Dani got to preview Katy’s upcoming book, Movement Matters, and REALLY needed to talk to someone about it. This is the first in a series of companion podcasts for Katy’s upcoming book, Movement Matters.
DANI: Welcome to the Katy Says podcast…what the hell was that?
KATY: That was bells in the background.
DANI: Laughs! Sorry! Welcome to the Katy Says podcast, where Dani Hemmat and Katy Bowman talk about movement: the tiny details, the larger issues and why Movement Matters.
KATY: I’m Katy Bowman, biomechanist and author of Move Your DNA.
DANI: And I’m Dani Hemmat, a chronically curious movement teacher. Today is just completely off the rails and I don’t know.
KATY: There’s no plan, just so everyone knows.
DANI: There’s no plan.
KATY: But we do have a topic.
DANI: Yes, we do have a topic. About a week and a half ago, right? You sent me the, you know, draft… mostly finished draft
KATY: The full manuscript
DANI: The full manuscript of Movement Matters. Okay? Which is a collection of essays but that just sounds so benign.
KATY: I know right, once you read it.
DANI: or is it maximum WAAAA!
KATY: I know.
DANI: If, Katy Ann Bowman, I could hug you right now… we’re in different states, so I can’t. But this is one of those books, and I read a lot of books. I’m like, you know, three to five books a month. I read a lot. And this is one of the best books I have ever read. And not just for writing. Your writing gets better with every book. You’re like J.K. Rowling. Every book is just…
KATY: I am…without the number of books sales.
DANI: Yeah. You beat yourself. You top yourself, but, I just … and I hope I’m not hurting you by saying this but, this book is – it’s intense. And it is radical.
DANI: I mean that’s been said about it but I almost wonder if it’s – if the world is ready for it. And I certainly hope it is because it’s such a different book. And I hope you’re not like Tesla, where, you know, in 90 years we’re all gonna be sitting in our “Wall-E” chairs going “we should have read the book and listened…”
KATY: Well, my publicist, who read the book, she said, “This book is like Silent Spring.”
DANI: Yeah. That’s one of the comparisons in my head that I made.
DANI: Oh ok.
KATY: So I was like “What are you talking about?” And she said, “There was this book…” What year did Silent Spring come out? Was it the 50s or 60s?
DANI: No. I thought it was the early 70s.
KATY: It could have been.
DANI: I can look that up.
KATY: Ok, so yeah, it was about DDT. Right?
KATY: Like it was about, “Hey, this thing that we all have been doing, because, you know it’s like, hey amazing technology. So good. And now we’re gonna have amazing crops and everyone is gonna make more money. And we’re gonna have more food.” And then she was like, “Wow. Look at the dead things that no one is paying attention to.”
KATY: There’s all this dead stuff. And it’s actually pretty bad and here’s a scientific conflict of it.
KATY: Because she was a researcher – I want to say she was a chemist. I can’t remember. But she was outside the field of DDT, so she got a lot of criticism, you know, from the DDT researchers. Funded by the DDT makers. They’re like, “This is fine. This is bogus science. This is out of your field. Go sit back down.” Anyway, it was one of those books that rattled a few cages and I absolutely am aware that this book is going to be a burden. I’m going to have to wear this book. Probably a bit.
DANI: Yeah. I don’t think that’s in any way minimalizing the impact of it, by saying that. I think you’re right.
KATY: Yeah. Is the world ready for it? I don’t know.
KATY: I had to write it regardless.
DANI: And I’m really glad you did. I can’t wait until it’s in people’s hands. Until it’s out in the world. Which is very soon, right? Just a couple weeks.
KATY: Yeah, what is this.
DANI: It’s October. This will come out October 3, I think.
KATY: So it’ll still be another, it’ll be another month. Technically, our launch, our big launch for the people who are coming to the Bay area for this big launch thing that we’re doing, they’ll have the earliest copy in hand. If you pre-order you’ll have it in hand probably mid-November. And then all the bookstores and Amazon and everyone will get it towards the end of November, like the 30th.
DANI: Ok. Well, just a couple of initial thoughts, like for me personally, and then we’ll get into the bigger me personally, because this is all about me, right?
KATY: Well this episode is about you because I don’t think I could introduce this book… the way that I would introduce this book is probably different than a person who just read it would introduce it. And I did, you know, I did an interview on this book about a month ago. So Paleo Magazine featured it in their October/November issue. So the woman read it for this book review piece. It’s a very substantial – maybe one, two… maybe four pages.
