obsessed/addicted to the gym & dieting

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laurenleprevost
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i've been going to the gym 3 times a week, for around 2:15 hours each time, since august 2016 and have noticed that as i continue to make progress, i put more and more pressure on myself to lose weight. I'm taking my a levels next month so wanted to cut down on the gym (maybe only go 2 times a week) so i'd have that extra 2 hours to revise, but even though i know i need to prioritise my revision/exams, i can't help but feel like i'd be letting myself down by skipping the gym. My parents say i under-eat, i calorie count quite meticulously & rarely eat sugar, but i'm scared that if i skip the gym once a week i'll put weight back on. I feel horrible about it because i know i'm strong and healthy but can't help feel major food-guilt & lazy at the thought of missing the gym. my parents get really frustrated and i hate how angry it makes them.
i constantly think about it and it's getting irrational and overwhelming.
can anyone help/advise me on this please?
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Reality Check
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Have you ever spoken to your GP about how you feel about food and exercise?
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Crabber25
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(Original post by laurenleprevost)
i've been going to the gym 3 times a week, for around 2:15 hours each time, since august 2016 and have noticed that as i continue to make progress, i put more and more pressure on myself to lose weight. I'm taking my a levels next month so wanted to cut down on the gym (maybe only go 2 times a week) so i'd have that extra 2 hours to revise, but even though i know i need to prioritise my revision/exams, i can't help but feel like i'd be letting myself down by skipping the gym. My parents say i under-eat, i calorie count quite meticulously & rarely eat sugar, but i'm scared that if i skip the gym once a week i'll put weight back on. I feel horrible about it because i know i'm strong and healthy but can't help feel major food-guilt & lazy at the thought of missing the gym. my parents get really frustrated and i hate how angry it makes them.
i constantly think about it and it's getting irrational and overwhelming.
can anyone help/advise me on this please?
I'm in a similar situation whereby I feel guilty if I don't work out as much as usual and it's horribleeeeee But you gotta prioritise! A-Levels are so utterly important and life is all about compromises (There will be times in your life when you just can't rely on the gym and in getting out of the guilty conscience now, you are preparing yourself to deal with those times).
Firstly you gotta recognise that under eating is not a substitute for going to the gym no no no. Get out of that habit, food is for your own pleasure and you deserve to enjoy it with absolutely zero pressure or guilt. Also, don't rely on the gym to purely 'lose weight' because it's so much more than that. It's about mindfulness and building muscle and strength (Depending on the exercise you do, of course), but perhaps consider a different approach to the gym like using greater stamina or a more toned body (as an alternative to losing weight) as motivation to go.

By all means keep up with gymming though, your dedication is inspiring if anything! Just PLEASE don't worry about your weight, chances are you see your body in a worse way than anyone else and it's not worth such levels of anxiety love yourself and use the gym as an investment in that.
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laurenleprevost
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Have you ever spoken to your GP about how you feel about food and exercise?
i went recently and my mum raised her concerns, but my GP simply said that i didn't need to loose any more weight and that i should allow myself sugar etc, as long as it's in moderation. tbh, i don't feel like i helped, i still feel like it's crucial for me to continue eating well & exercising consistently.
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Chicken.M.
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I'm obsessed with it as well but I don't see a problem. Just be less strict about it? It's not the end of the world if you don't follow your diet/workout plan exactly. Just go back to it the next day.

You could be addicted to drugs and that would be an actual problem.
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historyandlanz
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I wish i had this problem
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dersatic
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(Original post by thuvcasio)
I wish i had this problem
There is a reason so many people get addicted to fitness, it feels good. After your exams finish, start exercising/go to a gym and be more aware about what you eat. Doing just a tiny bit a day and bringing in habits gets you hooked when see progress and feel better .
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laurenleprevost
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(Original post by Crabber25)
I'm in a similar situation whereby I feel guilty if I don't work out as much as usual and it's horribleeeeee But you gotta prioritise! A-Levels are so utterly important and life is all about compromises (There will be times in your life when you just can't rely on the gym and in getting out of the guilty conscience now, you are preparing yourself to deal with those times).
Firstly you gotta recognise that under eating is not a substitute for going to the gym no no no. Get out of that habit, food is for your own pleasure and you deserve to enjoy it with absolutely zero pressure or guilt. Also, don't rely on the gym to purely 'lose weight' because it's so much more than that. It's about mindfulness and building muscle and strength (Depending on the exercise you do, of course), but perhaps consider a different approach to the gym like using greater stamina or a more toned body (as an alternative to losing weight) as motivation to go.

