Fitness; How to Use it, Not Abuse It

 I had the privilege of being interviewed again for my friend Monica's podcast: "Present Over Perfect." (Click here for my first podcast interview). This time, it was combined with both Monica's and my friend Rachel's perspectives on another important topic... 

Fitness; How to Use It, Not Abuse It. 

(find it here)

We discuss the important topic of exercise abuse...

what it is, where it begins, how to recognize it, and what to do about it. 

In the episode we take a deeper look at how it can begin, but when we begin to view exercise as a punishment, that's when fitness can easily switch into a more abusive relationship... a punishment for what we ate, a punishment from body shaming, etc. until it's swirling out of control. Let me tell you some indications for identifying exercise abuse, because as my friend Rachel talks about in this episode, it's SUBTLE! And as mentioned by Monica, there are so many different spectrums regarding this issue, but it's important to be able to identify in ourselves and to reflect on where we are with our own fitness-self relationship. 

Signs of exercise abuse:

-Exercising through trauma and injury when your body clearly needs rest

-Feeling shameful, irritable, and restless after not getting a workout in

-Exercising as a punishment for what you ate, and thinking in terms of "If I eat this, I'm going to have to run ___ amount of miles tomorrow to burn it off..." An "all or nothing" approach.

-Thinking only in terms of calories in and calories out and becoming mentally obsessive about it.

-Letting fitness interfere with your true, bigger priorities, and allowing the numbers to rule.

-Compelled to exercise more often for longer durations or at higher intensity or "it's not enough."

If you feel like you are struggling with these things, DON'T WORRY. We've all been there at some point, in one way or another. You are not alone. You can get back on track! You can still obtain a healthy relationship with fitness. In the episode we talk in more depth about things that have helped us maintain balance and joy in the process along the way, but here are Monica's four "takeaway tips":

Four takeaway tips:

1. Get away from "all or nothing" thinking: Even your small efforts are moving you forward.

2. Find joy: the best type of exercise for you is the kind that you LOVE doing. 

3. Learn how to rest: listen to your body- it will tell you when you need rest.

4. Clean up your environment. Who are you following on social media? Surround yourself with people who support you and inspire you and who don't wear you out. 

Please take a listen, subscribe to Monica's podcast (I absolutely love it), leave a review, and go support both of these women who are doing incredible things (rachel_rebuilt and @aboutprogress). They are worth following, I promise.