Growing up, my family was constantly investing in our fitness and health. My dad was often trying out new health foods and diets, and I was an avid Crossfitter for 3 years. For most of my life, I’ve been very health-conscious.
In the last few years, I’ve realized I take care of my body drastically. Meaning, I both overwork and restrict my body, or I completely disregard the needs of it by eating whatever I want in excessive amounts and binge-watching Netflix in a hermit-like fashion.
I have a lot of deep-rooted issues behind me overworking my body. Because of the way I was raised, there was such an air of fear around food. I didn’t want to mess up and eat something I shouldn’t. My father encouraged us all to work out in an effort to to keep us all healthy. I will admit I am grateful for this because it’s made maintaining a workout regime now that I’ve moved out much easier. However, because of the intense pressure to be healthy I was under when I was younger, I’ve had a hard time moderating what is too much. I’ve struggled with multiple eating disorders over the years. It’s easy to brush it off and say, “I’m just being healthy”. It is way too easy to ignore the signs your body is giving you, and overwork or deprive your body of what it needs. Being on either side of this spectrum is highly undesirable. If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that balance is key.
There have been days where I’ve spent four hours on the elliptical, telling myself that 15 more minutes, or 20 more calories burned, will be worth it. There have been days (and periods of time) where I don’t eat, desperately yearning to see progress in the mirror. I’ve passed out during workouts from pushing myself too far. I’ve interrupted my workout to run to the bathroom and throw up. Rather than taking care of myself and recognizing that as a breaking point, I just rinsed my mouth and got right back to it.
Girls, this is NOT what motivation looks like. This is not the kind of image we should be reposting #fitspo. This is unhealthy, and unnecessary, and I wouldn’t wish it on any of you to experience what I have.
More often than not, this sort of behavior discouraged me. A six pack and toned thighs are not and cannot be made overnight, and I can attest to that. I would spend a week killing myself, almost literally, and although I would make progress, it wasn’t enough or as quickly as I’d want, and I’d fall into a phase of never going to the gym, binge eating whatever I wanted.
This is a vicious cycle I’ve struggled to work myself out of, and I know there are thousands of other girls who do the same thing.
It’s not healthy, and it’s not okay.
You need to listen to your body.
You need to stop when it’s time to stop.
You need to stop pushing yourself past what’s healthy.
Remember, slow and steady wins the race. You need to apply yourself, a little bit at a time, in order to achieve what you want.
And girls, indulge sometimes. Don’t be so set on a strict no-carb diet that you don’t eat that burger with fries, or you skip dessert when you’re celebrating! Everything in moderation. Exercise, broccoli, AND a little bit of chocolate.