I blew off spinning tonight. Even though my favorite teacher was teaching, and even though I’m sure I would have felt great afterward.
Truth be told, I just wasn’t into it. I rarely give in to that feeling, but today I did. I hadn’t eaten much all day — my appetite has been M.I.A. lately — and I knew that pushing my body through 45 minutes of cardio was unnecessary and probably pretty stupid.
So I took a walk instead.
I walked east from my office, spending time catching up with friends on the phone and checking out puppies in Madison Square Park.
NYC at night is oddly soothing. Tonight I was surrounded by people, but the crowds never bothered me. I even wandered through Eataly, which was shockingly un-crowded. And of course, I took in the sights. I love the Chrysler Building.
While I walked around, I realized how much I’ve changed over the past few months.
Back in November, I never would have let myself forgo the gym in favor of, well, nothing. I would have beaten myself up for skipping a workout, and I would have probably punished myself the next day.
I don’t know when this change happened. But I’m glad it did. Yes, I still make fitness a priority. Now I’m finding balance in my life though. It used to be “work out, go home, eat healthy dinner, go to bed.” Now I remember the importance of grabbing a drink with friends or taking some Ali Time.
I’m trying to give myself a break. I’ve been such a perfectionist my whole life, and now I’m trying to go easy on myself. If no one else cares that I don’t go to spinning, why should I care?
This change didn’t happen overnight, and I’m still not totally where I want to be. Most days I do some physical activity. Some days I work out twice. I’m getting better at listening to my body, though, and I’m working on controlling my negative thoughts toward not exercising. Like I said: If no one else is punishing me, how dare I punish myself? Not cool.
I fear that I have over-trained for the National 1/2 Marathon at the end of this month. My past two long runs (10 miles and 12 miles) have been killer, and I think that’s due largely in part to twice-a-day workouts that have pushed my limits. I even wrote recently about my struggle to give in to a total rest day. I know that I need to listen to my body more than ever this month in order to hit my sub-2 hour goal time in D.C.
I love working out. I love sweating. I don’t go to the gym or go for a run to lose weight. Sure, that’s a cool side effect, but I do it because I love it and it truly makes me happy. I am just now starting to further embrace the other things that make me happy, like spending more time with my fabulous friends. I don’t want to be obsessed with exercise. I know it’s not a healthy way to live. So I’m taking control!
And there it is. My little confession about my internal bout with exercise OCD.
TELL ME: I’m sure many of you have lots to share on this topic, and I’d love to hear it. Do you beat yourself up for missing a workout? Have you ever felt like you’re addicted to working out or dependent on endorphins?