DANI: I thought it was pretty big for that.
KATY: For a book review, right? It was huge. And she was like, she was like, “I can’t, like, I’m trippin’ out right now.” Like it’s just one of those books that makes you go, “I’m seeing everything differently. I’m seeing my whole entire life and lifestyle differently. I don’t quite know what to do. Everyone has to read this book. I don’t know if everyone is ready to read this book.” She was just really, like this is her overwhelmingly honest response and, so I thought that, in dealing with your overwhelmingly, just authentic response to the book, that would probably be a better way to frame it for people out there right now. Rather than me going on “here was my intention with the book.” Just more like how did the book make you feel? What would you say the book is about in a sentence?
DANI: In a sentence?
KATY: You have three words, go!
DANI: Laughs. Uh…I don’t know.
KATY: I know.
DANI: I’d say overwhelming and just a shift. It’s just a shift that I can’t go back to. And it is like those books, like Silent Spring or A Stranger in a Strange Land, that you read it and it shifts your perception of your place in the universe and how the universe operates and it’s not like a really good movie that you go back to your life after that really good movie or even an entertaining book. It is so thought provoking. And this is stuff that you have touched on before – some of it. So it’s not like it’s new to me but I just have to say, even if I didn’t know you or follow your work, I would be floored.
KATY: There’s a lot of brand new stuff.
DANI: Yeah. It really is.
KATY: Some of the stuff we’ve talked about but it’s the largest possible picture, I think, at this point.
DANI: Well, yeah. I don’t know if I can handle any larger right now.
KATY: I don’t know if any larger picture exists, but it’s the largest framing I see of the problem right now. It’s just that. It’s really big scope.
DANI: Yeah. It’s kind of fascinating to me that all this stuff’s in your head. BUT it’s a book that merits more than one time through, I think, for me personally. I’m probably gonna do like Move Your DNA where I read it a few times and then listened to it just to reinforce it. But I think this is something, I almost, it was challenging. I almost resented having to read it so quickly.
DANI: Because of the volume of provocation, you know, in here. It’s huge!
KATY: It’s also essays. And I think essays lend themselves to reading one at a time in any particular order. I have this book of essays on nature that I read, I mean there were essays in there that I have read fifty or sixty times, and essays that maybe I’ve only read once. And I would just find myself being called back to the catharsis of certain pieces.
KATY: I mean, I read it until it fell apart. And I can’t remember the name of it and I’ve tried to find it multiple times again because I would go back, like, just I just needed to read this essay called Ill Nature. Which, interestingly enough, I put a small section of in this book, Movement Matters. Right? So it’s like these pieces have been transformational for me and these essays, this set of essays is the way that I think now after reading other transformational things. So hopefully they’ll go on and change other people and what they produce will change and that’s just how it works. But anyway…
DANI: Right. And that’s very true about essays. And these are great lengths but there’s nothing, you know, thin about them at all.
KATY: No. No.
DANI: So I think, you know, everyone’s gonna read it their own way, but, you know, take your time and digest it. And really think about it. Because I’m going to have to go back and do that with it.
KATY: What was your favorite essay? Section?
DANI: My favorite one, and you’re gonna hear me flip through a lot of my … Actually, in one of my most favorite essays, because it spoke to me so personally, was the Movement as Counterculture.
DANI: Just because that part fascinates me so much. You know, the whys of why we do, you know, why are we driven to do things just because it’s so much more convenient and comfortable and less awkward to do those. So I liked that one, as far as … I mean I liked them all, but I think that one really, I was like, “YEAH”…saying yeah out loud.
DANI: So tell it!
KATY: All right. So where do we go from here? For people listening.
DANI: Well, I’m just gonna talk about it. And I want to talk about things that kind of stuck with me if that’s ok. Because I had some questions. And you addressed it a little bit in the book. I think it’s a book that would benefit almost with like a companion manual.
DANI: Sort of a how to deal with all this that you’re feeling and thinking and going through with each section or essay. The book’s divided into: Science Moves, Nature Moves, and then Food Moves, which, I mean, I’m still just reeling over all that and then the Just Move. And then it has tremendous appendices – just all the appendices that are available in the appendix is huge also. And helpful. Very helpful.
KATY: And I tried to… you know I think a lot of my books are, this book is definitely action oriented. But I think that we’re used to taking action in exercise format. Right? It’s like, “Here’s the 12 exercises, here’s the 30 exercises, here’s the exercise program.” Like you’re used to taking action regarding movement in exercises. Where this book is not about exercise – well it is about exercise – it’s what exercise is relative to movement and natural movement. There are a lot of take action tips…
KATY: I wanted the essays to linger and not be like a how-to manual. That all being said, the how to is in there.
