How do I Develop a Healthy Relationship with Exercise?

As part of my Ask An Expert column with Libero Network, I was asked: How do I develop a healthy relationship with exercise? I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum – over exercising and not exercising at all. I’m currently not exercising because I hate it so much, but I know my body needs movement.  What should I do?

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You did not fail the diet. The diet failed you.

Let me make this very, very clear: You did not fail the diet. The diet failed you.

The diet industry is big business, making billions of dollars a year. It’s probably the only industry where people continue to buy the product, despite a failure rate greater than 90% (cited as up to 98%).

Such a high failure rate is (oddly) profitable for diet companies. Why? If a diet worked the first time, you’d have no reason to go back and spend more money.

Many diets work for a short period of time. You lose weight, receive loads of compliments, feel great and believe that this diet (finally!) is successful.

However, for over 90% of people, the diet becomes unsustainable. The weight goes back on (usually with extra), the compliments stop (and you become panicked about what people think of you now), and you feel like a failure.

But why do you blame yourself, rather than blaming the diet?
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What a Body Positive Paradigm Means to Me.

I think sometimes people get a little confused about the Health at Every Size or body positive paradigm. It’s not about suggesting everyone eats take-away, never exercises, disregards their health.

The paradigm I work from is about treating people as people, not numbers. First and foremost, that means showing respect for people regardless of their body weight or shape and even regardless of their food and exercise choices.

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Smash the Scale

95% of people regain lost weight within 2 years. 98% have regained it within 5 years. Most will gain extra too. Many people go through cycle after cycle of dieting with weight loss and weight gain.

Those statistics are all based around a number on the scale. It doesn’t tell us what methods were used to lose weight (healthy or unhealthy) nor does it tell us what emotional, social, and possible mental, effects (both good and bad) were experienced during the weight loss and regain.

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Emotional Energy

You have a finite amount of emotional energy. How you choose to use and replenish that energy can have a profound impact on your quality of life. At this time of year, when many people are setting New Year’s resolutions to lose weight or change their body, I wanted to touch on the emotional energy requirements of dieting – because food is about lot more than just the physical.

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Supporting Someone with an Eating Disorder during the Holidays

The holiday season brings with it many joys, but it can also be a very difficult time for those struggling with an eating disorder (ED) or disordered eating.

Social gatherings and family get-togethers are a great opportunity to catch up with people you might not have seen in a while, or to spend extra time with those you love. Unfortunately, the conversation can sometime head down a very unwelcome path. The three topics that are said to be off-limits at the dinner table are sex, politics, and religion. For someone with an ED or disordered eating, those three topics are much more preferable to food, exercise, or weight.

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