My Complex Relationship with Exercise

7 Jul

Last night I went to whole foods in hopes of finding some Cinnamon Raisin Swirl pb&co Peanut Butter.. Unfortunately, they were out of it. But I always like to say everything happens for a reason.. and this time, I think the reason was so that I’d stumble across this baby

you guys, this stuff is legit. It is sooo soft & creamy and it tastes soo similar to strawberry ice cream, but with more of a yogurty taste which is amazing if you like frozen yogurt. Also doesn’t hurt that the nutritional facts are AMAZING

In love with this. They have a couple other fruit flavors but next time I’m def buying the original… this prob won’t last me long anyways haha.

My other food pictures aren’t the prettiest, but I’ll post them anywayssss

I treated myself to a kombucha– i love it so much. I threw together a salad with a chili lime chicken burger from trader joe’s (SOO GOOOD) and guacamole hummus (literally finished it in 3.5 days), mozzarella and annie’s lite honey mustard. Really filling/good meal

I made a quick tuna melt mixed with this amazing dip called Green Goddess Dip from whole foods and some mustard and muenster cheese.

this dip is soooooo so good.

this is a REALLY ugly but delicious breakfast- oat bran, greek yogurt (trader joe’s), cinnamon, banana, and BARNEY BUTTER (they had individual packets at whole foods.. another reason to love it).

EDIT– I am writing 20 minutes later and I realized I can order it on this madtownmunchies website to my apartment! I am ecstatic..and kind of creepily obsessed. hahah.

I wanted to talk about my relationship with fitness. I got a couple questions about my workout regimen and it got me thinking about how I view working out and how it has changed for me over the years. I think I really am at the healthiest place i’ve ever been with exercise and I can’t tell you how good it feels.

When I was growing up, I actually loathed exercise. I played sports but I dreaded the conditioning and running that came along with it.

When I chose to begin exercising more to “lose a few pounds” I started to realize I was capable of being in good shape. I became addicted to how long or how fast I could run, and after a while nothing became good enough. I was miserable if I missed a day at the gym. Looking back is weird because it seems like so long ago now, when in reality this mentality ended somewhat recently. I didn’t want to admit I was obsessed with exercise and that it was unhealthy because I felt so “healthy” and I felt like I was on some higher level because I exercised so much (yeaahhh i’ll admit it!!).

When I realized I had to gain weight, I had to stop exercising. I thought this was the END of the world and I was sure I would balloon up instantly. This wasn’t the case whatsoever.. not. even. close. I gained weight very gradually, and at one point my eating disorder voice realized that if I wanted to restrict my food, I could probably lose weight again (of course I didn’t). This definitely helped me get over my exercise addiction because I realized that exercise didn’t have all this control over myself and my body.

At first incorporating exercise was weird and started to feel sort of addictive but now I am exercising longer than before…. but I am approaching it in a COMPLETELY different way. I no longer feel the compulsion to run if i’m tired and I don’t feel like I have to follow some strict and rigid schedule. If i’m busy on a day I planned to work out, I don’t feel anxious anymore. Exercise doesn’t dictate my schedule and my life (sounds dramatic but it was kind of a reality). I honestly feel like I finally have a healthy relationship with exercise (still workin on food..) and it feels AMAZING. I’ve already tried kickboxing, yoga & strength classes this summer and i’m loving finding variety in my workouts. I’ve also had some long walks with a little running with a friend and it was a great workout but it didn’t even feel like one.

Basically, exercise has been my best friend, my biggest enemy, and my abusive boyfriend. I think i’ve finally made peace with exercise and it feels soo good.

What is your relationship with exercise like?


16 Responses to “My Complex Relationship with Exercise”

  1. clemmy July 7, 2011 at 1:30 am #

    Im finding it really hard to cut the exercise. i know i need to gain and this is holding me back, because i feel bad if i dont do anything and even tho i start each week saying… ok, this week… i wont exercise, i will let my body heal and just SEE what happens. i inevitably wake up and do my abs/stretching and then walk/cycle and be busy at work. Its a vicious cycle! what advice would you give me on how to stop. did you just cut it out totally, cold turkey style?? i really want to do this…. im just scared to let go of that control 😦

  2. debbiecutieface July 7, 2011 at 5:36 am #

    I think I’m the complete opposite – healthy relationship with food, still struggling a bit with the exercise. I’m not a compulsive over-exerciser like before (thank God, I don’t even know how I found the time to run for two hours straight without breaks every single day of my life on like no food), but I do feel guilty if I exercise less than 5 days a week…I’m getting there, though.

    I’m proud of you for overcoming this though!

    (andddd…don’t ask me why I’m up at 6:30 a.m. haha)

  3. mallomar526 July 7, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    Hey, Shelley!
    I’m a new reader (with an even newer blog) and I just wanted to tell you I love your blog and can relate to you in many ways.

    In terms of my relationship with exercise, I feel very similarly to you. There was a time a couple years ago (when I was a soph in college) where I ran 6 miles every day, no exceptions. I rarely took days off and I even remember getting injured to the point where it was excruciatingly painful to run, yet I’d take 2 advils and power through it even if I felt like crying from the pain. It was very, very unhealthy.

    Now, my relationship with exercise has improved greatly. If I feel I need to take a day off, then fine. Like you, I realized you can be ask skinny or overweight as you want WITHOUT exercising- your body is shaped in the kitchen and fine-tuned at the gym, is how I think about it.

    In terms of food, I am much healthier too. If I feel like indulging, I will, although I still feel the need to mentally track calories. I wish I could eat more intuitively, and less “mathematically”– but one day that will come too, I hope. Sorry this was long and rambling!

