January may seem like a distant memory, so how are your new year fitness goals going? Are you determined to get yourself in shape to feel your best? That’s where Tally Rye and hew new book “Train Happy” can help. Are you ready to find out her secrets and find fun in fitness?
Tally is a Personal Trainer, training clients and teaching class in London for over 5 years. She is co-host of the Fit & Fearless podcast with BBC 5 Live which is now in the fifth season. She is passionate about helping people ditch diet culture and find the fun in fitness so it becomes a sustainable and enjoyable part of their life.
I wasn’t a sporty kid at school, but after I left school at 18 I started full-time Musical theatre training. I hoped I would be singing, dancing and acting as my career and so I needed to build strength and stamina to be the best performer I could be.
Early in my twenties I started to take fitness a lot more seriously and looked to social media for motivation and ideas. Here I incorrectly learned that fitness and health meant weight loss and restriction. On reflection, this led to an obsessive relationship with food and fitness but at the time I thought I was just ‘being healthy’.
As I discovered fitness I started sharing that on Instagram, with an account called @cleanfitlifestyle which I have now changed to my name @tallyrye.
After leaving drama school over 5 years ago I soon qualified as a Personal Trainer as fitness had become my passion.
Throughout this time I have been on a path with food and fitness that has been about shifting my intentions from being focused on weight and aesthetics to now building trust with my body, enjoying the physical and psychological benefits of regular exercise and ultimately feeling good.
When it comes to working out, if you truly hate what you’re doing – don’t do it.
Instead, work on shifting your intention from exercise being a tool of self-punishment, body control and something you dread to using it as a tool of self-care, self-expression, and something to look forward to!
Perhaps the gym isn’t your thing? Write a long list of all the different ways to move your body (swimming, hiking, dancing, climbing etc) and try as many as you can until you find the one that feels good for you. Ultimately the best workout for you is the one you enjoy and can repeatedly come back to.
Do you think we need to put more emphasis on diversity in the fitness industry? If so, how can we do that as creatives?
Absolutely! For so long the fitness industry has praised and upheld a very narrow body ideal that you traditionally see on the cover of fitness magazines; slim, lean and white. This can feel very intimidating, unachievable and alienating to many. Ultimately for people to feel welcome and included in fitness they need to see more to be more.
By showing that fit bodies are diverse and come in all shapes and sizes it sends a powerful message to those on the sidelines that they belong and deserve to enjoy the benefits of regular movement.
As creatives, it is important that we always consider that all voices are being seen, heard and included in discussions. From artwork to podcasts, to imagery online – there are so many awesome opportunities to push for more diversity and inclusion in fitness.
Who do you hope to inspire through your work?
I create the content I wish I had when I was starting my own fitness journey. My relationship with food and exercise was disordered for a long time when it didn’t have to be that way. My hope is that I can encourage people to consider how fitness can be a supportive and fun part of their life and doesn’t have to be something we ‘have’ to do just to feel less guilty.
Tell us about your new book, Train Happy: An Intuitive Exercise Plan for Every Body – what’s it about in a nutshell?
Train Happy is not your average fitness book.
The focus is on how the reader can create a positive and sustainable relationship with movement through moving away from diet culture and towards an intuitive approach to fitness.
We cover 3 aspects: Happy section where we discuss mental health and body image, Eat where we introduce the reader to Intuitive Eating and Train where we discuss how we can build an intuitive relationship with fitness. This leads into the 10-week training plan for those who want to build strength and stamina and don’t know where to start.
There is a deliberate use of sketches as well as a variety of models so I hope those open the book and see a person that looks like them.
What are the three main take-homes from the book?
- Diet Culture has played a big part in shaping our relationships with fitness, food and our bodies.
- The physical and psychological benefits of regular movement are amazing and yet we don’t hear about them enough!
- Fitness can and should be fun, enjoyable and something that makes you feel good.
I hope Train Happy helps to increase awareness of Diet Culture to those who may not have realised how prevalent it is and help them to realise if they can approach fitness in a different way that puts your overall wellbeing at the fore. I want to show people that it is simple to live a happier life, too:
- Be part of a community and put time and energy into spending time with people that uplift you. Joining a local sports team, a running club or even going to a class at your local gym can be a great way to do that.
- Act more accepting – of yourself and of those around you. Social media is a great opportunity to follow people with a diverse range of interests, bodies and backgrounds.
- Set boundaries and make time for yourself. Be firm with how you want to be treated and make sure to put aside time each week to invest back into yourself, whether that be through a workout or curling up with a book on the sofa.
Eat Train or Happy? which one keeps you talking all day long?
I would say Happy – food, fitness as well as other aspects of my life all contribute to my overall happiness and that I believe is most important.