Exercise Isn’t a Form of Punishment

… and eating isn’t a reward for exercise.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and lots of gyms love to market their “turkey burn” workouts. You know, so you can go sweat and hear the trainer yell out “10 more burpees” along with facts about how many calories are in the stuffing and pumpkin pie you are about to eat.

I know this because back in the day I lived for these workouts.

In fact, if I couldn’t get to the gym for a 90-Minute spin class or boot camp I would get a lot of anxiety going into Thanksgiving dinner.

Tomorrow morning I will be at yoga class, maybe.

Not because I am about to feast on turkey and potatoes but because I usually practice on Thursday mornings as part of my weekly routine. If I decide tomorrow morning I want to sleep in, that’s cool too.

A shift in the mindset needs to happen in the fitness industry.

They continue to shame people, probably thinking they are being motivating.

They are playing into insecurities.

They are harming people struggling with body image issues and eating disorders.

It needs to stop.

If you are a personal trainer or a fitness instructor, I BEG you. Tomorrow, when you teach your class, don’t spout off how many mountain climbers you need to do to “earn” a piece of pie.

Don’t associate food with exercise, period.

We eat to nourish our bodies.

We exercise to nourish our bodies.

Healthy eating and exercise paired together make us FEEL good.

You know what else makes us feel good?

Sitting with family and friends, enjoying a meal that was made with love, not thinking about calories, or “gaining weight” or how much you exercised that morning to offset the calories. Or how much you need to exercise the next day to make up for them.

One meal is NOT going to harm  you health.

However, worrying so much over one meal will.

Take time over the next few days to unplug from social media, really be present with your family.

Take time to savor the food you are eating. Smell it, taste it, chew it, ENJOY it all.

Maybe go for a walk after if you family eats at 1pm like mine always did.

Maybe sit around and watch football.

Drink lots of wine if that is you thing.

STOP reading articles about how many calories are in Thanksgiving dinner and what you need to do to “make up” for it.

Reach out to a friend that is struggling with this,or anything, and lend an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on.

Love yourself, always.

You are worth it.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!







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