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Are you pushing yourself too hard?

Four months ago I got injured during my workout. How? I was obsessed with my legs and trained them at least three times a week. It never occurred to me that working out so much would backlash and I pushed myself to the limit. This resulted in months of Netflix and eating chocolate.

We’re confronted almost every day on social media with killer bodies which make our head go spinning. I wanted to look as hot and sexy as these girls on Instagram and I was willing to work out at least six days a week to achieve this. I never thought that it would exhaust my body or that I could end up achieving the exact opposite effect.

I’ve been working out for years now and I stick to a varied program where I try as many different things as possible. It happens that for months I’m really motivated and try one workout after the other and other periods where I just want to hide under my blankets and never come out again. Does this sound familiar?

Fanatic

Me during the winter. I was determined to start the new year fresh after indulging myself in a lot of Christmas sweets and drinks, and get to work on that beach body. It didn’t really help that my boyfriend at the time was a true fitness fanatic and we would drive each other crazy all the time. It made me work even harder in order to pursue the ultimate fitness body. I was determined that  I would shine the upcoming summer!

I got carried away in my fitness behavior and the gym became my second home. I was so focused on my upper legs as I thought they were flabby and not tight enough. Why did those girls on Instagram have tight, thin thighs and I didn’t? It became my life mission to achieve their look.

My body started showing some definition after a while and my legs became more muscular, but I hit a wall. I felt like  I saw little results for the hours that I was spending at the gym. It became an obsession and I felt nervous when I couldn’t work out for a day. A day not spent in the gym, was a day not lived. Fitness, boxing, bootcamp, body balance classes. I would do it all. My body was tired and exhausted but that was part of the deal, right?

No more

Then one day my legs just gave up. I felt a searing pain shoot through my groin, but I finished my session anyway. Stubborn as I was, I kept on going with my daily routines. Going to the gym, working, dancing in the weekend. This was just a sore muscle and it would be gone in no time. This couldn’t have been further from the truth.

I found myself at the doctors a week later and he prescribed cream and painkillers to me. The pain evolved really quickly and after two weeks I could barely move and at night I would suffer from a burning ache in my groin. I fell into a huge dip and I would spend my days on the couch watching one show after the other while I stuffed myself with comfort food.

Many hospital visits later I decided to visit the physiotherapist and what did it turn out to be? Yup, I had been pushing myself too hard and my hips and groin were the victim. My body told me it was enough but I hadn’t been listening. I could say goodbye to the body I’ve been working on for months and the worst part was, I had done this to myself. Why? Because I wanted the perfect body just like the girls I saw on social media. But what even is the perfect body anyway?

New start

Working out so much made me lose myself completely and it actually made me more insecure about my body. I wanted more and more, like I couldn’t ever be satisfied. I was working out day and night for the ideal body but in the end an injury was what needed to happen to wake me up.

For over a month now I’m slowly but surely trying to pick up the pieces. I’m reminded of my injury every day and I’m struggling daily with the fact that it will take me a while to become better. I’m taking baby steps but eventually I will recover. I listen to my body carefully and together with personal trainer Alicia I’m trying to get back on track.

The last few months I have indeed gained some weight, my muscles have disappeared and yes I do eat and drink more often and whatever I feel like. But I’m happier than when I used to work out six times a week. Now I am looking for some more routine in my life and I do want to work out more often but I will never go back to what I used to do. And of course I still want a killer body but it’s important to accept yourself and your body too.

What I’m trying to tell you girls is that you should always listen to your body. What seems to work for one person, doesn’t have to work for another. Hitting the gym every day doesn’t guarantee you a dream body or even life satisfaction. Or maybe it does and it just didn’t work for me. I’m trying to enjoy life and accept myself instead of comparing myself every day with girls on Instagram. 

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Comments

  1. Anne

    Totally agree!
    Recognize myself in your story 🙂
    I am still looking for a balance..

    • Vladana Vulevic

      Hi Anne,

      Nice to hear that you relate to my story.
      Every day is a struggle but together we can look for a balanced lifestyle.
      Good luck on your journey! 🙂

  2. Mo

    Zo herkenbaar! Fijn om te lezen dat ik niet de enige ben. Balans vinden is echt killing en social media dragen er nu ook niet altijd aan bij!
    Goed stuk 🙂