Obsession?

23 Jul

Define obsessed with exercise and running for me please.

Would you consider Kara Goucher obsessed?

She does run 13 times a week after all. She ran during her pregnancy too.

How about Jamie Eason?

“I personally like the gym, not only for the variety it offers but for the atmosphere itself.  I am surrounded by people, all with a common goal, and it really helps to maintain focus.  For that hour or so that I am there, my sole focus is to make progress toward improving my shape.”

She has a perfect body already. Why does she have to keep improving her shape? Is that obsession?

Pippa definitely must be obsessed. She is always running.

Heidi Klum is running every day this month. How cray cray of her.

Of course I am trying to make a point. These women are not obsessed with exercise. These women, in my opinion, are dedicated. Kara is dedicated to running while Jamie is dedicated to lifting. How come when they workout day in and day out, it isn’t considered obsession? Yes, it is their job in some sense, but they are choosing to be an athlete. However, when someone like me runs 8 miles a day that takes up a measly hour, people claim I am exercise obsessed? I am just so obsessed with running! Oh my god, it is a sin. I’m crazy and clearly need help.

Hold up. Let’s back up.

 I began running in 7th grade during the summer when I wasn’t playing volleyball, basketball, or tennis. I did it as a way to stay fit and because my mom told me to. I didn’t typically enjoy running. It was considered a punishment in volleyball and basketball. I would run everyday on the mountain that I lived on. Yes, I lived on a mountain in the middle of no land where cows, horses, and men with guns roamed. I did this for a while, but because I wasn’t that into exercise, I stopped running.

After 8th grade came high school. No duh. I thought, “I’m not a jock. I’m a punk kid who doesn’t need sports anymore. Let me just wear black all the time and be lonely.” Terrible mistake on my part and I regret it until this day.

I gained weight. I was over 150 pounds (I’m 5’2)  until the end of sophomore year. That’s when my mom told me I was fat and signed me up for kickboxing boot camp at 7 AM every morning (except weekends) for six weeks.

I loved it so much I did another six weeks, then another, and another. I became a regular at the boot camp for about a year. Of course that ended. It was $300 dollars every six weeks and my mom simply could not afford it.

What did I do? I took up running and I was determined to make the track team, which I did. That’s when I fell in love with running. It was the first time I picked up running for myself. No one told me to do it.

During junior year of track, I competed in my first race and didn’t do too hot. Boy, was I pissed off. That’s when my whole competitive drive came into place. Running was not only a way for me to de-stress, but a way for me to release my competitive drive. I was fierce. 

I like myself during this time. I felt good. I was running and I loved it! I also was at a good weight, even though I wanted to lose more.

Junior year – probably around 130

At the end of track season I gave myself a new goal: to make varsity cross-country. Long story short, I did. During the summer when I was working on that goal, I dropped weight like hot cakes mostly because I was running and not eating that much. Let’s just say I was eating under 1,000 calories a day. However, running never became a form of burning calories for me. I treated that aspect like a bonus.

Senior year of cross-country in San Francisco for a race – around 100 pounds (maybe less unfortunately. Not a healthy weight.) 

Running, for me, became a way to improve myself and to prove to others that I am a jock that I always wanted to be. 

Now, I eat well and I run. I run to clear my mind. I run to release my anger. I run to compete.

I don’t run to burn calories. I don’t run because I am obsess, as a lot of you put it, with exercise and food. If that makes me ‘bitchy’, so be it. Newsflash, I’m a chick. Women are bitches. I make snide remarks because I get so many of them. Another newsflash, women always call themselves fat. We may know in our head we look damn good, but out loud we say, “I’m so fat. No more cupcakes for me.”

If I was so obsess with running and working out all the time, I wouldn’t have a job. I wouldn’t have a life. I wouldn’t have a blog because I would be working out all the damn time.

I should not have to justify why I run for an hour a day and more if I’m doing a long run. I’m in cross-country after all and my coach gives me a schedule of what I should run. Take it up with my coach, then, if you feel like I am doing too much.

I don’t see the difference between my running every day and someone who eats fast food everyday. Are they obsessed? Is there something wrong with them or me? 

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35 Responses to “Obsession?”

  1. runningperspective July 23, 2011 at 10:22 AM #

    dude agreed. completely. this post is like perfectly perfectly said. i love to exercise. it is what makes me me. i have always desired to be an athlete and guess what i am. i enjoy all the time i spend at the gym, running, lifting weights, spinning…anything. does this make me obsessed? i honestly dont care. if i am obsessed i am obsesssed with challenging myself and making myself happy. and in my opinion that is perfectly ok with me. just because you may not enjoy exercising for an hour and a half because you dont see the enjoyment but rather a means of burning calories..that is your problem. not mine!
    dude i need my mother to read this post you made…she doesnt seem to understand the whole aspect of exercise as freeing my mind…whatevvvs

    • lifttorun July 23, 2011 at 10:37 AM #

      My mom does not understand either. She also thinks that runners are hurt all the time. Had.

