Holistic Health Radio Episode 9: Healing Your Relationship with Exercise with Sabine McKenzie

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Episode Summary
If a little bit of exercise is good, then more must be better, right? Well not necessarily. Often times overdoing exercise and under-doing nutrition can be a recipe for disaster. It can lead to exercise addiction, exercise bulimia, body image issues, eating disorders and also physical side effects such as injuries and illness.
However you don’t need to have any of the above things to have a strained relationship with exercise.
In our weight loss obsessed culture, movement is sold as a means for energy expenditure, often undermining the myriad benefits that exercise offers. In today’s podcast Sabine McKenzie and I take a look at how to reclaim a healthy and balanced relationship with exercise and find joy in moving your body.
Sabine McKenzie is a HAES physiotherapist, founder of Core Confidence, and Body Image speaker that aims to break down diet culture and instil worth beyond image. In this episode we discuss:
  • What exactly is Health At Every Size? What is means to be a HAES Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist
  • How to know if someone is practicing from a true HAES model and how to pick up fake ones when scrolling through social media or googling to find a practitioner.
  • Why is HAES an model of care important? How is it health promoting and what is the research behind it?
  • Then we transition and talk about our own personal experiences with food and movement!
  • Sabine dives into her relationship with food, movement and her body, how this changed with her eating disorder and what she did to change it
  • We highlight helpful vs unhelpful messages, who to surround yourself with, and our top tips for anyone looking to heal their relationship with exercise
Speaker Background – Sabine McKenzie
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Welcome Sabine! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My passion with everything that I do is to instill a worth beyond image in women. I run teen Body Esteem Prevention programs through my business Core Confidence and share my experience with disordered behaviours as a Keynote Speaker in schools and universities to advocate for the early intervention of Eating Disorders, break the stigmas and help those struggling feel less alone.
In a world that is constantly asking us to do more and be more I like to leave the audience with the message that “you are enough”. I also work as a Physiotherapist for a non for profit organisation where I take a HAES approach in helping my clients reach their functional goals.
In your own words, please describe your own body image, eating, and exercise journey. Where are you at with it now?

What started as a healthy lifestyle change during my first year of university, quickly spiralled into disordered restrictive and obsessive exercise behaviours. The more I got complimented on my appearance and my weight loss, the more I compared myself to others, the more inadequate I felt, and the more I continued to spiral.

 

Luckily I had amazing family support around me and it was their concern that eventually lead me to seeking help. At this point, I thought I was in recovery but my behaviours had simply been replaced with a binge/restrict cycle and diet mentality. I really struggled with my body image and was diagnosed with depression. It took almost failing a unit at university for me to seek help again.

I’ve been recovered for about 5 years now and feel that I have only recently completely healed my relationship with exercise. They were by far my most difficult thought patterns and beliefs to re-wire and unlearn. I have a positive body image which doesn’t mean I’m perfect! I still have some days where I feel crap, but now these negative thoughts don’t spiral and there’s no compulsion to change my behaviours or need to act on those thoughts.

 

What are you passionate about at work and in your own personal life?
As an eating disorder and body image speaker and advocate my passion centres around instilling a worth beyond image message. Even in the positive body image movement I still feel there is way too much emphasis placed on our exteriors rather than what we bring to this world other than our appearance.
In my role as a physiotherapist I am really passionate about practising from a HAES informed model and would love to see systemic changes in our medical systems in relation to this.
Links & Resources
Sarah King

Sarah King

Hi future friends, I’m Sarah King, a Health At Every Size (HAES) Exercise Physiologist and health coach.

Science, not trends is the foundation of my approach. By nourishing the body and mind with scientific facts we can build foundations for a life of realness, not just wellness.

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