Make fitness a habit, not an obsession

By on September 29, 2010

This past week, while waiting for a fitness class that I regularly attend to start, I casually said to my friend how I’m “obsessed” with working out. As the music started her response was, “Well at least it’s a good obsession!”

At first I laughed it off, but I couldn’t help thinking–even though it’s good to make exercising a habit, it’s definitely bad to make it an obsession.

The difference between those words never really occurred to me until then.

Going to the gym everyday I see the same girls (I guess I’m one of them) either lapping the track, racing on the elliptical or crunching in the ab corner.

When will it stop? Will we ever be comfortable enough with our bodies to let ourselves miss a day at the gym?

Even though we may think a rigorous workout routine is healthy, there comes a point where healthy crosses the line to dangerous.

Does lifting until muscle failure and running until “you drop” everyday sound healthy? Definitely not.

So why do we do it, why do we drive ourselves crazy with infinite repetitions and hundreds of calories burned everyday, bringing our bodies to a point of exhaustion?

I guess it can go back to the old story of pressure to look good, or in this case, “skinny.”

Preaching the same tired speech of “You shouldn’t care what people think of you” is repetitive, heard all the time and obviously not effective, so here’s a new twist.

Honestly, I do believe that presentation and appearance is important, especially considering the superficial world we live in today, or specifically the superficial setting of college. Everyone wants to look good, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Working out is a great thing; it keeps you healthy, it keeps you happy, and it maintains your weight.

Don’t turn this positive thing into a negative: Stay in the gym for an hour tops, and then move on with your day. And please eat what you want. Letting the number of calories you burn control what you eat only feeds in to the obsession. Eating habits can definitely correlate with your exercising habits. We all know about eating disorders, there’s no need to go into that, but is obsessive exercising some sort of a disorder too? The feeling that you can’t miss a day at the gym because you won’t look as good, or even worse, you can’t eat?

There’s a new show on Bravo called “Thintervention,” where celebrity trainer Jackie Warner trains her overweight contestants who weigh in every week with the goal of weight loss in mind.

I find this show, along with NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” kind of addicting, only hoping that I can pick up some tips for myself to add to my workout routine, more importantly trying to get Jackie Warner’s ripped abs. Pathetic? Probably.

However, I understand that there are some people like the contestants on these addicting shows, who want to lose weight, and actually need to lose weight. If you are one of those people, then go for it, just don’t let it consume your life. The pounds won’t come off overnight, it’s a gradual process of healthy diet and exercise.

So try it. Take a day off from the gym and see how you feel, make that the new habit to give yourself a break. Your body and mind will thank you.

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About Christine Burroni

Arts & Life Editor
Email: artslife@quchronicle.com
Twitter: @ChristineBurr
Hometown: Yorktown Heights, N.Y.
Year: 2013
Major: Print journalism
Hometown: Writer for a high end magazine