Fitness, Health & Wellness

How Much Is Too Much? When Working Out Becomes Unhealthy

Happy Friday, beautiful humans! We made it through, yet again, another wonderful week! Believe it or not this is my third time typing this blog post. I had a large portion of it all typed out, ready to go, and each time I re-read it something in me said, “no save those words for another time”.  So here I am with a topic I know I want to discuss but the words that are flowing out are entirely on another dimension. You win, intuition, you win.

Truth is, this topic I am about to share with you all has been a topic I have been preparing to write about for a long while, but I was waiting for just the ‘right’ time. HA! Whatever that means. There is no such thing as the ‘right’ time. I always found an excuse on why NOT to type it out and share it with you all…reasons like; no one will care, it’s not relatable, wait until your blog grows some more, you don’t have enough to say about this topic…the list goes on. And here I am doing it again, rambling on, because I don’t even know where to start with this topic that I am so passionate about.

But today IS the day. No more excuses or stalling. If I don’t start now, I never will.

I am going to be discussing the topic of over exercising. You’re probably thinking “wow why is that so hard for her to discuss?”. Well, truth is, I use to be that person who over exercised AND was obsessed with food/what I was eating. I’ll save my own personal story for another day, but that is exactly what got me to where I am today—- passionate about health and wellness. Now that I can clearly see what damage I was doing to my body and life, it is easier to reflect on and bring awareness to it.

But what exactly is over exercising? I believe this definition can be different for everyone but in this post, I am defining it as a compulsive way to burn off calories to achieve a desired ‘look’ and/or to relieve the feeling of guilt from eating/bingeing (or exercising to give yourself permission to eat). The funny thing about over exercising is the people who are doing it, don’t even know they are doing it most of the time and the people in their life may never find out—it is not as visible as one might think. And then the question “how do I know when enough is enough?” comes into play.

From personal experiences, when you are over exercising, you are coming from a place of hate, not love. You hate your body; the way it looks, feels, and works. You are working so hard to fix the things you hate but in reality, no matter how much you try to ‘fix’ them you will always find something you hate, until you learn to truly love yourself. Sure, you may see some ladies or guys in the gym working their asses off. They may be in there for hours at a time, maybe even 2x a day, but there is a fine line between working hard to achieve your goals and working hard to change the way you are/look.

This is not to say anyone who works hard in the gym or individuals looking to lose a few pounds are wrong or unhealthy. It becomes unhealthy when you make working out a punishment to your body. The moment you step inside a gym with a ‘I hate my body’ mindset, is when it becomes a problem. Same goes for skipping out on social events because you’ll feel guilty for missing a workout, or punishing yourself for eating that extra slice of pizza. Or maybe you ate more than usual at dinner the night before so the next day you spend an additional hour on the treadmill. You should never punish your body for the way it looks or what you put inside of it. Aside from the mental damage you could do to yourself, think about the physical damage that could happen. You were made to be different from the rest, you and me both, we all were. If we all looked the same how boring would life be? If you’re hungry, EAT. Craving a sweet treat or some greasy bar food? Enjoy it! Our bodies get hungry for a reason so we need to honor that hunger cue and fuel ourselves so we can be the best we can be. Food is fuel. As cheesy (no pun intended) as that may sound, it’s the honest truth. Listen to your body, it knows best. Fitness and working out should be FUN. It shouldn’t feel like a chore or something you have to do. You should never feel guilty for eating more than expected or indulging in a treat. You’re human, we’re all human. Life is meant to be enjoyed, food is meant to be enjoyed, and the same goes for the gym.

This post was not meant to say I am wrong or right, to offend anyone, or to call anyone out. I am strongly passionate about health and wellness and I believe this is one of the many topics that needs more attention. As a Health Coach and health and wellness nerd/junkie/expert, whatever it is you want to consider me, it is my goal to bring awareness to these topics. Wanting to lose a few pounds, get in shape, or try something new is totally okay and harmless as long as you are doing it out of a place of LOVE.

Life is way too short to be spending it at war with yourself and your body. It is such a blessing to be able to have strong legs that allow us walk, arms that can hold the weight of our children, lungs that keep us alive…so embrace it and don’t be too hard on yourself. You deserve all the love in this world so don’t shy away from it.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Please feel free to leave a comment on this post or head over to my Instagram (@iamdevonjade) and send me a message!

XOXO,

D.J.

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