Hi guys and happy Tuesday! So excited for another post for this series with my lovely friend Emily and to keep showing you all how important and vital it really is to take care of your body; as our bodies are temples! Taking care of your body means providing an endless amount of love for yourself, fueling yourself with feel good food and food that makes your soul thrive, moving in a way that makes you smile, and fitting in that self-care time even in the busiest seasons of our lives.
Today I have a treat for y’all. You prob know her, and if you don’t you should. Cayanne has an amazing post for you guys today. This gal is so incredible. She is a recovery warrior, body love advocate, and someone I admire very much. And today she’s talking about exercise addiction, something I struggled with and something that many people struggle with. So let’s get started before I talk your ear off 😛
Hey guys, I’m Cayanne – the self love spreading chick from Healthyezsweet Life. And I want to have a little chat ’bout exercise addiction, kay? In the celebrity edition of eating disorders, anorexia and bulimia are the Olsen twins circa “Billboard Dad” and “Holiday in the Sun”. But they’re not the only actors out there, only the ones that receive the most fame (and let’s be honest, notoriety). On the up and up is the lesser known eating disorder, exercise addiction.
Let’s Taco ‘Bout the Gym
I love the gym. It’s a great place to build your strength and build confidence. But it can also be a great place to overexert yourself, to injure yourself, and to become obsessed with the calories you’re burning. It’s absolutely true that exercise is a part of a healthy and happy lifestyle. More energy, better life quality, and all that jazz. But – and this is a big ol booty of a but – there are some exceptions to this rule. Exercise aimed at improving your physical health should never come at the cost of your mental health. Trust me on this one. Paint it on your mirrors and scribble it over your notebooks. So the question becomes, how can you make sure that your exercise is motivated by healthy intentions as opposed to disordered behavior? How do you break exercise addiction and fall in love with feeling good again?
How to Speak to Yourself Before/During Exercise
1). When you’re about to begin exercising: “My goal is to get stronger not smaller”
- Set your intention the minute you walk in the gym doors or roll out your mat at home. If you can say it out loud, even better! Make sure the emphasis is on strength and growth. Every crunch, mile, or plié squat is done in the spirit of the privilege of growing stronger, not punishment for the food you eat.
2). When you’re feeling discouraged / worn out: “I think you can go another round (or insert however many rounds/reps you have left) so give it a shot. If not, no worries! You can stop at any time”
- This is how you motivate without putting triggering pressure on yourself. Encourage yourself to keep going, but assure yourself there will be no guilt if you decide to stop today. There’s always tomorrow!
3). When you start thinking about the calories burnt: “No matter how much I do today or how far I push myself, it will be enough”
- When you were a child and held tea parties, you didn’t determine the success of the party based on the number of cups of tea you went through. So why should the success of your workout be determined by the number of calories you burned through? It’s your effort that brings out those endorphins and it’s the effort you get to feel proud of.
Exercise Should Never Feel Like It’s Drowning You
If you take nothing else away from this discussion please remember that exercise is supposed to feel good and never should feel like a punishment. An exciting challenge? Yes. A painful trudge? No. To learn more about how to overcome exercise addiction, exercise intuitively, and practice self love in general, check out my Recovering Girl’s Guide to Working Out and Building Positive Body Image. Don’t see your question? Email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Huge thanks to Cayanne for this awesome post! Would love to hear some feedback on this and I know Cayanne would as well. So leave your thoughts about this in the comments if ya wanna! 🙂