Obsessed. I was literally obsessed with running on the treadmill for over an hour every single day. I didn't enjoy it. I never looked forward to it. But, I did it because I was so consumed by the thought that if I didn't run on that treadmill I would gain weight, get fat and I would be a failure.
This is how I looked ... brittle, frail, skin and bones, no muscle mass, weak. On the inside I was tired, sad, drained, foggy, depressed, obsessed and confused. Does that sound like a healthy lifestyle to you? Pretty obvious. Yet, I was the "healthy girl." I claimed my obsession with food and fitness to be "healthy."
And people accepted it because the trend today is green juice and working out.
Through a lot of self-discovery and fights with my mind, I realized I had a problem. I was sick and tired of being SICK AND TIRED. So, I worked towards bettering myself - eating more, fueling my body with what it needs to live. And I slowly got off the damn treadmill (By the way, I don't have anything against treadmills, you may even see me on one once a week...maybe). But the damage is when you are so obsessed with working out that it consumes your life. That you only workout to burn calories. That you feel like you are a failure if you skip a workout.
What a lot of people don't understand is that this is a MENTAL ILLNESS. People with eating disorders and unhealthy relationships with exercise are OBSESSED WITH IT. It's hard to stop cold turkey. It takes a lot of work and it's extremely difficult. Let me break it down...
While I was going through the phase of decreasing my extreme cardio and increasing food, I would have major mood swings and get super emotional. Why? Because I felt like I was losing control. Now that I wasn't spending my time obsessed with food and fitness .. what exactly do I do? See, it's all about filling some type of void. It may be a relationship thing, you may feel alone and food and fitness comfort you. Maybe it's an insecurity. Maybe it's something that stems from your childhood. But people need to understand that it's hard. You can't exactly snap out of it. You need to be respectful. Comfort them. Don't comment on their appearance and instead, just support them.
Today, fitness is a huge part of my life. I go to the gym - that's different. I used to do the treadmill thing in the comfort of my own home. Now I go to the gym because I want to. Because it makes me feel good. Because it makes me feel strong. Because I want to get stronger. I go because I like the people who work and train there. It's a social part of life. I do it out of choice and joy. And that also means accepting it when I don't feel like going - because let's be honest, no one in their right mind wants to workout all day every day. Gym rats need their rest. Body builders know they need days off to grow and recover. NO ONE forces themselves to go to the gym when their sick. And if they do - they probably need to re-evaluate their relationship with working out. I forced myself on that treadmill when I was sick, when I was tired and when I had no energy. That's not exactly healthy.
Why is this even a blog post? Because I feel free. I didn't go to the gym today (this was written on Thursday ;)) and I don't feel guilty. I'm not worried that I gained 2395893 pounds. I'm fine. I'm happy. I'm okay. I'm looking forward to the gym tomorrow. That's a normal relationship with fitness.
Don't get so caught up in working out that it becomes an obsession. I mean, easier said than done. But think about WHY you are doing it. Re-evaluate your relationship with fitness if you need to. Is it adding value to your life, or is it consuming your life?