HAES-Friendly Fitness with Karen Preene | #28

The Conjuring Up Courage logo, a photo of Karen, and the words, "HAES-Friendly Fitness with Karen Preene Episode #28"

Click here to access a written transcript of this episode.

Mainstream fitness culture can be a tough pill to swallow, especially this time of year when diet culture is rearing its ugly head more than usual. Thankfully, non-diet, Health At Every Size-aligned personal trainers like myself and Karen Preene exist.

It was so great to have Karen on the podcast to talk about her exercise philosophy. We chatted about the value of taking intentional breaks, what joyful movement actually is (it isn’t only gentle exercise!), and how to have a healthier relationship with exercise and movement as a whole. Plus, we both reminisced about the role of play in our childhoods and challenge you to do the same!

We discussed:

  • Karen’s path from mainstream fitness to Health At Every Size fitness professional.
  • Body positivity as a gateway for looking beyond weight loss and appearance (and its problems).
  • The connection between white supremacy, fatphobia, diet culture, and more.
  • How mainstream fitness culture ignores people’s individual circumstances.
  • The pressure on fitness professionals to not only look the part but to be in peak health, both physical and mental.
  • Karen’s intentional break from exercise and how sometimes that’s the healthiest thing a person can do.
  • Some of the differences between HAES fitness professionals and mainstream fitness professionals.
  • How exercise has nothing to do with morality.
  • The fact that depression and anxiety can make it much more challenging to exercise even though exercising is known to improve depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • The value of walking.
  • What having a healthy relationship with exercise means.
  • The importance of play and returning to movement you enjoyed as a child.
  • Joyful movement being a bit of a misnomer since joyful movement can be anything you like, even high-intensity and challenging training.
  • How the way we program for clients has changed significantly since adopting the joyful movement philosophy.
  • How Karen defines health and wellness for herself at this moment in her life, including the importance of choice and giving herself grace because her circumstances determine her available choices.

Mentioned in This Episode

Featured in This Episode

Karen looks at the camera stoically, a strong and determined look on her face.

Karen Preene (she/her) is a non-diet, HAES-aligned personal trainer and business owner who is aiming to help people discover the joy of movement. You can find Karen on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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