      • lifttorun July 23, 2011 at 10:37 AM #

        *haha

      • runningperspective July 23, 2011 at 10:42 AM #

        haha sameeee and she believes every injury i have has to do with the fact the only meat i eat is fish. she is convinced. aksfjlasjfl;asjfk its so frustratinggg

  2. Alexandra July 23, 2011 at 10:30 AM #

    Honestly, I think you’re obsessed in a good way–obsessed with getting to the next level, pushing yourself to new heights and new goals, running because it’s your passion. Just like you, I’m obsessed with weight training. Yeah, I may not want to lift one morning, but just because I push myself to do it anyway doesn’t mean I have issues/an obsession, I’m just dedicated to reach my goals. You’re awesome bud, don’t ever let anyone tell you differently! 🙂
    “Newsflash, I’m a chick. Women are bitches.” <–Ain't that the truth, I can relate to that haha

  3. sarah July 23, 2011 at 11:54 AM #

    Don’t feel the need to justify your life and decisions!

    I loved hearing about how you came to running- you write wonderfully.
    Everybody gets obsessions with things- its not always bad. And running is a talent for you- its natural to become attached to something you are amazing at. Not everyone can run 7min miles(sometimes even quicker!)!
    I can only imagine the people that have commented negatively about your running to very jealous
    indeed.
    Xxx

  4. Isabelle@cheesymiteapples July 23, 2011 at 12:47 PM #

    obsessed, most definitely! You have a healthy obsession unlike so many others out there…like you said there’s a big difference between you and a person that eats fast food everyday!
    Its the most wonderful thing setting yourself goals and working towards achieving them, and the euphoric feeling you get once your reaching your goals 🙂

  5. Britannie July 23, 2011 at 1:10 PM #

    Dude a-freaking-men. Just because a person’s idea of fun happens to be a form of exercise doesn’t mean they’re obsessed. Like I’m not a runner but I teach yoga because I love the people in my class. I lift cuz it makes me feel awesome. And I take group fitness classes just cuz they’re fun as hell. Some people read every waking moment of their life. Nobody’s pissed at them.

    But I honestly think people who either ARE obsessed with working out are just looking for someone to relate to so they accuse, or people who can’t find their own enjoyable workout and want to–are jealous. Ya know? But I can totally relate. My stepmom thinks I’m ‘obsessed’ with food and exercise because I never “used to be” like this .. Well duh I found something I like and I’ve grown out of some personality traits, that happens to everyone. But she’s just looking for something to talk about.

    You know your not obsessed so just calmly move on past the people that are sucking your fun away haha 🙂

  6. SquatLikeALady July 23, 2011 at 2:12 PM #

    I can’t comment on you or your life or Jamie Eason’s life or anyone else’s because really…we don’t see every aspect of any other person: their mental and physical health, their thought process, etc. However I wanted to say something about what you said here:

    “women always call themselves fat. We may know in our head we look damn good, but out loud we say, “I’m so fat. No more cupcakes for me.””

    I think we ALL need to STOP DOING THIS. I don’t want my daughter (hypothetical daughter that is) to struggle with anorexia like I did because it’s just THE NORM for women to hate on their bodies. When we hate on our bodies, the next generation see that, hears it,and internalizes it. Let’s stop that in OUR generation.

  7. Victoria (District Chocoholic) July 23, 2011 at 2:29 PM #

    I don’t think exercise obsession hinges on how much one works out, it’s the attitude towards it. Feeling a NEED to do it and getting exceptionally upset if something interferes with a workout are indicative of an addiction or obsession. Running to be a better racer and excel at something isn’t an obsession.

    Also, if somebody tells you that you have an obsession with exercise, tell them to piss off. Unless they are your doctor, coach, family member, or one of your closest friends, it is none of their business. They’re probably just jealous because they are a lazy tub of lard.

  8. Tessa @ Amazing Asset July 23, 2011 at 2:43 PM #

    This is actually something I am having an internal battle with at the moment. I love to workout- I love how it makes me feel, the sweating, the fatigue, the results I see, the endorphins, everything about it! But I also use it to keep my weight down. I continue to look at exercise as a method of maintaining my weight. I workout because I often feel compelled too….yep there it is. A major milestone I need to get over.
    Thank you for this post, it helps me on the difficult set back I am experiencing…

  9. Sweet Cheeks July 23, 2011 at 4:17 PM #

    there is nothing wrong with loving exercise….I completely agree that it’s not automatically a “problem” like many people just assume. I could not imagine life without exercise because it is my form of stress relief and just plain makes me feel good. Dedication is definitely a good word for YOU…you rock and you eat lots to refuel yourself properly. Keep on going girl!

