Exercise Resistance Syndrome

Exercise Resistance Syndrome
I recently had the privilege of interviewing Francie White about Exercise Resistance Syndrome.  Below you will find the transcription of the interview itself.

I would love to hear what you think, share a comment below!




Dr. Anita Johnston: Hello. Dr. Anita Johnston here and I'm in California with Francie White. Francie White is the founder of Central Coast Treatment Centers. Her background is in dietetics, nutrition, exercise, movement, women's issues. She's basically one of the big thought leaders in the field that has to do with women and movement and nutrition. I wanted to speak with you today about a concept that you came up with called exercise resistance or exercise avoidance. Can you tell us a little bit about what that is and why it's so important?

Francie White: Exercise resistance syndrome, for no better name at this point, is something that I realized was actually a syndrome, a complex of symptoms and issues that, when put together, added up to more than just, “I'm lazy” or having a bad habit of not being as active, or thinking one's not athletic. It's actually a syndrome — and many, many have it — of just repeatedly quitting what is actually a very natural, instinctive part of being female: and that is physical activity.  It's either a pattern of fighting oneself, quitting and getting very, very inactive, getting anxiety with exercise, or actually flat out giving up and not exercising, just refusing to.

I know some people have physical disabilities and cannot exercise, and obviously, that is not the population I'm speaking to. It's more the kind of throw in the towel attitude toward physical activity, and the point here is that it is a “curse” […]

Metaphor of the Eclipse

Metaphor of the Eclipse

Dr. Anita Johnston here. I'm in Boulder, Colorado, at the time of the eclipse.

It's so interesting, because all the warnings are out: Don't look directly at the sun without special glasses. We know that if you look directly at the sun you can actually burn your eyes. We've always needed the reflection of the moon — which has allowed us to see the light of the sun more directly.

Right now, during the eclipse, the moon is comes right in front of the sun and creates a shadow. You can see shadows on the ground, all in moon shapes.

When I think about what the eclipse means to me, I get so excited, because, metaphorically, the moon is the representation of the Feminine Principle, and it eclipses the sun, the Masculine Principle. And, just for a moment, they come into union. I think this is something that all of us need to experience, individually and collectively: the moon and the sun coming in together in union. In this moment here on Earth, we get the most incredible show. We can actually see what it looks like when the two come together, when the Feminine Principle is united with the Masculine Principle. It's quite an incredible phenomena.

This has been something that I've been waiting for for a long time, internally, within my own psyche. I think this is a powerful place of balance, where the bright intense light of the sun is blocked by the moon so that we don't get fried by it, so that we can bear it. This is a job for the Feminine Principle, the emotional, intuitive, relational aspect of our Being, that needs to come into balance with our […]

Take a chance to leave that which is now constricting in your life

Take a chance to leave that which is now constricting in your life
Hello, Doctor Anita Johnston here. I'm on Guam at Ty Ty Beach.

This is the beach of my childhood. I spent many, many days on this beach with my siblings, with my cousins, and with the hermit crabs.

The thing about hermit crabs, unlike other crabs that continually will have to make a new shell as they grow, hermit crabs have to, at some point in time when they outgrow their shells, go on a journey. They have to find a new shell. A new shell that fits the body that they've created.

So there always a time when the crab has to get very vulnerable because just like us, there are times that we outgrow situations in our life, and then like the hermit crab, there is a time in our lives where we get very, very vulnerable because you see, to leave your shell means that you become vulnerable to outside circumstances.

The hermit crab is coiled up inside the shell, and it's little tiny body is shaped like a little worm. At any point in time, once it loses its shell to get into a new shell, it’s vulnerable to a bird that might decide to have it for lunch; or maybe a lizard.

So it is with us.
We have to find the courage from time to time, when we have to leave that which no longer fits us.

The lifestyle that we've been living that we've outgrown. Yeah, it is scary to become vulnerable and leave that part of ourselves that was once the perfect home — the way of living that was once the perfect fit, but that we have since […]