Why it was essential I changed how I thought about exercising | MerryBody app

Why it was essential I changed how I thought about exercising

Nikki Parkinson Health, Life 4 Comments

(Sponsored by The Merrymaker Sisters)

Do you know why it was essential I changed how I thought about exercising? In short, the old thoughts were damaging me – physically and mentally.

Mentally, even though I’d told myself for a long time this wasn’t the case, I was still treating exercising as a means to an ends – a physical ends. Weight loss. 

Physically, I came crashing down in a heap a little more than a year ago thanks to a cocktail of anxiety and a last blast of peri-menopause. And the exercising I was doing to achieve the old end game started not only producing the opposite results, it left me adrenally fatigued and anxious.

It’s a physical state that I recognised from many periods throughout my entire adult life, from glandular fever in my early 20s, to chronic fatigue syndrome in my mid-20s, to Hashimotos in my early ’30s. 

It’s a physical state that I now recognise as a sign that my body needs me to restore and recharge. Running and HIIT workouts are damaging to me when my body is experience this fog of fatigue. They might feel a little good when doing them but the crushing fatigue sets in not long after finishing – and lingers for days.

Last year I ignored the tell-tale signs that my body needed some TLC. I got up, got dressed and did the same things I’d been doing in the years previously. The fall (physical and mental) was not pretty!

Slowly, but surely, this year I made my way back to yoga and walking. Simple, gentle movement. The only thing missing? Consistent motivation to move.

Enter stage left, The MerryMaker Sisters, aka Emma and Carla Papas, two incredible women I’ve known since the halcyon days of blogging in Australia.

We met in 2013 but I hadn’t kept up with the sisters had taken in recent years, so when they approached me, got me up to speed and asked if I’d like to try their MerryBody app (scroll on down for a special offer available to you until November 30, 2021), I was all ears … and then arms and legs and bootie. HAH. That’s a MerryBody in-joke.

You know what they had me at from Day 1? This is a fitness app/program/tool where there is no fixation on the number on a scale, obsession over calories and … NO BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS.

That was the clincher for me. 

I’m guilty in years gone by of having used before and after photos on this blog when talking about my health. It’s taken me reaching rock bottom to see that I’ve just been a part of and contributing to the shite that women have to face every day thanks to being brought up on a menu of diet culture. I’m so sorry if any of those old before and afters were triggering for you. I vow never to do any again. EVER.

How is it even possible to find an ounce of body acceptance if we still consider before and after photos where the after is skinnier than the before an acceptable thing? What does it say about who we were in the before? That person deserves to be and feel loved too.

If you missed my chat with Emma and Carla, listen/watch below. They share their personal story with body acceptance and why they’ve done a full 360 on how they used to talk about health. It’s an important story and one that we all need to listen to.

At the time of recording our chat, I’d been dipping into the MerryBody app most mornings. I’ve since continued, completing a recent 21-day challenge (only missing two days!) which is unheard of for me.

And I’m still going. 

There is nothing that helps us more in our quest for body acceptance than moving our bodies. What an absolute privilege that is to be able to move!

What I love the most, apart from the sisters’ infectious support and positivity, is that each morning I can check in with my body, see where we’re at, look at the morning schedule and decide what type of class and what length is right for me there and then. It’s exercising on my terms and choosing the type of class that feels good for me in that moment.

Why it was essential I changed how I thought about exercising | MerryBody app

And you know what? Turns out, there is always time for a 10-minute yoga or even a six-minute meditation. Always. 

I’m doing classes I’d never done before. I love the fusion classes Emma and Carla have created that meld pilates and yoga with a side of tai chi. I like accepting the challenge to try something new because I feel supported and there are always options to adapt the class to how your body is feeling in that moment.

Speaking of feelings. How do I feel after about six weeks of exercising using the MerryBody app?

Strong and calm. 

I couldn’t ask for a better after to my before.


There is just a short time left to take advantage of a special introductory offer and join me on the MerryBody program. Click HERE for a special offer of $9.99 for the first month. Enter STYLINGYOU at checkout. Offer ends November 30, 2021

Comments 4

  1. As a MerryBody member, I find your experience and description so relatable! How amazing it is to truly look forward to daily movement, to know that quality & care in all aspects of MB classes & app is brilliant, and to be in a space where the message is ‘You’re already amazing. Just as you are! Right here, and right now.’ Thanks for sharing. Keep well!

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  2. As I’ve entered my 50s I’ve experienced pretty much the same thing with my exercise routine. Pushing harder was not getting the results and was actively making me feel worse, if anything. Getting advice from a trainer who understands menopausal women\, we limited strength workouts to once a week, turned to daily walks instead of runs and a regular stretch / yoga routine has been a game changer for me. I wanted a training routine to support fitness, not to be an athlete, and this is the right mix. Thanks as always for sharing your journey.

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