KATY: You will probably have to read it a few times and oftentimes we put the how to in the appendices. Right? So there are more specific how-tos. But I think that, if you read this book and then go back and read my other ones, you will see that this book is the framework for all of the other how-tos I’ve already written.
KATY: You know what I mean. So, I don’t want…there’s no more exercises that you need. Like all that exists. What you didn’t maybe see was the largest picture and now when you integrate this book, all of the other books will be like, “Oh, I get that now.” Maybe. Maybe.
DANI: Yeah. And it’s funny that it’s so overwhelming. Like, it’s overwhelming and they do linger. The essays do linger and I think the how-tos are in there but you kind of… but you kind of, I personally would read through something and think, “Holy Cow. Yeah.” And start going off on that train of thought and kind of just feel overwhelmed. There’s so much differently that I want to do.
KATY: Have you started doing anything differently in a week?
DANI: Yes. Yes.
KATY: What is it? Tell me one thing.
DANI: Just little things like, I started reaching for things that I normally would lean up against. You know I’d like put my hand on something to lean up against it but instead I’m just thinking like, “No, I’m gonna use less of the things around me to get to what I need.”
KATY: Here’s one for me. I’m going to tell you one of mine. In that same sentiment, I often ask my husband to get me stuff. Like, a lot. I’m like “Would you get that for me?” And one day I was like, “Why am I sitting around asking him to go get me things that I could get up and get.” And I’m not talking about, you know, changing a diaper with one arm and cooking a pot – like physically unable to do it…
KATY: …and it would be easier for him. I’m talking about times when it would be just as easy for me than for him, my default is just to ask. So the one thing that I’ve been trying to do is just more of my own movement on my behalf. Like there are times when I need a favor. And there are times when I don’t and I’m just being sedentary.
KATY: So that was the one thing for me, who wrote the book. I just observed that in myself for the first time after so many years. So.
DANI: Well, I’m sure you learned tons just by writing this book.
KATY: Oh totally. It was like, as I wrote in the afterward, it was like as I was writing it, it was like I was reading it for the first time. That’s what it was like. Which is a cool trick.
DANI: That’s pretty cool.
DANI: That’s pretty cool. I’m actually considering starting a journal based on my processing of that information because you read it all and you want to change everything. And then the overwhelm sets in and you’re like, “Well, you can’t change everything at once.” Things don’t work that way. And that’s why I suggest a companion manual. But I think I’m just going to create my own companion manual as I go through it and have a journal that’s just based on the process of reading through it. Because, I mean, it’s not Twilight, man. You cannot just plow through it.
KATY: What do you mean?
DANI: Hey, it’s a good book. But it is very provocative. Very very provocative book.
KATY: So I feel like we’re doing a podcast and the people listening might have zero idea what the book is actually about so far.
DANI: Oh ok. So how can I describe this book?
KATY: Could you give it a sentence? If you were just to explain it to your mother in law. Or…
KATY: Ok, well let’s say there’s someone coming to your class. If you were to just explain it in a sentence, I’m interested to know what that sentence would be.
DANI: Hmm. I would say. No this doesn’t do it justice. I would say it is a book of essays on humans and their relationship with the world that changes or that could change that entire relationship with the world. And I… that doesn’t really do it justice. But it’s about everything we do and don’t do and how it affects the ecosystem that we’re part of it. Some of my favorite essays were parts about how we have separated ourselves from nature. And I never thought of it that way. As being separate from nature. But those were some of my favorite pieces, like, does that really sell…does that really sell the book anybody? I just.
KATY: It’s not about sales…
DANI: It really is worth reading. But I don’t know if I could do it in a sentence. How would you describe it in a sentence?
KATY: I would say it’s a book explaining through essays, because I feel like it’s too big of an idea, like it almost needs to come in subconsciously first, before I say, it’s like implied, implied, implied and then it’s very explicit afterwards. It’s a book about how you are how you think and that you move how you think and right now a predominate line of thought that you have that you probably don’t realize that you have is that you actually live outside of nature and natural law. You truly are embodying this incorrect idea that you don’t exist in the natural world.
