Last night, I had lengthy and very serious thoughts. I agonized over the fact that I had worked out, and worked out hard, for so many days in a row that I wasn’t even able to recall my last day off. That my body needed a rest, and it would be in my best interest to take a day off. I pleaded that I needed it–that I felt tired, worn, and lethargic. And, that maybe a rest day would rejuvenate me. I recognized that the pain I was feeling in my hip was because of over usage, and the only way to resolve that pain would be to rest it. Then, I reasoned that even professional training programs implement days off; and, if I was still competing like I used to, I would be, too–so, I asked, “Why am I not now?”
This intense dialogue was not with my husband, nor my mom, nor my friend. In fact, it was not with another human being, but with something far worse: the voice in my head that can be so powerful, yet so harmful. And, while my case above was so true, accurate, and logical, the voice countered. And, countered loudly and harshly. Every single time I stated a reason why it would be beneficial to take a day off of working out, the voice came back with a reason why it would hurt me.
“Your mood won’t be as good if you don’t exercise.”
“You will be fidgety all day, which will make you feel anxious.”
“You won’t be able to eat as much as you usually do.”
“You will lose your fitness level.”
“To prevent your weight from fluctuating, exercise everyday is imperative.”
“It will make you feel better about yourself.”
“You will be happier.”
And, finally, the worst of them all: “You will get fat.”
My mind is always talking; not just about exercise. It tells me I’m not a good mother; or, I am fat; or, I have no friends. It is clear that I have struggled with this my entire life. I have, thankfully, been able to ignore the voice enough to be high functioning, confident, and active. But, I am susceptible to letting that voice take over and control my life. That is how I explain the eating disorder I developed, and battled to overcome. Silencing the voice continues to be difficult, but I have vowed that it will never ruin my life again.
I realize that I won’t get fat if I take a day off of exercise. Or, it won’t put a dent in my fitness level. And, if I really, really put my mind to it and needed to rest, I would. Until then… I will work at silencing that terrible, berating voice that is constantly in my ear so I can live the happiest and healthiest life possible.