So today I found myself having a constant battle all day long… not with anyone in particular, only with myself. Ever since suffering with an eating disorder back in my high school/early college days, my exercise voice has always been quite loud. I’ve definitely been able to turn it down a bit, but it’s always there.
Since I was about a junior in high school, I have been pretty ‘hard core’ about exercise. To this day, I like to ensure that I workout at least four days a week – but generally speaking, strive for five or six. It probably has something to do with control, but I also just really love to see how strong I am and how good I feel post-workout.
As you know, this past Sunday I came down with a pretty bad virus. Achey, hot/cold, coughing, sneezing, etc… obviously Sunday I decided to forgo the outdoor run/walk I was hoping to go on, and after being sent home from work yesterday because I still felt really sick, I also knew that a workout was not in my future that day. Today, however, I packed my gym bag all ready to complete a light workout after leaving work, but kind of had a, ‘wait–why am I doing this?’, moment.
Going into the office today, I felt quite a bit better. Still stuffy, but definitely ready to tackle my day. While I made it through the work day, I started feeling sick again around 2:00. Through all of this, the constant ‘exercise voice’ in my head was saying, ‘you can do it – just get through 40 minutes walking on the treadmill, you’ll be fine’. The other voice in my head was saying, ‘what is going to take place with 40 minutes of walking?? why don’t you just lay on the couch you idiot–you don’t even feel good!’.
Why was I even having this conversation with myself? I’m not feeling good; I’m getting over a virus. Why does a workout have to ensure my happiness or if I’m feeling good about myself? After going through this little experience today, it made me realize that I need to accept myself more for who I am–with or without a workout. Missing a run on the treadmill or skipping a free-weights section isn’t going to be my be-all-end-all defining moment.
It’s another thing I have to work on, but at least for today, I was able to turn my head, say ‘no’, and take care of myself.
Question of the Night: Have you ever found yourself struggling to not define yourself through exercise? How often do you generally workout?