I haven’t always had the healthiest relationship with exercise and food. In the past, I had exercised for the following reasons:
- to be able to eat like I’m in an eating contest everyday
- to lose weight
- so I could brag about doing crazy distances like 13 miles as my short run on FB (I was training for an ironman)
- to de-stress
However, with med school, running 10+ miles was just too time consuming and not feasible. With the stress from school, my relationship with exercise was becoming unhealthier than ever, so it was a terrible idea for me to exercise excessively and obsess over the # of calories I burned. So I quit.
Though having a healthy relationship with food/exercise/body image is still a work in progress, I am more cognizant of what thoughts are disordered and can TRY to stop myself before I get too far down. So, I’ve decided that it’s okay to take up on running again. Nothing too crazy, maybe just 2-3 miles a few times a week. A distance that would get me huffing and puffing, but not enough to make a difference in how much food I could ingest.
This time around, the reasons for why I am running is a bit different:
- Women are at risk for osteoporosis, ESPECIALLY asian women (me). Weight bearing exercise can help strengthen bones as a preventative measure.
- for the cardiovascular benefits
- so I’m not sitting on my butt all day studying
- for my mental health. Even if I FEEL like running doesn’t put me in a better mood when I’m depressed, it still has its benefits on my mental health nonetheless
- so I can exercise while I am pregnant (though a long ways away) and keep my weight in check
Yesterday, I ran 3 miles for the first time in 938201938 years. One could liken the experience to dunking myself in clorox, but I tried to keep the health benefits in mind.
Note, I DO NOT think that running for aesthetics or vanity should be faulted. At the end of the day, it’s whatever it takes to get you off the couch. For me, focusing on the superficial reasons caused me to feel chained to the treadmill, and it was not a healthy mindset.
The thing about food and exercise and being thin is, it’s ONLY problematic when it causes lots of dysfunction to your everyday life.
If you exercise, for what reasons do you do it for?