YOU ARE MINDLESSLY MOVING MARY
WHY YOU LANDED HEREWhen it comes time to “get your ish together” - the first thing you consider is getting back into the gym, right? Maybe begin scrolling the #fitness hashtag on IG or YouTube looking for the best fat loss, booty buildin' bootcamp?Scrolling through pages and pages of beautiful Black bodies that are the "prototype"... the example... and so far removed from where you think you are.To get there, you've planned to workout daily or even 2 times per day like your fav influencer with God-given curves and a tiny waist taught you. Or better yet, an influencer that bought those lean curves taught you.And just 1-2 weeks in, you're feeling like a failure as you try and try and watch other black women all over social media "do it all" while also looking absolutely radiant.Meanwhile, it seems like it would be virtually impossible for you to ever make these "lifestyle" changes stick.It actually is impossible. You're being fed a lie created and perpetuated by diet culture. More on this later...As a result, you're completely overlooking your foundation.You are consistently setting yourself up for failure when you fall into the comparison trap and buy into the idea of the perfect body. When you buy into the idea that you're lazy and not doing enough or as much as other "strong black women". Even deeper, when you aren't personally checking the why behind what you're doing.When you only view movement as a vehicle to the body that finally brings you happiness instead of a daily celebration of what God has blessed your body to do... setting yourself up.You've arrived here with me because it's time to make a shift from movement as punishment... to adjust your (rather ineffective) approach and mindset... and broaden your perspective of what movement can look like in your everyday life.It's time for you to take a step back and consider how much you move on a day to day basis outside of the gym?And while you're at it, take a step back and consider how you're actually feeling physically feeling on a day to day basis. You may or may not just so happen to feel pretty anxious and unproductive throughout your work day, huh? Coincidence? I think not...But it’s not your fault (or really your fav influencer's fault either)! I’ll explain why in a bit. Hang with me... WHAT YOU'RE DOING WELLBefore we dive into solutions, let’s talk about what you’re actually doing really well (and should keep doing).You’re trying. You’re showing up. Yes… I am giving you credit for your efforts. Yes, you deserve that credit and more.You’re actively trying to move more. You understand that exercise is great for you... mind, body, and spirit. You actually want to prioritize it. Maybe you are even craving it? Without even realizing it, you’ve created more space for it. You’re putting yourself out there and doing the dang thang.Unfortunately, Diet culture has embedded an obsession with thinness into our minds that has created impossible body standards and chronic comparison. A value price tag has been placed on our bodies and this price is paid through high intensity fat-burnin' (but also booty-buildin') exercise programs. You know, the run of the mill challenge and/or bootcamp you find in your Facebook ads.This obsession with burning quick calories completely sacrifices restoration and recovery; and in turn completely neglects nourishment. Ya know… what makes you feel, perform, and move well? And helps us live sustainably? Ya know… the reason you took this quiz in the first place?!This “no days off” “no pain no gain” "90 days to the perfect body" mentality is keeping you exhausted… miserable… and affecting your ability to perform and make decisions aligned with your purpose each day. It is also (very intentionally) influencing you to drop stacks on the newest fads every year and keeping the pockets of a multi-billion dollar industry LINED. They know what they’re doing.In the words of Kanye… Diet Culture doesn’t care about black people; and ESPECIALLY not about Black women.And guess what… all of this “no days off” “high intensity only” bs is also absolutely unnecessary for your goals. And I cannot emphasize this enough. Yes... after all that... it's not even giving what it was supposed to gave. HA...So to be clear, what’s the ONE thing standing between you and sustainable wellness? YOUR EVERYDAY MOVEMENT; what you do outside of the gym.Now, let’s do some quick math to add some clarity here. If you were to commit to some high intensity workout program that lasted 1 hour per day, it would still only be 4% of your day. JUST FOUR!? Not to say that 4% can’t be impactful (because it absolutely can) but so is that 96% and we neglect that far more than the 4%. And how depleting can that high intensity 4% be without proper recovery (which most of us don’t practice). A :60 HIIT workout quickly becomes exhaustion that spills over into the rest of your day, right?But the neglect of the 96% is also affecting how you show up for yourself each day. How you walk in purpose. How? Hear me out… My motto for years has been “feel better, do better”. And how do we feel better? By filling our days with nourishing activities that fill us up!Yes, intentional exercise makes us feel better and the benefits are limitless but you’re really missing an opportunity to nurture yourself with everyday movement (NEAT). It has endless mental, emotional, and