If you're a long-term fan of Steph 2 chef (fan/ reader, they're really interchangeable right?) you might recall me writing a post about how my 2-hour 20+km runs were leaving me burnt out and over running (how was I surprised? I pushed myself too hard for any kind of love I had for running to motivate me)
You may also recall me saying I was going to decrease my mileage in order to regain the love I have for the sport.
I'm not gonna lie to you guys, because this space is a space where I can be honest and tell you the truth. I ended up forcing myself to get up at 4:30am in the morning to complete my 2-hour runs before school in the burning-out stages of my running because I was scared that if I didn't I'd fail. I'd lose my identity as a runner, I'd probably gain a lot of weight because my body was used to such ridiculous distances and I would be buzzing around full of energy because I hadn't done a decent workout.
Yep, I was freaked out. But then something crazy happened. I decreased my miles and the world continued to spin! Not only that but I was feeling a heck of a lot better after running, I remembered what those good exercise-produced endorphins felt like, I remembered what it was like to have energy for the remainder of the day and walk around without having to feel every muscle in my legs. I didn't gain any weight and instead lost my uncomfortable running bloat I'd managed to become accustomed to. Better yet, I got to sleep-in, to truly let my body rest for a good 8 + hours and then not stress it out with a double digit run.
Now-a-days I'm running between 5-10km (very rarely 10, generally around 7) and I'm feeling great. It baffles me when I think back to the pitch-black mornings I forced myself to jog out into and then continue to do so for hours.
Run whatever you want to run :)
Why do I feel the need to write this? I guess I want to make it clear to all those who, like I did, suff3er with an exercise obsession that is simply unhealthy. Those who don't look forward to their workouts but force themselves to power through every single day, gradually feeling worse and worse. Those who have an internal freak out when they are inhibited from being able to do their workout and don't know how they will function otherwise. Those who swap out valuable things like spending time with family or even sleeping in favour of a workout. Those who just feel blah.
Because now that I look back on it, that was me.
I'm not going to lie, it was hard at first to significantly reduce the amount of exercise I was doing but it didn't take long to realise the benefits to my body . After that it became obvious that my body wasn't happy before and is recovering now. After maybe a week or so, I didn't even worry about how much my exercise routine had changed and instead focused on the pleasure I got from my short HIIT bursts of Purely Twins workouts or my 30 minute runs.
Crazily my hunger hasn't hanged all too much and I think I realise that I definitely was not eating enough during my crazy-long run days. My weight hasn't changed at all, and if anything my muscles look more defined and toned than they ever have before. Win!
The only thing I regret is the weeks and weeks I put myself through this. My body wasn't happy and I wasn't happy and I guess I'm grateful that I finally managed to realise this now. From here on out I listen to my body and I respect it because it deserves it! :) Love your body people, look after it and it will look after you!
What about you?
Have you ever suffered with an exercise addiction?
How do you make sure your not pushing yourself too hard?
Favourite quote about loving your body?
That's it from me today friendly friends. Today I'm linking up with Spoons for Thursday's Thinking Out Loud link-up, so be sure to head on over and check out what everyone else is thinking about today! Have a fabulous day and do something you love. Bye!! :D