Knowing when to push

I push myself… in pretty much every aspect of my life. I push myself typically to the point of complete collapse, when I am left with no choice but to reevaluate. But that isn’t really practicing self-love is it? I think long term healthy living is slightly different for those of us who have been very overweight in the past. Not only was I unhappy with how I looked when I was overweight, I wasn’t HEALTHY. But sometimes I find myself saying “I’m doing what I need to do to be healthy” when I’m really practicing unhealthy habits on the other end of the spectrum. I push myself too hard, I restrict, I chastise myself… all under the guise of trying to be healthier.

For me, someone who has previously been very overweight and struggles with body image issues, walking this fine line isn’t easy. How do I live a healthy lifestyle with good habits, without wandering back into the darkness of disordered eating and exercise obsession? The question I think is this… how do you know when to push and when to back off? The truth is that your body knows best, way better than  your mind certainly does.

I’ve been thinking specifically about this topic because I’m experiencing some strange pain in my wrists of late. On the bus on the way back from Philadelphia yesterday, I was making my workout schedule for the week and found myself in this mental battle. Make my normal schedule and push through the pain? No pain no gain, right? Scale is back a little to give my wrists a break? Which one is healthier? Exercise is good for you. More exercise is therefore better right? But I don’t want to hurt my wrists long term. Compromise? Run more, strength train less? Go to yoga but back off in certain poses? Don’t go to yoga at all? SO MANY QUESTIONS.


Here’s what I decided to do… let me body make the choices and set myself up to succeed. I’m going to exercise as usual, but pay attention to my wrists and stop if they hurt. I am however making a couple choices like taking a level 1.5 yoga class instead of level 2 to rest my wrists a bit. Isn’t that all you really can do? That was kind of simple now wasn’t it?

(Obviously let me be clear that if I continue to experience pain in my wrists I will see a medical professional. Right now I just don’t know if they just need some rest or something is seriously wrong)

4 responses

  1. I love this post. It is something that I have struggled with for so long and continue to struggle with, and I think your choice to listen to your body was perfect. It was just what I needed to read this morning 🙂

    1. I think you and I are some of the biggest offenders on this one 🙂 Remember when Jane used to yell at us in college?? But on a different note, I want to practice together soon it’s been too long!

  2. Good for you for listening to your body and easing off. I just had a similar experience and only recently feel good about taking rest days…I recently finished reading “Running for Mortals” and it talks a lot about listening to your body and not pushing it. So hard to do, but so important. Take good care of yourself.

    1. Thanks so much for the book suggestion I think I’m going to read that! I also own but haven’t actually read Chi Running which I hear is a good one!! Thanks for reading 🙂

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