apart from a wetsuit or bikini that stays on – I like being able to feel free.
Why can’t our food and exercise be the same? Free. Unrestrained.
That is how my motto came about. I want to encourage people to fall in love with movement and food again, without the restrictions, the regimens, the need to count every macro or analyse our diets. The need to do a certain workout and look a certain way. Eat a certain food or conform in every way society tells us to.
Our bodies know how to move. They know how much, what ways and when. They also know how to eat. As children, we do this instinctively – we run around when we want to and stop when we are tired. We eat when we are hungry and stop when we are full. As we age however, we lose this ability to listen to our bodies. We start getting told different food rules by families, friends and society. We have structured exercise that is aimed to either develop a certain skill or achieve at a certain level. It isn’t about what our body needs anymore – it is about how we can conform to society.
I am not saying we don’t need to plan some things out. Organising yourself can be very helpful, especially if you’re someone who likes routine or it helps to make you accountable. The problem is when this organisation or ‘routine’ becomes inflexible and we have an all-or-nothing attitude towards it. Health goals shouldn’t be about have a rigid routine that doesn’t allow for life. They should be about wanting to make yourself healthier by adapting to the natural dynamics of life.
I was that all-or-nothing person. I wouldn’t eat out spontaneously with friends if I hadn’t allowed for it in my diet. I would choose to stick to my exercise routine over socialising. I even would chose to exercise instead of getting a blood test – because that test meant I had to not move or eat and that was not part of my routine. When I did go out, I made sure I knew exactly what I was eating so I could ‘balance’ out my other meals that day. Not only was this obsessive, stressful and unmaintainable, it also pushed others away in my life. It was not good.
Both exercise and food should be free. By free, I mean flexible. Have your general plans but be open to new opportunities. Schedule time to workout, but be flexible with what style you do. Plan out your meals, but say yes when a friend asks you to dinner or be open to a brownie or cookie if they appear. The goal is to get back to listening to our bodies. Listening to its exercise and food needs. It knows when you need to move and when you need to eat. It knows how much and what. We have forgotten how to do this. And I want to bring this back.
Freedom to move: to work out with only the goal of enjoyment and wellness. To do exercise you love and listen to your body when it needs to be pushed and when it needs to rest.
Freedom to food: Eating to your body’s needs. Eating to your body’s signals. Enjoying a balanced diet without restriction, trusting that your body will tell you when it wants a cookie and when it wants a bowl of salads.
I hope you join myself and The Surfing Dietitian community in creating freedom in both movement and food. Bring back the joy of movement and eating as neither or these should be a burden or chore.
Will you do this with me?