(When enough is enough…)
Ok…so I know I am usually trying to push you to lead healthier, happier lives…I want you to work out, eat clean, and change the way you think… I’m constantly working on this for myself. Actually, sharing with you my outlook on motivation and eating keeps me on track too.
While I won’t downplay the importance of achieving your fitness/health goals…. it’s also important to be constantly striving for balance in your life.
Are you letting your fitness journey consume every single aspect of your life? Are you headed for burnout or injury or big breakdown?
Here are some simple ways to determine if you are taking your exercise & diet program a bit too far…and what you can do to dial your intensity back just a bit.
Are you unhappy, cranky and tired most of the time?
I hope you know that no matter how much you work out and eat right…if you still don’t feel good…it’s not going to get better by pushing yourself further. Your body and mind are probably trying to tell you something.
SLOW DOWN. If you are focusing on exercise and diet all the time and neglecting things like, oh…your spouse, your pets, your children, your friends, your neighbors…your hair…then your life may have spiraled a bit out of balance.
Each day you should try to do a few activities that put you in touch with your peeps (whoever they may be)….sit on the lawn outside your house, go to a bookstore, sit at a coffee house with a friend, go on a date with your husband, go see some live music, WATCH DEXTER! I don’t care what it is…but make it something fun you haven’t done in awhile…something that isn’t about pushing you to that next goal.
Are you stepping on the scale every five seconds? Constantly checking your appearance in the mirror?
Ever heard the phrase “a watched pot never boils”? Obsessing about your weight isn’t going to get your to your goal any faster. While it’s important and useful to keep tabs on your progress, set a specific time every few days to see where you are… If you need to do it once a day fine, but try to limit yourself to that 1x per day to do measurements, scale, whatever. As long as you can tell yourself that you did your workout, you are eating fine…then do something else.
Another tip: Keep a journal for your food, activity, and a quick list of challenges/success for the day. Review the day as you write down what you did. Now…go do what something else.
Read a book. Play a video game. Set up a tea party for you, your daughter and her stuffed animals. Go for a walk. Learn a new language.
Are you spending too much time alone?
This one kind of goes along with the first one. When you spend too much time alone, you might be stuck in a rut. When you let any part of your life go…you run the risk of going off track in those areas you were doing great in.
So, consider this…you might be really focused on your 6-pack and just as you achieve it, you look around to see that all of your friends are unavailable to help you celebrate.
I firmly believe that you need a social network to survive mentally and emotionally. Whether it’s your immediate family or people in an activity-related club, it doesn’t matter. Having people around to help you celebrate success and conquer challenges is so important and really makes your struggles that much more worth it.
Do you have any new, unexpected nagging pains in your body?
Um yeah…that is clear sign to stop whatever it is you’re doing and make some changes.
If you have any aches, pains, or broken bones…this is an obvious stop sign. Listen to your body and take some time to change your normal activities
After reading through these questions and answers, is it possible you have been pushing yourself too hard in one area of your life?
As I mentioned early, I’ve been feeling a bit edgy…not too happy, unbalanced, and to be honest…spending a bit too much time in front of the computer. I realized that maybe I have been pushing myself too hard over the last month since Christmas.
Here are some of my own signs I’d been missing:
- I was allowing annoying tasks to overwhelm me instead of finding a way to eliminate or outsource them.
- I wasn’t doing pilates…clients were on vacation, so I wasn’t even getting small spurts during sessions.
- I haven’t been playing music or singing or doing any songwriting!
- I’ve been spending too much time on the computer.
- I’ve been worrying about things that have no positive effect on my life.
- I’m not spending time enjoying the company of my close friends and family nearly enough!
- I started feeling ached and strain in my lower back!
SO WHAT NOW?
Well, you want to focus on those things that are important to you. Your health & fitness are important, but they include every aspect of your life.
Take a moment and think about your life. Are there any aspects that are floundering a bit, maybe that you have ignored for awhile?
Financial, Career, Home, Recreation Time, Relationships, Physical, Personal Growth, Community…think about these different areas and see if you come up with something that might need a bit of attention.
Some ideas: take a cooking class, go on a hike every weekend, volunteer with a local organization one day per month, plan a vacation, jam with your ex-bandmates.
Ok, now it’s your turn…