Mind Games

I am neurotic. My mind never settles. Last week I finally rejoined my gym. I went once and it felt great. Then on Friday I stopped and got a Dunkin Donuts breakfast sandwich. I started to freak about how greasy and bad for me it was. Then I remembered why I stopped working out and stopped stressing about what I ate. It sucks. And it’s exhausting.

For a long time I monitored what went into my body and kept track of my rigid gym schedule. I would only eat a half a can of soup because a full can felt like too many calories. I’d pick the cheese off my pizza and blot the grease with napkins. A small bag of fries from McDonalds meant I’d feel guilty for the rest of the night.

That life sucks.

Who wants to obsess over missing the gym one day out of your scheduled 6? When I met my boyfriend a year and a half ago I took on the usual comforts of the beginnings of a relationship and stopped caring so much about what I ate. I eased up on my gym schedule so I could spend more time with him, and ate ice cream without measuring the size of the scoop.

That life rocked.

As the beginnings of the relationship transitioned into a full-swing thing, I realized I was still eating and (not) exercising the way I had in the beginning of the relationship. And I was still happy.

I know that eating healthy and exercising are essential and that I shouldn’t just dismiss them. But lately I’ve started to weigh some options in my head. Would I rather keep my body in awesome shape but stress anytime I ate a piece of chocolate or ran a mile less? Or would I be okay with having a less-toned body, eating my Dunkin Donuts and only exercising occasionally?

I’ve heard so many people say that they never really exercised in their 20s and that they were much more carefree about what they ate. Well maybe that’s my time now. Maybe I need to let myself be until I’m ready to go back to eating healthier and exercising more.

I should also point out that my seemingly “sedentary” lifestyle doesn’t mean I’m sitting on my couch eating potato chips and watching tv all night. It just means that I don’t feel guilty if I have French fries with my meal or if my exercise consists of going for a walk around my neighborhood rather than an hour and a half long cardio session at the gym.

A few weeks ago I blogged about how frustrated I was with my lack of motivation. It’s all a mental game with me. But I suppose for the time being my mental health can trump physical health? Or is that just a cop out so I feel less guilty about being lazy?

The title of my blog isn’t Mind Overload for nothing…

5 responses to “Mind Games

  1. Girlfriend, I feel ya on this one. My mind does the same thing to me, and it’s so annoying! I find more guilt trips now about NOT going to the gym now because I pay for it myself, rather than in college when it was included in tuition. When I joined my gym last year, I forced myself to go at least 5x a week, didn’t matter what else I had going on. And I did the same thing with food. I tried to be super healthy, which is a problem when you live at home with a 12 year old brother who doesn’t eat anything healthy or good…

    Over the past year, though, I’ve calmed down. I realized that sitting on the couch, watching tv can be just as good for you as yoga. Writing a blog post can be as soothing as running 4 miles. Physical exercise is a wonderful thing, but sometimes you just need a break from everything, including working out. I just took this whole week off from the gym because I need to recharge my batteries from a few months of craziness and pushing myself too hard. Sometimes mental health > physical health, and it took me 23 years to realize that. But I finally did.

    Nice post! 🙂

    • thanks for the comment Christa! I’m so glad you can relate.. sometimes you feel insane thinking this way! I think it’s great that you’re taking a week to recharge and that you can recognize the importance of mental health in addition to the physical stuff. It’s a long road, getting to that point.

  2. Hey
    Fat people are happy, right? 😉
    just kidding!
    You look great Allie!
    Keep doing what you are doing.
    It is working for you.
    Aunt Donna

  3. So can relate to this. It’s funny how us gals all have some kind of food issue. Or 10. Though I’m personally not on an altogether healthy level with my body/food/exercise stuff, but I’m lightyears from where I have been. It’s all relative, eh? Your attitude about it is so healthy, I’m a tad jealous. Sure, the anxiety over it creeps back in sometimes…but that’s norm for us overthinkers 😉
    I tell myself sometimes when I’m getting a bit obsessive with something- In the long run, I’m never going to wish I had worked more or run one more mile. We’re all doing just fine. We need to give ourselves a break.

    • So glad you could resonate with the post! my attitude seems healthy but just because I have a rational outlook on it, doesn’t mean I don’t let my emotions and anxiety take over sometimes. It’s tough but I agree that it helps to look at it in the perspective of how you’ll feel about it in the long run. Thanks for the comment : )

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