Nourish and Nurture

Exercise: Feel the Difference

December 28, 2023 Miriam Hatoum Season 3 Episode 82
Nourish and Nurture
Exercise: Feel the Difference
Show Notes Transcript

Episode #: 82.  Principle 9, Exercise: Feel the Difference.

What we have to watch out for is not to make exercise part of the dieting mentality. It will become drudgery and just another thing on the list that we have to do because we have to do it. What would be ideal is to look at it as movement that – although it might wear us out – actually invigorates us and gives us energy. Finding the right movement might take a lot of stops and starts. Or, maybe in a case such as mine, a lot of trial and error – including not being able to go back to what I used to enjoy.

 It is also important not to discount any activity. There is something called Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). This is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating, or sports-like exercise. It ranges from the energy expended walking to work, even typing, gardening and, believe it or not, fidgeting. NEAT even includes spontaneous muscle contraction and maintaining proper posture.

This episode on "Exercise: Feel the Difference" will explore all this and more, to hopefully open the doors to you, if you have not been making movement part of your life.

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Episode #: 82.  Principle 9, Exercise: Feel the Difference.

 You’re Listening to the Keto and Low Carb Success podcast, Episode #82, Principle 9, Exercise: Feel the Difference.


 Did you know that you don't have to spend money on a diet program or weigh, measure and track your food? What if you could learn to have success by following an easy roadmap that takes you on adventures from learning how to change your mindset so that you can believe in yourself, to learning about what foods work best in your body and why? Join me, Miriam Hatoum, health coach, course creator and author of Conquer Cravings with Keto, as I give you actionable coaching advice that is sure to empower you so that you will finally find peace with food and learn to trust your body’s signals. You’ve got this, girl! 

 Be sure to go to to get all the free guides to help you along the way. I am in your shoes, my friends, and I wrote these guides for both of us. The link is in the show notes and transcripts.

 Oh, and before we start, I want to let you know that the primary purpose of this podcast and the course is to educate and does not constitute medical advice or service, and I’m keeping up with the science as fast as I can so I can share with you the latest breaking research in this area to help you achieve your dreams!

I was looking forward to reading about, and working on, Principle 9, which is, “Exercise: Feel the Difference.” This is the workbook title. The book’s Principle 9 is, “Movement: Feel the Difference.” I don’t know about you, but there is a different feeling between the word “exercise” and the word “movement.” I can move, but boy do I hate to exercise! I always joke that “No good can come from exercise.” Let me explain:

When I was having trouble with my knee before replacement, I took up swimming. I almost promptly needed a rotator cuff repair.  After the rotator cuff repair I took up water walking in a large – only deep water – Olympic-sized pool. I promptly injured my good knee because the walking movement caused something to happen to the knee-cap capsule, or something like that. 

 Oh, and ya’ll know I was a professional belly dancer. I was pretty safe with that, but I had a student who wanted lessons with turbo shimmies, and I promptly got bursitis that lasted a good six months. 

 Anyway, once my left knee was replaced and I had rehabbed properly, I went back to my power walking, and pretty soon needed a right-knee replacement. I’m not saying that the walking caused my issues, but the pounding of the pavement aggravated my arthritis to the point where I got no relief from PT or ice and elevation. 

 I had bouts of sciatica where even a pain clinic couldn’t help me, nor PT, nor a chiropractor. Anyone who has had sciatica knows you just have to wait it out. I don’t know where that sciatica came from, except it was during my time working with a personal trainer, and I am sure the glute work had something to do with it. 

 I am now at a point where the doctor has recommended shoulder replacements for both shoulders, but I’m not going there. I absolute loved doing the TRX at the gym, but, again, I am sure that the TRX did not cause an injury, it probably just aggravated what was already cookin’. Just in case you have never heard of TRX. The TRX System, also known as Total Resistance Exercises, refers to a specialized form of suspension training that is used to improve strength, core stability, balance, and flexibility. This fitness form allows for a full-body workout where resistance can be added or taken away by simply modifying the position of the feet or body. Again, I did this under the supervision of a trainer so my form and any reps were correct, but I have no luck with exercise, what can I say?

 So anyway, I am willing to stipulate that I was never actually injured by exercise, but a while back the doctor who was taking care of my knees – after looking at ex-rays of my spine, said, “Your middle name should be Arthritis.” I actually remember that like it was yesterday because my appointment was that day right after coming home from my cousin’s funeral. We were the same age and practically shared a birthday. I remember saying to the doctor, “Thank heavens my middle name isn’t Cancer.” 

 So, even though I was never directly injured by exercise, I really did develop the feeling – and fear – that I should just stay away from it – even walking which absolutely kills my back because of the arthritis. I have found something, though, that lends itself to such degrees of modification that I don’t think I will ever be hurt again, and I will talk about that later.

