Thursday, October 27, 2011

Obsessed. We all may need help!

I decided to join up for the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge over at Run to the Finish.  Hopefully it will help stave off some of the usual holiday weight gain! Click on the link if you are interested too.  There are lots of fun prizes to be won! And who doesn't love winning prizes?


I recently came across on article on FitSugar talking about exercise addiction.  Basically it said that if you have the symptoms listed below you may need some help. 
  • The intensity, duration, and/or frequency of your workouts are above and beyond the recommended 30 minutes a day.
  • You're compulsive about getting in a workout, regardless of other commitments, the weather, or personal pains or injuries.
  • You're fanatical about keeping track of your progress (distance, calories burned, mileage, etc.) in an exercise journal, and are obsessive about meeting or exceeding goals that are often above your physical abilities.
  • You feel guilty or anxious when you miss a workout, and beat yourself up about it.
  • You constantly talk, read, research, and think about exercise.
30 minutes a day is all you get before you are considered addicted? 30 minutes?  Really? Some days 30 minutes isn't even half the run. This whole list has me shaking my head really.  So, if you are training for a half marathon and logging your miles, researching how to run it the best you can, and (ahem) blogging about it, you are addicted? 

Anybody out there just read this and not fit into the description of addicted?

So then I had to do some further looking into it, surely I am not addicted by exercise.  I could quit if I wanted to.  So i felt better after  I found an article HERE about being addicted to running.  It was a lot more in depth and more geared towards runners.  I liked it a lot better and even came out as neutral on the self test to see if I was addicted to running.  I will spare you the details, you can go read it if you want.  I am happy basking in my not addicted status. The self test is at the very end of the article if you want to find out if you are addicted to running in a bad way!

So maybe not addicted, just obsessed, like my husband claims I am :) But really there are so many worse things to be obsessed or addicted to so I really don't feel bad.  Running keeps me in shape, not depressed, at a healthy weight, feeds my competitive spirit and can also be very social.  It is relatively cheap, or can be if you keep it simple. Really I only run four days a week I hardly think that qualifies as obsessed.  I carve 5 hours a week out of my schedule to make time for me.  Five hours.  Is that so bad?  I think not. There are not a whole lot of other things that I do for me. 

I also think it sets a positive example for my kids.  I could be sitting on the couch eating.  I still make time to do special things with them too.  Running is a priority in my life but I think I keep it in balance.  Meals still get cooked, dishes get done, laundry put away.  Not every second has to be about cooking, cleaning, and being a wife and mother.  Somewhere in there I need and deserve time for me.  We all do.  Running fills the need.  It gets me "me time". Time to destress, time to relax, time to focus on something I love to do and am passionate about.  Yes, I tend to read about running, write about running, and talk about running.  I am a runner.  If that makes me obsessed and addicted I guess I don't really care.  It makes me happy which makes me a better wife and mother.

What about you?  Addicted?  Obsessed?  Is it so bad really?
Do people tell you that you are obsessed with running?

34 comments:

  1. I am glad I am not the only one who has a husband who constantly tells me I am addicted AND obsessed with running! And he doesn't mean this in a good way. Unfortunately I don't plan to give it up any time soon. I think it is a healthy addiction and when it comes down to it, it would never take priority over my family so I think I'm good:)

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  2. That's ridiculous! I don't think maintaining your health should be classified as an addiction. Like you said, it does a lot for your physical and mental well-being as well. There's definitely a line, but I'm not sure it's easy to draw.

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  3. I'm totally going to go check out the article.

    I did HBBC last year, but kind of got nutty about it, so I'm not going to do it again this year. It's for my own mental health.

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  4. I like the word obsessed better than addicted. My husband likes to use the word obsessed for me, too :). I'm okay with that! I'm neutral on the self-test, too. Nothing wrong with wanting to run and be healthy.

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  5. Hi, my name is Elle and I am an addict!

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  6. addict, schmaddict. It's only an addiction if it interferes with your regular life--like your ability to maintain your job, your family etc. None of us fall into THAT category. Right?? ;)

    My family still eats. We have a house to live in that the mortgage is paid.

    As you said, we could be 'addicted' to many worse things than running or exercise.

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  7. me? addicted and obsessed, i think. But healthy! I don't even go crazy long miles or marathons like some of you addicts (wink, wink) b/c i think it's too far for my poor body to go. But addicted? Well, why else would i be reading all these running blogs? Apparently going for a run isn't enough for me, i wanna READ about others running too! ;-)
    And you better believe i journal my runs...how else will i know how many miles i've obsessively ran?? love it!

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  8. Very interesting post, and the link was a great read. Tim Noakes also addresses this a bit in Lore of Running.

    MY opinion: There are addictions that are beneficial to the person addicted, but they strain those around them. Then the addict has the responsibility to weigh out the cost to others and balance things out.

