Finally have a some time to myself early this Sunday morning as Dean is still sleeping, so I decided to finally log back into my wordpress account and realized it’s been a week and a half since my last post. I’ve been horrible about writing lately! I’ve also been horrible about working out. In that period, I think I’ve only worked out twice: one run and one elliptical workout.
Funny how when you work out all the time, missing ONE workout is like the end of the world to you, but then after several days of not working out you’re like, eh, what’s another day matter.
Reflecting back over this past week and a half, I’ve realized in one sense not working out much has been good for me. Exercise can be an addiction. Obviously, most would call it a healthy addiction, but I have found there are a few signs, at least for myself, where it can perhaps take on an unhealthy importance in one’s life:
-freaking out if you miss one workout. I joked about that above, but seriously, if missing a day or a few days of working out puts you in a pissy mood, of if you become seriously depressed when you get injured and can’t run….seriously, chill out. The world will keep turning. The sun will rise again the next day. You’re not going to die. Working out should be a healthy habit, but it should not become your identity. What happens if you get injured? What happens when you get old and your body doesn’t function the way it used to? What about when you are pregnant (yes, you can still workout when pregnant, but not at the same degree you’re used to)? I read a blog post awhile ago about some girl drowning her sorrows in alcohol when she was injured and couldn’t run. If a doctor told her she couldn’t run ever again, I’m pretty sure she would have to be admitted to a psych hospital for her own safety. Seriously, if being a runner or fitness freak becomes so important that it defines you, then put some thought into WHY it is absolutely MANDATORY for you to function. Please note that I’m not saying that one shouldn’t be upset at all if they’re injured or can’t run for some reason. It’s a spectrum and a matter of degree in regards to how much it affects you.
-not knowing how to eat or freaking out you’ll gain a ton of weight if you can’t workout. This is definitely something I struggle with, but that fact that I worry about this makes me think harder about my relationship with food and exercise. Am I using exercise as a clutch to allow me to eat whatever I want? I mean, yeah, it’s nice knowing you can have that cookie or beer without it going to your butt because you’ll be burning it off later, but I think a lot of people use exercise as a cover up for an eating disorder/disordered eating. If you can’t have a normal relationship with food when you’re not able to workout, where is that fear coming from? Where is the high need to control the calories in vs calories out ratio coming from?
-you aren’t willing to miss a workout, even if it means skipping out an opportunity to hang out with a friend/loved one or being unwilling to miss a workout even if it takes time away from doing other important life thing (getting enough sleep to function efficiently at work, studying, going to church if that’s important to you, etc.). I know I can get pretty set in my ways and stubborn about getting the workout in that I planned for myself, and I think when I get unreasonable like that when there are other important things I should be doing, I’m being downright selfish.
Anyway, I’m not at all bashing developing a healthy “addiction” / habit towards exercising, but as I have chosen not to workout much recently due to other commitments of my time, it’s been in one sense good for me to let go of or at least reflect upon some of my unhealthy attitudes towards exercise.