We all probably know at least one person in our lives who is, quite honestly, addicted to exercise. Be it that they have to do something absolutely intense every single day, they’re religious about their diet or calorie counting, or simply constantly obsessing over it, no hell storm nor reward will keep them from it.
I know, there are way worse things to be addicted to, right? Well, let’s broaden our thinking – humans can form an addiction to nearly anything. The big baddies are the first things we think of – drugs, alcohol, and sex. Gambling.
But what about TV? Sweets? Caffeine? .. Exercise?
Virtually anything can become an addiction of sorts. I was raised in an alcoholic household. I’ve gotten the opportunity to face it head on in my own life and mind, and a key question I think each of us can benefit from is “why am I doing this?”
Are we using something as an escape, such as sweets, a bottle of wine, television, or doom scrolling on our phones, or are we using it as something on which to hang our self-worth on, such as our physique, or being in a relationship?
Going back to exercise .. is the feeling addictive? The results? The act of doing it? Yes, it all can be. And that can get us going. Is that truly sustainable?
Are you putting off “feeling good” until you reach a certain goal? Or are you doing it because it makes you feel good, and because you’re taking good care of yourself? Would you give yourself a rest day? What if you needed it?
Obviously I can’t answer all of these questions for you, but I truly believe that deep down, you’ve got your answers, even if you don’t know them off the top of your head.
My goal in speculating all of this with you is to empower you to dig deeper to find the pieces of you that truly make up your self-worth and identity and to lean on those. What makes you, you? What makes you amazing, special, quirky, and worthy of taking good care of? What do you love about you? What are the things you long to do with the vehicle of your body in this life? How do you want to feel on a more regular basis and what are the things that promote you feeling that way? (PS: if you’re a journaler, this is your cue) 😉
I truly believe that this shift is a key in how you establish and continue a healthy habit with exercise.
For more information on exercise addiction, here’s an article from Healthline.com.