    Have a great week, C!!

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  9. Haha, I have a problem! 30 minutes a day? Who does that?

    I can stop running any time I want...yeah. :)

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  10. I stopped running for awhile and I miss it sooo much. My husband says I am obsessed and addicted. Whatever. I always reread this quote when he calls me obsessed. ~Nothing in fitness is easy. Any lasting change requires hard work, focus and a life long obsession. -Sean Hyson

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  11. Yeah people that don't run always say you're obsessed. Apparently you can't have interests and goals beyond your career or something. Whatev I say. Run on!

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  12. Given the initial symptoms of exercise addiction you listed, I wonder what they would consider all of us to be if they knew we BLOGGED about it…probably make their minds combust :)

    And you go girl, I think it is SO important to take care of yourself in order to take care of others and you're not going to be as good of a mother, wife, etc if you're not taking care of you first. I get so crabby if I miss a workout…yikes.

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  13. I saw 'passionate' while my husband totally says obsessed and addicted and not in a good way!

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  14. Meh! I wouldn't worry! There are so many worse things in life to be addicted to, right? Even if we WERE classified as "addicted" to exercise or running, there is still something to be proud of!

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  15. Yup..... by those standards I am in need of a recovery program. But I think it's an awfully great thing to be "addicted" to and I never let it be more important than my husband and kids and strive to keep life well balanced, so it's all good. :)

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  16. I mean, I know obsession or addiction to exercising could be bad at some point. But really? It's so much better than being addicted to a crack pipe. Hello!

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  17. I think running is an addictive obsession for me but I prefer to call myself committed and dedicated :) I suffer from quite a few of those symptoms but having fun with it!!

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  18. I think 30 minutes is NORMAL. 60 minutes is addicted :)

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  19. Ok, have just signed up for the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge. Sounds like a good idea to keep me motivated.

    I wonder how many points I'd get for roller skating... ?!

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  20. Are you KIDDING me?
    30 minutes?!?

    Who wrote this schlock?
    People used to work on farms for 12 hours a day. That wasn't "addiction." Unfortunately, now we sit at desks all day. 45 minutes of cardio does not an addict make. (It does, however, lower one's risk of heart disease, diabetes, etc...)

    There ARE people who have an unhealthy relationship with exercise and/or food.

    But in the era of sky-high obesity rates, I say SHAME on this person for suggesting that "anything more than 30 minutes makes you an addict."

    *sorry -- struck a nerve there. ;)

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  21. PS - Thank you for providing well-reasoned information to counter that original list :)

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  22. I'm doing HBBC too and I'm actually talking about it in my post tomorrow. Great minds think alike!

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  23. Apparently, I'm neutral. I thought I might be higher, but I had a few 1's on that test. Of course I didn't take the time to read it all, just skipped to the test- gotta get a run in :) I enjoy the time alone and how good I feel when I run. It's a great stress release and gives me a chance to explore what I can do every single time I lace up them shoes! I plan on doing it for the rest of my life.

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  24. Guess I'm obsessed too!!! :)

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  25. My husband thinks I'm obsessed, too, but I scored "Fitness with a mellow bent" on the quiz. So I think we're all good. :^)

    Though I do have to say, the laundry does *not* always get folded in my house....the run will happen before that....hey, if it's clean, you can grab it unfolded out of the basket, right?

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  26. I would much rather be addicted to working out than an addict to sloth and laziness! :)

    30 minutes is nothing.

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  27. I totally agree with what you were saying!! I enjoy running and it is ME time. So like you said who cares addicted or not. We love it

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  28. That seems like some rather silly qualifiers in my opinion! 30 minutes a day definitely doesn't make you an addict. I'm going to take the text now!

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  29. I read this while I was at the gym and it was over 30 minutes long...haha! I think they are trying to get word out there is a point where its too much but that is a bit extreme. I cant imagine many people go to the gym for less than 30 minutes!

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  30. Running (or any form of exercise) is a good addiction. You're doing something for yourself. Much better than a lot of vices!

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  31. i think there is a line between consistent exercise and addiction. I am slightly sensitive to this from dealing with addiction in a close loved one. But suffice to say most of us are totally obsessed :) but maybe not addicted

    thanks for the shout out!!

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  32. 30 minutes, really? That particularly bugs me because there are other guidelines that say an hour for people trying to lose weight. That's just stupid. Don't get me wrong, I'm an adrenaline junkie, which is why I sign up for things like half marathons, but if my exercise habit is making me healthier and isn't interfering with my life than I don't see the problem.

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  33. What's interesting is that I think I am mostly addicted to the effects of running, not running itself! I need the endorphins and release and the excuse to eat dessert. I need the alone time and to clear the cobwebs. My husband thinks I'm crazy, but he knows I need the run!

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