Wednesday, 12 January 2011

I like to move it, move it !

Gretel Hallet, came on our Chocolate Fairy Training last year and is running workshops in East Anglia. If you live in the area and would like to attend a Beyond Chocolate course, Gretel would love to hear from you! Meet Gretel.

I have been accused of being very old-fashioned and behind the times and there is some justice in this. However, I have finally discovered xbox … and a new and fun way of moving!

If you recall, 'Move!' is one of the 10 Beyond Chocolate principles and it's one that can be challenging for many women. By the time we find Beyond Chocolate we can be weary beyond belief of diet and exercise programmes, or machines in gyms or health professionals tutting over our weight and telling us to do more exercise. So, Move! can be one of the principles that women look at and say, 'Uh uh! Not going there!'

This isn't actually the case for me – I have always enjoyed moving my body, although I will admit in the past to using it as a way of losing weight or compensating for binges.

Nowadays, since re-evaluating many areas of my life in the clear light of Beyond Chocolate, I now Move because I want to and because I enjoy it and because it does me good.

But back to the xbox. One of the disks we got with it is a Dance disk. And it's great fun. The graphics are amazing and it's remarkably easy to operate and follow the instructions. Picture an urban scene full of cool dudes (see that's how old-fashioned I am – I'm sure that's not current slang!) add some pumping modern music and an extremely supportive and positive voice over instructor, and you've about got the picture. (I must admit though, the first time the voice over instructor said, 'You're killing it!', I apologised to the screen, thinking I was doing it all wrong … actually the phrase means I was doing it well!). The instructor teaches each move and then puts them together in a dance sequence and he's remarkably patient, allowing lots of time and lots of goes to get it right.

One you've mastered the moves there's the opportunity to 'perform' the dance routine or you can have a dance competition with another player. You can also dance at 3 different levels; easy, medium and hard. That doesn't refer to the speed or intensity of the dancing, but the difficulty and complexity of the moves. I love dancing and the older I get the fewer opportunities there are for me to shake my thang, so I am loving this dance disk and I am aiming to master all the easy moves and take it up to the next level.

The idea of this isn't to get you to buy an xbox, but to get you thinking outside the box (!). What might you enjoy if you gave it a go? Would you enjoy shaking your booty to Shakira, or pumping your body in a class? Would you enjoy roller-skating in the park, or running on a treadmill in a gym? What sort of moving would bring a flush to your cheeks and a glow to your eyes? (Ahem! Apart from that!) Because Move is so much more than 'exercising because we have to'; it can be a lot of fun.

You don't have to commit to 2 hours intensive training 7 days a week (unless you want to of course). You could move in a different way each day of the week and test them all out to see which ones are the right ones for you. You could find that some weeks you want to run, other weeks you want to swim or dance or chase the dog through the park. Oh and don't listen to health care professionals who tell you that walking the dog isn't exercise – which would they rather you did; sit on the sofa or walk the dog?

Excuse me, I have some serious moves to be putting down … !


  1. For me, "move" is one of the easiest principles to adopt - once you've found something that you genuinely love, it becomes easy. For me that was once running, but I went off it, and now I'm absolutely obsessed with Zumba - I just can't get enough of it, and it's no effort to go to three hour-long classes a week. It's a treat that I look forward to.

    The strange thing is just how ingrained the idea of exercising to burn calories is in (particularly the female) psyche. In Zumba there's a classful of women all shaking their booties and smiling and laughing and genuinely having a whale of a time, yet in between tracks I hear depressing comments about needing to burn off their Sunday roast, or how they're going to go home and drink a glass of wine and "undo all their hard work" - it tarnishes the rosy glow. I am sure that without this attitude of grim determination and "exercise is pain", they would be more able to acknowledge the fun they're having without painting it in a layer of self-hatred and punishment.

  2. Yes, it's a shame that 'move' is closely linked to weight loss or compensation for binges, but if you are able to disconnect the two, 'move' is great fun, as you have discovered!

  3. Yay!!! do you do it with Kettlebells in hand??? I found today they sell them (er, kettlebells that is in Sainsbugs)!!!!

  4. Surprisingly, I don't dance with kettlebells in hand - but I am still swinging the kettlebells in between the dancing as it were ...
    btw I recommend Sarah Lurie for kettlebell dvds

  5. I used to pick exercise based on the calorie burn. For example: spin class burns more calories than yoga. So I'd promise myself I'd go to spin class, but then I wouldn't because I HATE spin class. I would have been a lot better off burning "less" calories in yoga than I did sitting on the couch. It's so nice to remove weight loss from exercise. It's really opened a lot of doors for me!


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