A while back I wrote a piece on my over-training syndrome and addiction to exercise and how it attributed to weight gain and other health issues (including adrenal fatigue). Once I
realized had confirmation that my glutenous exercising was taking a toll on my health, I pulled back the reigns somewhat and began to let go of my addiction. Although still maintaining a fairly strict exercise regime, I let go of the idea that I absolutely needed to work out every single day and became more lax. And I think cardio was killing me.
This past year, as you may have read, I have changed up my fitness goals and have been concentrating on strength training and lifting, spending most of my gym time in the weight room and venturing into territory that, though I have always maintained some strength training, has been on the up-and-up with me. Power lifting and such has become somewhat of a (new) passion and I’m really excited about it and look forward to the days I can get to the gym. Which, of late, seems to be more and more frequently. With classes at least three times per week, I have been making efforts to hit the gym the other 3 to 4 days each week. The other day someone referred to me as a “gym Nazi”.
On top of classes and gym time, the last few months I’ve gotten more and more into hiking – mostly on weekends or sometimes on the off-days from working out. And I have been walking every day on my lunch break for the full hour, and several days before work for anywhere between 20 to 40 minutes.
This week, I had some pretty insane workouts – including lifting the highest amount of weight I’d ever lifted (impressing even myself), and Thursday I totally overdid it. Like, completely. I did two major walks – 40 minutes before work and an hour at lunch and in the evening I did my regular Thursday night gym routine, spending nearly two and a half hours in the gym, and ending the evening with a Zumba class. (Thursday is my favorite night of the week!)
Although during my exercised-fueled endorphin rush I felt awesome and energetic and like I could take on the world, by late Thursday evening I was zonked and actually nodded off on my couch. I never fall asleep on my couch.
Friday morning I awoke with not a lick of energy. I was literally physically exhausted and drained. The entire day I felt like I got hit by a truck. A big-ass truck! I was barely functioning at work and felt like no amount of caffeine would be able to help me. I was relieved when the work day ended.
However, I am
a moron determined and decided that I still wanted to ensure I got another workout in, since it was cold and raining on Friday and I barely got a walk in (short one in the morning and shorter one in the afternoon – resulting in very wet pant-legs) and I headed to the gym once again. It’s really all I could think about Friday and I really was happy to get there. I spent way too long there Friday night working out (about an hour and 40 minutes), lifting and finishing with a little cardio. I felt like I could conquer the world and could keep going but, sometimes I have to say “enough’s enough”.
Although I ventured back to the gym yesterday for what turned out to be a great workout with a buddy, I felt like I didn’t or couldn’t put all I had into my workout. And although I slept wayyyy too long Friday night into Saturday, I was still very tired and needed to push myself.
I made the decision to definitely take today off. Even though I was invited to participate in a fun-run for Apple Blossom festivities, I was happy when the invitee texted to say that she was declining as well. Thank goodness.
I have spent most of today and last night recovering from last week and I am determined to not let myself get to that point again. The point of physical exhaustion and burnout. I don’t think I’ve ever really experienced exercise burnout before. It’s definitely different than the over-training syndrome and adrenal fatigue I experienced a few years ago. I’ve also decided this week to opt out of any FitBit challenges that I’ve been invited to as I feel like I’ve been too competitive lately and that has been fueling me a little more than it should. I am not Monica Geller.
And, let’s face it, I know better. I wasn’t trying to get to this point on purpose. Exhaustion is NOT a status symbol. I know the effects of over-training and risks exhaustion can pose. Up until the end of this past week I wasn’t feeling the effects of my workouts. And perhaps this is a one time occurrence, but I will be more careful as I go into a new week. I will not attempt more than I can handle. My body is my temple and as such, I shall treat it like one and show it more respect.