Around 9 months ago I was serious gym bunny, fasted cardio in the morning and a heavy session of lifting weights in the evening. Don’t get me wrong, I seriously admire anyone who is able to stick to this lifestyle, because that’s what it is, a lifestyle. But becoming addicted to the gym did start affect a few things in my life. Now, I probably wouldn’t of realised that I had a problem until I injured my sternum (yes ouch) and this probably occurred because I was seriously over doing it. I have never believed that I was fat, not once, but my body dysmorphia meant that I wasn’t able to see any progress. With more and more fitness junkies reaching the headlines for the wrong reasons (ie, death), it is important that gym addictions are addressed before they go way out of control.
I still go to the gym but I wouldn’t say that I was now addicted, but this wasn’t always the case. Every-time I missed a gym session, I felt guilty. Every time I ate something that wasn’t in my diet, I hated myself. At the time I knew it was crazy but I couldn’t stop the thoughts and feelings. I’d go to the gym twice a day, 6 times a week, which is a considerable amount of time. I started taking more and more supplements (fortunately all natural) but I started to rely on them daily. I’d get upset if I didn’t have my daily amount of multi-vitamins! I even started to check my abs all of the time and I’d ask Joe silly questions, my behaviour wasn’t natural at all.
More and more people are getting obsessed with their body image due to social media. The best thing I did was to stop following fitness/body building heavy pages. Why? Because seeing multiple images a day of people wearing barely any clothes (generally always in the same pose) isn’t healthy for all concerned. For one, it can oppress the reader/viewer in many ways and two, you start creating an image for yourself which can be seen as obsessive. Sure if you are well into your fitness, post your body pictures on Instagram, but break them up with food recipes, selfies, and just normal life. For me I like a bit of personality, that’s why I love the likes of Carly Rowena and Em Sheldon. Their feeds have the perfect amount of fitness, travel, and well being, hence why Carly’s motto of ‘cheat days do not exist‘ is extremely popular amongst the YouTuber community. I think my Instagram feed really mirrors this approach, go and give me a follow if you haven’t so already… @eltoria_
So with a sternum injury I was made to the rest. This meant not doing any weight work in the gym for 3 months! Whilst at the time it didn’t feel like good news, but it actually did me a world of good! The rest seriously helped my body dysmorphia and I actually began to appreciate my body. The obsessive checks in the mirror stopped and I began to enjoy food a lot more. Sometimes we just need a break in life to truly understand what’s going on, fortunately my slight addiction didn’t end up affecting my life in a negative way… but it could of!
I now go to the gym around 4 times a week, once a day. I am extremely happy with my body and I seriously couldn’t be happier.
Have you experienced anything similiar? Much Love, Eltoria x