Oh hey!

My name is Lori and I write The Meaningful Movement Project, a free newsletter that deconstructs harmful fitness practices and helps folks create sustainable and nourishing ones instead.


How exactly am I qualified to do this?

I have degree in Kinesiology and for over a decade worked as a fitness instructor and personal trainer. I also sold memberships in private gyms (mostly against my will), taught cardiac rehab in recreation centers and put wealthy clients through their paces in home gyms all throughout the 90’s.

There isn’t a fitness craze I haven’t taken for a test drive. Tae Bo, Step classes, P90X, Russian kettle bell training, Jazzercise, Spin class; I’ve done it all. I even joined a Crossfit gym for a hot minute until the underlying sense of dread I felt at the start of each WOD got to be too much.

I’ve been steeped in every facet of fitness culture since I was 18 years old. I’ve seen a lot of nonsense and done a whole lot of unhealthy things in the name of health.

My story isn’t really about health though, it’s about trying to be thin.

Fitness enthusiast or something else?

My fitness education and career turned out to be the perfect trojan horse for a compulsive exercise disorder. At the height of my illness, 4 hours of working out each day was the norm. I trained like an Olympic athlete, not to compete in anything, just so I could be thin. I would skip classes, bail on work shifts and avoid social events with friends just to spend more time at the gym. Nobody even blinked an eye.

I’ve heard many a client and friend “wishing they were addicted to exercise” over the years. The comment is made partially in jest but it speaks to the fact that most people do not see it as much of a problem. I mean, at least it’s a healthy addiction, right?


When exercise took over my life 30 years ago, a deal with the devil was made. I got to exist in a smaller body for a time and enjoy the privilege that comes along with that and in return the devil got to steal my joy. Every day for me was Groundhog day, calculating how to fit so many hours of exercise into my schedule. Happiness all but disappeared from my life as the disorder took over my mind and made it impossible to be present in my experiences. The only thing I EVER thought about was my body. Injuries, exhaustion, depression, anxiety; compulsive exercise was the undercurrent, paving the way for future joint damage and leaving a trail of broken relationships in its wake.

Just to be clear, this is not something I would wish for anyone.

It’s my belief that there is more disorder in the fitness industry than there is health. The majority of fitness professionals, even the most famous gurus (or maybe especially them) are terrified of being fat. Social media performances of healthy eating and exercise often hide the internal storm of self loathing. A myriad of disordered practices under the facade of balance and normalcy. This is a mindset I know intimately. And it’s also the reason I’m so passionate about forgong a new movement culture- I want all of us to be free.

Finding another way

From the years of my recovery came Meaningful Movement, a trauma informed, decolonization of the body- liberation from the shackles of toxic fitness culture. A long hiatus from exercise allowed me to reconnect with movement from the inside out. On the journey, I found myself rediscovering trust, moving my body intuitively just as I had done as a child. My creativity soared. I was finally present in my body instead of obsessing about it and I understood for the first time, the reasons why movement was such an integral part of the lives of our ancestors. Beyond survival, the power of movement was understood as a creator of community, a processor of emotion and a marker of rituals.

Therapy led me to the inter-generational threads of trauma at the root of my obsessive behaviours. Educating myself on systems of oppression also showed me how deeply harmful the narratives of the industry are. How the commodification of movement has created barriers to health and wellness as opposed to ease and inclusion. Helping folks understand and embody these foundations is the heart of my work.

If as a culture, we continue to use health metrics to centre thinness, whiteness, wealth and able bodies, exercise is just another thing to be performed and consumed instead of truly experienced. And when these metrics and oppressive ideals are wielded as weapons of shame, not only is it not motivating but it also denies us our humanity and the right we have to be met with compassion and grace. The whole system must change.

A decade into my own healing, I practice movement that is attuned to my personal rhythms and to what feels joyful and sacred. Exercise is now sustainable because it follows the needs of my body. It’s nourishing because I never use it to change or punish any part of myself. And it feels easeful because I understand it’s meant to ebb and flow with the tidal changes of my life.

Maybe you want that too.

Should I subscribe?

Writing on this topic is a passion project for me (In other words, I have a day job poking needles in people and doing copious amounts of laundry as an Acupuncture practitioner). Content will not be fast and furious here in this space but I do hope it will be inspiring.

Whether you are trying to move your body more, wondering if you may be doing too much or you just want to feel less shame when it comes to exercise, I’ve got you. I have some great content lined up and if you subscribe it will show up directly in your inbox. Just not all that frequently. 😉

Subscribe to The Meaningful Movement Project

A newsletter that supports liberation from harmful fitness culture in favour of creating ease, nourishment and meaningful motivation for exercise instead.


As a former fitness instructor with a compulsive exercise disorder, Lori has a lot of opinions about fitness culture. During her recovery she found freedom in a sustainable and meaningful approach to movement. That's what she writes about here.