A month into my self prescribed exile from San Diego to work with clients, I find that I am becoming more obsessed with working out. I’m not sure that is a good thing for any passion taken past the logical conclusion is an obsession that can destroy you if you pay attention to it above everything else.
My job takes a lot of time and fries my brain on most days. Working out is what I have to do to stay sane and I like it a lot. It’s very different doing it on my own and sending videos to my coach in SD for advice and direction rather than having the in-person guidance and feedback. That said, I’m starting to see my daily workouts as THE main activity in my day and not just part of my day and that could be an issue.
We all have some type of obsession. Some large and some small, but they are there and when you pay attention to them you are not paying attention to other things. Is that a bad thing?
Let’s unpack this a bit.
Since leaving my husband and friends in San Diego and moving just west of Sacramento I’ve changed a lot. I’ve lost weight and I’m gaining muscle, but beyond that I am loving how I look and loving the looks people give me. That’s the rub. Health should not be about looks per say, but it is part of it. You’re lying to yourself if you think otherwise. So, I am heartier and healthier than I’ve been in years and I, and others, are noticing. (Finally, my shoulders are wider than my waist.)
But all that seems almost meaningless if you don’t have someone to share it with. I have a home gym which it great, but the camaraderie of the gym is gone. My husband is gone. Wait, I’m the one that’s gone and that’s where the solitude and obsession comes in.
I am alone but being alone is not being lonely. I’m not lonely but I have no friends in the area and no family and I am my own support system now. My workouts are what I have; they are my obsession. This week I started working out without my shirt off for the first time in my life because I was happy with what I look like. It’s been 13 months of every day work to get here and I’m down from size 44 shorts to 34 or maybe 36 and that’s huge. Yes, I’m obsessed.
I’m OK with this because I found a way to be fixated without it taking over my life. I get up early and go to the garage and work out every day for about an hour. Then I jog a mile and then walk some more. So, for 90-100 minutes every day I am 100% preoccupied and then I let it go.
I had to learn how to do that. To let go. To get to a stage of nothingness and not think about it till the next morning. I had to do this because boredom and being alone are not a good combination and I am both. You can get into trouble that way; I know I can.
What is your obsession? Do you control it, or does it control you? How do you know the difference?
I don’t think obsessions are bad, but left unchecked they can take over your life and slowly destroy it. I saw this happen to a good friend and his partner last week. My friend’s partner became so fixated with “his thing” he became unrecognizable, and they’ve split. It happens all too often.
So, what happens when you get obsessed, or someone you know does, and you or they change so much that what you had is not possible any longer? It is a question I faced.
I love my husband and he is the cornerstone of my life. That said, I know he cannot go on the journey I am on. For a while that was, frankly, quite scary. I was changing physically, mentally, and more. He was at a point in his life that he wasn’t done growing, but any major changes were most likely not in the cards. And that’s okay.
Obsession can change things and change people, but recognizing you are obsessed changes things, too. My husband and I had a long talk about me, what I’m going through, him, and us. Not all of it was Cinnabons and unicorns and we had more than one talk. Coming out of that was a deeper level of communication and understanding on both our parts of what the other person needs.
I know he supports me on my journey and that’s huge. Yes, I’m passionate about body building but I’m also more infatuated with my husband and our life together.
I guess this is a long way of saying that in any relationship communication is critical and the definition of communication is the response you get back. In other words, if someone says or does something that does not make sense to you – YOU need to reach out and see what the miscommunication is, then restate your words so they can better understand you.
It’s okay to be obsessed. Without my obsession I’d be fat and miserable, but you do have to weigh your obsession against the rest of your life. How you do that is through intentional and regular communication with your partner, loved ones, and friends. Let them know it’s okay to call you out if they see or feel something odd. It’s amazing the amount of support you can get when you open yourself up.
Be obsessed with joy and health. Be obsessed with all of who you are. Let others know they matter and that they have permission to talk to you if they see you going off course. No guarantees, but open communication and a healthy obsession work pretty well most of the time.