 But now, on to the workbook.

 What we have to watch out for is not to make exercise part of the dieting mentality. It will become drudgery and just another thing on the list that we have to do because we have to do it. What would be ideal is to look at it as movement that – although it might wear us out – actually invigorates us and gives us energy. Finding the right movement might take a lot of stops and starts. Or, maybe in a case such as mine, a lot of trial and error – including not being able to go back to what I used to enjoy.

 It is also important not to discount any activity. There is something called Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). This is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating, or sports-like exercise. It ranges from the energy expended walking to work, even typing, gardening and, believe it or not, fidgeting. NEAT even includes spontaneous muscle contraction and maintaining proper posture.

 We have all heard this from our years of dieting: Park further away from the door, take the stairs, and don’t disregard things like gardening, housework, or running after the kids or grandkids. Going further, just standing will be beneficial – whether it is standing up while you are making a phone call or texting someone, or using a standing desk. I know so many people who have under-the-desk pedal exercisers. I haven’t met anyone yet who has a treadmill desk, but they are out there!  

 Any movement will count towards weight loss, and depending on what you are doing, may even go so far as to give you those other benefits, like having energy or feeling better about yourself.

 But, to go back to the sitting vs. standing or moving conversation, Resch and Tribole emphasize that you can start all this just by simply sitting less in your daily living. I think we don’t get how prevalent sitting all day is. Here is the list they give: 

·       Sitting or lying down while watching TV or playing video games;

·       Sitting while driving a car, or while travelling by plane, train, or bus; and

·       Sitting or lying down to read, study, write, or work at a desk or computer. 

Resch and Tribole say it is time to get real and estimate the amount of your sitting time. 

For yourself, track your sitting time for a day or two. Note the longest uninterrupted time you spend sitting.

 They then show you how to explore how to sit less and interrupt prolonged sitting time. Here are just some of their tips to sit less, move more (notice we aren’t even talking yet about exercising!).

1.      Break up any prolonged sitting with stretching, getting up, turning, or bending.

2.     Take advantage of smartphones and electronic apps to prompt you to get up after 45-60 minutes of prolonged sitting.

3.     Find different ways to sit that engage an active posture, such as perching on a balance ball.

4.    Set an alarm or preset timer on your phone to go off every hour to remind you to get up and move in some way: take a stretch break, get the mail, put stray items away, do the laundry, or take out the trash.

5.     Walk around, rather than sitting, when talking on your phone.

6.     Take stand-up breaks while sitting and reading.

7.     Change your reading location, such as from indoors to outdoors, once an hour.

8.     Take your lunch break away from your desk.

9.     Stand while you read at work.

10.  Move your trash can away from your desk, so that you have to get up to use it.

11.    On an airplane, get up and take a stretch break every hour or walk up and down the aisle.

12.   In a taxi or car service, such as Uber, get off one block before your destination.

 But now we must get to the meat of this principle, and that is finding – and doing – enjoyable activities. Dare I say exercise. 

 Resch and Tribole point out that a “growing body of research shows that deriving pleasure from physical activities may be one of the most important factors for sustaining consistent exercise, rather than focusing on the classic fitness prescriptions of frequency, intensity and duration.” They also point out that “no pain no gain” can be disregarded and that the most important indicator of success is your consistency with what you are doing. And, if you enjoy it, you are apt to be more consistent. Only you know what feels best in your body, so, if you are like me and have tried so many different forms of movement, all I can say is, keep an open mind and keep trying. You can also go back to something you tried in the past. You are different person now so you may have a different experience.

 Pay attention to how your body feels during and after movement. They talk about the concept of mindful exercise and how it ties in with that concept of attunement – the practice of listening to your body. Activities that foster this attunement will

1.      Rejuvenate rather than exhaust or deplete;

2.     Enhance mind-body connection;

3.     Alleviate stress, rather than amplify stress; and

4.     Provide genuine enjoyment and pleasure.

 Let’s go back to that first quality of being rejuvenating rather than exhausting. In the immediate you might be exhausted or feel that you are completely depleted of energy. But if you are doing the right exercise of movement for you, you will find this short-lived. Instead, you might find yourself buoyant, happy and full of energy once you have rested and recovered. I think they are talking more about the exercise that drains you emotionally also, so that you have to drag or force yourself to do it.

