Exercise Gone Wrong?
Exercise is a good thing, except when it becomes a not-so-good-thing. While there are MILLIONS of Americans who do NOT exercise enough, there are those outliers who have the opposite “problem”: Exercising too much, obsessing over exercise OR feeling the need to exercise in order to earn their gold star or right to eat for the day. Where do you lie?
The Drill Sergeant
Beep, beep, beep, beep!
Groan. Is it really time to get up?
Yes. Get your lazy butt out of bed!!!
Ok, ok, ok.
Rolling out of bed, literally onto the floor, I dropped to “give it 10”—10 minutes of MANADATORY, dedicated ab work, keeping one picture at the forefront of my mind: Washboard, 6-pack abs.
100 flutter kicks, followed by 100 leg lifts, 100 scissor kicks, 100 crunches, 100 toe touches, and to polish it off, 100 bicycle crunches.
I could NOT go on with my morning activities UNTIL my ab routine was complete.
10-minutes later, I was slapping on my makeup, brushing my teeth, brushing my hair back in a pony tail, then bolting out the door, artificial-protein-powder smoothie in hand to hit the gym for my first 3-hour session of the day.
Gym Session #1
- 45-minutes on the StairMaster
- 90 minutes of weights and body-building routines and circuits from my favorite women’s fitness magazines or latest YouTube channel craze
- Another 45-minutes on my StairMaster—(holding on for dear life as I ramped up the effort to Level 20, skipping every other step in order to keep up and trying to pass the time by with my fitness magazine leisure reads)
Earn Your Food
After my morning routine was complete, it was back home to eat my precisely planned breakfast of another protein shake, blended in ice and water, alongside 10 counted almonds with cinnamon on top, while collecting my supplies for my grad school day ahead.
Gym Session #2
Come high-noon, when the bell rang for lunchtime, I bolted. Bolted as fast as I could across campus in order to maximize the strict hour I got for lunchtime to workout once more—often times a 45-minute-long, heart pumping circuit, inclusive to:
- 5-7 rounds of ½ mile sprints on the treadmill + thrusters or kettlebell swings and burpees, and, of course, more ab work (my stomach was my pride and joy)
Earn Your Food
45-minutes later, sweat on the brow, I bolted back across campus to sit for another 3-4 hours in boring classes, looking forward to my ONE highlight of the afternoon: eating my “earned” lunch of a frozen turkey patty (defrosted and nuked in the microwave the night before) alongside steamed broccoli, zucchini and of course, my large water bottle filled with Crystal Light. After savoring each and every bite I had earned, I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to pay attention to the teacher, while meticulously planning out the rest of my meals for the day, counting the calories I had consumed, day dreaming about picture perfect low-calorie meals and Google-searching recipes.
Gym Session #3
By 5 p.m., the bell rang again, and once again, I bolted out the door, fleeing back to the gym to get in my third and final “meaty” training session
- A 3 to 3 ½ hour routine consisting of more cardio, more weights and more pushing my body to whatever limits it would go.
Earn Your Food
By 8 or 9 p.m., completely exhausted BUT utterly satisfied and feeling accomplished, I retreated back home to heat up the exact same dinner I had for lunch (except this time, I could drink an entire pitcher of Crystal Light), all the while, reading blogs and articles online about diet, fitness and nutrition info and trying my best to study for my quiz or exam the next day. Come midnight or 1 a.m. I was back in bed to nap for 3-4 hours before I woke up to do it all again.
That was my life for a good solid 3-4 years, as my eating disorder, obsessive food thoughts and fitness lifestyle took on a whole new life of its on.And although my patterns and routines were extreme, there were many years not “quite as intense” that set me up on that path for self-destruction.
Exercise “Problem” Defined
What is healthy exercise and nutrition anyhow ? Exercise and fitness, like “healthy eating”, are intangible topics with multiple meanings. And what may be healthy for ONE person, is completely unhealthy for another.
What’s your relationship like with fitness?
If you’re like 70% (about 3 out of 4) women, exercise makes you feel better about your body and appearance—and often times, that is the driving factor for doing it in the first place.
It is NOT a crime to want to feel amazing in your own skin! The nitty gritty, entangling mess you may find yourself in though happens when exercise becomes a MANDATE or CHORE in order to feel good in your own skin, justify eating, or “complete” you.
Although we hear the statistics that MILLION OF AMERICANS do NOT get enough exercise…what about those who get too much? Or drive themselves (sometimes into the ground) in the name of “getting more”, checking off their workout box for the day or find their worth and achievement in the daily check-in to the gym?
The struggle is real.
And it’s not something to be ashamed of. While “healthy” (exercise and nutrition) may look different to everyone, YOU (and you alone) truly know in your heart of hearts if your relationship with fitness is genuinely healthy or unhealthy.
- What is your why?
- Why do you train?
- What drives you to the gym or the trail or the fitness class (or multiple fitness classes) daily?
- Is it so you can allow yourself to eat—or eat what you want?
- So you can get one step closer to your dangling carrot (i.e. dream body)?
- So you can feel “ok” about yourself for another day?
- Check off your “box” for your gold star for the day?
- To combat your inner mean girl that beats you down otherwise?
- To one-up yourself…or someone else (on Instagram, in your fitness circle, your friends)—you’ve got more willpower and drive than them
- Cope or run from a problem or stressor?
OR, is it to do something you love, find peace and clarity, bring life and health to your body? To become more and more a healthy vessel for living this life to the fullest—outside the gym or routine?
Only YOU know.
What to do about it?
Instead of ignoring the facts, check in with yourself and simply ask yourself this one question to set your own record straight—each and every time that “pull” or “tug” comes up to either ABUSE your body or APPRECIATE your body…
“What would HEALTHY ME do?”
The vibrant, thriving, healthy, happy, joy-filled, beautiful, beaming healthy you that you want to be? You may not be her yet…but as you get a clear picture of what decisions, choices and relationship she has with herself on a daily basis, and then put yourself in her shoes, you too can become her.
If you are ready to BREAK UP WITH THE OBSESSIVE THOUGHTS, the Bikini Mindset Program was made for YOU! Over the course of 30 days, I have thoughtfully designed kick-butt workouts, a refreshing (non-diet-mentality) nutrition plan and written daily mission emails for you to begin to gain freedom and get your life (and time) back.
And I did so with a special price point in mind just for you: 30 days for $30.
I invite you to check it out and sign up today to join me on the “other side.”
Thrive Fitness Prescription
- Today’s workout is super FUN and simple. Do something NEW. Something out of the norm. Something fun. Be it a different type of yoga or new studio, hopping into a group fitness class if you’re used to working out on your own, recruiting a buddy to go paddle boarding or simply on a walk at town lake. Break out of the rut of your routine JUST FOR ONE DAY, and remind yourself, fitness is a LIFESTYLE–not a chore, mandate or checklist. Have fun with it.
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