‘Movement’ is the new ‘exercise’

Edmonton psychologist says activity helps conquer food fears

Author: Jamie Hall

Rosalyn Fung knows well the aching back associated with the lifting and carrying that comes from having two small children. But she also knows the perfect antidote—which is why she finds time to incorporate at least 20 minutes of ‘movement’ into her daily routine.

“I like to use the word ‘movement’ instead of ‘working out,’ or exercise,’” says Fung. “’Movement expands the definition to include gentler activities and different ways of moving—walking, yoga, gardening and dancing. A lot of my clients are turned off by the word ‘exercise’; they associate it with something that hardcore and intense.”

Having a strong core—and a strong back—is so important for new moms, says Rosalyn Fung, pictured here with her children, two-year-old Everest and three-month-old Logan.

 

Not-so-typical weight loss journey

Many of her clients are women who struggle with mild to moderate eating issues such as over-eating, under-eating, binge eating, yo-yo dieting, issues with body image and weight, and even digestion issues stemming from an unhealthy relationship with food.
In addition to being a mom, Fung is also a registered psychologist.

She has experienced her own personal struggle with food and weight, and recounted it in a blog post that grabbed the attention of The Huffington Post.

“It was a total fluke,” says Fung, laughing. “I guess they found me in Twitterland!”
Her not-so-typical weight loss journey generated a lot of interest after it ran online under The Huffington Post banner earlier this year, and even netted Fung a few new clients. Her “before” and “after” photographs were startlingly similar, both images of a fit-looking 30-something woman with an envious physique. What was different, Fung says, was her relationship with food, and with how she viewed her body.

“I like to use the word ‘movement’ instead of ‘working out,’ or exercise.’ Movement expands the definition to include gentler activities and different ways of moving—walking, yoga, gardening and dancing. A lot of my clients are turned off by the word ‘exercise’; they associate it with something that hardcore and intense.” Registered psychologist Rosalyn Fung

Conquering food fears

The “dream” physique she created and maintained for a decade came at a price. She was constantly anxious about what she could eat, what she couldn’t eat, and how it affected her body. Over time, she developed a fearful, unhealthy relationship with food, even while managing to maintain her weight.

She worked hard at letting go of her anxieties and worries and developed a healthier relationship with food and her body. When she wanted to lose some of the baby weight after her first pregnancy, she found that the “noise” about needing to achieve a so-called perfect body no longer existed. She realized she had undergone a fundamental emotional shift in how she viewed her body. She felt empowered, no longer controlled by her fear of food.

It was a profound experience, and something she wanted to incorporate into her work.

Passionate about health

“Health and fitness was something I had always felt passionate about,” says Fung. ”And I thought: ‘How can I marry my personal passion with my profession?’ When I found a course in nutritional psychology, I knew it was exactly what I wanted to do.”

Hakomi therapy a mind-body approach

She also happens to be a certified hakomi therapist, which is a mind-body approach to therapy.

Fung helps to guide her clients into a state of “mindfulness” while they share their story, noting along the way where and when tension builds in their bodies as they speak.
“Essentially, you’re bringing the struggle into the room,” says Fung. “It’s a very powerful approach where I work with both the conscious and the unconscious to help clients start to embrace themselves and their bodies.”

Moms need ‘me time’

Her work life and home life put demands on her time. She’s also keenly aware of the need to stay active, especially when she feels a slight twinge in the small of her back.
“I’m always carrying the baby, and the car seat, plus a diaper bag, not to mention the million different little things,” says Fung. “It’s so important to have a strong core, and a strong back. You get great energy from walking, doing yoga or lifting some light weights.
“I see it as ‘me time,’ and every mom should have that.’ It’s not just a huge stress relief, it gives you the energy you need to keep up.”

 

 

 


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