KATY: And the repercussions of that and how, once you start thinking along those lines, you’re creating that reality and that separation between you and nature is getting thicker and thicker and thicker. And then the way that you think and the way that you investigate problems and then the way that you begin to view the information from those investigations, you’re using them to reinforce that separation and you’re going to do it right up to the point that we are extinct.
DANI: And that’s actually one of my favorite paragraphs that I pulled out. Could I read it? Or is that, like, weird for me to read it?
KATY: I don’t care. What page is it on?
DANI: It’s on 44.
KATY: I’m gonna flip open my …
DANI: And it’s about that separation, the detriment.
KATY: Did you highlight? Did you highlight anything in this book?
DANI: I didn’t. I pulled out pieces and put them in a different document for myself.
KATY: Oh, I was just wondering if you had that “eeeeee” kind of thing going.
DANI: This was all in PDF, so, c’mon. Ok. All Right. “We are currently living in a culture that separates what we define and label as nature. And we seem to be suffering the physical and mental effects of this separation. Yet, because we do not see ourselves as belonging to the animal kingdom, as needing clean water, and air, and food, and movement, just as all other wild animals do, our research begins by framing the symptoms of being in captivity as the problem. We see this in many other captive animals and I describe it in detail in Move Your DNA: Cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal ailments, diabetes, anxiety, depression, and many other modern health problems that can be traced to our lack of movement and our lack of movement in nature. The research striving to heal us is informed by a worldview that sees us as essentially separated from the “natural” world; which one could argue, is our problem in the first place. ” THAT… I mean, I like to move in nature. I consider myself nature girl and all that, but I had that same sort of worldview. Like I needed to come back into nature. And we are, I mean, we are part of nature.
KATY: We are nature.
DANI: We are it. And that’s just, you know…
KATY: I mean even calling it something different. We call that nature and us over here. I mean that fact that we even refer to it … and it is something at the end of Move Your DNA, where I kind of already alluded. This book explains, like, I find there are two lines in Move Your DNA. One is that line that I just talked about there which is actually, I believe, in the afterword for the conclusion of Move Your DNA.
DANI: I think it’s at the end, yeah.
KATY: Where it’s like, even if like, you don’t think of yourself as nature even when you’re moving through it. It’s like there’s me and this artificial zone around me that is outside of all of my other day existence. Right? We’re not part of it. And then there’s this other line in Move Your DNA, which I got some, you know like, there’s some people who didn’t understand it and who let me know, editorially, in the section of the book where I’m delineating between movement and exercise, where I’m saying that exercise has to do with the intention with which you’re doing it. Like that movement becomes exercise when it’s your intention to reap, solely, of physical benefit. Right?
KATY: I’m gonna walk through nature, but the reason you’re doing it, the intention that you’re doing it is to extract health benefit for that period of time. Which is unnatural. Right?
KATY: It’s unnatural to do it for that reason. But there are people that are like, “It makes no difference what your intention is, the benefit is the benefit.” And as I put in the book, the difference has a lot to do with scheduling and how we view our life and how we fit movement in that’s not exercise. So there’s those two lines. And I would say that those two lines in Move Your DNA, this book Movement Matters explains the importance of those two ideas to moving through your life. That you will never be able to move, you’ll never be able to move versus you’ll always be able to choose to exercise.
(background bells ringing)
DANI: Oh.. is it time for the train? Where’s Daniel the tiger?
KATY: It’s fairies! The fairies are here. It’s just going to keep going.
DANI: I see you, Penelope. I see you, Annette.
DANI: That is just lovely.
KATY: That is the pull the laundry off the line timer.
KATY: You want to hold on a second. I’ll shut it down. Hold on.
KATY: Here I come!
DANI: Thank you. Thank you!
KATY: All right. So those two points in Move Your DNA were kind of like just dropped. They were like two little drops in a pond that might have rippled by almost unnoticeably. Yet to me those two points were the platform with which all of this sets on. But people aren’t really ready for the platform, they’re ready for the calf stretch, right?
KATY: So it’s like here are the exercises, here’s the general. And then there’s this next level … it’s like and HERE’s why movement is more sustainable than exercise. And so, that’s what Movement Matters is.
DANI: So have you talk to anybody else besides the Paleo Magazine reviewer and me that just gets a sense of overwhelm?
KATY: I got a text… I mean there’s a
DANI: Because I know you’ve let others read through it.
