Getting fit is undeniably good for everybody. We should be striving to maintain a healthy weight and a reasonable level of fitness but is there a downside? Sometimes things can get a little bit too obsessive and how we eat takes a negative turn.
Creating routines, like when we go to the gym or have a run are great. Motivation and scheduling combined can help us build an excellent plan for our fitness, but it is essential to guard against obsessive behaviours when it comes to our food. The danger is that we start to use food as punishment or reward for not meeting, or meeting our self-imposed targets. Negative thought patterns can quickly develop, and we can find that we start to use food to bring control. If the gym session does not go as well as hoped for example the punishment is skipping breakfast. Diet should be structured in a way that is healthy but not used against yourself as a punishment or control.
Education Brings Fear
As we build our fitness, we start to really consider what we are eating. Again this is no bad thing and can be an incredibly healthy way to live. However, sometimes with education comes fear. We start to obsess over every ingredient and worry about whether we should eat it. When fitness becomes and genuine obsession, this sees people not eating because they cannot justify the ingredients on the wrapper. While it is always worth knowing what is in the food we eat – again care should be taken to avoid building an unhealthy obsession. It is not right to feel guilty about the food we eat, but instead, a healthy, clean eating menu means the ability to eat a sensible amount of food without feeling the need to punish yourself.
In severe cases of fitness obsession, the signs of body dysmorphia can start to appear. This can be a potentially dangerous condition so if you are concerned about yourself or someone you know it is worth trying to get a health professional involved. In body dysmorphia, the sufferer becomes so obsessed with a version of healthy that they carry in their head, that their own body stops being acceptable, no matter what it looks like. When they look in the mirror, the reflection they see does not match the reality, and they convince themselves that they are still unhealthy or overweight and need to work harder. This can lead to using food as punishment and restricting the food they will eat. Of course, this can be very dangerous for someone who is expending vast amounts of energy at the gym, but then not eating enough to maintain health. In severe cases it can lead to collapse as the amount of food going in does not provide the body with enough vital nutrients and vitamins. However, due to the image that the person sees in the mirror, they are unable to stop themselves using food as a control.
This article is our opinion only we are not Health/Medical proffesionals. Always seek medical advice with any health concerns or medical issues