If you are anything like me, you love to look good and feel good. You thrive on intense workouts and your body feels best when it’s fueled with healthy foods.
When you realize this, you start eating healthier. Exercising gradually becomes a part of your everyday life. It becomes habitual. When you go out to eat, you make sure to choose a healthy option. You start to risk your relationships by skipping nights out with friends to get in your workouts. While eating well and being active is crucial to healthy living, this “good thing” can become too much.
Many people who never let themselves enjoy a day off or a not-so-healthy meal develop an obsession with the food they eat and the exercise they practice. If you aren’t careful, your diet and exercise regimen could become an obsession that takes over your life. But with careful consideration, you can recognize your obsession and take some small steps to turn things around.
Obsession is defined as “a state in which someone thinks about someone or something constantly or frequently especially in a way that is not normal”.
In other words, if you are developing an obsession with your diet and exercise regimen, these things may occur:
- Your need to eat healthy foods and work out regularly consumes you and interrupts your every day life.
- You watch every bite you take and count every calorie you put in your mouth.
- You possibly workout every day of the week, never taking a rest day.
- You find that eating and exercising cause a lot of anxiety.
- You skip going out with friends to avoid unhealthy foods or missing your workout.
Food is meant to fuel us, but should also be enjoyable. Your body will not function properly without enough calories. Similarly, exercise gives us energy, an opportunity to burn calories, and freedom to relieve stress. Our bodies need it for health and weight management purposes. However, our bodies need rest so our muscles can properly repair. You will not see maximum results from your workouts if you don’t allow your body some time off. And we’re social beings; a workout will never replace a relationship.
Do any of these obsessive behaviors sound familiar to you? Here are some small steps you can take to overcome or avoid obsession:
- Enjoy all the foods you like in moderation. Try eating one thing outside of your “diet” each day.
- Say goodbye to the guilt. Don’t feel guilty for eating those foods outside your “diet.” Tell yourself that these foods will help you maintain sanity and a healthy mind free of obsession.
- Don’t skip all the nights out with friends. Social interaction is very important for a healthy body and healthy mind.
- Rest both your body and mind. Try skipping one workout a week or taking 1-2 rest days.
- Spend time meditating and thinking about your goals.
- Stay positive. Tell yourself that you are stronger than any obsession that tries to consume you. Write it down, repeat it to yourself, and believe it.
- Have fun! When you feel the obsession tendencies creeping in, do something to keep your mind off of it. Journal, watch a movie, talk to a friend, or read a good book.
Think you have an exercise addiction or obsession with healthy eating? Reach out for help here.
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