“Obsession is the single most wasteful activity because with an obsession you keep coming back and back and back to the same question and never get an answer”, said the American novelist, Norman Mailer. One just can’t agree more with this. The way of living for our generation is often defined by extreme goals coupled with utmost haste. Be what it may, career, fitness or sometimes, even relationships..! All of us want to achieve colossal results within a matter of a few days! One does require that passion to make it big in life. However, we often end up confusing passion with obsession. While passion is a function of self-faith, realistic goals and undeterred spirit, obsession makes you clingy and mostly proves to be a way to escape reality and eventually consumes you from inside.

When I take a look at myself now, suddenly everyone I know has got into a fitness rage. There are brides-to-be wanting to shed those extra kilos to fit into that flattering reception gown; new mothers struggling to get back into shape post pregnancy; young girls with weight issues fighting their way through adolescence…! There is nothing wrong in wanting to be “fit.” There is a problem only when one bites off more than what one can chew. So what does happen when one chooses to go down this path?

Fitness Misunderstood

Women who engage in oppressive fitness regimens and follow wayward diet patterns while having a strong fixation with remaining “fit” are exposed to multiple physical and psychological hitches. If you belong to this category, you are putting yourself at the risk of developing osteoporosis. This is a condition where your bones wear down and become brittle and vulnerable to breakage at a very young age. In other words, bone density gets eroded gradually as you age and you might expose yourself to this threat at a much earlier stage in your life. Osteoporosis causes not only pain but also might lead to permanent physical deformities (you might have noticed hunched posture in the spine of a few women). This condition might not sound fatally dangerous at the outset, but this would sure rob you of the small pleasures that you derive from your daily routines. Such over-training can lead to many other health issues like amenorrhea, i.e. missing your periods. (Tips to Prevent Osteoporosis)

Several studies have concluded that such craze for fitness could prove to be extremely unhealthy and affect one’s social life as well. People tend to get easily irritated, miss out on work and other social engagements when they are unable to involve in their desired activity (exercise or diet). A few people have even confessed to having not gone on vacations, lost friends, left jobs and isolated themselves from family members, when things got in the way of their two-hours-date with the bench press.

So how do you know if you’re a member of this fitness fad? Here are a few symptoms that you will have to watch out for: someone who believes in the notion of, “one can never be too thin”; “I cannot miss exercise or practice even for a day” attitude; exercising in spite of poor health and any other condition that would force one to take the day off; feeling of extreme exasperation or self-criticism; signs of substantial stress, depression and fatigue, craving to do more and more of workout, etc.,

Why this compulsive over-training routine? Women often associate their body image with confidence and self-esteem. So, this often is caused by low self-esteem and a defiled body image. Such habits are very common amongst people who suffer from anorexia ( an eating disorder characterised by fear of gaining weight and a strong desire for a thin figure) and bulimia (binge eating disorder).

One must understand that militarisation of fitness is not going to take one anywhere. It’s high time that we all learn to respect our body and the process of nurturing, empowering and rejuvenating the same is a deep-rooted process and more than a taxing obligation. Try to pick up the signals that your body gives you. It never fails to show you when to push further and when to cut some slack and chill out. Set realistic goals and take one step after another. Appreciate the journey and try not to infatuate excessively over the destination.

Lastly, fatigue is not a style statement! You’re much more than just a gym bunny!

Happy working out!

Photo Courtesy: Jeffreys Harrison