Today I got an email from a Facebook friend, asking me: “My boyfriend who I live with is having a hard time with how intense I am with my training and food and it’s causing an issue. How did u get yourself out of the obsessive cycle so you didn’t interrupt your boyfriend’s life for it? THANK YOU!”
What an interesting question I thought.
For long time I played one and only “role” in my life, and it was the “athlete’s role”. I like to call it a role, because I think each one of us choose one that most defines who we are, like the role of mom, wife, business man, etc. All I could do was being an “athlete”, training, eating like I was about to do the Olympics each day of my life. I couldn’t care less to have a boyfriend or even a hobby that would distract me a little from my routine. This went on for years… With more acute periods, followed by easier ones, but always playing that one role, the “athlete”.
Last January I started traveling again (Canada, Vegas, Italy) and I began to reflect about my life and how I was spending my days. Were there other “roles” worth to play? Was the athlete enough to define me? Was I just all about that? What about me being a woman? I was missing having my mind clear of constant hunger and tiredness. I was missing feeling my 26 years of youth, going out at night every now and then without worrying about being too late, without having the urge to do cardio at all costs the morning after. I was missing love. Traveling without having to chew tuna in the airplane bathroom. I wanted more freedom, because excessive control doesn’t free you at all. Real freedom is knowing how to be flexible in life.
I know I had to make compromises tho. I reevalutated how lean I really “needed” to be, stopped 5 times a week cardio and reduce it first to 4, then 3, then 2, sometimes even 1. I had to pick fewer workout sessions, keep them as intense as possible. Less foam rolling, no more 2 hrs of stretching when bored. Stop loads of vegetables and eat more dense food. I HAD TO modify what I thought was untouchable. What I thought made me how I really wanted to be. But that was just a part of me, a very big one, but not the only one.
Those changes happened progressively, and I don’t wanna see them as a regression, but a huge step forward in my life. I know I did a lot with my body and I would be able to do it all again. But it was time to take care about things I let alone for too long… Why was I always lonely? Did I really like it? I was afraid that being with people would have just took away precious training time from me. Well, the time I once felt like wasted, made me meet who is today my husband… Would never happened if I didn’t allow some changes in my routine.
So, to answer the email, what made all the things work together (training, boyfriend/husband, different interests, going out etc) was just realizing the need of flexibility in my life. The need of allowing more roles, not only the athlete.
It’s important to be able to make adjustments in our routine, because it’s not “either I train and diet like a motherf$*#k?*r or I’m just a couch potato”. To make it easier I write it all on my training/diet journal. I record everything there, it just make me feel more comfortable (that control thing that never leave you!). I believe we all should be able to live our life to the fullest, at the same time watching what we eat, train intensely, without making the last two rule over everything. Remember… Fitness with a healthy mind 🙂
By the way… I’m in Chicago!