Don’t judge until you’ve walked the walk…

addiction1 I totally get T-Swift. I can totally relate to her, something happens and you just have to write about it. Too bad I can’t sing although I’m sure what I write about wouldn’t make the billboard 100. However, when my emotions run, I love to write. In fact, I have quite a few “un-published” blog posts…

This summer on a visit to my friend Andrea’s, I mentioned that I would love to write a book one day (Andrea is about to publish her second). She said, “fantastic – so what’s it about?”. I said, “well, that’s the problem… I don’t have anything exciting or new and fantastic to write about.” She said that writing a book usually comes from a place of pain and the more I thought about it, the more I know she is right.

I don’t have any Earth shattering, traumatic experiences to write about. I had an amazing childhood, I have amazing parents, in-laws and husband that support me to no end. I have two beautiful and perfect (well almost, lol) daughters. I have a life that a lot of people would love to have and yes, I am truly grateful for it each day.

Sometimes our pain comes from a place of “hard-addiction3wiring” in the brain. This is my battle. This is SO many of our battles. Chemical imbalances causing depression, anxiety, negative self-talk, etc. that continue to tell us that we just aren’t enough or just not good enough, despite what those who love us say and what the logical parts of our brain say.

So, today, I’m sitting here writing because I’m in pain. Emotionally and physically. I’d way rather be at the gym working out right now. But, I’m on a forced rest day. One out of two rest days that I’ve taken since June 23rd.

Since June 23rd, I’ve worked out every single day except two (including today) because I hurt my hip two days ago. Yesterday, despite being in so much pain I could hardly walk, I decided to go do a “light” back workout. Despite my massage therapist (who is also a friend) tell me the parts of my body that need to be rested, I HAD to get my workout in.

So I went. I did my workout. I then came home, took my 4th ibuprofen of the day and laid on the floor with an ice pack. My daughter then rubbed physiotherapy strength cream into my hip and back, helped me off the floor and I went to bed. I was awake all night in pain.

Today, my plan was to go to a meeting first thing, then an appointment, then to the gym for my workouts, which last anywhere from an hour (minimum) to two hours. This didn’t happen obviously and I’ve now cried a total of three times due to the anxiety I’m having about not getting a workout in – and probably due to the realizationaddiction2 that my addiction has been creeping up on me again this summer. The signs are all there but an addict chooses to look away.

I know those of you who physically see me are probably thinking – she certainly doesn’t LOOK like she has an exercise addiction! Well, you’d be right… the signs are often not obvious, which is why it can be one of the easiest forms of addiction to hide. So what are my symptoms? First, weight gain. I’m not gaining weight because I’m eating donuts and pizza. I eat a very well balanced diet, I watch what I eat, I do indulge occasionally but I am not gaining weight because of what I’m eating. I know, I know, I know… I joke about my wine habit – but I honestly don’t drink as much as I let on… When you over-train, your cortisol (stress hormone) goes way up to a point until its completely depleted and then its drained and you have to heal your adrenal glands and its a lot of work. Over-training actually slows your metabolism and you also tend to eat more… my diet is good – but most likely I am taking in additional calories because I am over-training my appetite too. This is why people training for marathons gain weight – or people think that they will sign up for a race to lose weight – often don’t or even gain… more exercise – more hunger.

Other signs – I can’t sleep, I’m tired ALL the time and my joints hurt. This time around, my small joints – something I’ve never experienced before. Two weeks ago, I was at the lake and I couldn’t pull up my pants because my fingers and forearms were too sore. Despite being sore – I still did a heavy workout and was beyond frustrated when I couldn’t hold onto the water-ski rope for more than 5 minutes.

I would never prescribe the amount or intensity of exercise to my clients that I give to myself. I know all the reasons why I shouldn’t be doing what I am doing. I also know that I would make a heck of a lot more progress in my physique – heavier lifts, more definition and fat loss – if I CUT BACK. So why can’t I just do it?

Well, its no different than the woman who can’t give up purging after her meals, its no different than the people going through drive-thru windows and eating upwards of 2000 calories hidden away in their car. Its an addiction, we know better, we know we need to stop we know what we need to do to be successful – but something inside just doesn’t let us stop.

I phoned my Mom this morning and cried. She gets all “Momish” with me and says, “grow-up,addiction5 you ended up in the hospital once because of this – you have two kids to raise – quit being so selfish” – me feeling like I’m 17 instead of 37. My friend says, well, its an “easy-fix – train two days, take one day off”. What they don’t realize is its not just a matter of stopping. The anxiety that triggers LACK of the addictive behaviour is what the problem is.

So, here I am once again wondering if I should be posting such personal issue. Some will think, “well, she is not equipped to be a trainer if she can’t take care of her own shit.” But to me, I hope for just the opposite. I am inspired and learn SO SO SO much from my clients. I form such an emotional attachment to all of them – even the skinny ones who are trying so hard to PUT ON weight… imagine that! lol… My biggest hope is that I can help my clients because I understand their battles – I live them myself. I want them to have a place of non-judgement – a place and person to help them feel safe when they are entrusting me with one of the most vulnerable parts of their lives – their body-image, self-esteem, health and fitness. Its truly my passion – I read countless articles, continually update my education, chat with other coaches and trainers and health professionals. Like I said at the start, we KNOW what’s right and what it takes. I teach all of my clients the right things, I talk to them about what their body needs… its almost as if I’m trying to teach myself over and over again. Its through this that I continue to search for answers for myself and my clients… we all have different needs and different battles.

So please, never place judgement on any of us until you’ve “walked the walk”.

xo ~Oliviaaddiction4