When it comes to training and working out, I know what it’s like to be too obsessed with your workouts and/or counting calories. I can personally say that it is no way to live your life. But how do you actually know when you may have crossed that line? What are some ways you can tell when fitness has taken over your life instead of enhancing it?
We should strive to view working out as something we do in order to become stronger, empowered and to move more efficiently.
If you’re training to compete in something, then your mindset does need to very focused and yes, a little obsessive. BUT, if you’re like most people and you are working out to reach a personal goal; to look and feel better, then this obsessive mindset can lead you to become miserable and extremely unhappy.
Here are some ways to know you may have crossed that fine line and hints that may be the tell-tale sign you may need to actually take a break from working out and/or counting calories:
- You are only happy when you burn a certain amount of calories at the gym or sweat a certain amount.
- You have to spend X amount of time in the gym for it to be “a good gym session.”
- You must obsessively track calories and macros including when you go out.
- You avoid social gatherings for fear of peer pressure from eating or drinking.
- You have a constant pressure/feeling to always train like a bodybuilder.
- Being strict most of the time but binging and going off the deep end sometimes. Then you mentally beat yourself up and the cycle starts all over again.
- “Punish” yourself with more exercise if you go over your calories/macros.
When we train only as a calorie burning activity & think that more is always better, we set ourselves up for burnout and other things down the line such as eating disorders and issues like body dysmorphia. Also, training this way generally leads to under-recovery which ultimately can lead to injury.
Training and being healthy is all about finding the balance that works best for you. Yes, it's great to be focused on our goals and to work hard. But when it begins to take over your life and it becomes more of a stress rather than an enhancement, it may be a sign for you to step back and take a mental and/or physical break from it.
It may be scary. It may get uncomfortable. But it may be necessary.
I encourage my clients to change habits in their lives that they’ll be able to maintain effortlessly in the long run. Spending your life chasing a goal and never being happy with your current level of fitness and achievement is no way to live.
What I always remind my clients is to keep in mind that our fitness journeys are long and we inevitably will have good days and bad. It’s all expected and apart of the beautiful wonderful journey to a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle.