Are You an Addict?

3 Oct

In lieu of going to the gym after work, I decided to take my exercise outside today. Sitting for eight hours did nothing to help my already aching muscles, and I didn’t want to make them worse by cranking up the resistance on the ArcTrainer or elliptical.  So, power walking it was- sans music, because…True Life: My sweat broke my iPod. Apparently I thought my iPod was waterproof. It is definitely not, and I have the white screen and silence to prove it :(. Walking without music gave me a lot of time to be with my own thoughts though, which leads me to the topic of… exercise addiction.

Exercise addiction, sometimes known as bigorexia, is defined as: Training, exercising or bodybuilding that becomes excessive, sometimes leading to eating disorders and a generally unbalanced life. Anytime someone is so focused on anything (substance or behavior) to the exclusion of all else, they run the risk of becoming an addict.

In my opinion, in the blog world, over-exercising is kind of the norm. Many people are training for marathons, on some type of strength training plan, or sacrificing sleep for 5am workouts. Does this actually mean we’re all “bigorexic”?


This weekend, my sister and my mom both told me that I have the tendency to obsess about working out. The more I started to think about it, the more I realized that they are right. While I don’t work out for hours at a time, 7 days a week, I don’t always work out when it’s best for me to be doing so. Read: I worked out right after I had surgery, I’ve worked out when I’m sick, I’ve rationalized my plans to workout as ”actual plans”, so I can say no to social events that might come up after work. I bring my workout clothes on weekend trips and vacations, afraid of what might happen if I don’t. I’ve sacrificed sleep for workouts.

I know that having a workout routine is healthy. Crucial even, especially since I have such a sedentary job. But should it interfere with my social life, with my well-being? Should I be saying no to fun, after-work plans because my trip to the gym is “more important”? Should I be waking up at 6am in a hotel room to workout, when I’m supposed to be relaxing? Should I be hard on myself when I want to take an extra rest day just because I’m so darn exhausted from working all day?


When do pictures, like this one, go from being inspiring to self-doubt inducing?

I don’t want to get upset over one missed workout. One weekend off.

I don’t want exercise to rule my life.

Do you?

When is too much, too much?

6 Responses to “Are You an Addict?”

  1. peaceloveandoats October 3, 2011 at 10:05 pm #

    I definitely struggle with this. I’ve managed to force myself into a rest day once a week, which I’ve been doing for months now, but if I had to take off more than one day, I know it would cause me a lot of anxiety. I also know this is not good. I’m working on still doing workouts 6 days a week, but scaling back on them. I used to not count yoga as a workout because I didn’t burn a bagillion calories. Now it’s a workout. Baby steps!

  2. Jess October 3, 2011 at 10:23 pm #

    I definitely get bothered by pictures like that on my days off, but I’ve learned to be a bit easier on myself…I’ve missed a lot of days of insanity and try to just pick up where I left off.

  3. Alicia @ Bakeaholic October 3, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

    I always feel bad when I don’t go to the gym. Going to school full time, and volunteering, plus commuting back and forth, living with the BF and having to do things like make dinner, or pick up the dog usually gets in the way. I’m way too tired to get up at 6 am for a work out, so I usually plan to go after school. But, things always come up and sometimes I can’t go. I feel bad when I don’t and get upset. My mom doesn’t understand why I couldn’t do something when I say things liek “oh I want to go to the gym though” as if its not a big deal to miss a workout. But, I hate when I miss one! I feel like I need to go, and look forward to it sometimes. I haven’t had to miss out on any social events I don’t think becasue of working out.. but I definitely put it before other things, sometimes family, when I really want to go and run! I was sick last week, and for the first few days tried to make myself go to the gym, since it was only a head cold, but then felt terrible once I was there and not 100%. So I took a few days to rest up.

  4. runningismagical October 4, 2011 at 12:37 am #

    This is a good topic. It’s a tough balance to find. When I’m training for a race (like I am now), I tend to be a bit extreme. Such as giving up Friday nights to get up and prep for Saturday morning runs at 6:30-7AM. But I also cannot say NO to chocolate, an occasional beer or even a rest day.

  5. Hollie @ Lolzthatswim(andRun) October 4, 2011 at 8:59 am #

    I feel like there is a limit to working out. Being on two collegiate teams brings me to that limit quite often. When there are situations that are special to me such as a friend coming to town, or going home I put that all first. But as far as working out in the am instead of going to a late night party or something..I’ll probably put the working out first. I do agree though-it’s all about balance.

  6. Laura @ LauraLikesDesign October 4, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    I loved this! I can totally relate…I’ve got my workouts scheduled…sometimes way too much!

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