Do you view exercise as punishment? Is there a form of exercise that makes you happy? Can you appreciate your body for what it enables you to do instead of only focusing on how it looks? In this podcast, Dr. Castagnini speaks with Carmelle Jean-Francois about exercising for health and joy!


Carmelle Jean-Francois, an NYC native, is an entrepreneur, Amazon bestselling co-author, motivational speaker, and the Founder and CEO of cFIT Coaching, LLC. She is a fitness enthusiast who has built a strong foundation through her certifications as a NASM Personal Trainer, a Spinning Instructor, a Medical Exercise Specialist, a Pre/ Post Natal Exercise Specialist, and a Beachbody Coach. Carmelle’s most recent projects include virtual fitness classes, private wellness support communities, a fitness blog, and her new book, International Women of Color Who Boss Up!
Visit her website. Connect on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.


  • Finding balance
  • Benefits of movement
  • What do you appreciate about your body?

Finding balance

Find your balance between eating well and moving often at various levels in order to maintain your wellness. I do believe in movement, but I believe that we have to get to a place where we are comfortable in our own skin, and we love ourselves because we are who we are. God put us in this body and we’re going to do the best that we can to keep it healthy. Be good to our bodies so that [they] can be good to us. (Carmelle Jean-Francois) It is vital to enhance and maintain the wellbeing of your body throughout your life, but especially towards your aging years. The care that you take now of your body will set you in good health for decades to come.

Benefits of movement

Meet yourself with joy in the exercise that you like doing. What is a form of exercise that brings you simple joy, and that you could end up doing for hours because you are having so much fun? Could that be swimming, dancing, weightlifting, yoga? Find the exercise that makes you forget that you are working out because it brings you that much awareness of your body and enjoyment of yourself.
I always ask first: what is the reason why you are a part of this group? What are you trying to accomplish? … and then I [ask] “what exercise do you want to do minimum three days out of the week to help you stay moving?” To help your cardiovascular [system], to help with the clearing of the mind stuff, clearing of the stressors of the day. (Carmelle Jean-Francois)
You can enjoy exercise instead of pushing through it with frustration and despondence. Find the type of physical activity that leaves you feeling fresh, energized, and alert instead of forcing yourself to do something physical that you would much rather avoid doing altogether.

What do you appreciate about your body?

Due to the immense and constant societal pressure, many people only feel proud of or enjoy their bodies when they look a certain way. However, your body enables you to interact with life. Your body lets you run, swim, sing, walk, climb, and dance. It allows you to experience life fully – that is already a body to appreciate and be grateful for.

Books mentioned in this episode:

Carmelle Jean-Francois & Co. – International Women of Color Who BossUp: Asian, Latina and African American Women Who Thrive and Take Charge of Their Destiny



I am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well. One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "hey, I've been there. I understand". Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it. If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times. My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it". I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades. But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share. I am so happy you are here!


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