Obsession... Good or Bad?
Lets kick this off by saying obsession is different then addiction. Obsession you can take a day off and be okay. Addiction is the exact opposite. Feeling like missing a workout is the worst thing to happen is totally different.
Now lets look and see, are you obsessed or are you addicted? Obsessed with being the best you can be isn't a bad thing. Addicted to working out and feeling a way is. Lets look at the difference in this blog.
To me this is a good thing... wanting to be the best is not a problem its human nature. It takes obsession to be great. You will need to be a little bit crazy to be the best. Kobe Bryant listened to the Halloween movie them song before games to get into an attack mode of kill everybody and win. Sounds crazy to somebody not obsessed I bet. To be the best you will need to do the things you do not want to do. This is not enough either. You need to do them as if you love them to truly get better. This is what sets the greats apart from the good. When you do not want to train, read, study, wake up, stretch, go to bed, work, or what ever it may be that day just know somebody out there is doing it and doing it like they wouldn't want to be doing anything else.
We seem to as humans think you only can be addicted to drugs or bad things. This is so far from the truth. So many are addicted to things that should be good for them, but their addiction has made it not so good for them. People are addicted to food, fitness, social media, and much much more. Nothing is that bad for you in the right dose. However every thing can be bad for you if over done.
How Addiction starts:
Exercise releases endorphins and dopamine. These are the same neurotransmitters released during drug use. An exercise addict feels reward and joy when exercising. When they stop exercising, this goes away. An addict has to exercise more to trigger the chemical release.
Exercise addiction usually starts with a desire for physical fitness. An eating disorder, such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia, may lead to an unhealthy obsession with exercise. A body dysmorphic disorder, or body image disorder, may also cause addiction. I've seen people lose weight and get healthy and then not know what to do next. At this time they just continue to lose weight until they are walking around with an extremely low body fat making them just as unhealthy as they was before they lost the weight. To be the best (obsession) you must find a balance with this and continue learning and adapting to what stage you are in.
There are things to look for to see if addicted to exercise:
feeling buzzed after exercising
experiencing withdrawal symptoms after long periods without exercise
experiencing uncontrollable desires to exercise
reducing activities in other areas of life to make time for exercise
spending long periods of time preparing for, and recovering from, exercise
experiencing an inability to stick with a reduced exercise routine
A workout journal will help you identify feelings and patterns connected to exercise. Include in your journal:
the days you exercise
the activities you do
how you feel while working out
how much time you devote to fitness that day
how you feel (both emotionally and physically) when you’re not working out and on your rest days
Some athletes suffer from an unhealthy addiction to exercise. This can arise for a variety of reasons, including an obsession with perfection or winning, avoiding other aspects of life.
Addictive exercisers may use extreme training as one way to expend calories and maintain or lose body weight in an attempt to improve performance or achieve a desired body shape or weight. They often justify this by believing a serious athlete can never work too hard or too long at their sport.
Discomfort, pain or even injury will not keep an addict from training. Nearly all compulsive exercisers suffer from overtraining syndrome. They often live with muscle strains, soreness, stress fractures and other chronic, overuse injuries, such as tendinitis.
When confronted with this, they most likely say that if they didn't work this hard, their performance would suffer. They also tend to cling to the false belief that even the smallest break from training will make them gain weight and be unable to compete at the same level.
A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health relies on these factors to determine whether or not exercise addiction is present:
Tolerance: You feel the need to increase the amount of exercise you do to feel the same "high" as you did previously.
Withdrawal: If you do not exercise, you experience adverse side effects like anxiety, irritability, restlessness, and sleep disturbances.
Lack of control: You cannot reduce or stop the amount of exercise you do on your own.
Intention effects: You find yourself consistently overdoing the amount of exercise you may have planned.
Time: You spend much of your time thinking about, planning, preparing, engaging in, and recovering from exercise. It interferes with other aspects of your life.
Reduction in other activities: Other areas of your life suffer because of your exercise, such as your social life, relationships, work, or other hobbies.
Continuance: You keep exercising even though you are aware that doing so is causing physical, psychological, and interpersonal problems.
If you can not take a day off from something without feeling bad, I would recommend taking a week of from said thing to gain control back. Be obsessed but be in control!!