For me, movement is a celebration of what my body can do!

It’s September and our ‘Why We Move’ series has reached number 11!  What a joy to have these amazing, strong and influential female fitness pros who have rejected diet culture and embraced joyful movement and are passionate about empowering their clients to do the same.*

Next up we have lovely Caitlin, a Shrewsbury based and online PT with a non-weight focused approach to coaching.

Caitlin is warm, approachable, personable and cares deeply about changing the conversation around movement and body image.  If you follow her, you’ll discover that she loves the outdoors and for her movement makes her feel alive, strong and free. Find her @caitlinedwardspt on instagram and Facebook.

Having struggled with diet culture herself, her goal is now to help women become more intuitive & at peace with exercise, eating, body image & mindset. She wants women to see that they are so much more than their bodies and that their worth is not determined by their size.

 

Q.1 What do you define as ‘joyful movement’?. 

To me it’s moving in a way that feels good for you on that specific day. When I explain joyful movement, I use my ‘my joyful movement box’ analogy, and in that box I have a whole range of types of exercise I enjoy. Every day I open the box and pick out what joyful movement I feel like doing. My box can change, new exercises/activities can be added in, just like ones I don’t enjoy any longer can be removed. The contents of the box can change. It’s freedom and connection with your mind and body. ………………………………………………. 

Q.2 What is your earliest memory of moving for fun and pure joy? 

Probably games like stuck in the mud we used to play in primary school, playing tag etc. Not necessarily in P.E but in break-times. That and skipping rope with friends, where two would hold each end of this massive rope and we’d take turns jumping in. …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 

 Q.3 Do you feel you listen to your body as far as movement is concerned or do you follow a specific programme or schedule? 

This year in particular I have really embraced joyful movement and that comes with a conscious effort to detangle myself from diet culture. I don’t follow a specific program anymore. I am however mindful of how much strength training I do, as that for me is more about supporting my health. BUT it doesn’t really affect how I chose to move as I really enjoy strength training. Obviously if I don’t feel like doing it, I don’t. I’ve also added back in activities like dancing and exercise classes that I had previously dismissed.  

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Q.4 If exercise had ZERO impact on how your body looks, would your exercise choices be different?  

I think I’ve come a long way in the past 6 months. When you’re conditioned for years and led to believe that exercise SHOULD impact the way you look its hard to change the narrative. I feel like I’ve made tonnes of progress. I’m tuning the diet culture voice out as much as I can but I’d be lying if I said I was rid of it completely. I am still learning to chose joyful movement over the diet culture voice but I’d say 9/10 times I’m getting through it. My choices about how I move are centred around how it makes me feel. So yes I’m getting used to being in a place where if exercise had no impact on how I look I’d be happy with the way I exercise now. It comes from a place of love, and that is something that I am always practicing. I’m working on separating my feelings around my body image and how I chose to move. 

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Q.5 Why do you move?  (What motivates you and how does movement make you feel?) 

For me, movement is a celebration of what my body can do. It makes me feel alive, strong and free. It is crucial for my mental health and helps support my physical health. It connects me to my body. It helps me appreciate my body. Whenever I’m have a bad body image day, I repeat my mantra ‘ I am an athlete’ and that inspires me and brings a sense of peace to my soul. 

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 *This is part 11 of my ‘Why We Move’ series! This is a series of interviews with a range of female trainers who believe in a non appearance based and weight neutral approach to fitness.

 

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