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FITNESS: AN OBSESSION GONE TOO FAR?


Today is a somewhat serious and important topic, which needs to be addressed as fitness enthusiasts and lowkey, addicts 😏. Don't ask me how this picture of my brother and I at Abuja stadium is relevant to this topic. It's a diversion tactic, keep reading 😜

Given my hiatus from posting frequently on social media and my blog, I decided to face the true reality on what's been bothering me and share it on this space. It's been a rollercoaster of obsession, fatigue and feeling of no motivation.

Although I have been working out at least 4 times a week (which is low from my perspective), I have lacked drive and motivation on too many days this year. Being away from Bodyrox and travelling a lot has not helped but it is more than that, it is a mindset of wanting too much from my body plus an imbalance between life and exercise; lack of planning of my workouts and failing to address the internal conflict between my love for cardio and the necessity of weight training.  

At my fitness high, I worked out 6 times a week. I started off running 5-6 times a week to shed the excess fat and then transitioned into a structured program with my coach. In those desperate years, exercising was a war against obesity. Later, it became a way to relax & destress and then it became an obsession. I would be so annoyed if anything/anyone stood in the way of a planned workout session (as you can imagine, this happens a lot due to #barristerlawyerlife). 

As fitness enthusiast, we must guard against becoming overly obsessed with our progress to the point of vanity or depression. The strive for progress and to see gains all the time can lead to an unhealthy relationship with exercise and nutrition.

This life was meant to be enjoyed. So what if the extra 2 inches of belly fat does not disappear before summer or Christmas. Being healthy and enjoying the process (cue my #SANdaddy) is the most important gift for your mind and body. I can gladly tell you, without feeling upset, that I have made no significant fitness gains this year. My weight has hovered between 65-68kgs with similar BMI and body fat index all year round. Even my attempt to regain control with the 21 day challenge was a bit disrupted by a brief illness.



I look good enjoying life without obsession 


In essence, what am I saying. life happens and we need to use fitness to our advantage to keep body and mind clear without it becoming a obsession, distraction or worse, a cause for depression. 

Here are a few tips I now use to recalibrate my mind towards a healthy relationship with exercise and nutrition

1. Planning my workout at least a few hours in advance. As I do not have the luxury of always being at Bodyrox to train in a structured manner, I plan my workouts the night before or during the day to ensure my mind is ready. As a cardio junkie with limited access to a gym outside Abuja, this means using a lot of Shaun T, Body Combat, Body Attack videos, EMOM workouts, Tabatha-inspired workouts and skipping. You'd be surprised how much free exercise material is available on YouTube. The aim is to shed fat and keep muscle tone using my own body weight.

2. I make the most of my gym sessions. When I am in Abuja at Bodyrox, I am pumped to the max. I attack each workout with such vigor, you'd wonder if we're going for military tryouts. If I am in Lagos during the weekend, my trusty coach will send me cross-fit workout or a full body workout incorporating weight training so I can get the most of the weights session.

3. I mediate during my workout. It seems counter-intuitive but I learnt this from Ekanem (@mrkann411). I block out all distractions from my mind. If legal work pops into my head, I simply increase the intensity of the workout. There's no legal thinking when you're grasping for breath.

4. I do what I love the most every time I train which means cardio must be involved. I am a cardio junkie so there must be some running, skipping, jumping. Anything to elevate the heart rate and get it pumping. The dopamine release is exhilarating!!! Several headaches have been banished by cardio workouts. Again similarly counter-intuitive but I find tension/stress headaches are relieved from cardiovascular exercises. Of course, if you're ill, see a doctor and get medical attention. DO NOT continue pushing yourself

5. I removed the scale from my room. There is no point jumping on and off the scale everyday. There are just too many variables that could distort the number. I weigh myself only once every 2-3months to check that things are not going astray. Plus, I use my clothes as a guide. If it's feeling tighter, I know it's time to lay off all carbs at night and focus on fruits for dinner.

6. I am more relaxed about diet. I simply stop eating by 8pm or 9 at the latest, with some flexibility for outings. I intermittent fast about 3 times a week. Even when I do not fast, I only eat 2 main meals and a snack. I rarely drink alcohol.

Your thoughts, comments, opinions are welcome. If you need personal advice, dm me on instagram @emokiniovo_omalicha

Hey there, I'm Kiniovo!

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