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A Habit or an Obsession?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Since embarking on this fitness/nutrition/health routine I have lost around 12 pounds off of my 4'11 body, bringing my current weight to 99. I have toned up and gained energy and muscles in places I didn't know I had. I am fitting back into clothes I had previously considered donating.

And I don't feel great.

Thanks to a mildly obsessive nature, I have a difficult time taking a day off of exercise. Ok, scratch that. I have a compulsive need to exercise. What started as 30 minutes of the 30 day shred has evolved into adding jogging later on in the day, and 30 more minutes before bed. I have been keeping my caloric range reasonable and within spark's recommendation, but lately...lately I want it to be lower. Lately I hate the muscles in my arms, I think they are masculine and therefore unattractive. My thighs are still too big. My stomach still sticks out.

I think it's easy to fall into this trap; I have before and that ultimately led to my vacation from seeking good health. Eating celery in place of ice cream makes me feel good, superior, perhaps, a testament to my growing will power. It's no longer a struggle. If we go to chick fil a, I get the chargrilled chicken sandwich, no fries, water to drink. If others have cake, I'll eat a banana. It's slowly become entwined in my thought patterns, a habit. And I can't decide if that's good or not.

Am I being too crazy? Or is this what it takes?

Why am I googling “the fastest way to lose 10 pounds”? If I lost 10 pounds, would I be happier? Healthier? Better looking? At my weight, I'm healthy. I'm fine. On the outside, I'm eating a much more healthy diet, I'm exercising regularly, I'm not doing anything crazy extreme. I'm not starving myself. I'm not exercising for 8 hours.

But mentally, I'm consumed. I need to exercise again. I need to do more squats. I need to get more cardio. I need to eat less for dinner. I need to stop using salad dressing. I need to read more and more and more and more about “health” online. The best diets. The most effective workouts. What's my BMR again? How many calories are in carrots? I need to weigh myself just one more time...

Is this a healthy new habit of mine, or am I descending down the rabbit hole of obsession? Do I dare pull myself back out, and risk losing progress, or continue, and risk sliding and sliding deeper and deeper?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • JUDY1260
    I'm just reading this now in July so I hope you've found a place where you're comfortable with your body, nutrition plan and workouts. The way you described your exercise routine sounded a bit compulsive and I'd be concerned about it developing into an eating disorder down the road. Take care of yourself. :)
    2616 days ago
    Gee, I sincerely hope you find a balance in your life. Your pics on your SP page are beautiful!

    2701 days ago
    Thanks to all for the positive thoughts and great suggestions. :) I will absolutely enact the advice. emoticon
    2706 days ago
    There is a fine line between obsession & making healthy choices. SP has a quiz on here you may want to check out. I think balance is key and I'm struggling with that myself.

    I'm older so I do appreciate my body even the sagging skin on my knees! I regret that I didn't see myself as healthy & beautiful when I look back at pictures of myself when I was younger. Life is too precious & short.

    Celebrate your accomplishments! Congrats on your breakthrough with evaluating if your choices are obsessive or healthy. Trust your instincts. I meet with my doctor and nutritionist monthly. They mandated one day of no exercise. I was thinking of squeezing in a long walk. Thank you for reminding me balance!

    Have a wonderful day! emoticon
    2706 days ago
    It's interesting that no matter how much we convince others and ourselves that we do it all because we "want to be healthy", weight loss is actually often about "being good enough" to be loved. And the biggest problem is not that we are not loved by others (because, honestly, 10lb don't make a difference to them), but that we don't truly feel "good enough" to ourselves.
    I think I've got the same issue although often I don't even realize it.
    The biggest challenge is changing the mindset, not only the diet and exercise routine.

    Maybe it'd help to come up with a strict plan to stick to, make a print out to tick off what's on the list and feel good about progress. And then come up with some small rewards so that you can see how well you are doing.

    Also, my friend told me about one trick she read about somewhere. Basically, you put on cream or lotion after a shower or bath and concentrate on all the positive things about your body while doing it. I've tried it, and I think it does have a positive effect on self body image.

    In any case, don't stop. You've gone too far to quit:)
    2707 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8307544
    After reading this, it seems as though you are doing a great job with making everything a habit. However, now that you have the habits you need to start learning how to love the way you look. Sometimes we all get to caught up in looking at ourselves in a negative light that no matter how much we do, we never seem to be satisfied.

    I would suggest that you find ways to start putting your perspective of your body in a much more positive way. Maybe write down all the good things that you see (including the areas that you currently say you don't like). Try it for a couple months once a week. Hopefully that will bring the mental image you have of yourself into a more positive feeling.
    2707 days ago
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