KATY: Yes. There was quite a nice review team, so there’s probably about ten people who read it, in addition to the staff, right? So we have the editorial staff that’s reading it. And I would say that the feedback from the editors was like, “Holy Cow!” Like, and they’re not movers, you know, they’re not paleo people, they’re not moving people. They’re just regular people. Right? That’s the nice thing about editors is that they’ll often be outside of the culture of the writer. And you really want someone…
KATY: who doesn’t think like you do, to be like, “Well this is a big leap.” You know, like where people who kind of already think like you, they’re willing to take large leaps and they might overlook the fact that you didn’t build a strong enough argument. Where an editor would be like, “Eh, I feel like this is too big. You haven’t clarified enough steps between point a and point b.” And it’s like oh yeah, here were the assumptions that I didn’t even know I was holding and then you clarify and it allows more people to come with you.
KATY: Because for me, I can leap pretty far without perceiving all of the data that I have. The datum. Which one is singular and which one is plural?
DANI: I think datum is singular.
KATY: Yeah, you’re right. Without all the data that I have and then that’s why I have to go back and explain it because what seems very clear and logical to me is clear and logical to me because of a bunch of things that I’m considering but not realizing I’m considering.
KATY: And then sometimes there’s something, like “this example doesn’t work for me because over here because I think of this.” And it’s like “oh yeah, all right, ok. You’re right. I need to clarify that.” That’s the beauty of editing. But the editors were like really going “I feel extremely motivated.” Like they found that it was radical yet positive. You know…
DANI: Oh yeah.
KATY: I told them many times to remove anything that could really come across as judgemental or negative.
DANI: No. I don’t think there’s anything of that. I mean you are just not that way anyway, but.
KATY: Yes, but I honed it. I mean we removed lots of, like, I would put myself as an example just to show, like, this isn’t a criticism of anyone’s behavior or choices.
KATY: This is an explanation of how things work and then kind of how that sits relative to other things. But sometimes, without even realizing it, it comes across as negative without you meaning it that way. The word choice… so I mean, we did whole passes where I said, “Ok, I want you to go through and anything that feels at all chastising we need to change the words.” Because I wanted it to feel compassionate, positive, hopeful and without …
DANI: I think that’ll make more people open to what you’re saying.
KATY: But I didn’t’ want to diminish the problem either. Because a lot of times people go positive by minimizing the problem. Right? That’s their way of being positive. It’s like, “Well, let’s just minimize the repercussions. Minimize by saying, ‘It’s ok. You do what you have to do.'” And I didn’t want to do that.
KATY: So I wanted it to be like, this is the problem, these are the consequences, this is how we’re thinking about it. But without being like, “this is a problem because you guys are all making the problem. ”
KATY: Like this is the things that you’re all gonna have and that sucks. So there’s a way, I feel like, we keep not wanting to talk about the problem as a way of softening the blow. But then you never actually make any contact. So I was like, “I’m gonna lay the punch but I’m gonna do it in the nicest way possible.” And I’m really writing this book for myself. I wrote this book for myself because my life was out of alignment with the principles that I would have said that I held. But at closer glance I realized that I myself was not acting in accordance with the way that I would have told other people I was.
KATY: “Oh, I’m this kind of person.” Nope. No. Half the things in my house come from child labor, slave labor. Ok. That’s not good.
DANI: So I have a question for you along those lines. When you started to unwind this stuff and comb it out, did you ever feel overwhelmed yourself? Like gosh, there’s so much …
KATY: No. Because I’m not that kind of… I don’t … that’s never me. Um, I very rarely will see … I can see the number of things there are to do but I wouldn’t bemoan the number of things to do. Right? Because sometimes I think that that’s a way of not taking action. It’s a way of becoming… like being overwhelmed. Sometimes people think “I just gotta sit down because there’s too much to do.”
DANI: Yes. The overwhelm can paralyze.
KATY: Yes. And I don’t get paralyzed. Like, if there’s anything, I am an accomplisher, like that’s kind of my characteristic, my personality. So I never, I’m more like, “Oh, I have to accomplish more cuz there’s more for me to do.” But that’s where Stack Your Life came out of. What I started to do was to not see all of the separate things. I would look for the one thing to do that solved the four things that needed to get done. So I think that there’s a – once you can learn really what stacking means, stack your life, then I found it very easy to make positive changes.
DANI: I love that you just brought that up because I had opened up this chapter to talk about the whole stack your life thing.
DANI: Because you brought that concept out, what? About a year and a half or so or something.
DANI: You know you talk about it more, start integrating more and I thought, “I got it.” Ha ha. Like, yeah, this is why you do it.
