A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Health & Fitness should ENHANCE your life, not CONTROL your life.

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Living a healthy lifestyle requires hard work and commitment. It means not always indulging when you want to. It means not always being lazy when you want to be. It sometimes means sacrificing other things in your life to make your healthy lifestyle a priority. But overall, all of these choices you make should make you happy. Health and fitness should ENHANCE your life.

Exercise, food, calories, and "healthy" choices should not consume your thoughts 24 hours a day. It shouldn't make you feel trapped. It should not CONTROL your life. Because that is not healthy.

I've been there. I used to think I would get "fat" if I didn't do 2 hours of cardio a day. I thought eating foods such has butter and olive oil would make me instantly gain five pounds. I had a very all or nothing attitude. I was trying to be healthy but what ended up happening was that I was being controlled by my own thoughts.

It is possible to have too much of a good thing. Being obsessed with anything is bad. But I know how easy it is to fall into the trap when you're trying to be the best you can be. Every once in awhile, take a minute and take stock of your healthy habits and priorities. Are they making your life better, or are they controlling you?

Have you ever found health and fitness controlling your life?
How does it ENHANCE your life?

16 comments:

  1. Very good reminder! I think that dealing with an injury is a rude awakening that forces you to find more balance to see the big picture. It can be easy as runners to get caught up in how much we are running. And when we want to be healthy, it can easily g too far leading us to spend way too much time thinking about food and workouts.

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    1. I like what you said about the big picture. I want to run forever. Not 50 miles a week, every week, from age 20-40 and then have my body be SHOT.

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  2. Thanks for this very important reminder Meg! My life these days tends to revolve around "Where am I going to run?" ( because of all the snow) "and When!?" Now I just feel like "I give up! It's never going to stop snowing here, so I'll get it in when I can and not stress about it." I definitely have been on the "unhealthy" side of the line a few times over these past few months though.

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    1. That is good you at least recognize it though. Maybe the snow was the universe's way of telling you to just chill out a little. Get it? Chill out? HAHA. Not blaming you for all of Canada's snow hahaha. And I don't even believe in "universe" shit, but I guess if you had to look on the bright side of the whole snow situation you could think of it that way.

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  3. I thought about this yesterday at the total body transformation party I went to at my gym to announce the winners. I participated, but very loosely. I worked out 6 days a week but my food I didn't pay serious attention to. There was one girl who was 15% body fat when she started but she HAD to get to 13%. Really? Really? Is that what life is about? I want to eat healthy most days, but if I'm at a fancy event where they have chocolate lava cake, I don't care about reaching that body fat percentage goal. I want to indulge at certain times. It's about balance. I think sometimes health and fitness consumes people. Unless you have a specific medical condition, or are an elite or professional athlete, you should find balance.

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    1. Wow. I don't think 15% OR 13% body fat is healthy year round! Why did this woman want to get down so low? Was she competing in something?

      I agree with what you said. If we can't enjoy some chocolate lava cake (or one's equivalent of chocolate lave cake) once in awhile, then what is life about!?

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  4. I was reading an article yesterday about how professional basketball players eat. Apparently a lot of them follow a modified version of the Paleo diet in which they eat some carbs, but mostly stick to veggies and lean meats. Dwight Howard mentioned when he first went to the Lakers he was eating the equivalent of 24 Hershey bars per day in the form of Gatorade and candy. After a few weeks of switching to Paleo his sugar levels came down 80% and he went from 5% body fat to 3%.

    Another player said he mostly sticks to Paleo but every once in a while he hits up multiple fast food restaurants in a row for a cheat meal! I don't know if he feels trapped or not, or if he's just making sacrificing for being an elite athlete, but the fact that he basically binges every once in a while seemed very interesting to me! I never thought of professional athletes doing that.

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    1. Dang that is A LOT of sugar. My cousin used to play in the NFL and he had to maintain a certain body fat percentage for whatever position he played. (I am horrible and know nothing about football so I couldn't tell ya what position it was, but it was one you had to be CUT and FAST for.) So one time we went to see him play a game up in Buffalo and we drove home together right after the game for Christmas with the fam. We stopped at Wendy's and he got a HUGE burger and fries and stuff. It surprised me! But I am sure after playing a hard game his body craved salt and calories!

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    2. That's so interesting! I can definitely see wanting a burger and fries after a football game; the players must be so depleted especially if it's hot out!

      I know during my long runs I tend to think about Chipotle burrito bowls at least once ;)

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  5. Such a really important post, Meg! I was caught in an exercise addiction for about 7 years and it was awful. So controlling making me very sad, lonely + injured, tired and hurt!! It took a few years but I was able to get back to healthy workouts. Last year I even took a 9 day trip to Panama and didn't work out all! Back in the day, that never would have happened. Gotta say, life is so much better in moderation.

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    1. Wow 7 yrs is a long time! I am glad you are much healthier now and can enjoy "normal" people things like vacations without worrying about workouts!

      I am planning our summer vaycay and while I have some awesome runs planned, there will be days I don't workout (besides vacation-y stuff, which tends to be very active anyway.) I am not worried at all!

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  6. Good thoughts! I have been on the unhealthy side in the past. I feel so much more balanced now, but I still have my times where I get frustrated, but I don't get caught up in cardioing my self to death anymore.

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    1. Ugh cardioing yourself to death would be a bad way to go.

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  7. This is a great point! I find it's sometimes hard to find the balance...especially because I sometimes feel like eating healthy doesn't enhance my life much, but I know I need to if I want to be a better athlete.

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    1. Well I am sure the whole no eating gluten thing enhances it due to celiac's disease, so that counts, right?

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