physical benefits but also requires less energy and recovery.I could go on and on about NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis - click here for a helpful article). However, I’ll just drop the link to an ACE article for a quick overview. NEAT is simple but I think the benefits stretch much further than we believe.Moving consistently throughout the day, standing more, going on more walks, cleaning, playing… all add health promoting activity to your life.But I don’t want you to think of it as a calories in, calories out thing... just a closing your Apple watch circles thing. THAT is where many of you misstep when you actually do give it attention.Today, I am introducing you to the concept of “Mindful Movement”; allowing the process of adding in more everyday movement to also be an opportunity to practice mindfulness. Oxford Languages defines mindfulness as “a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique”.I wholeheartedly believe that low impact movement is an outstanding opportunity to tap into the present moment and nurture your mind, body, and spirit. As well as, manage and/or decrease stress, take a moment to breathe, reset, and realign with purpose. A sacred opportunity to grab hands with the Holy Spirit for a bit... to recenter.WHY IS ALL OF THIS IMPORTANT?Over the past 2 years, I’ve noted a strong trend with incoming Melanin Well Academy clients and community members; a strong correlation between stress levels, productivity, and activity levels.I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “pick the low hanging fruit”? Low impact movement via Mindful Movement is low hanging fruit that has the potential for a big bang of benefits. So how do we move more outside of the gym with Mindful Movement?Before you get moving, taking a moment to assess where you are now? How many steps do you average week to week… consistently? With ease? Don’t know? Take 2-3 days to track with your favorite activity app (Health App for iPhone, Apple Watch, FitBit, etc). Don’t try to increase your steps here. Remain consistent so we can get an accurate read.So now that we know where we are, take that number and +1000. Currently walking 4000 steps per day? Our new activity goal is 5000.Now that we have a goal, let’s create structure around it. 1000 steps can be accomplished on average in 10 minutes. Where does a 10 minute walk fit well? Is there an opportunity for habit stacking? Habit stacking looks like stacking this new activity on top of a habit you already do consistently. For example, at the end of your morning routine or after lunch? That’s where we want it, honey. Where it fits best for YOU! And now that we have a goal AND structure, let’s confirm that schedule. Wherever structure led you, let’s put it in your phone calendar with a 10-15 minute buffer. We never want to rush through this moment. If the Holy Spirit leads you 10 more minutes down the road… so be it. Be blessed, sis.Lastly, take a moment to structure the walk while also being flexible and open to follow your spirit. Map out your path (taking into consideration the 10 minute goal) and decide what mindfulness practice you’ll use to guide you through your walk. I am partial to guided meditations, sermons, my fav worship playlist, and observing nature with all 5 senses. Regardless of what you choose, dive into it. Be fully present with it. Melt into it. You deserve that moment. Take it. Your mind, body, and soul will thank you. Wait - I almost forgot to introduce myself, girl. My name is Sierra! I am a Sustainable Wellness Coach who helps Black women unlearn diet culture's LIES to THRIVE and implement the necessary nutrition, movement, and mindset practices required for sustainable wellness while keeping God at the center of it all. I do this through my transformational coaching program; Melanin Well Academy.I’m most well-known for my love of God, beets, breakfast, and BTS (no shame) on IG (@iammelaninwell).I built my wellness coaching business by transforming the lives of black women who want to live free, confident, and purposed without having to struggle through restriction and/or sacrifice their lives and everything they love. Is that you? Let's connect, girl! Now, if you've consumed all the information + education your heart desires but you want more specialized coaching and support to attain Sustainable Wellness (and in turn food freedom and purpose) for yourself… we are now accepting applications for Melanin Well Academy. We are looking for women that are really serious about making a change; as the small group you'd be joining is ON FIRE!Below you'll find testimonials from a few of those on fire past + present group members. If you're curious about what wellness transformation could look like in YOUR life, fill out the application below and don't worry...There's no obligation to join. Those that the program is a good fit for, will actually be invited to hop on a free :30 call where we will talk a bit about your current wellness journey, the vision you have for your health and wellness, and what the program actually looks like and how it can help you attain that vision. And of course, I would answer allll of your questions.Speaking of results, I may be just excited as you are for you to experience your first mindful movement session.Don't overthink it. Enjoy getting to know yourself a bit more. You're amazing!