DANI: But I see it in a whole different and deeper and almost easier light. I’m really glad that we’re talking about this in this way because when you talk about nothing in nature stacking it’s functions, it’s stacking functions is a human construct.
DANI: And when you just look at is as, it’s just, you’re just doing your thing. Right? You’re just getting your food, and living your life and if you can do all this other stuff, having it be part of it…. and that kind of made me more excited about stacking my life. You know, instead of how can I do this, it seemed more easy and natural. Like less pressure and just look at it more how can I bring everything in with me while I do it. I really appreciated that because I thought I got it. But then reading a more in depth explanation and comparing it with the honey bee, I understood it more deeply. And it became – just, I don’t know, it felt more natural. If that makes sense. It’s not like something I had to accomplish but just something that could be a more natural, not even activity. Just part of living.
KATY: Well, I think that people hashtag stack your life for me all the time and I’m looking at it and I can see that a lot of people interpret stack your life to be this multitasking thing and so that’s why in the book, there’s questions in the book, right?
KATY: So at the end of every – I get so many questions what I did. It was kind of similar if you ever read “Dear Sugar” it was like that. Where there would be these essays but at the end she would answer these three questions that she gets quite a lot. So at the end of every section, there were four, I answered three questions and one of them, I don’t know if it was there, but it was like, “Why is stacking your life not just multi-tasking?” And it was to show how they’re different. Right? So stacking your life is extremely different than multi-tasking which I find to be the opposite to living a more natured-up version of, you know, a human life.
KATY: So just to show that stacking, that you’ll always be stacking as a byproduct if you choose the more natural or the more nature based of any decision, of any option, you will find that it makes your life more efficient. That you will be accomplishing more of the things that you yourself have stated that you would like. It’s not about what I say you should want. It’s you yourself have said “these are the things that I want” and your life isn’t getting them for you so easily. You might want to check the natural equivalent to that. Because nature is efficient.
DANI: Uh-hmm. And you had talked about a mission statement before too.
KATY: Uh-hmm. I put that in here.
DANI: That’s something that’s included in the book. And as I’m starting to read through the book last week, I was like, “Where’s the thing? Why didn’t she put the thing in there about the mission statement?” Because I just assumed, you know, it’s gotta be in the beginning. At first, I thought it was kind of like a mistake, like well, this is not right. And then when I got to it, toward the end, you know, where it is, it made perfect sense to me because if it had been at the beginning, I don’t think that the reader would form a deep meaningful…
DANI: …mission statement for themselves. Or go as deeply into the material. And you know it’d always be at the back of one’s mind. “Is this what I want to do? Is this where I should be?” And I think placing it where you guys did, it resonates. I apologize in retrospect for, in my head, thinking “Wow, Katy really blew this one.” Because it was so well placed and I say, you know, we’re gonna do a show, right? On mission statements at some point. Because it was really good too. I loved it.
KATY: Well, the thing is, it takes a lot of…
DANI: I think we need to help people through this book is what I think.
KATY: That’s why I said, I think we’re almost going to have to do like a book club.
DANI: Yeah. We’ll be the companion manual for this.
DANI: Because it is, I don’t know, life changing, worldview changing, all those things and everybody, I think people even that live in, I don’t want to say, how do you say it, like more the primitive movement or paleo movement, I think even some of this stuff is really gonna be challenging to digest at first.
KATY: Of course it is. If you’re exercising right now and eating a “nutritious diet” it’s gonna be challenging to hear what nutrients and exercises are. That’s part of almost the problem. How we view nutrients as superior to the source and we keep trying to extract. We’re trying to live a sedentary, unnatural life and extract these elements of nature and reconfigure them and to put them on top of our life. Like that’s going to take, it’s going to take some major reframing to go, “Wow, with my one hour of free time, to exercise or do something solely healthful just for myself, I might be taxing other living humans right now.”
KATY: For the luxury. Like we really have to identify our privilege, our personal privilege in that it’s on the backs of other people somewhere scrambling, toiling, under conditions that are interfering with their rights. You know, in a way that we would never compromise our own, that we’re asking them to do that. But there’s too many middle men where we’re not seeing it.
DANI: Right. And I think that’s, for myself, reading that I would kind of have to stop and really think deeply. It wasn’t something I could just pass over quickly.
KATY: Did you go to the OSHA website? I’m just interested how many people will actually go when I say, right after I mentioned, if I’m gonna say something like “a lot of the stuff in your house that makes your sedentary-ism functional is coming from children slaves and other human slaves right now on the planet”. Did you go look at the website that I included?
