This is the time of year many people are making commitments about starting to exercise. While I think that can be a great thing since exercise has so many benefits for our physical and mental health (that have nothing to do with weight loss, by the way), it can be tough to find the right exercise for you. Because the right exercise for you might not be what everyone else is doing or what diet culture says you should be doing.
And it definitely shouldn’t promote body shame.
Too many fitness gurus and programs use fatphobic messages to both advertise and to “motivate” people. If any language around changing your body shape is used, I highly recommend finding something else. You do NOT have to put up with phrases like melting fat, torching calories, bikini-ready, or any of that other garbage that marginalizes larger bodies.
Unfortunately, I know it can be a challenge to find fitness programs that don’t do that. So I’ve been working on a list of body positive, weight-inclusive exercise programs. Some are free, some cost money (although many of those offer a free trial period so you can try it out first).
I hope you find some body positive exercise that you truly enjoy. Exercise has gotten so wrapped up in diet culture, but we can reclaim movement for ourselves in a healthy way. If you’ve struggled with your relationship with exercise, my Exercise Series posts would probably be helpful. Check them out:
- Part 1: Is Your Relationship with Exercise Toxic?
- Part 2: The Role of Exercise in Eating Disorder Recovery
- Part 3: Developing a Healthy Relationship with Exercise
Know of any other body positive exercise programs I didn’t include? Please share!
I’m Cherie Miller, MS, LPC-S, founder of Nourished Soul Center for Healing and @foodfreedomtherapist on Instagram. We offer therapy and nutrition counseling for chronic dieting as well eating disorders like Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder, Orthorexia, ARFID, and other food issues. As anti-diet professionals, we are passionate about intuitive eating and Health at Every Size philosophies. Contact us here to schedule a therapy or nutrition appointment.