Exercise Resistance & Reclaiming

This unique body of work adds an ancestral, archetypal dimension toward re-infusing, even resurrecting the natural female drive to move. When an authoritarian tone about nutrition, health and fitness entered our culture, admonishing that women should exercise, something precious became inadvertently trampled on, in some women.
Without understanding why, many females (and males!) split off from fully living within their earth- suits, their bodies, in an integrated meaningful manner and may find themselves having quit exercise despite enjoying it or even being good at it earlier in life. The truth is… women will move when they want to, in their own way, on their own terms, if left to themselves.
Let’s see what happens to that natural, instinctive drive. For those interested in the inner wisdom within exercise resistance and motivation problems, welcome to a unique process which is available for individuals, groups and those treating women that have body image problems, disordered eating, or just the exercise drive issues.
“So, like many women before and after me, I lived my life as a disguised criatura, creature. Like my kith and kin before me, I swagger-staggered in high heels, and I wore a dress and hat to church. But my fabulous tail often fell below my hemline, and my ears twitched until my hat pitched, at the very least, down over both my eyes, and sometimes clear across the room.”

Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D

Women Who Run With the Wolves:

Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman ArchetypE

When women are admonished to ‘get in shape’, to create and stick to a fitness plan, some do well enough. Others do not. There is a hidden One within the Feminine Psyche, the inner female mammal which may be understood as a She-wolf who is protective and may refuse to cooperate until what she is protecting is much better understood.

A reclaiming is at hand!

Common Criterion of Exercise Resistance Syndrome

Read through the following statements typically made by those who have some degree of Exercise Motivation Loss. The Treatment Hints follow each statement…

I love the way exercise makes me feel, but I don’t seem to make it a priority to do it consistently.

With overwhelming schedules these days, sometimes not exercising just seems simply impossible to fit in.  Fair enough!  It may still be worthwhile to peek a little deeper…

I've just never been athletic. Even as a child, I was more sedentary and was the last picked on teams. I’m just not an “exerciser”.

As a female mammal we might think of dolphins, leaping alongside the bow of a sailboat. They don’t qualify themselves as “jumpers” or judge how they soar through the water, they are (we imagine) just IN the wild experience of it. Once we learn to free ourselves from the constraints of categorizing ourselves, new openings occur for our lives.

I have never liked exercise: I do it because I should. Although I like the way it makes me feel, I dread the struggle with my workouts.

Take physical activity out of the ‘workout’ box and with new perspective, we extricate the drudgery and re-align the goals and motivation.

For some puzzling reason, I get anxious when I exercise, so I barely endure it; mostly I avoid it.

Anxiety is a messenger, which can be used toward incredible insight and eventual peace.

I go to the gym since that is what my peers or family does and yet these stints don’t last. I never think of doing anything else…just go to the gym, get on the treadmill while I watch TV or try to lift weights...before I know it I’ve made other plans.

Expand your relationship with exercise to match your TRUE NATURE. Let yourself express your body your way.

I think the culture of fitness and exercise is vain and self indulgent. I can’t seem to find my own philosophical spot from which to do it.

Learn how the culture has created a “me first” relationship to fitness via a body image link to beauty and worth. It’s no wonder many women are confused about why do it.

Depression has been a very real part of my life, and each time it comes back, I have no life drive to exercise at all. It's hard to try to start up again after I feel better.

It is true. Learn how to resurrect activity more easily each time after a phase of stopping.

Everyone where I exercise are fit and wear tight and sexy outfits. I don't want to be looked at or judged while exercising.

Discover the intelligence, and sanity in this attitude!

I was an elite athlete. Now I can't get myself out there.

Discover the nuances in your athletic history that may be eclipsing your exercise drive now. There can be an intelligence in what appears to be otherwise!

I start exercise with each new diet. I quite when I fall off the diet. Why bother exercising if I'm not dieting as well?

Although fitness affects weight and body image it also affects strength, power and freedom as a woman. In order to harness the birthright of movement on any woman’s own, individual terms…diet and exercise must be disentangled. This process opens up how!

I dislike exercise and just plain don’t do it. I feel guilty and lazy, which only makes it worse.

Join so many women in seeming cut off from what others find so easy. There are many excellent reasons and incredible intelligence underlying these exercise blocks.

I am too overweight and out of shape to exercise; I might injure myself trying. I’m caught in a vicious cycle of being too big and unable to exercise to lose weight.

Treating overeating problems is possible (see the Overeating Disorders section), on a whole new level which integrates physiology, neurochemistry and very doable psychological insight work.  When ready, this exercise recovery process points to an entirely new way of approaching activity from traditional “should do it” approaches.

Compared to my super-runner dad (or exercise-obsessed mom), who made a big deal out of fitness, it was insinuated that I was different, even lazy, and that made me seem worthless on some level. I could never measure up, so why bother?

Take those type of questions and turn them into a true inquiry. Discover within each of us, our own unique brand of being, and our own unique relationship to moving.

I am at a complete loss as to why really I don’t make the effort toward myself. I’m not worth taking care of myself. People say to choose to take care of myself first...that is inconceivable.

Putting ourselves after others has a long history, thousands of years old.  Discover the ancestral and cultural roots to the loss of self care in our culture and learn to bring self care to life in unimagined ways.

I was once very athletic. That was a different lifetime, and I can’t seem to find the former “me”.

It is meaningful to reach through time and integrate the many aspects of self we are into one wholeness of being.

My father (brother/whatever male family member) made comments about my body, as he does other women’s bodies – I’m very uncomfortable with this, something is wrong with it, and I don’t want anything to do with his ideas of women should be fit.

Not exercising can be protective, maintaining less visibility, yet we lose something which is our birthright. How to maintain fierce boundaries with what is right and safe, and re-claim what is ours as women!

I am so impossibly out of shape, I couldn’t stand the shame in what low level I would have to start at to even get to step one. I have an active life in my mind, but my body just follows along and gets me around.

Some amazing examples of empowering oneself from shame to a full, visible exercise life exist in this work.  Ask about them!  Shame beckons transformation through stages of self compassion.

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Exercise Resistance Online Course

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“Francie’s work is truly, and necessarily, a game changer in the industry of over eating disorders and exercise resistance.
Her Exercise Resistance and Reclaiming work stands alone with its roots in archetypal psychology, and transformation across every level from psyche to cell physiology.”


Kelly Solar LCSW

Eating & Exercise Disorder Specialist,

Former Collegiate Athlete

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