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When Does Being Healthy Become Unhealthy?

body imageBeing healthy…we are bombarded with ways to live a healthy lifestyle every day. What to eat, what not to eat, how many times a week to exercise, and how long each exercise should be. I live a pretty healthy lifestyle but lately I’ve been asking myself – at what cost? What is my healthy lifestyle costing me – and I don’t mean the cost of my yearly on-line fitness membership.

I’ve struggled with writing this blog for a while. Mostly because I’m going to have to ask myself questions that I may not be ready to know the answers to. Also I probably won’t have the answers to them. What I do know is that, for me, living a healthy lifestyle, has become unhealthy and here is why.

The Social Aspect

For most moms going out and meeting friends for drinks is something to look forward to. For me, not so much. The decisions that go along with a simple invite from a friend or a Facebook invite to a party can be overwhelming. Should I eat before I go so I’m full and not tempted to eat unhealthy food? Will there be any kind of healthy options there? Maybe I shouldn’t go at all so I can just stick to my regular meal plan and not worry about it.

These obsessive questions happen on near constant loop in my head anytime I’m about to go out. It’s exhausting and it’s unhealthy. Balance is something that should be applied in every aspect of my life. Why is it so hard for me to apply it here? Again…I don’t know.

The More is More Theory

You’ve heard the term “less is more” however lately for me it’s become “more is more.” More exercising, more steps in a day, more ways to burn off that quarter of a cookie I ate this morning. I just finished a workout regimen where I was doing two workouts back to back. This is something I’ve never done before, and I don’t recommend doing, as it is taxing on your body. However that little voice creeps in again agonizing over what will happen when I lose that extra amount of exercise. What will happen to my metabolism as my body comes down from two vigorous exercise routines to one? What will that dreaded scale say without the extra calorie burn?

To quote one of the great movies, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” Yes the immediate endorphin rush after a workout is great. It uplifts my mood and gives me energy, which I need since I workout between 5 and 6 a.m. When those endorphins run out I’m left with worrying if its enough. My life shouldn’t be controlled by FitBit but yet it is, on a daily basis. Is it healthy – no.

Keeping A Schedule

I will fully admit that I’m Type A OCD personality. I am one of those people who will re-load the dishwasher if someone doesn’t put the cups and plates the right way. I’ll make the excuse that this is the way the dishes fit best, but in reality I just like the way I do it. Part of my personality is that I’m a scheduler. Literally every part of my day is the same from one day to the next. Even when I eat. I’ve carefully thought out when to eat and if I get hungry before then, too bad. I wait until it’s time to eat.

Why don’t I just eat when I’m hungry? I don’t know. Why do I obsess over the timing of my meals. I don’t know. Would my life be easier if I just ate whenever I wanted to? Probably. 

Body Image Issues

This is the big one. I’m sure we all struggle with body issues. What’s funny is that I never remember obsessing over every little thing when I was 30 pounds heavier than I am now. Now I nitpick at myself in the mirror going over every little thing. I try not to look at myself changing into my PJs at night since that’s when the bloat kicks in. The mornings are usually the best times because I haven’t eaten anything yet.  

There are a lot of body positive movements out there. You have to love your body, love yourself and all the other memes you see fly around on social media. However, if it is easy to have a good body image no one would have to constantly remind us to stop obsessing over it. It’s easy to love your kids (most of the time), it’s easy to love your spouse (sometimes), but loving yourself can be the hardest thing because we are own worse critics.

Next Steps

Like I said in the beginning, I don’t have the answers to the questions I’m asking myself. Part of my Type A personality is the need to have all the facts and information. Maybe the answers lie in seeking out a nutritionist or maybe learning more about personal training so I can understand how my body works. Or maybe the answers will come in going back to therapy to get a handle on these constant thoughts. I don’t know. What I do know is that living a healthy physical lifestyle should never turn into leading an unhealthy mental one.

So if you’re reading this and you’re experiencing the same thing, know that you’re not the only one.

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