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Why Our Fitness Addiction Is Going Too Far

Why Our Fitness Addiction Is Going Too Far

Working out, building muscle and fitness are going too far. That seems like a big call, but some people work out five times a week and get addicted to it without having an underlying purpose. Now, don’t get me wrong, working out is the best thing that can happen to a human body, but expending all your energy building up your body just for the sake of it, or only in order to look good for a 10-day beach holiday, is definitely not healthy. It’s proving that you don’t do it for your health and the great feeling you get after a workout, but that you do for other people.

I have personally worked out for eight and a half years now, and I found myself going too far with my fitness addiction in the last two years. But thankfully that time has passed, and I have other goals now. Being healthy is one thing, but being obsessed with calories, and sugar intake, and posting photos of healthy oatmeal and shakes all the time is not healthy. It’s spammy, purposeless, and it’s taking up a big piece of your time (and time is a nonrenewable resource). Here are some tell-tale signs of a fitness addiction gone too far, and some steps you can take to pull back.

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How many people would eat healthy if there weren’t any social networks?

Have you ever felt that people wouldn’t work out or eat healthy if there weren’t any social networks? That if they weren’t able to post every morning’s healthy meals, or share the pace and mileage they run via Nike Running or Runtastic, then they wouldn’t even bother to eat healthy or jog? The healthy reason for working out has been overtaken by keeping up appearances on social networks and the thrill of the cheering crowd around the performer. If you work out to be healthy and feel vigorous, then you shouldn’t make your focus in the endeavor that part of the day where you eat your meals or you do your workout.

Health is lifestyle, not an obsession

When I was obsessed with my health, I considered myself a healthy lifestyler and I surrounded myself with “healthy” people. We would meticulously check labels and aspire to specialty products we couldn’t really afford. However, I think that every human on this earth should make a difference in their lifetime. Spending time calculating calories and eating healthy without any underlying purpose is selfish and unproductive. From the individual’s point of view it’s a healthy obsession, but health is not something to think about all the time. Not only is it a pure waste of time, but it’s formulating the mindset of a purposeless human being. Good health is a lifestyle, with regular diet, dealing with problems and stress, and working out on a regular basis — without the “obsession” part. Sweating is great for the human body, but it’s not worth turning it into an obsession.

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When do we know it’s an addiction?

From my personal experience, during the first two years of my gym obsession I was addicted, boring, and even toxic around other people. I was telling them that they were crazy for eating bread, sweets and chips without them even asking me for advice on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you find yourself starting in on the healthy lifestyle subject without being asked, trying to ram down other people’s throats how eating healthy food and working out is the best thing and they must do it, then you are addicted.

If we want to encourage others to switch to a healthy lifestyle, then we have to be a great example of what that lifestyle looks like. Obsessing, constantly posting pictures on social networks, bragging about how we eat healthy all the time and that everybody should do it, won’t change a thing. But it will give a bad example to people and possibly put them off. Instead, by feeling energetic, fresh, and cheerful around others, we give them the best example we can of a healthy lifestyle. If people want to know your secret, then you can start with your speech!

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When you feel like you are going too far, try to determine what your motive is when it comes to working out or fitness. If you really want to be a healthy example for others, become a personal trainer or try to get a job in the health industry. But do it because that’s what really thrills you and that’s your vision. Otherwise you are just obsessing and wasting your time worrying about what the girls or the boys on the beach think about you. Ask yourself if you would you still work out and be obsessed with it if you were the last person in the world? If the answer is yes then you probably need to make living out of it. If the answer is no, just work out to feel good and don’t be obsessed with it.

Work out to feel good, eat healthy to be healthy, and don’t do it for others. Health is the starting point to happiness!

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Featured photo credit: Santa won’t be stuck in the chimneys anymore/Berge Gazen via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 23, 2021

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

You need more than time management. You need energy management

1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

2. Determine your “peak hours”

Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

3. Block those high-energy hours

Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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