By all means keep up with gymming though, your dedication is inspiring if anything! Just PLEASE don't worry about your weight, chances are you see your body in a worse way than anyone else and it's not worth such levels of anxiety love yourself and use the gym as an investment in that.
thank you so very much for your reply!! i'll keep trying to bare that mind & focus on being healthy (!!!), rather than losing weight.
honestly thank you, it's so helpful/nice to hear a rational, but reassuring & understanding, perspective
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Reality Check
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(Original post by laurenleprevost)
i went recently and my mum raised her concerns, but my GP simply said that i didn't need to loose any more weight and that i should allow myself sugar etc, as long as it's in moderation. tbh, i don't feel like i helped, i still feel like it's crucial for me to continue eating well & exercising consistently.
No, that's not helpful from your GP at all. I"m sorry to hear you got such poor care.

How does eating and exercising make you feel? When you think about your approach towards food and exercise, does it make you feel happy - feel good about yourself? Or does it make you feel anxious, fearful - a bit like if you don't keep on top of it, it might all start going wrong?

A few more questions, if I may -

How's your schoolwork going? Do you get high grades regularly? Are you often top, or near the top of your class?
Would you say you're quite a orderly person - you like to be in control of things?
Do you often find you have some funny habits with food? For instance, do you have to eat things in a certain order, or have to cut things up in a certain way?
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historyandlanz
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(Original post by dersatic)
There is a reason so many people get addicted to fitness, it feels good. After your exams finish, start exercising/go to a gym and be more aware about what you eat. Doing just a tiny bit a day and bringing in habits gets you hooked when see progress and feel better .
I already go gym twice a week, I meant that I always find it to be a chore and that my diet suffers sometimes because a lack of motivation but boggles my mind how people get addicted to it probably because I'm not making any more progress as I used to.
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laurenleprevost
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(Original post by Reality Check)
No, that's not helpful from your GP at all. I"m sorry to hear you got such poor care.

How does eating and exercising make you feel? When you think about your approach towards food and exercise, does it make you feel happy - feel good about yourself? Or does it make you feel anxious, fearful - a bit like if you don't keep on top of it, it might all start going wrong?

A few more questions, if I may -

How's your schoolwork going? Do you get high grades regularly? Are you often top, or near the top of your class?
Would you say you're quite a orderly person - you like to be in control of things?
Do you often find you have some funny habits with food? For instance, do you have to eat things in a certain order, or have to cut things up in a certain way?
thank you for your reply!!
um, when i exercise i feel confident & empowered, but i'm constantly fearful that if i don't keep up with my strict regime then i'll lose all my progress.
in terms of school, i get good grades & am often at the top of my class but i put a lot of pressure on myself to maintain/improve my standard of work - i'm hoping to be awarded with an academic scholarship for university in September, so am revising pretty much every chance i get.
& for eating, i don't cut it up in a certain way or anything, but when i eat my meals, i always eat my fruit/veg first, so that it fills me up & i don't over-eat on 'bad' foods.
-not sure if that helps at all? thanks very much in advance
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Oz1992
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I spend far too long in the gym at the moment and luckily I don't have a lot else on but I think it is possibly too much.

If you over train and then you will be put your body under stress and this wont help in addition to the stress of the exams. If you actually cut calories too much and ask too much of you body then your body could go into a survival type state and hold on to fats etc.

The struggle to not go to the gym is real though, it releases dopamine and I love it. But if you have other stresses perhaps just go for a brief run instead? or try and allow more rest days.

I wish I could say I had a degree in all this and knew it was all correct but I do not as of yet and this is just from my own research.
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laurenleprevost
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(Original post by Oz1992)
I spend far too long in the gym at the moment and luckily I don't have a lot else on but I think it is possibly too much.

If you over train and then you will be put your body under stress and this wont help in addition to the stress of the exams. If you actually cut calories too much and ask too much of you body then your body could go into a survival type state and hold on to fats etc.

The struggle to not go to the gym is real though, it releases dopamine and I love it. But if you have other stresses perhaps just go for a brief run instead? or try and allow more rest days.

I wish I could say I had a degree in all this and knew it was all correct but I do not as of yet and this is just from my own research.
thank you for your reply! that's a good idea -instead of going to the gym, I could go for a little run so i don't feel too guilty for skipping. thanks again


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Unistudent77
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It's normal when you're in a routine and is usually a good thing.
2hrs isn't excessive

Just don't let your weight drop to a low level, nothing wrong with frequently exercising
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ybreezy
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I go to the gym everyday (haven't missed a session for 47 days) and my A2 exams are approaching soon. I'm predicted A*AAA for my A levels, so 1-2 hours in the gym (especially if you go 3 times a week) will not do you any bad as long as you study.
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cookiemunch
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(Original post by thuvcasio)
I wish i had this problem
same i'm obsessed/addicted to lazing & eating..
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Petulia
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Hey. I had a similar problem about 8 months ago. I was doing excessive cardio and calorie counting for no reason. You might have some anxiety due to exams, and you're focusing that stress on your appearance, which is causing you to have some body dysmorphia. This was partially the case for me, anyway.

The gym can be much more fun if you switch to strength training instead of cardio (it sounds like you're just doing lots of cardio to lose weight - correct me if I am wrong, though). If you switch to weights and resistance machines, you can still calorie count / plan your meals, but you shouldn't be in calorie deficit anymore.

