This weeks topic is OBSESSION.
Firstly, I want to have a little rant about this topic.
One thing I cannot stand is when someone who doesn’t value their health and fitness, says to someone who does value their health and fitness… A lot of you would have all experienced this… “You’ve gone to far now”, “you’re too skinny now”, or, “you’re obsessed”.
The problem with humans is generally we want people to do well, but we don’t like seeing people do too well. People only say these things because they’re jealous unfortunately, as you’re doing something about your situation, health status, the way you look and feel, and they’re not.
Ignore these people.
Thanks for bearing with my rant!
So, before I start talking about obsession, I want you to know that I’m not having a dig at anyone or referencing anyone in particular in this email. This one has been written generically, and is actually based around my own experiences.
I believe in certain circumstance, you need to experience being slightly obsessed to understand it and then be able to manipulate your lifestyle to find more of a balanced approach. Its worked for me.
This weekend I was in Cardiff for a stag doo. I have only visited Cardiff once since I finished university in 2012, so it felt strange, yet amazing to be back! It brought back a lot of fantastic and interesting memories.
During university I became obsessed with my training and nutrition, and I probably have since at times.
However, the last few years I have found a beautiful balance. When I did my 8 week SHRED last year for a photoshoot, I went for a more intense approach to my training and nutrition, however I chose to do this, and was fully aware that it wasn’t something I could maintain following the end result, or was it something I wanted to maintain.
Becoming obsessed isn’t something initially you know you’re doing. Its subconscious. I remember going through different phases where:
– I was miserable unless I had trained
– I wouldn’t socialise with my friends and family in the evenings, as I was desperate to be fit to train the next day
– I wouldn’t socialise with my friends and family, because I didn’t want to eat or drink what I considered ‘unhealthy’ foods
– I barely ate unless I had trained
– I wouldn’t eat foods high in fat
– I wouldn’t eat foods high in carbohydrates
– I wouldn’t eat foods high in calories
– I would eat too much and then punish myself by training/exercising multiple times to burn off the excess calories (this is fine, however I was using it as self-sabotage – not cool!)
You wouldn’t believe how obsessed I was at times! Fortunately, I very quickly learnt it wasn’t HEALTHY!
I remember eating pic ‘n’ mix with Jamie at university as a snack as we thought it was healthy because it was low in fat. LOL!
At uni I became very lonely at times as all as I wanted to do was train, eat healthily and nail my degree. Yes, I came out with a 1st class honours, and completed an Ironman, which are huge achievements of mine, yet looking back, at times I wasn’t always happy deep down.
The reason I wasn’t happy at times, was because I was prioritising nutrition and training before anything else in my life. Friends, family, my mental and social well-being, etc.
I’m glad I went through these phases though, as; 1) Its taught me how easy it is to become obsessed with your diet and training, and also how unhealthy it is 2) I can now spot the signs very quickly when I see our clients/FCF members becoming over obsessive.
Here’s how all the factors above have changed for me:
– Im not miserable If I haven’t trained, I understand my body needs rest and recovery. Additionally, after a rest day I’m so motivated and excited for training
– I socialise with my friends and family in the evenings, and still train the next day IF I haven’t hit my minimum weekly amount of sessions (usually 4-5)
– I socialise with my friends and family, and eat so called ‘unhealthy foods’, however I don’t over-eat or binge. I stay within my calories, and If do go over I balance it out over the next few days.
– I priories eating over training, not visa-versa
– I eat foods high in fat everyday, as fat doesn’t make you fat
– I eat foods high in carbohydrates every day as carbs dot make you fat
– I eat foods high in calories, as no specific foods are responsible for gaining fat/weight, only overeating and under-exercising is
– If I eat too much then I don’t punish myself physically or psychologically. Im in control of my actions and can sort things out the days following
Life is to short to be obsessive with your diet and training. You’re doing these things to become a more healthy individual, therefore becoming obsessed is counterproductive.
I enjoy training (weights, running, cycling, swimming, circuits, HIIT, you name it), I enjoy eating healthily with a balance of all types of foods (generally through the week I eat incredibly well, food is just fuel to me, then at weekends I enjoy some treats), I enjoy socialising with friends and family and never make a fuss about food at social events, I enjoy alcohol from time-to-time, especially gin!
Balance is key.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I have weeks or weekends that are not so balanced.
For example, this weekend my diet and training was VERY unbalanced. My steps were high, but I did no structured training. Additionally, I ate pizza, mcdonalds, drank champagne, larger, cider and gin, all in the space of 48 hours (cracking effort!)
Am I crying about this, feeling sorry for myself, or hating on myself just because I’m holding a bit more water around my abdominal region at the start of this week… NO. The water will flush as soon as I start eating a more balanced diet and training (this started yesterday), and in no time I’ll feel great again. Additionally, I had an awesome weekend with friends which I don’t regret!
I will also have weeks where I’m more strict as well. This may be because I have a holiday or event coming up that I want to look a little bit sharper for! There’s nothing wrong with this in my eyes. Not every week will be perfectly balance.
Some of you will be able to relate to this topic, whereas others may have never become obsessed with their training or diet. Feel free to share your experiences with me, and If you feel you are slightly obsessive at the moment, thats okay. So long as you learn and adapt, you will find the right balance for you, and what you want to achieve.
Anyway, as always, I hope this has helped to educate you and help you on your fitness journey.
PS, as always, give this article/blog a rating please!