 The workbook lists almost 30 benefits between reducing health risks and improving quality of life. I would have to say that in the area of reducing health risks, all of them spoke to me, especially regarding its role in reducing cognitive decline and reducing insulin resistance. They also list short-term results in the quality of life and long-term results. The long-term qualities, which take a while to accrue, and which spoke to me the loudest is improvement in bone density and cognition and memory. Interestingly “Satiety Cues” was in this list, because as you build lean muscle mass, leptin resistance is healed along with insulin resistance. Many of the short-term qualities, that are noticed day-to-day, spoke to me as well. These are strength and stamina. Also included is appetite regulation, again having to do with the hunger hormones, leptin and ghrelin, and I assume, insulin itself. It was interesting to see that appetite regulation is in the short-term qualities column, while satiety cues is in the long-term qualities column. This shows me that I am correct in counseling people that although you can get a handle on your hunger fairly easily once you start using your hunger scale, it does take a little longer to get your satiety cues to be revealed to you.

 A very interesting statistic from the World Health Organization is that inactivity is the fourth leading cause of death – with approximately 3.2 million deaths each year attributable to insufficient physical activity. That sort of jolted me. I read this on the heels of a conversation with a friend who said, about finding the time to exercise, “The way I look at it we are actively dying. Why not do something that will prolong your life?” I don’t know about you, but hearing and reading these two things in the span of 48 hours shows me that the universe is trying to deliver me a message!

 I have a million excuses and I am sure some of you do too. Resch and Tribole are kind enough to not call them excuses, but rather barriers. They list 19 barriers having to do with dieting mentality and rigid thinking, confidence, conditions, and equipment. I want to address just one of them here: Do you feel like you don’t have enough time to exercise? I want to go back to that friend and that same conversation because I know I was saying that the day gets away from me but on the other end, I don’t like doing my workout in the morning before breakfast and coffee. She pointed out that I have plenty of time for meal prep, working on my website, watching TV, etc. Is it that difficult to carve out 30 minutes or so from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed? If those things are important to me and I find the time, I can make exercise important, and find the time. It’s great to have friends who call you out on your excuses. I included some of the barrier exercises in this week’s coaching advice.

 I loved the section on discovering physical activities you enjoy. There is some guidance on getting started. I will share my answers with you:

1.      What are my preferences: Exercising alone or with a group of people; exercising indoors versus outdoors. I have learned, from 50 or more years of trying to get this right, that I prefer to exercise alone. I can’t tell you how many classes I have signed up for where I have dropped out almost immediately – except for my belly dancing classes, but even then I gravitated toward private lessons. I also like to walk outdoors, but equally like doing programs in my own home.

2.     What is your current fitness level? Well, the answer to that one is sort of vague. I would say, in general, I’m not in such great shape, but I can walk a few miles, even with a back that bothers me. However, there is more to fitness than stamina. There is strength and flexibility, and I’m not in such good condition with either of those, although I am working on it. 

3.     Considering your current fitness level, what would be the most pleasurable type of activities to explore. Here is where I would like to talk about what I am doing now. I have returned to DDPY which stands for Diamond Dallas Page Yoga. I am working with a private coach and a private instructor, because that’s the way my cookie crumbles, although I also do video workouts up to 5 times a week. 

 I had a talk with my coach and I was whining that I don’t love doing it, but I know that the results I will get by being consistent will pay off with strength, stamina and flexibility. I get all three with this activity. If you can remember to look it up after this podcast, please look up Arthur Boorman. That is the success video that intrigued me years ago and got me started with DDPY. 

 This program is totally modifiable. There are even three workouts in bed, called Bedflex, which I did after my recent hip replacement. The workouts take you from working in the bed, if that’s what you need to do, to chair workouts, to standing workouts using the chair, to standing workouts just having the chair handy if you need it, to full workouts, standing and on the floor, and beyond. I absolutely BEG of you to look up DDPY if you are looking for a program to do, especially if you need to build, or rebuild, your body. You will find Arthur’s video there too.

4.    How do you want to feel after physical activity? For instance, calm or perhaps energized? Honestly, folks, I just want to feel that, thank god it’s finished. I don’t like doing it but I like having done it. HOWEVER, my not liking it has nothing to do with not liking it… if that makes any sense. I just don’t like it because (a) it’s exercise no matter which way I cut it, and (b) I can’t wait to get back to whatever it was that I was doing. DDPY is actually pleasurable – doesn’t mean I like DOING it. But, more to my friend’s point, I don’t like taking the TIME to do it. I have to get over that. 

My coach suggested that I carve out a little time for the two things that I really did love doing: belly dancing and power walking. Neither one gives me all three things – stamina, strength, and flexibility – that DDPY does, so DDPY isn’t going anywhere. It was just a suggestion to find a little time to add both back into my week.

 But, OMG the list of activities that followed getting started: Resch and Tribole give 75 activities and then also gives a chart to show their properties: Game, Solo, Group, Indoor, or Outdoor, and then a way to score your interest. If you can’t find something in this list that scores at least a 5, then don’t forget you can at least start with fidgeting and typing! The World Health Organization has said, “Doing some physical activity is better than doing nothing.”

