Thursday 19 May 2011

Beyond Chocolate ‘mistake’ number 7 – thinking we can ignore Principle Number Eight ...

Gretel Hallet, is a trained Chocolate Fairy and is running the Getting Started half day workshop in Norwich. If you live in East Anglia and want to know more about Beyond Chocolate, get in touch with Gretel. 

A quick check in your Beyond Chocolate Book will remind you that Principle Number Eight is MOVE!

And it’s ‘Move’ rather than ‘Exercise’ because Beyond Chocolate wants to embrace a much wider definition than we might understand from the word ‘Exercise’. The very word ‘Move!’ (with an exclamation mark) opens up an intoxicating world of possibilities.

For many exhausted and demoralised ex-dieters, ‘exercise’ is the enemy – the stick that can be used to beat us with – not only are we over-weight but we’re clearly couch potatoes as well - and yet, it can be so hard to haul ourselves back out after a full day’s work and face the skinny women in lycra and the trainer who appears to have been welded out of steel and has no concept of mercy or tiredness.

And when it comes to our weight, simplistic advice is handed down with an air of disapproval – Just eat less and exercise more – well, if it was that easy, we’d all be fit and slim. In the real world it’s not that easy. Exercise classes aren’t suitable for all of us and/or we just don’t like gyms. But we come back to the fact that if we want to look after our long-term health, we do need to move our bodies. Enlightened health care professionals will acknowledge that being over-weight but fit is better for us than being slim and unfit. Slim people can still suffer from heart attacks, strokes, osteoporosis and other conditions related to a lack of exercise.

There really is no getting away from it – Principle Number Eight is essential for health. What we need to ask ourselves is:

a) What am I moving for?
b) How do I enjoy moving?

If the answer to (a) is something along the lines of ‘Because I have to’, then the answer to (b) is going to be crucial. If we attempt to commit to a course of action that we don’t enjoy, there’s very little incentive to keep it up. So, if moving doesn’t come naturally, we need to find something that’s fun to do and that we would gladly do frequently enough to benefit our health.

If the answer to (a) is ‘because I want to lose weight and tone up’, then the answer to (b) is equally important. Because even if we are committed Movers, it’s still better for us in the long run if we enjoy the moving we do and look forward to doing it. And, if we have a specific goal in mind, it’s worth researching which form of moveing will best support us to achieve that – we could also experiment with different types of movement to find out which is the most effective for us.

If the answer to (a) is ‘because I want to take part in the 2012 Olympics’ then the answer to (b) is probably academic – you will need to train very hard in whatever sport you were hoping to represent – and the best of luck to you!

So if you are a Beyond Chocolater who thinks she can work with the other 9 principles and ignore ‘Move!’, I’m afraid it’s not so. All ten principles are intended to work together and ‘Move!’ is an essential and integral part of the whole package. I would encourage you to get out there and move in as many different ways as you can to see which ones work best for you and which ones you enjoy.


  1. Great post Gretel and I couldn't agree more. I studiously avoided this Principle for over two years after finding Beyond Chocolate but this year it has all come together since recognising that walking is a legitimate way of moving and that if I factor it into my daily commute then I am not having to find extra time to exercise.

    The other Principles then really step up a gear when you factor this one in.

  2. Yes, Move is one of my passions! I always feel so much better after doing my kettlebells, yogalates, walking, cycling etc.


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