Hey guys, happy Thursday! 🙂 The first week is flying by for sure!
Soooo, quick question….do you recognize the title of today’s post at all?
Wait, you do?!
I knew you would! 😉
I actually posted this on my blog last November, but when I transferred over to a new web host, I lost MONTHS of published posts. However, I thought I’d post it again today because I think it might be relevant for those of you struggling in making a positive change in your life. Or maybe you’re bored with your current fitness regime. Or maybe you’re dealing with an exercise addiction and you don’t know what to do to get out.
Well guess what?
I’m here to help. 🙂
Also, it’s the perfect day for it because it’s Thinking Out Loud Thursday!
As always, thank you to Amanda of Running With Spoons for allowing me to share my random thoughts on this day!
Let me tell you all something.
If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you should know that I finally stopped running last year, and I have never been HAPPIER in my life. I wrote a “breakup” letter to running last year, and today I’m sharing a new one.
This is the updated version that reflects on how I’ve been feeling throughout the past year with the absence of running.
*Please keep in mind that I am not a licensed professional. The material in this post is for general purposes and my opinion only. None of the information in this post is intended to constitute specific medical, physical or training advice.*
Yup, it’s me again! I got somethin’ to say.
For the past year, I’ve been thinking about my decision to break up with you. At first I was nervous to make this decision, but guess what? I’ve just realized how happy it’s made me.
But first, I want to show everyone where our relationship has been over the years.
We started off great: 4 years of cross country and track meets, Turkey Trots, and a major improvement to my concept of bodily health. You were a stress-relief for me, and I actually enjoyed our time together. The summer after high school we lost touch for awhile, but I often visited you a couple times a week for fun. I wasn’t doing much else so I gained weight that summer, but then freshman year of college hit. Dancing every day wasn’t enough. I needed something else to get me more in shape, so I turned back to you.
Every. Single. Day. 25 or 30 minutes, 7 days a week. But then just running and lifting weights wasn’t enough. I decided that I didn’t need to eat as much as I did before, so I downloaded the *(insert swear word)* MyFitnessPal app to keep myself on track.
Boy did that weight drop. QUICKLY.
I counted every calorie I put in my body, my hips got tighter, my flexibility decreased, and my left hamstring suffered a tear in the middle of class one day. (I finally recovered from that). But I was STILL so loyal to you, wasn’t I?
This is a great image of the stages of exercise addiction.
I was your slave.
If I couldn’t run on the treadmill or outside I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was exhausted but I would go to the gym. There would be a blizzard outside and I would still go to the gym. I HAD to run because if I didn’t my life would fall apart, or so I thought. Even on my vacations from school I worried about getting in my daily runs. I thought it was helping me become a better dancer, but it was only hurting me.
Speaking of hurt, some of my friends got worried because I had so many bruises on my hips, legs, and feet from the floorwork we had to do, due to the lack of body fat inside of me. I could no longer just lay on the floor without my tailbone hurting and bruising. When I was almost forced to leave school because of my low weight, I rethought our relationship yet again. I got help from my nutritionist, I cut back on running, and started yoga and other cardio forms like the elliptical. I found myself feeling happier and more fulfilled than pounding away on a treadmill or the sidewalk just for the sake of burning calories.
This is what my obsession with you led to…a weight loss of almost 20 pounds in 2-3 months.
But then I missed you a lot, so I came back. YET AGAIN.
So then it turned into meeting up with you for 25-30 minutes on Mondays-Wednesdays-Fridays, and the occasional Saturday. Even after deciding to cut down to 3 days a week last year, I felt so much better physically and mentally. As you know though, I have a really hard time breaking out of routines.
So it happened again.
I WAS SO BORED WITH YOU!!! Sure, I was running regularly, doing yoga, and eating healthily like I always was, but in spite of my best efforts, I knew I had put on weight that was NOT muscle. It may have been a theory, but I think that the physical stress from running, college, AND dance became too much for my body, exhausting my adrenal system, screwing with my hormones, and causing my body to work against itself. Not cool, man.
So running, here’s the deal: even after a year, we’re still NEVER EVER getting back together. Life without you has helped my dancing, my mood, and my body. I feel like I’ve FINALLY regained the strength I lost, the flexibility I lost, and relieved the tension in my upper back and hips too.
And no, I still won’t see you for the Turkey Trot this year. Sorry, but I can’t do it. I’ve been having a blast doing other things that are more beneficial to my dancing career like HIIT, full-body circuits, Pilates, yoga, and meditation.
By the way, you were never really my favorite. Have a nice life.
NOTE: If you love running, by all means keep it up!
But if you’re feeling burned out by it — or any exercise — it might be a good idea to take a step back for a while and try something else. You can always pick it up again if you have the desire. That’s not to say I’m telling you to stop exercising completely, I’m saying that listening to your body is much more important. 🙂
An updated letter to my breakup with running. You were never really my favorite anyway…
Now tell me…
- Have you ever struggled with exercise addiction?
- What’s your favorite way to move your body?