Learning To Balance
I have to admit, I was nervous to write about this. In a way, I feel like it reduces my credibility. But in the end I realized – from many of your comments, even – that anyone who knows me or has been reading Frugivore for more than a week already knows this about me. And you still love me, or at least tolerate me quietly. So it’s probably going to be all right.
By this point, I am sure some of you are nodding your heads as well. I know I’m not the only compulsive exerciser out there. In fact, I have gotten several e-mails to that effect. So what’s an over exerciser to do? For me, being aware of my proclivity for over doing it has led me to set up some checks and balances. The therapist is check number one. She’s great at reining me in. I encourage everyone, compulsive exerciser or no, to get a good therapist. Check two is, as you may have already noticed, writing the limits into my Experiments. It took me a while to figure this one out but now every 3rd Experiment or so, I try and pick something that will force me – like last month – to intentionally take it down. For you guys that means actually scheduling breaks for yourself and then not letting anything guilt you into not taking them. Check three is getting extra support when you need it. My Gym Buddies know how I am and are there for me when they can see I’m getting too frenetic. I also have a cadre of qualified professionals like a psychiatrist and an eating-disorder specialist that I can meet with every once in a while when I need extra help. Lastly, humor goes a long way. I try to never take myself too seriously. Even in this.
Life is messy. I wish I could tell you that I’ve got it all figured out – that I’ve got Shawn Johnson balance skills. But I don’t. I do however believe that God can help turn our weaknesses into strengths and I am enjoying the process. Yes, sometimes I stumble. But I also have moments of joy every day. I love what I do. And I’m learning. Sometimes that’s all you can ask of yourself.
Thanks for this article. I am a compulsive exerciser too. So is my boyfriend, so it works! I love to run and do Bikram Yoga, kickboxing and Capoiera… you name it. I am also obsessed with the body beautiful and looking my best. At nearly 45, my body is gorgeous (132 lbs and 5 ft 6) and my health is wonderful (knock on wood). I have great frequent sex, high self-esteem, I can wear absolutely anything, I fit into a size 6 (and have since 8th grade), I have great focus at work, mental clarity, good skin, and I have tons of energy. The body was made to move vigorously every single day. I make lots of time to exercise each day, and it pays me back tenfold. Enjoy your workouts and do not feel guilty. Good for you sister!!