Just pick up a pair of 2kg dumbbells next time you're at the gym and try some squats or lunges. Figure out which parts of your body you want to work on, and find some tutorials. It helps to follow some fitness models on instagram or YouTube who started off with a similar body type to you. I personally really like beth_fitnessuk (she's on instagram and YouTube) - she has progress photos showing how skinny she used to be (about 7 stone) and she's gained nearly 2 stone since she started weight training and her body looks much healthier and curvier now.

I hope this helps
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realtimme
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You only need to exercise for 30mins/day to experience the psychological benefits of exercise


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laurenleprevost
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(Original post by Petulia)
Hey. I had a similar problem about 8 months ago. I was doing excessive cardio and calorie counting for no reason. You might have some anxiety due to exams, and you're focusing that stress on your appearance, which is causing you to have some body dysmorphia. This was partially the case for me, anyway.

The gym can be much more fun if you switch to strength training instead of cardio (it sounds like you're just doing lots of cardio to lose weight - correct me if I am wrong, though). If you switch to weights and resistance machines, you can still calorie count / plan your meals, but you shouldn't be in calorie deficit anymore.

Just pick up a pair of 2kg dumbbells next time you're at the gym and try some squats or lunges. Figure out which parts of your body you want to work on, and find some tutorials. It helps to follow some fitness models on instagram or YouTube who started off with a similar body type to you. I personally really like beth_fitnessuk (she's on instagram and YouTube) - she has progress photos showing how skinny she used to be (about 7 stone) and she's gained nearly 2 stone since she started weight training and her body looks much healthier and curvier now.



I hope this helps
omg thanku so much for your reply!! feeling completely stressed about exams and body image is definitely how the point that i'm at right now. but, as you suggested, i think i'm going to try and make myself do less cardio (as much as it scares me to cut down) and, instead, focus on building up my strength rather than focusing on losing weight. I checked out the beth_fitnessuk youtube channel (as you recommended) and am feeling super inspired, so thanks for the recommendation there, too!!
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SHUGURU
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(Original post by laurenleprevost)
i've been going to the gym 3 times a week, for around 2:15 hours each time, since august 2016 and have noticed that as i continue to make progress, i put more and more pressure on myself to lose weight. I'm taking my a levels next month so wanted to cut down on the gym (maybe only go 2 times a week) so i'd have that extra 2 hours to revise, but even though i know i need to prioritise my revision/exams, i can't help but feel like i'd be letting myself down by skipping the gym. My parents say i under-eat, i calorie count quite meticulously & rarely eat sugar, but i'm scared that if i skip the gym once a week i'll put weight back on. I feel horrible about it because i know i'm strong and healthy but can't help feel major food-guilt & lazy at the thought of missing the gym. my parents get really frustrated and i hate how angry it makes them.
i constantly think about it and it's getting irrational and overwhelming.
can anyone help/advise me on this please?
Hey Lauren,

It can be really difficult to take the pressure off yourself when it comes to all sorts of things you've mentioned, from exams and grades to fitness, exercise and dieting. I am similar to you in the way that I put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed and I get anxious when I feel like I'm letting myself down by not working hard enough on a goal - no matter what that goal is.

Although going to the gym and eating healthily can be great for your health, it's worrying that you're scared of not going. If you didn't go for a week and still ate the same, you wouldn't gain weight, you'd likely maintain your weight instead of losing more (and by the sounds of it, you don't need to lose weight). I used to be very scared of gaining weight, and had similar thinking patterns to you. But, what's the worst thing that could happen if you didn't go to the gym one day, and revised instead? I honestly can't think of many bad things that would actually happen, except for maybe having to work a little harder next time to get back into it. Try to think rationally, and reassure yourself. Revising instead of going to the gym isn't the same as stuffing down a three course meal at McDonalds (which wouldn't really have the biggest effect as a one off either) - it's not going to make you unfit, it's not going to make you gain weight, you're not letting anybody down. If you felt anxious about missing the gym, why not go for a walk, cycle or jog as a break from your revision? It's a way to relieve stress, too.

I think it's a great idea to think about doing weight training instead of cardio at the gym as well. It has many, many benefits and you can track your progress by noting your strength instead of focusing on your weight which can be very unhealthy and unsatisfying, as weight doesn't necessarily equate to health, (nor does it show how fit, strong, clever, good looking, mature, creative, intelligent, brave, inspiring, caring, friendly, or determined you are, or any other of your personal qualities).

Make sure you're eating enough (including carbs, proteins, fibre and healthy unsaturated fats) and not restricting or disallowing yourself to have or do anything you enjoy. Occasional treats will barely have an effect on your body, but it can be incredibly good for your mind to enjoy a piece of food you like or a day off to relax.

If you find that you're worrying excessively, please don't be afraid to try seeing a different GP or contacting some mental health help services, as your mental health is just as important as your physical health.
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