Going to bed early and sacrificing nights out with friends? All so you can maintain the morning cardio and nighttime weight lifting? Stressing about not being able to exercise when you go on vacation? If these sound like you keep reading.
Some of these habits can get admired. The obsession can be made to sound like as incredible discipline or dedication. But it could in fact be a very toxic relationship that needs to be addressed.
So how do you know if you're struggling or flirting with a toxic relationship with exercise? Here are some sign so saw in myself and others that could indicate the toxicity.
Feeling guilty if you don't workout. Exercise requires discipline and sacrificing something. It could be time with your kids or sleep or time relaxing on the couch. But sometimes your schedule doesn't allow it that day. Maybe there was a doctors appointment you had to get to after work or your sons basketball game. Just because you didn't get a workout in here or there doesn't mean you won't make progress in the gym or in your physique. Something to also consider is if your routine has been the same for years and all of the sudden it's not working. Or you're finding the time you want to workout something is always coming up. Thats ok. Switch it up. A routine should never be so binding that you can't switch it.
But in the end missing a workout should not lead to anxiety and guilt. One thing to ask yourself is should my schedule be adjusted? If it was a one time thing or it happens once a week. Thats ok. Consistency is what brings the best results.
Another sign is Forcing yourself to workout even though your body is tired and sore. This one gets me because exercising sore lead to more harm than good. So it can seem like discipline in someones eyes but it's actually harmful. If your body is tired it could be fighting off an illness. Or needing that extra sleep or extra recovery day. If you're going to workout legs and your legs are still sore from the beginning of the week. You're not allowing yourself time to recover which will then not allow the torn muscle to repair and grow. You will re tare the muscle and lead to potential injury.
So it's not discipline to force the workout it's actually harmful.
Choosing exercise over things that are more important to you. Above I listed reasons why you may miss a workout. A doctors appointment, a child's sport game, a girls night out that went late. Or maybe you and your spouse needed some extra time together one night or morning. Those are all things that are important. And should take priority over a workout. There not happening all the time and those are all people who deserve attention and time from you.
If you are consistently choosing to workout instead of attending events for friends and family. That is a red flag. Im not saying it cant happen every once and a while. But if the time at the gym outweighs the time spent at those things, you should consider readjusting your priorities.
You will make progress in your fitness goals and miss a few workouts. What is important is long term consistency. Also consider what you want your life to look like in 5-10 years. What does your fitness look like and what do your relationships looks like?
For years I was in a toxic relationship with exercise because I thought i had to be. I thought to be fit I had to be miserable. To make sure i sacrificed as much as I could because that would mean I was disciplined and then I would be fit. If I could make myself uncomfortable enough and give up enough of what i wanted surely i would see results. But what i later realized is i was giving up so much and so much or it was for no reason. I had no rime or reason for some of the things i did. It was becasue other people did it or I'd heard it was the "only way".
We can be tempted to admire people's dedication to exercise. But in some cases we could be glorifying an unhealthy obsession.
I can recall times in my life when I would get up early before work to get my cardio in, go to work and then do weight training. I would have to leave an event early so I could get home and get to bed to maintain this routine. God forbid I missed a day or went on vacation and couldn't exercise. the guilt would be overwhelming, I would have to find a way to make it up. Can you relate to any of these?
For me I realized a few things i didn't love when i was in this cycle. I was sacrificing so much time creating routines i did not want to stick to for life, I was a slave to it. I could justify this behavior if i was looking to do some sort of bikini competition. Which i had zero intention of doing. these habits weren't getting me the results I wanted, My body needed rest
What I started to do differently was listen to people whose lives I wanted. Yes, I wanted to be fit and feel comfortable in clothes. But I didn't need a 6 pack at the cost of relationships. I then considered who I wanted to be as a person, a friend, eventually a mom and health coach.
It takes practice and time to break the obsession. But taking into account where I am now, it's so worth it.
I'm here to help you process those roadblocks if you need. My 12 week program helps you break out of those unhealthy habits. Then develop new ones that get you results on every level. So if this sounds like you don't hesitate to book a call so we chat discuss this further.