The Happy Calories Happy Exercise® Project

The Happy Calories Happy Exercise® Project – an experiment in social change – healing dysfunctional relationships with food and exercise on a national level to create healthy and happy Americans.

This idea has been brewing in me for awhile now. By far, the biggest challenge my clients face when trying to heal their painful relationships with food and exercise is maintaining the progress they’ve made in the midst of a culture that creates and perpetuates such dysfunction.

In his book, Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain, neuroscientist David Eagleman discusses how when false statements are repeated over and over again, our brains will eventually accept these false statements as truth – even though we know them to be false. This phenomenon clearly presents itself in our culture.

We don’t really believe that our weight is simply a matter of what we eat and what we do for exercise. We all have that “Skinny Minnie” friend who seems to eat food by the truckload. And we all have the heavier friend who really doesn’t eat that much at all. We know about genes and hormones and there’s that mysterious thing called metabolism. We don’t really believe that our weight is simply a matter of “diet and exercise” – calories in/exercise out – but we do!

We believe this false assumption because we are repeatedly bombarded with advertising messages that use this premise to market weight-loss programs, products and pills. Now I can’t do anything about the weight-loss industry and its advertisers. I can’t stop them from perpetuating myths. But I can draw your attention to why it’s so difficult to change your ideas and your beliefs about food, exercise, your body and your weight. And I can attempt a social experiment.

What would it be like if we could all cultivate deep and respectful relationships with our bodies? Our bodies are intelligent and miraculous. They create and sustain Life itself! They know how to create an optimized state of health, vitality and beauty. And when we listen to our bodies requests for nourishment and movement, we can experience sustainable health and wellness without all the food and exercise drama!

The biggest hurdle to developing a relationship with our bodies is the current, conventional “diet and exercise” model for weight-loss and wellness. By its very nature, this model demands that we disconnect from our bodies to be successful. We can’t eat simply because we’re hungry or because something “looks good.” In the “diet and exercise” model we only get so much to eat – so we have to override our natural impulses. We must disconnect from our bodies to tolerate the pangs of hunger. We play mind games to “trick” our bodies into compliance.

And rather than being a natural expression of joy – of Life moving through our physical form – exercise becomes the “price” we have to pay to eat. So once again, we must disconnect from our bodies and ourselves when we need to “burn off” something we’ve eaten.

And for many, the “diet and exercise” approach can seem too difficult to attempt. So why even bother to try?

But when we can let the “diet and exercise” mindset go, developing a relationship with our bodies is a relatively easy and natural thing to do. And that is the goal of the Happy Calories Happy Exercise® Project.

The Happy Calories Happy Exercise® Project is an experiment in social change. It is an attempt to change the cultural paradigm about weight-loss and wellness – which will allow us to heal our relationships with food, exercise, our bodies and ourselves – and allow Americans to reclaim their health without sacrificing happiness.

(You can keep up to date as this experiment evolves by subscribing to the Happy Calories YouTube channel.)