Exercise Addiction is easily confused with Health and Wellness, but they aren’t the same. It simply comes down to motivation, and balance. Someone who is motivated by Health, and who incrementally makes changes in their lives, either with Chemical Minimalism, or Wellness, is more of a balanced person.
Some health and wellness nuts are that way because of Insecurities, or Depression. These people often times, have a harder time staying balanced. And that lack of balance is detrimental down the road.
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When you exercise, certain hormones are released into the blood stream, which help you feel good. Wonderful, right? But IF you exercise too much, then you could form an addiction to these hormones, and be incapable of controlling your desire to exercise.
This could result in spending too much time in the gym, and sacrificing other time. Valuable time with family.
Are You Kidding Me?
Before I was married with 4 kids. I had this crush on a guy. You know how the story goes. He gave me the butterflies, and was really cute. Quite the winning personality, great smile. Well, I am not even sure if we dated. Not that I didn’t try. No matter what I did, we chatted and had in depth conversations, and obviously liked each other.
One day, we were hanging out and I really wanted him to kiss me. He told me flat out that he wanted to, but didn’t, wouldn’t because I was not his type.
When I asked what he meant by that, he said “I don’t want to offend you, but your body type isn’t quite what I am looking for”. As a result, and after pressing the issue farther, I realized that my arms, although thin, weren’t as muscular as he usually liked to see in a woman.
I was incredibly offended. Imagine a world, where someone makes decisions on their spouse because they are biased on how much the tricep is toned.
Something easily fixed with a different lifting regimen. We are talking about the rest of my life, as a mother/spouse. And it was all reliant on my tricep formation.
Sound ridiculous? Because, it is. I have been self conscious about my arms ever since, and didn’t even kiss the guy. The relationship never turned into anything after that, I have no regrets about that, believe me.
Nevertheless, imagine what he would be like now, as a husband. As a Father?
Exercise Addiction in Parents
Some Parents who are addicted to exercise, can develop expectations for their children as well. Whether it is a certain body type they expect their children to fit into, or whether they expect a certain amount of success in sports, it is probable that Exercise Addiction can be perpetuated through those expectations.
Children can feel inadequate if they aren’t performing the way the Parents expect, which leads to confidence issues in the child.
Exercise Addiction also leads to other addictions, since 25% of Exercise Addicts have tendencies to develop other addictions to sex or shopping, and 15% are also addicted to cigarettes, alcohol, or illicit drugs.
If you find yourself in the gym a lot, you may re-evaluate. Shedding weight too quickly, or going on extreme dieting or fitness programs can increase your chances of becoming an exercise addict.
Your children need to see you healthy, they need to see you work towards a goal and achieve it. They need to see you setting boundaries and having balance too. It’s teaching by example that helps them follow you. So be careful how you do it. Involve them in your journey if you can by doing workout videos at home, or taking a walk or run with them.
Show your children that physical fitness is a tool they can use to release frustration and anxiety, but help train them to know to be balanced. There is balance in all things, and they are looking to you for an example on how to be healthy.
Don’t lose sight of the people who depend on you the most.
Move mountains in a way that matters. Choose your family.
Stay in a healthy frame of mind.
You got this!
Parent-Child Relationship Mentor
Homesteading Mother of 4 (and 3 in heaven)