The Most Important Exercise Secret Ever – with Emily Rosen

Just about everybody knows or has heard about the importance of exercise. And many of us are truly on board with moving our bodies and feeling the great benefits that exercise can bring. But there’s a hidden and often slightly darker side to exercise, and it’s this: many people exercise, but they just don’t like it. It’s as if exercise is a punishment for eating, or having body fat, or not looking perfect. What’s more, a large number of people simply refuse to exercise for this very reason – it feels like punishment for a crime. Well, it’s time to turn this around. Tune into this fascinating video from IPEtv as Emily Rosen, Director of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating shares the best kept secret about about exercise that can completely change the way you experience movement forever!

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Here is a transcript of this week’s video:

Hi, I’m Emily Rosen, Director of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating.

Today’s topic: The Most Important Exercise Secret Ever

Before I tell you what I think is the most important exercise secret ever, we need to set the table a little bit and look at the world of exercise by peeking behind the curtain and seeing what’s really there.

We say the word “exercise” quite a bit – but I believe that a significant number of people all hear something different.

Exercise is a loaded word.

Some people hear the word exercise and their eyes light up because they love to exercise, it’s part of their life, and it comes natural to them.

There’s another subset of people who hear the word exercise and they immediately feel heavy. Exercise for them is a struggle. It’s not something they enjoy. It’s hard to do. It seems like a necessary evil.

Other people see exercise as something they should do, and must do, and they are indeed able to do it – but they’d rather not. Exercise is for them is a practice in not gaining weight and not being unfit.

There’s yet another group of people who have a past history of bad exercise memories. A lot of us felt forced to do exercise in school, perhaps not suited for their bodies, and others had embarrassment around lack of athletic ability and being made fun of.

I want to share with you about yet another group of exercisers who are indeed exercising to lose weight and no matter how much they do and how hard they go out it – nothing shifts, and they don’t lose a pound. And then they go into absolute disbelief and upset because all that hard work happens for nothing.

So here’s what I consider the most important exercise secret ever that applies to just about every subgroup of exercisers:

Move in ways that you love.

In other words, if the movement or exercise doesn’t feel good and doesn’t make you happy, then don’t do it.

Obviously there are all kinds of sports and exercise that are intense, that are challenging, and that often come with a bunch of pain. I’m not at all saying to forgo that. For many of us, we do such sports or exercise because when we sum total up the entire experience – we love it.

I’m simply saying this:

Stop moving if you’re doing so from a place of push, force, self rejection, self-hate, and self loathing.

• Move in ways that give you pleasure
• Move in ways that make you smile
• Move in ways that are doable for you
• Move in ways that truly make it feel good for you to be in your body
• If you’re the kind of person who has trouble exercising then let go of any goals, and take the smallest baby steps that you can and do any kind of movement

Researchers have identified this thing called over-exercise.

Far too many people operate under the assumption that more is better.

This may be true when it’s true, but when it comes to exercise and movement, the body has its natural limits.

When we over exercise, we move the body into a stress response. The physiologic stress response – meaning sympathetic nervous system dominance – yields an increased output of both cortisol and insulin. These two hormones when secreted in excess signal the body to store weight, store fat, and not build muscle. So we can literally create the opposite physiologic effect of what we desire from exercise when we artificially push ourselves past our own natural limit.

Furthermore, if you’re doing exercise that you hate, or that feels like a burden, such an experience can also create the physiologic stress response with the same unwanted chemical cascade that ends up taking us down the wrong metabolic road.

Walk, dance, swim, ride your bicycle, do some yoga, do any kind of movement that has a sense of celebration to it. Take a hike with your dog – find any kind of movement that makes you feel happy to have a body.

That’s the point.

That’s the greatest exercise secret.

Don’t use exercise to shed pounds.
Use exercise to feel alive and to exercise the inborn urge to move and feel free.

From there, if the body truly has weight to lose, then it will lose it.
Forget about calorie burning when you exercise, and let go of any self-judging thoughts that you might have when you move.

Consider this an experiment.

I have a feeling that the result of this experiment for you will be a wonderful success. It’s time to celebrate your body in whatever form of movement or exercise you choose to do.

