Movement Therapy That Supports Health at Every Size

Woman doing yoga on the roof

There is often a misconception when it comes to exercise and being “fit” that athletic type of individuals must have a certain body type.

In addition, there is often fat-shaming, judgement, and disregard for individuals who may not fit the athletic build type yet still enjoy participating in sports or other athletic activities.

This is perhaps more commonly seen among competitive sports, particularly those that emphasize a certain body type or shape. For someone who may be susceptible to an eating disorder or in recovery from an eating disorder, this type of environment can be triggering in many different ways.

Embracing Health at Every Size

In order to challenge this type of mindset that judges an individual based on their size and appearance, it is important to self-reflect on how you think about your own body and others.

  • Woman on a forest pathAre you harsh toward yourself in any way when it comes to your body shape and size?
  • Do you find yourself silently judging others?
  • Do you live in a way that embraces individuals, regardless of what size their body might be?

When we are submerged in a dieting culture, it is difficult to challenge this mindset but crucial to push back on something that can be potentially damaging to countless individuals.

The concept of embracing health at every size stems from the inherent belief that every individual is beautiful and worthy in their own bodies, and size/shape/body type simply cannot determine a person’s worth, value and/or abilities. Practicing these beliefs in real life may feel a bit more challenging, especially when this concept is against the flow of the mainstream media and messages that are commonly believed in our society.

Finding Intuitive Movement and Exercise

When it comes to exercise, remember that movement should be intuitive and something that feels good in your body, not something that is punishing or hindered based on your size and shape. If you are in recovery from an eating disorder, movement therapy can be an especially helpful aspect of treatment and a way to embrace exercise is a whole new way that is a therapeutic part of your healing [1].

Don’t allow yourself to be stuck in a faulty mindset that prevents you from participating in life and activities you enjoy based on the perception of your body size and/or shape. Health, worth, or value is not based on anything related to your body shape, and this important connection can be made through the therapeutic practice of movement therapy.


Crystal Headshot 2About the Author: Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Director of Content and Social Media for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.


[1]: The Role of Dance/Movement Therapy in Eating Disorder Recovery,

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on March 12, 2017
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