I can honestly say, that I am completely addicted to running.
I have run in beautiful places all around the world (oh, hello sunny Spain) and seen some amazing views (Berlin, next on the list!) Whilst meeting many a friend for life as it has a large running community that comes with it (#UKRUNCHAT has been my life line) Not to mention, an array of PB’s to boot. Win.
I truly believe that running is my therapy. It has given me happiness, confidence and best of all, it takes me away from every day stress.
Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t always perfect. It is indeed a love/hate relationship that only progresses if I put 110% into it. There have been some dark and painful times, but as with any relationship out there, you have to work hard to get what you want out of it.
This post has taken me a while to write… My first draft was a little extensive and brought back a ton of memories. Memories of which I would rather keep under lock and key. Then whilst rearranging the words I had in front of me, many days later, I had realised it had caught up with me again. I was lost within the world that I had originally wanted you all to be aware of.
As with any addiction, things can get a little out of hand. Too much of anything can lead you down the wrong path. Once, my dad had even said to me.
Moderation is the key to life. Too much of a good thing can also become a negative thing.
This quote has stayed with me for a long while, yet I still went through the process of learning that over indulgance can also become a problem, regardless of whether it is healthy living or exercise, it still can be a complication.
Your body is a temple.
There was a point in which I would push my body to its limit, to the point that even when I was ill, I would make myself get out there and run with all my might. If you are ill, your body is telling you something. So listen. Listen to your body, as it is only you that will ultimately know when enough is enough.
Sometimes we need to rest, just to re-boot the system, as you can run yourself into the ground. I learnt this the hard way.
It is not a diet, but a lifestyle change.
Remember, to also fuel yourself correctly when exercising. I got so caught up with ‘healthy eating’ that whilst training it had become very controlling. I would not let myself eat certain foods, banning many a food group from my diet. Some that would be essential for my training progression. However, that was not what was important to me at the time.
There is a difference between ‘clean eating’ and vetting every single, damn piece of food that enters your mouth.
The body needs a certain amount of calories to function in day to day life, and more so if you are exercising. You need the fire in your belly to keep you going, and this is not an excuse to eat all the foods, but you have to make sure that you are filling your body with nourishment for the energy needed.
There was once a period of time where I had an unhealthy relationship with food, which completely hindered my training. Again, I had got so caught up in the world of ‘health’ that I had forgot the most simplest of rules.
Your body is a machine. Fill it with the right petrol, and it will run smoothly.
There were many moments where I would not have enough sustenance to keep my body in nick during lengthy training sessions. I remember once on a run, trying to sprint up a hill (one that I had mastered numerous of times) to only then start walking half way up, whilst huffing and puffing, and I was devastated. Even worse still, I made myself walk back down that hill and pushed myself, with every last bit of strength I had to run up it again, to prove to myself that I could still do it. This was when I hit a new low, I had to reconsider the ‘diet’ I had started to follow unknowingly.
To conclude, I do not blame healthy eating or running for the thoughts that overtook me. The demon was already imbedded within me, and I let it rear its ugly head when I was at my most vulnerable. This is why I want others to be aware that you can go too far, with absolutely anything. Especially when you are completely addicted. The lifestyle I live is much more controlled now, even though I have my off days, like anyone else in this crazy old world. I have chosen my priorities, priorities that I had all messed up a short while back.
I did not want it to get to the extent that it did, but I have learnt a great lesson. I have taken a few steps back and will look at my lifestyle in a positive way. I am doing these things to better myself, not wreck myself.
I love running, and I love healthy eating. I will not stop, and I will make sure that I do everything in my potential to make sure that I am at my best, the best I can be. Physically and mentally.
It has taken time and I still look in the mirror and scrutinise; there is no such thing as perfection, but I am proud of my body. This beautiful body of mine.
And so you should be too.