I hope this was helpful.

Warmly,
Emily Rosen

To learn more about the breakthrough body of work we teach here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, please sign up for our free video training series at ipe.tips. You’ll learn about the cutting-edge principles of Dynamic Eating Psychology and Mind Body Nutrition that have helped millions forever transform their relationship with food, body, and health. Lastly, we want to make sure you’re aware of our two premier offerings. Our Eating Psychology Coach Certification Training is an 8 month distance learning program that you can take from anywhere in the world to launch a new career or to augment an already existing health practice. And Transform Your Relationship with Food is our 8 week online program for anyone looking to take a big leap forward with food and body.

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  • Catarina

    Thank you for that, it’s so true! As an “exercise” teacher if there is ONE thing I have seen the most in my clients, and done myself, is how we can so easily become disembodied by pursuing an idea or ideal rather than connecting to how movement emerges from inside of our bodies, and to how it feels. I have never seen anyone “progress” (a relative term here) when chasing a goal that takes them outside of themselves, rather than by living the movement, their bodies, and enjoying it.

  • Thanks for sharing this, Catarina! It’s great to hear about your experience.

    Warmly,
    Emily Rosen

  • Felicity Cook

    I can really relate to this…. I have been known to loose weight when inactive and GAIN when dashing around pushing myself and in pain (I have Fibromyalgia) I spent 2 years at the gym after losing 7 stones on a punishing 530 calorie liquid diet and the trainer couldn’t understand why I wasn’t losing more weight….. I gradually had to push myself more and more and ended up despairing about it. Being bulied by everyone around us when growing up is traumatic. This trauma embeds in the body and produces the very hormones you mention, cortisol and insulin. Thank you for speaking about this….. I latterly decided to do something i love: Qigong. It doesn’t make my fibro worse, in fact it is so gentle it soothes it. Thanks Emily!

    • Hi Felicity, thank you so much for sharing your story! I’m so glad you found our community. Warmly, Emily

  • Angela

    I wish everyone could “get” this concept! It’s such a gift. I was an overexerciser to the point of injury. Then I had my daughter and read Marc’s book. I traded my sneaks for walking a stroller in sandals, moved up to chasing and dancing with a toddler and have now graduated to scootering and biking. It’s such happy movement. And without thinking, planning, agonizing or trying I not only lost the baby weight but 20 more pounds. So much better than exercising out of fear and control. So grateful!

  • Thank you for sharing, Angela! It’s wonderful to hear how you incorporate movement into your daily life in such fun ways! Warmly, Emily

  • Hi Angela, So glad that you enjoyed this video and thanks for sharing your experience! Sounds like you have truly found what movement brings you joy in your body. You might also enjoy this #IPEtv video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPz_HUQMH6k&index=60&list=PLCgNmE-oIcDMq2uuydVgu8FKSto2PWINM. Warmly, Emily

  • Anonymous

    And if moving my body doesn’t feel good? I’ve done a lot of different things, for a long time. Even swimming! I’m uncoordinated, slow, lead-footed, top-heavy…and don’t feel joy from moving around. Maybe there’s a movement-therapy to relearn how movement can feel good.

  • Thanks for sharing! Our bodies are designed to move – and for some of us, it’s not always easy or enjoyable. Maybe take some time to explore moving without the need to be coordinated or fast, and see what happens? Warmly, Emily

About The Author
Emily Rosen
CEO

Emily Rosen is the Director of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, where she oversees business development strategies, student affairs, marketing and public relations in addition to her role as Senior Teacher. With an extensive and varied background in nutritional science, counseling, natural foods, the culinary arts, conscious sex education, mind body practices, business management and marketing, Emily brings a unique skill-set to her role at the Institute. She has also been a long-term director and administrator for Weight Loss Camps and Programs serving teens and adults and has held the position of Executive Chef at various retreat centers. Her passion for health and transformation has provided her the opportunity to teach, counsel, manage, and be at the forefront of the new wave of professionals who are changing the way we understand the science and psychology of eating and sexuality. Emily is also co -founder of the Institute for Conscious Sexuality and Relationship.