  4. Emilia July 7, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

    Amazing entry. I’ve found that my relationship with exercise has changed as I’ve altered my relationship with food. Slowly but surely, I’m starting to view exercise as a challenge. As something that I don’t need to do, but a time for me to enjoy myself. I think it’s so important to actually enjoy working out, otherwise you are just wasting your time and energy.

    And the frozen kefir looks amazing, I’ll definitely be looking for that soon!

  5. Emily July 7, 2011 at 7:06 pm #

    it sounds like we are on page when talking about exercise. I used to be a slave to the treadmill, but now I realize that it’s not worth my time doing something I don’t enjoy for the wrong reasons. I want to do something I love that’s active, not something that’s active that I have to learn to love!
    congrats though, you are in a great place!!


  6. Keely July 8, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    Thank you so much for this, it was a great bit of perspective and I really appreciate it.

  7. Beautiful Keys July 9, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    Shell!!!! OMG Im so happy you came back to blogging. Seriously, i havent been this excited in ages. haha kidding, sorry for being creepy. Okay, so I pick out all the raisins in PB&CO cinnamon raisin swirl. GASP. I know, im weird. Whatever. I really like to make PB sauce out of that peanut butter and put it in my yogurt. I usually just heat it up with like a tablespoon of almond milk or I guess any milk/liquid would work. Its really good!

    BLEH. Me and exercise are not so hot right now. I’m way to addicted to it at this point in my life.

  8. Amanda @ Running with Spoons July 9, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    !!! Omigosh girl I had no idea that you were blogging again! I stumbled across your link in someone’s blog roll and thought “Hrm, that name sounds familiar…” and omigosh it was you! I’m thrilled to hear that you’re doing well, and I’ve gotta read through some of your older posts to see what’s up. But …. eee! It’s good to see you around again 😀

  9. Em Marie @ The Creative Revival July 9, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

    I really wish there was a Trader Joe’s close to me! The only time I’ve been have been when I’ve been on vacation out-of-state! There are rumors that they’ll be spreading to where I live so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

    My relationship with exercise story sounds almost identical to yours! I’ve been really into yoga lately. It makes me feel better inside and out – soooo good. I still like to do something “active” once a day (walks, yoga, lifting light weights, etc.). I have to limit my days at the gym because it’s easy for me to fall into the obsessive “I MUST go everyday” mindset. I really have to listen to my body and not overdo ANY kind of exercise.

  10. Sarah July 10, 2011 at 11:31 am #

    Oh gosh….exercise is the HARDEST thing for me to balance. I struggle with it so much. Since I got back from IP a couple weeks ago I have kept it to a limit but doing so has NOT come without guilt. I’ve been so all over the board with exercise that it’s crazy and I really don’t know how to have an entirely healthy view of it. I’ve gone from exercising 2.5-3 hours per day to only going for 10 minute walks and then progressing back up to these long work outs all over again.
    I have noticed something about myself…I never feel like I’ve done enough exercise unless I am absolutely exhausted afterwards. Exercise in a HEALTHY way is supposed to give us energy, but when it is draining us I think that’s a pretty good sign it’s unhealthy.
    I’m glad you’ve made progress on your view of exercise. It’s really inspirational to see how far you’ve come.

  11. cardiopizza July 10, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    I can totally relate! Exercise to me now is fun, a hobby, a stress relief and essential to my well-being. But that certainly doesn’t mean I feel like I need to go crazy with it. I enjoy my workouts and I love challenging myself, but I also love to relax and take days off from strenuous workouts. I feel I have a nice balance.

    I also don’t ever feel like I need to follow a strict schedule…I do whatever kind of workout I am in the mood for. Years ago I was all about heavy lifting and thought it was the “only way” to be fit…it’s certainly a great way to exercise, but it’s not the only way. I enjoy ALL types of exercise now, even just a quick walk with my pups!

    I’m glad you have found a more balanced approach with exercise…it certainly can make a difference!

  12. Tiff July 11, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

    I do still feel that I’m addicted to exercise, but I am fully aware that easy workouts are A-OK. Body composition is mostly in what we eat, a little in our genetics, and not all that heavily weighted on exercise habits. Too bad for me – I like pizza and cookies! ha

  13. zoe July 11, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

    i no longer feel the compulsion to exercise anymore, either! i only feel the need to move now but move constitutes just that…moving. i move solely in the ways i love. walking, rock climbing, yoga, and hiking. sometimes i throw in a run but only when i WANT to, not when i HAVE to. this new attitude towards moving is really freeing!

    i also treated myself to a kombucha today!

  14. missymiller July 14, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    I feel my story is the same way. The COMPULSION aspect is gone. I go to the gym everyday with no planned rest days ….but I mostly lounge around and read in the spa and swim laps. I don’t plan a rest day because sometimes rest days happen to me! Like plans coming up or..well…If I just don’t wanna. (0″:

  15. kbwood July 14, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    LOVE to read about how far you have come!!! SUCH a blessing to no longer feel that bondage to exercise! AMEN sistaaaaaaa!
    frozen kefir? oh my GOSH i need that ASAP!

  16. imaginenamaste July 14, 2011 at 10:22 pm #

    I understand about the relationship with exercise….it has been an ongoing challenge! My overcoming was similar to yours, I couldn’t workout last summer when I was in treatment obviously and then broke my foot. I had to stop working out to get healthy. It has felt so good moving in exercise again, to feel the strength of my body. Still must be aware of the thought processes and not to workout if I’m in certain moods, but it does feel good to move and to enjoy the moving!

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