Polar F6: My Enabler Way Back When

I own a fabulous Polar F6 heart rate monitor (HRM), but I don’t wear it anymore.

There’s nothing wrong with the watch or the strap – both are in perfect condition.  But my HRM is a reminder of a bad time in my life, when lived at the gym and I was obsessed with exercise. Back then, my HRM was my everything: my personal trainer, my motivator, my drill sergeant. I was one of those people that had to burn X calories. I couldn’t stop at any odd numbers and would always need to round up … 430 calories wasn’t good enough; I’d pump out a few more minutes for 500.

Continue reading “Polar F6: My Enabler Way Back When”

Me & Gym … we’ve been on a break … <>

I don’t know about you, but every breakup I’ve ever experienced has been downright agonizing.

I remember after one particularly hard breakup freshman year of college, my ex — who was a year ahead of me– decided two and a half years later  to cleanse his soul the semester before he graduated … throwing me for a complete loop and giving me false hope that maybe we’d reconnect. We did not … it was awful, and I drowned my sorrows in a bottle of Malibu.

Fortunately, I met my now-husband the following fall … but to this day, I have not been able to drink Malibu since. Which is probably a good thing. Continue reading “Me & Gym … we’ve been on a break … <>”

30 Minutes of Heaven

Boo-yea, I’ve still got it!

Sure, I’m not in the same shape I was in pre-pregnancy, and I’m definitely carrying extra weight at the moment but holy hell, I’ve still got it!

Today I got the green light to exercise at my 6-week check-up (and was told my scar is healing perfectly! YAY!).  As soon as my husband got home from work, I booked it to the gym. I did a half hour on the Precor with arms and from the moment I stepped on the machine, I felt “home.” Continue reading “30 Minutes of Heaven”

Putting a Name to Face

This weekend I had the pleasure of enjoying a wonderful lunch with a super-sweet blog reader, Alison. It felt like I was catching up with an old friend and I had a blast — thanks, Alison, we totally need to do it again soon, on your side of the state 😉

Every time I meet a friend in real life who I got to know in cyberspace or the blogosphere, I’m struck by the (beautiful!) irony of the situation.

Given the sensitive and taboo nature of my blog, it started out as a very anonymous blog … and then in time I got more comfortable with the idea of putting my name/face out there as a voice in recovery. Being so open has worked in my favor. In addition to having the support of my loved ones, now, in the past two years, I was interviewed for Fitness magazine about my exercise addiction history; went to a blogger meet-and-greet; and spoken at the FitBloggin’ conference … all very public “outings.” Continue reading “Putting a Name to Face”

Just Because You CAN Doesn’t Always Mean You SHOULD …

Yesterday at my non-stress test (a complete oxymoron, BTW … ) they saw more contractions — erratic contractions I don’t feel but we see on the monitors.

What I do feel is a tightening (called Braxton-Hicks contractions) in my uterus when I exercise, walk, get up the wrong way, etc … and while those are very normal for the third trimester, the nurse warned me to essentially stop doing the things that make me tighten up.

While a baby could survive outside the womb at 33.5 weeks … I don’t want to incite that by any means, and so if it means cutting back even more on my activity levels, so be it. I do NOT want to end up on bed rest … and it’s a very real concern. Continue reading “Just Because You CAN Doesn’t Always Mean You SHOULD …”

If It Feels So Good … It Can’t Be Bad, Right? WRONG.

Two of my favorite bloggers, Clare and Holly, have both recently addressed exercise addiction on their blogs recently, which got my wheels spinning about my own past obsession with exercise.

Remember that taunt on the playground, “I know you are, but what am I?” or the retort, “Yea, it takes one to know one!”??

Well, I’m a former exercise addict, and I know them when I see them. And I’m not sure which is more disturbing: the fact that I was one, or the fact that I so easily can spot them. Either way, I’m glad that destructive relationship is over.

I’m the first to admit, it was not an easy break-up to make … perhaps the hardest in my life! I mean, chewing and spitting I knew was inherently bad, wrong, disgusting, gross, you name it. Quitting it was a no-brainer. But an addiction to exercise—something so good for you … just was not an easy concept to grasp. Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that even things that are good for you can be abused.

And this was a very hard lesson to learn. Continue reading “If It Feels So Good … It Can’t Be Bad, Right? WRONG.”

Seeing My Name in Print …

After the gym this morning — where I did a moderate hour-long cardio session; nothing insane … I ran to the grocery store to pick up eggs and a couple other things we needed at home.

I’d been eyeing the check-out counters for the past week, hoping to see the March 2010 issue of Fitness Magazine, knowing I was going to be featured in an article on the dangers of over-exercising.

Sure enough … there it was!!!

Beckoning me to buy it.

Truth be told, I couldn’t wait for my mail subscription to arrive … so I bought it on the spot, knowing I’d want an extra copy for posterity! 😉 Continue reading “Seeing My Name in Print …”

Sleep Cycles & Exercise

For the past four years, I woke most mornings at 5:15 to exercise … after getting 5-6 hours sleep the previous night.

Part of me loved/craved that feeling of virtuousity but the truth was, at the height of my exercise addiction, I feared if I didn’t exercise first thing … other things could pop up that would impede my workout because in my disordered mind, ‘I-need-to-burn-x-calories-today.’

It was pathetic.

I mean, I pride myself on my devotion to fitness and any time one can get it in is awesome … but I was crossing a line. I was going to bed at midnight and waking five hours later to repeat the same cycle over and over again. Continue reading “Sleep Cycles & Exercise”

Exercise Euphoria

For me, exercise is a double-edged sword.

Simply put, it makes me feel so darn good; it’s a high I just can’t get enough of. But when I don’t do it, I feel like something is seriously missing. And at this point of my life, working out is like brushing my teeth–a non-negotiable part of my day.

I realize my affection/affliction for exercise could be likened to a drug addict and her “fix.” I don’t intend to deny the analogy or plead the fifth; it is what it is. Friends, family, my husband have all confronted me about my obsession. It’s out there. (I’m working on it!)

Yet if there is any drug to be addicted to, exercise surely isn’t the worst of the bunch, right? Of course, anything taken to the extremes can be dangerous and I’ve certainly flirted with exercise addiction over the years …

But truth be told, it’s a very easy addiction to succumb to: you do it, you feel good, you lose weight, you look better and are stronger inside and out.

We all know the merits of regular exercise: it lowers the risk of pretty much every disease known to man, keeps your heart strong, your muscles toned and your brain sharp. It helps us sleep better, encourages us to fuel ourselves better, and gives us courage to challenge our bodies physically and mentally. Excercise is the real deal, the feel-good fuel. Continue reading “Exercise Euphoria”

“You’re Addicted to Exercise!”

This is what my dear husband told me last night when, after my biking plans with a friend were thwarted half-way through our ride due to trail construction, I was still desperate to get in my workout.

I just wanted to go to the gym and “get it over with” … torch 400 calories or so and move on (which I realize sounds obsessive) … but he wanted us to take a nice walk together to prep for his business school interview today.

At first I was plagued with anxiety… I need to exercise every day, don’t I? Then I realized quality time with my husband–especially the night before such a big interview–definitely trumps a cardio session. And it’s not like I won’t hit the gym the very next day. Continue reading ““You’re Addicted to Exercise!””