The Fitness Challenge is Over (for me)

So I touched on this a little bit yesterday with my IG post and my mental health, but I thought I would delve into my reasons a little deeper as I think it’s important to address – especially when dealing with eating disorder recovery, body image, body dysmorphia, and mental health.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I am a very competitive person. I’ve always been this way. I addressed it in the blog post “Am I a Hypocrite?” when I initially signed up for the fitness challenge. When I initially signed up for the fitness challenge, it was for motivation – that motivation I seem to lack when I don’t have a carrot I’m working towards. This was that carrot. Unfortunately, starting pretty early on, I noticed I was slipping into old thought patterns with the desire to slip into old unhealthy behavior patterns in order to get faster results to do better in the fitness challenge. The interactions in the FB group was having a negative impact on my mental health so I drastically reduced my time there. Every time I recognized certain thought patterns and behaviors, I’d dial things back and get my mind back on track.

However, a couple weeks ago, I started having the thought that I needed to quit the challenge. It didn’t mean I didn’t think I could do it and I certainly don’t consider it a failure. I needed to do it for my mental health – because, ultimately, THAT is more important than anything. How many times since the start of the challenge did I have old patterns try to sneak in? I lost count. After a while, I just had to admit that FOR ME, the fitness challenge was a toxic environment. It doesn’t matter how uplifting and positive (for the most part) it and the group was – being in a challenge-centered group wasn’t/isn’t good for my mental health. The only reason any of us were there was because we signed up for the challenge so it doesn’t matter why we were there and what we hoped to achieve, it is still a fitness challenge group.

Click the pic to check out my Instagram page

“Well, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not going to complete the fitness challenge. Yes, I’m going to continue working out, but I’m not going to take my weight or measurements at the end. Some of you may think I’m crazy, only being 10 days away, but here are my reasons:

1) I’m tired. Not just physically but mentally and emotionally. I keep looking at the calendar thinking “just 10 more days, buck up and give it all you’ve got” but I’m already giving all I’ve got just getting through day by day. I don’t need the added pressure of the fitness challenge.

2) The fitness challenge did what I had hoped: it got me back on track, gave me the motivation to establish a workout routine at home, reignited my passion for health and fitness, and showed me what is important.

3) I can see my obsessive compulsive behavior and eating disorder behavior creeping back into my life.

4) This is not a before and after. This is part of my journey and I don’t want to highlight numbers being of importance. How I feel is more important than the numbers on the scale and measuring tape.

Needless to say, I’ve given it some thought. I’m still going to pop in here – and likely post – because you don’t need a fitness challenge to motivate others or yourself.”

From my FB post

Do I regret signing up? Absolutely not. It has shown that I can push myself through some really hard workouts. It came during a time where the gyms were closed and I was feeling a little lost despite my history in the fitness industry. It reminded me of workouts that I really enjoyed. It showed me my strengths. It showed me what I need and want to work on and where to focus my energy. It showed me that I DON’T want to re-certify as a Personal Trainer but it showed me more than ever that I do want to work with women to break the diet cycle, heal their relationship with food and exercise, and learn to love themselves through the journey – the whole journey. That it’s not a “before” and “after”.

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