 There is a section that explores how much activity you should have and how often you should do it. Here is the outline from the workbook:

·       Aim for 75 to 150 minutes of physical activity per week depending on whether the intensity of the activity is moderate or vigorous.

·       Be sure to include at least two muscle-strengthening activities a week as part of your time spent in physical activity. Examples of these types of activities include some types of yoga (and DDPY is a perfect example of this) and lifting weights.

·       If you are 65 years old or older, the guidelines are the same as above, with an added recommendation for those who have poor mobility: engage at least three times a week in activities that enhance balance and prevents falls. Again, DDPY is all over this!

 In the workbook you will find a physical activity planning guide, a guide to help you monitor how you feel, and a chart with warning signs that you are exercising too much. 

There is also a reflection of activity journal. 


This week’s actionable coaching advice involves some journaling. If you don’t journal, then please at least take the time to think of your answers to these questions. They are important to help you explore what movement might work for you – especially if you are exercise resistant like I am! These journaling questions are on pages 205, 206, 208, and 210 of the workbook if you are using that.

1.      How would pursuing physical activities for pleasure and enjoyment affect your:

a.    Desire to be active?

b.    Selection of type of activity you engage in, especially if you feel out of shape?

c.     Selection of the environment where you exercise – with others or alone, in public or private, outdoors or in a gym?

2.     How would a pleasant physical activity feel to you, during and after you exercise?

3.     How would pacing an emphasis on activities that are invigorating, rather than exhausting or depleting, affect your choice and frequency of exercise?

4.    Describe two short-term benefits of exercise that are appealing to you.

5.     How would selecting an activity based on benefits that you would actually feel, such as improved energy, mood, strength, or sleep, affect your day-to-day quality of life? For example, consider how feeling more energized after an activity would affect you for the rest of the day (or night).

6.     Select the barriers that present the biggest obstacles to physical activity for you. Describe what you could do to overcome each barrier.

a.    First barrier

b.    Second barrier

c.     Third barrier

7.     What do you need in order to make physical activity a nonnegotiable priority in your life? Consider how you are doing in self-care and setting boundaries.

As soon as I wind up here I am going to put on my heart-rate monitor and a DDPY workout video. Maybe I’ll even also take a walk later… while I listen to belly dance music!

So my friends, this wraps up Season 3 of the Keto and Low Carb Success podcast. I am making some changes as I move into Season 4, which will contain my 100th episode! 

One of my friends chastised me for changing things up too often. I’m sorry, but if I’m not growing and changing, then what is the point of growing and changing? If you have followed me for a while, you know this podcast started as “Roadmap to Diet Success” then my passion for Keto and Low Carb was rekindled and I wanted to do more targeted podcasts about that, so I renamed the podcast “Keto and Low Carb Success” but I found that my interest is really in the area of mindset and practical applications. 

This foray into intuitive eating made me realize that I don’t want to teach people just about keto and low carb, or to just be better dieters. I want to help them find their best selves so that IF they want to be on a diet, they can cut the yo-yo string by having more insight into why they do the things they do, that either sabotage their efforts or keep them from moving forward. I also want to explore more eating styles like I did in Seasons 1 and 2. Maybe even have some guests or share some recipes. 

I also want to talk more about being an older woman who is in a new season of her life. Retiring and dealing with not having your usual schedule? Helping with the grandkids? Providing care for an aging parent or spouse? Changing jobs to maybe something part-time or less stressful? You youngsters, though – and I mean anyone under 65  – stick around! I’m not going anywhere with the advice and chats I’ve been having up to now, I am just exploring adding a new dimension to my work. 

Next week’s episode

Next week I will wind up my adventure into Intuitive Eating with Principle 8, Respect Your Body.  Resch and Tribole write, “Accept your genetic blueprint. Just as a person with a shoe size of eight would not expect realistically squeeze into a size six, it is equally as futile (and uncomfortable) to have the same expectations with body size.” I have to laugh as I remember to tell you the story about my becoming a viola player exactly because of this! 

 See you next week! Listen for the brand-new name for this podcast and a new introduction. Things they are a-changin’. I even have a brand-new website that will be unveiled sometime in February!

 If you are enjoying this podcast, I do have a favor to ask of you. Please subscribe to this podcast and leave a review wherever you listen to your podcast. It helps other people find it by bringing it up in the various directories. Also, don’t be a stranger. Like or join my Facebook page, Breaking Free From Diet Prison, and let me know if there is anything you would like to hear on the show, and let me know you are a podcast listener. 

 Please share the podcast with your friends, let them know we are going on an Intuitive Eating journey, and invite them to tune in with you and learn how to become free from diet prison.

 Until then, go live free from diet worry — I’ll see you back here next time. 

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Take a look at this great course
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And don't forget my book!