DANI: I did not. And I bet you, a million bucks… well and I was just trying to get through the book because I had a time constraint but I think it would have been too, that was a tough group of essays for me. And that…
DANI: … it would be too tough. I think many people, including myself, would probably go back to that after we were ready to tackle it.
DANI: But sometimes you just don’t want to know. And I knew about the phone thing. When I found out about the phone thing, you know, in an earlier discussion, I went,
KATY: And that will be in our subsequent one.
KATY: But you know, Halloween’s coming up. I just feel really strongly about Halloween’s coming up and, like, our childhood holiday is often on the back of one of the most notorious industries for children slave labor. It’s that cheap chocolate.
DANI: Cheap chocolate. Yeah.
KATY: It doesn’t come out in October. So what I do personally… and you know a lot of this stuff I’ve known for a while, so I’m not having to make… I’m not getting the book of all of the changes that need to be made. This is a book of essays, a lot of them have come over time. So you’re looking at sometimes years of adjustments I’ve made in my own life…
KATY: So people can have that as a grain of salt. There’s one thing, well how do we reconcile, you know, these experiences we want for our children, so like, we started having an old fashioned Halloween party at our house so that we could still honor, you know, all that’s fun about it.
KATY: We don’t have … we didn’t have to go trick or treating. I could make all of my treats at home and invite everyone here and I mean we had, like, donuts on a string thing, and bobbing for apples, and you know, spooky stories. And we’re doing a haunted hike this year. You know. So you don’t have to just say, Oh… so stacking your life isn’t say “Well, I guess there’s no Halloween for us this year kids,” you know.
KATY: It’s more like, is there a way to get the thing that I want in a different way than I reflexively do because that way was just modeled for me so many times. So it’s like changing your foot position or dropping your ribs. You’re still walking but you’re changing some element. We’re still celebrating these holidays but we’re doing them in a way that aligns better with, again, our personal mission statement in these things. So anyway.
DANI: Yeah. And I think in reading through this it removed a lot of the certainty I had about the world and I’m always up for questioning things. You know it’s part of who I am. I’m curious and to me everything is interesting. I find nothing boring. Because it’s just a very interesting place that we live in. But I loved this quote because as I was kind of going through the essays and thinking “Huh… I never thought that before.” My favorite quote from the book so far, and that’s just my first read through, but, when you said: “Certainty doesn’t bring me comfort as much as assuming responsibility both for the decision and the outcome does.”
DANI: I loved that. That was so good. Thank you for that.
KATY: Well we’re wanting, everyone’s just looking for, they’re wanting, “Ok, I want to have this decision but I want to have enough data so if it goes wrong I know who to blame.”
KATY: You know. And so I just go, I think the first thing to realize is there is certainty about almost nothing.
KATY: And also you know, I think part of it was kind of highlight, you know as a, I try to be a science educator as much as possible and I think that there’s just a misunderstanding about what proof is and what research shows us as like, that like people are thinking that these papers or these things are justifications for their choices. And it’s just an outsourcing kind of responsibility sometimes. Sometimes there’s just no way to know about everything and you know, we don’t live in a community where responsibility is personal but at the same time there’s also a collective responsibility. You know, you’re an organism, but your family is an organism, and your local community is an organism and your government is an organism. And so you just start looking at, there is definitely shared responsibility and sometimes someone knows more about something than you and then you know a little bit more, or you have different experience and there’s always that trade-off in a community but we’re just at a point where there’s a lot of people without a lot of understanding about, in this book as it’s pointing out, movement and nature and so we’re just all kind of walking blindly, and um, it doesn’t have to be that way
DANI: No. And I think, I loved your use of nature to parallel and illustrate this ecosystem that we’re a part of. Because you didn’t over do it but it was, it all was really cool examples, like with the trees and the fungus. How do you say that network?
DANI: Oh. Ok thank you very much. That and the with the geese and the rivers. I mean you didn’t, it was about being part of an ecosystem but the way that you did it, I think it just made so much sense to really see our place in everything else and the way we move through the world.
KATY: Well I’m hoping that that geese become almost like the orca was for Move Your DNA. You know what I mean.
KATY: A lot of people called on that orca floppy fin to kind of explain shape and movement and its relationship to shape. In the book Movement Ecology, I’ll be expanding on movement ecology really for the rest of my life. In the next next book, which isn’t coming out for 12 years. Just kidding. It’ll probably be out in 5 months from now.