  10. I must say…you look much better at 130 than I did! I’m 5’5 1/2-5’6 and I guess I don’t carry my weight very well.

    I feel like our stories are definitely very similar-not the exact same, but similar. I was at an ideal weight up until 6th grade when I put on a couple pounds. Of course, in junior high there’s more stuff to eat, so I ate stuff that wasn’t very healthy. I filled out a teeny bit and matured in 7th grade, but I still wasn’t fat- I was around 5’4-5’4 1/2 and 115-120 lbs. Still, I was bullied sometimes and called “fat”. I would sometimes starve myself for a week and then find myself eating lots of bread. I still wasn’t a runner yet, but I did enjoy our cardio days in PE when we ran a timed mile-mile and a half. I learned that I had natural ability- I could keep up with the guys.

    However, my bad eating habits started to catch up to me in 8th grade. I was still the same height, but around 128 pounds. I found myself falling out of shape. I ended up being around 133 pounds at the end of the year.

    My eating habits were still bad in 9th grade, but I still stayed around the same weight, and I think this was the time when I may have grown an inch. I started lifting weights and running- but mainly as punishment/conditioning. I still enjoyed it, though. Like 7th grade, I was bullied and called “fat” even though I wasn’t clinically overweight. In the summer, though, I worked out less (ran the same 3 mile route most days of the week to “stay in shape” for weights/conditioning class) but still ate a crapton. I was 5’5 1/2 and ended up being 140 lbs. I looked awful. Something had to change.

    I started being a little smarter and lost about 4 lbs before sophomore year. When school started, I worked out 2x a day- weights and conditioning, PE, and usually horseback riding too. One day something clicked in my head during a health unit in PE. I had to eat healthier. I ate a lot still, but more veggies and lost around 3 more pounds without really trying. I had a healthy mindset at this time- I wasn’t in a rush and I wanted to be healthy.

    Around thanksgiving, I did occasionally count calories because I wanted more control over my weight loss. Over Christmas break, I indulged a little, but made a new year’s resolution to lose at least 20 lbs. I counted calories- I ate around 1,500/day and was often hungry- but the weight flew off! People started commenting on my weight loss and it got to my head.

    I was 128 lbs, then it became 124, then 119, then 115, and all the way down to 107. Yeah, it doesn’t sound that bad, but it was. My best weight is around 113-117 lbs. I recently began running- to train for a 10k. Like you said, the calorie burn was a bonus. I truly enjoyed it- iI only used cross training to “torch” calories. Not knowing that my weight loss had helped my running, I was enjoying how easy it felt. I loved it. I actually tried to maintain on about 2,000-2,400 calories but I couldn’t. When I had to put weight back on, I became a mess (very slowly) like I am now. I did have a good XC Season though!

    Sorry for the novel I wrote. I just feel like we have some common parts in both of our stories!

    Like others have said, though, ignore the haters. Don’t try to reason with them- they won’t get it. Just know that it’s what YOU think that matters. You know you’re no exercise addict, so who really cares what others think.

    • lifttorun July 23, 2011 at 7:14 PM #

      If you feel as if your best weight is between 113-117, that’s great that you know that. I believe my weight as of now (I don’t want to say in the comments. E-mail me if you really want to know) is alright. I bet it is too low to some and doctors, but endurance athletes are low in body fat/composition.
      I’m glad I’m not the only one who enjoys running. I’m sure you are a great runner regardless of your weight.

  11. Allie July 23, 2011 at 7:08 PM #

    Great post. I recently had some rude comments on my running schedule but like you my coach gave me the schedule and it’s my sport haha.

  12. Jess July 23, 2011 at 7:46 PM #

    I FEEL YA!! just because i workout 6 days a week DOESN’T mean i’m cray cray. it just means that i truly LOVE what i do (lift + some cardio/yoga)!! No shame in doing what makes my body healthy and happy, right?!? 🙂 i hateeee when people think im obsessed. iahgaidoghasiogh boo to that!!

  13. Devon July 23, 2011 at 8:03 PM #

    I absolutely love this post. I have been taking a little break from running lately but when everyone started telling me I was obsessed with working out, I tell them that I do it because I love it not because I have to. I heard the best quote the other day, “stop worrying about your body image and start worryingabout your health.”

  14. Hollie @ Lolzthatswim(andRun) July 24, 2011 at 5:56 AM #

    I love this post so much. It’s so true. Everyone nitpicks smaller athletes (not famous and going to make millions off of endorsements) for working out too much. The sad part is, that you pretty much need to do what you need to do-no matter what level of athlete you are. It just pisses me off because I am a 2 sport varsity athlete and I have to do practices for both teams. If I don’t I won’t get better and people used to harp on me so much that I was exercise obsessed. Your posts continue to inspire me.

