DiscoverListen To Your Body PodcastStop Earning and Burning Your Food Through Movement (Intuitive Eating Principle 9)
Stop Earning and Burning Your Food Through Movement (Intuitive Eating Principle 9)

Stop Earning and Burning Your Food Through Movement (Intuitive Eating Principle 9)

Update: 2020-10-13


Diet culture has told us that exercise is the tool we need to use to earn the food we want to eat, burn off the food we have already eaten, and control our bodies. In reality, exercise and movement can be something that adds dimension and joy to your life, but only if you let go of this perfectionist mentality. Movement has so many other benefits, and controlling the size of your body is just simply not one of them.

Key Takeaways

If you want to stop using exercise as a tool of control you have too:

  1. Accept that exercise is not the way to control the size of your body
  1. Use movement in a way that adds to your wellbeing rather than restricts you in the name of health 
  2. Focus on how movement makes you feel and listen to what your body is trying to tell you

When Did Movement Get Replaced by Exercise?

There is a good chance that at some point in your life, movement for the sake of enjoying movement was replaced by exercise and the desire to control what your body looks like. I remember the exact moment that happened to me as a young girl who was in a bigger body than the rest of her schoolmates. Despite loving being active, society told me that I should be more concerned with my aesthetics than with my relationship to movement.

Shifting Your Mindset Around Movement

I want you to know that this perfectionism mindset is not the truth, and it is possible to embrace exercise as a sustainable way to add value and joy to your life, rather than just something you hate and use to earn your food. The all or nothing mentality that society has pushed around exercise and our bodies is getting in the way of you doing the kind of movement that feels really great. By getting clear on what your body is telling you, you can weave movement into your life in a way that is nourishing and more aligned for you. 

Your Worth Is Not Based on What You Can Do

Getting stuck in the mentality of having your worth based on what you can do is a false promise. So many things can happen outside of our control that can shake this foundation. Instead of placing your value in your exercise routine or the number on the scale, movement can be a stepping stone to realizing that movement is about so much more than just controlling your body and keeping it smaller. By being gentle with yourself in terms of expectations, letting go of the all or nothing mindset that society has bred into us, and finding a type of movement that aligns with what makes your body comfortable.

How has your relationship to movement and exercise changed through the presence of diet culture? What type of movement do you feel aligns with where you are, here and now? Share your thoughts on Intuitive Eating Principle 9 with me in the comments on the episode page.


In This Episode

  • Learn about my story of feeling shame around my body as a kid (6:50 )
  • How to embrace sustainable movement rather than an exercise to control the size of your body (9:05 )
  • Tips for getting out of the all or nothing mentality when it comes to your worth (15:50 )
  • Discover the benefits of movement and how to listen to what your body is trying to tell you (18:20 )
  • Why perfectionism can be one of the biggest barriers is when it comes to embracing intuitive eating (25:15 )



“We're going to talk today about how to shift your mindset and practice from exercise being something you hate, something you do to earn the food you want to eat or burn off the food you did eat, and into something that is a sustainable practice that really adds dimension and joy to your life and brings so many other benefits besides just controlling the size of your body.” (2:30 )

“For me, my endurance, movement and exercise became a way for me to hide and run away from my other problems in my life.” (14:33 )

“There's just so many things that can happen that then shake that foundation if you stop your personal development and growth at the stage of just thinking you are only as good as what you can do.” (16:31 )

“There are so many reasons why you may be predisposed to all or nothing thinking, you may have learned perfectionist outlooks as a young person, or if you were perfect, then that meant that the important people who kept you feeling safe in your life wouldn't go away. For me, that's one of the origins of my perfectionism, and I have had to learn how to unpack that.” (25:54 )

“How can you start to weave movement into your life in a way that is really nourishing? Is it a way for you to care for your body in a basic way? And works with your personal preferences and your life setup?” (31:10 )



Join the Listen To Your Body Newsletter

LTYB 288: How To Ditch Dieting (Intuitive Eating Principle 1)

LTYB 289: Honoring Your Hunger (Intuitive Eating Principle 2)

LTYB 292: Make Peace With Food (Intuitive Eating Principle #3)

LTYB 293: Challenging The Food Police (Intuitive Eating Principle 4)

LTYB 296: 3 Ways to Make Eating More Satisfying (Intuitive Eating Principle 5)

LTYB 297: 3 Ways to Honor Your Body’s Fullness (Intuitive Eating Principle 6)

LYTB 300: 4 Questions to Ask About Emotional Eating (Intuitive Eating Principle 7)

LYTB 301: How To Practice Body Respect (Intuitive Eating Principle 8)

Check out the full show notes here!

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Stop Earning and Burning Your Food Through Movement (Intuitive Eating Principle 9)

Stop Earning and Burning Your Food Through Movement (Intuitive Eating Principle 9)

Steph Gaudreau