DANI: Not if you want to stay friends with me! I’m just kidding.
KATY: Exactly. Like I’m putting my foot down. That looking at these basic things that we understand about other animals and how they use each other to get the group from point a to point b. You know the orca whale occurred to me at the last minute. I threw that in. The geese was kind of this theme that just kept coming back up in my life.
KATY: Again. And it kind of ties in to even my Canadian experience. And there’s more depth there than I’m even revealing. But it’ll probably come out in interviews that I’ll be doing for the book over the next. I’ll be doing a lot over the next four months.
DANI: Oh I think so.
KATY: So listen to everything. Everything that I do on Movement Matters, I should probably put it in one place so that people can really use that as a way to make it through this book.
DANI: I think so. I think this book’s gonna be around for a long time. I think it’s going to be read for a long time. Which is a huge accomplishment…
KATY: And there’s silver on the cover.
DANI: …for an author and an educator. What?
KATY: There’s silver. The cover’s gonna have silver metallic.
DANI: Oh really?
KATY: Cuz that’s important. It’s shiny.
DANI: Well the contents are pretty shiny too.
KATY: There’s some good puns. Did you catch the …
DANI: I did. I did. I was like she wrote that for me.
KATY: I did. Sometimes I did. Absolutely.
DANI: But it was just, it’s such a good book and to everybody listening, I clearly can’t do it justice right now. And like I said.
KATY: She’s still stunned.
DANI: Yeah. I am.
KATY: It’s gonna stun you if you read it.
DANI: You can ask my husband if he were here because I had transferred it onto my kindle so I could not sit in front of the computer, I could go out and read it in the yard and stuff and he would watch me just close the kindle and like exhale and shake my head.
KATY: Oh my goodness.
DANI: And I’d look over at him and he’d just say, “Good book?” And I’d just say, “It’s heavy” There’s a lot to think about here. But that’s good. Like you did not waste my time with this book.
DANI: And I thank you for putting it out there into the world. And for those of you listening to this, you know, just read it. Borrow it, buy it, get it from your library, request it… anything. But I really think this is one of those books that will help you move through the world in a way that’s better for everybody. For you, for everything.
KATY: Yeah. You, your community, the planet.
KATY: The community of the planet.
DANI: And I don’t feel like there was anything, there’s nothing really super self-serving or egotistical about your books because you’re very generous with your knowledge and stuff, but this one I just feel is a huge gift. Just like Move Your DNA, where if you have a human body you should probably be, you know, reading that. But this one is just if you live in this universe, it’s probably a good idea, at some point, to read this book.
KATY: I definitely think that everyone in the universe should read it.
DANI: I do too.
KATY: I think there should be some universal book award.
DANI: Well I have friends on Zorg. They could do it. It was just really good. Thank you for letting me read it.
KATY: Of course.
DANI: An early read. And um..
KATY: And thanks for helping other people, we decided to do these because, like I said, it’s different than any other book that I’ve read. I think, it doesn’t need hand holding. Hand holding is not what it needs. What it needs is almost, it’s almost like you’re not gonna be able to talk to anyone about these ideas.
DANI: Well that’s…
KATY: You know what I mean?
DANI: That’s a really good idea. That we should have some kind of collective where we can talk about it because I’ve tried to explain it to a couple of people and find myself not doing a very good job and that’s mostly my fault. But it would be cool to talk with other people that have read it.
KATY: I was thinking about doing a book group for it. Almost like an online like google hangout, you know, at least once, so people could, so maybe after it’s been out for a month. So get a copy and let me know what you think.
DANI: Let’s do that. I think that’s a good idea.
KATY: Ok. Good. Well, it’s like a phone call it’s like “bye, see ya later”.
DANI: I know, all right. Thank you.
KATY: Thanks for everyone out there for letting us do it this way
KATY: I feel like it’s, as much as it’s like, so what was this podcast about? I feel like this podcast will help for those who choose to read the book. This podcast is really to support the readers of the book because you’re gonna need it.
DANI: Yeah. Well it just, there’s challenges and there’s provocation and if anyone wants to talk with me about it, I’m here.
KATY: Her phone number is … just kidding. All right. So thanks, all, for listening. For more information, books, and online exercise classes you can find me, Katy Bowman, at NutritiousMovement.com and you can find more from Dani Hemmat at MoveYourBodyBetter.com.
Voiceover: Hopefully you find the general information in this podcast informative and helpful. But it is not intended to replace medical advice and should not be used as such.