  15. Amanda @ Running with Spoons July 24, 2011 at 6:41 AM #

    Ahh the fine line between obsession and dedication. It’s not an easy thing to distinguish, especially for people who are on the outside. Only you know your thoughts, and only you know if they’re healthy or not. Obsessions tend to be more negative, as in… you don’t want the thoughts but they come anyways and you can’t do anything about it. Dedication is a good thing… you love something, so you do it. And if you love running, then don’t stop 🙂

  16. Michelle July 24, 2011 at 10:15 AM #

    Thanks for sharing how you got to enjoy running; I always enjoy reading things like that.

  17. Keri @ Blue-Eyed Runner July 24, 2011 at 3:40 PM #

    Love this post! SO SO SO true. There have been so many great points made on this topic, I’m not even going to try to top, but I know the feeling of having to defend yourself on being obsessed…

  18. Pureglow*16 July 25, 2011 at 7:26 AM #

    Love this post!!!! you were so honest (-: Love the blog too!!

  19. Jamie July 25, 2011 at 7:33 AM #

    I don’t think you’re seeing the point. – i think what people are worried about is the fact that you contiunually post about how sometimes you hate your work schedule because you feel you need to “sqeeze that workout in here” or “fit in that extra mile there” and sometimes when you feel you haven’t run enough you have to go hop on an eliptical. only you know what your brain is thinking but it just seems disordered. then you eat alot because you’re excercising alot but u feel guilty. it’s like a binge then excercise/purge pattern.

    • lifttorun July 25, 2011 at 11:53 AM #

      Not true at all. I eat to fuel my runs. I don’t always hop on the elliptical and if I do, it’s for a cool down. Unless you are accompanying my day to day life, then you have no right assuming what I do, how I workout, and what I eat. If it was such a problem, which it isn’t, my parents would be overly concerned and get me help.

  20. haleyy0806 July 25, 2011 at 10:12 AM #

    This is sO so true and something people are so quick to call others out on. I mean, you like running and you run for an hour or more everyday. How is that different than playing the guitar or blogging for an hour a day? It’s something you love, so why would you restrict yourself in doing it?? If you’re doing it for the right reasons-because you love it and want to improve-and not to burn calories and all that junk, then there shouldn’t be anything wrong with it at ALL.

  21. sowhaterica July 25, 2011 at 1:24 PM #

    Honestly, I used to obsessively exercise. I would run, spin, bike, and elliptical every day until i just couldn’t stay awake any longer. In college, I would skip classes/avoid going home on weekends just to get in extra workouts. My sole reason for working out was to burn as many calories as possible/avoid personal issues/ and when i couldn’t work out- I would go nuts/have panic attacks/refuse to eat/find any way possible to work in some kind of exercise (i.e. walk).

    now, i work out because i love it and i am able to take normal rest days when i feel that it’s necessary. even though i run/bike more than i used to, i no longer have a compulsion to go for a run. IMHO, i think overexercising is dependent on the state of your body (exhaustion/general health) and the reasoning behind the exercise.

    it’s hard to ignore what other’s think but sometimes you just have to say “SO WHAT!”

  22. Julia July 25, 2011 at 2:58 PM #

    Love this post! I find your passion for running inspiring! Youre awesome =)

  23. Jessica Rose July 25, 2011 at 6:38 PM #

    I think I’ve mentioned before that I admire how much of a bitch you are (in a good way! haha) And I really don’t understand people that take the time out of their day to leave negative comments and offer their medical advice – if your blog pisses them off, why don’t they read someone else’s? Whatever. I loved this post.

  24. katshealthcorner July 25, 2011 at 9:53 PM #

    You hit the mark on this one girl! BULLSEYE! 😀 You run because you want to — because you enjoy it! Boo-yah! 😀

  25. moveovercelery July 26, 2011 at 9:13 AM #

    All I gotta say is, preach it sister. I love the bit when you say that you got fierce and running became your passion. When I read your blog, an “obsession” is not something that comes to mind, only a kickass girl who has a huge heart for the sport. 🙂 Keep being awesome and keep writing sweet posts like this. 😉 They’re fun to read!

  26. Ma Ma Megan July 26, 2011 at 11:40 AM #

    You go girl. People seriously need to stop taking so much time out of their day to criticize you. They don’t see you living day to day so they really have no right to go there.

    You are dedicated to your sport and you are damn good at it too! 🙂

  27. g July 28, 2011 at 2:37 PM #

    “I don’t see the difference between my running every day and someone who eats fast food everyday.”

    …wouldn’t it be harmful to eat fast food everyday…?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Seven Links and a Review « lifttorun - July 26, 2011

    […] Proud: Obsession? I definitely think I finally got my point across as in, I don’t run to burn calories, but I […]

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