is the personal trainer, content creator and author of The Train Happy Journal teaching the principles of Intuitive Movement to help her clients reach their fitness goals and re-establish a positive relationship with fitness and food. From musical theatre student to fitness instructor, Tally’s passion for fitness shines through her highly-motivating podcast series and social media content.
Find out more about Tally Rye below…
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
Tally Rye (TR): I am a personal trainer, author and podcast host based in London. I specialise in Intuitive Movement and helping people to have a positive relationship with exercise.
What drew you to the fitness industry?TR: I discovered fitness at Drama School at the start of my twenties when I was studying to become a Musical Theatre performer. I wanted to be the fittest and healthiest performer I could be and so I started to go to the gym outside of class and followed motivational fitness content online. At the time, fitness was level with my passion for Musical Theatre and so upon graduating, I thought I could work as a PT alongside auditioning. However, once I graduated I trained to be a PT and the rest is history as I realised this was what I wanted to do. Although looking back I realise a
That was 7 years ago and since then I have been on a personal and professional evolution through healing my own relationship with food, fitness and my body and wanting to create a difference in an industry that can sadly normalise and foster disordered behaviours.
As a personal trainer, you use Intuitive Movement to help your clients in their fitness goals. Can you elaborate on what Intuitive Movement means?
TR: Intuitive Movement is a set of guiding principles designed to help an individual reflect and re-assess their relationship with movement and their body so that ultimately they can build a relationship that is centred around self-care and enjoyment rather than punishment and pain.
The 9 Principles:
Reject the Diet Mentality
Honour Your Appetite for Movement
Unconditional Permission to Rest
Make Peace with Exercise
Challenge the Fitness Police
Discover the Feel-Good Factor
Accept Your Body
How do you define a healthy lifestyle?TR: A healthy lifestyle has to include mental health. If your methods of looking after your health come at the expense of your mental health then it is not truly ‘healthy’. It’s also important to create a lifestyle and include habits that support your physical and mental wellbeing for the long term. And
those habits go far beyond food and exercise, such as journaling, therapy, friendship, relationships, communication, nature etc.
How has your relationship with your body changed since becoming a fitness trainer?
TR: When I started working as a PT, the way more body looked was extremely important to me and was a big motivation for me to exercise. However, the more I focused on what my body looked like, the more I became insecure about losing ‘progress’ and my visible abs. I thought when I had my dream body it would satisfy me and I would be content; instead, I have never been more insecure in my life.
Since that time 5-7 years ago, I have done a lot of work on my own body image by challenging my own anti-fat bias and recognising how Diet Culture and its messaging had convinced me my happiness lied in my smaller body. Now, having gained weight and my body surviving a pandemic, I have changed my mindset massively behind my body image. I have made the shift to focus on what my body can DO and WHO I am, rather than what I look like. It has been challenging at times but ultimately so much better for my mental health and self-esteem.
What effect does exercise have on your mental health and wellbeing?
TR: I take issue with the phrase, “exercise is my therapy” because it implies that working out is a cure-all for deep wounds which is not true. I think of exercise as giving me the physical and mental strength and resilience to confront those deeper wounds and explore the painful and difficult emotions and experiences that I have long suppressed.
More generally, regular movement (and that is really any physical activity you enjoy doing), can help improve mood, symptoms of depression and anxiety, it can be an opportunity for social connection and can build self-esteem and confidence.
Maintaining a regular fitness plan can sometimes be a challenge especially during the colder months. What are your tips on staying consistent with an exercise schedule?
TR: Think long term. At different points in our life, we will have more time and energy for exercise than others. It will ebb and flow. That is normal and to be expected so don’t beat yourself up. Instead, begin to write down and cultivate a list of reasons you workout that are specific and intrinsic to you. For example, that might include, “yoga helps to calm my nervous system”, “running before work gives me clarity and focus for the rest of the day”, “playing sport with my friends improves my mood and my stamina to do chores at home”. Really try to steer away from aesthetic or weight-related reasons as these keep us in the external.
Lastly, figure out what you actually enjoy doing! Maybe the gym isn’t for you but other activities like swimming or dancing are. Rather than thinking of exercise as a chore to cross of a list, explore ways of moving that make you feel good and stick with that.
Often fitness culture is associated with achieving the ‘ideal body’, how can we change these repressive attitudes to body image and enjoy working out again?
TR: Shift your ‘Why’. Diet culture tells us we should be working out to control our weight and appearance and so we get stuck in the cycle of believing that unless our aesthetic changes what we are doing has no benefit and there is no point in doing it. Instead, reject the diet mentality and try working out from a new mindset of self-care and self-celebration. How does it feel?
Do you have any advice for someone struggling with their body image?
TR: The work of Lindsay & Lexie Kite of Beauty Redefined and their book has been life changing for me. I highly recommend their work as they talk about building body image resilience and shifting the focus from “loving what you look like”, which only gets us to a certain point, to putting energy into liking who you are as a person and valuing that more.
What are your thoughts on the impact social media has had on our relationship with food? Is diet culture healthy?
TR: I don’t believe Diet Culture is healthy as it is a system that creates insecurities (weight, appearance etc.) and sells us the supposed solution, creating a billion-dollar industry in the process. Social media certainly is another platform and opportunity for Diet Culture to thrive, but it existed long before we had Instagram.
However, I highly recommend curating your social media feeds so that if you come across content that makes you feel guilty about food, exercise and/or your body then you can mute or unfollow and find other accounts that make you feel good about yourself.
If you could give your past self some advice, what would it be?
TR: Go to therapy.
Any last words?
TR: If you want to learn more about Intuitive Movement and having a peaceful, positive and enjoyable relationship with exercise then get yourself a copy of , which goes into more depth on this and helps you to put Intuitive Movement into practice in your life. You can also hear me chat about this on which releases episodes every Monday.