Food for thought...

...because it's 10:30 at night and that's the only kind I'm allowed. And my brain is tired of it and screaming for the other kind to make it shut up. So you get two posts in one night to keep my hands busy until I go to bed.

So, I remembered one of the many questions I meant to ask Shawn tonight (who I also unfortunately shared my cold with - I feel so bad). Of all the research I've done and reading I've accomplished, I have yet to figure out how much I should be working out. So, I took the same approach I take when road-working or training one of my dogs - six days on, one day off. It didn't really seem excessive to me, I enjoy my workouts, and I seem to be seeing results.

However, when I tell others how often I work out (like Dr. Mike), I was getting met with reactions that made me think maybe this was not quite correct. So, I made a mental note to ask Shawn.

Apparently I wasn't misinterpreting those responses. Shawn told me tonight he doesn't want to see me at the gym anymore than five times a week. Any more, and I'm overdoing it.


Since my schedule and his schedule don't always jive, he really wouldn't know how often I was coming to the gym - other than on the days he's there, which would be likely four days a week. And I talk about going on Sunday, so that would make five. He really had no reason to believe I was showing up nearly every day except the odd Saturday.

We may have nipped a problem in the bud here, because ever since he told me this, it has been causing me a lot of stress. It's only one less workout! Not the end of the world. But it feels like it, a little. I'm not going to pretend that the gym isn't my source of stress relief. It is. I enjoy going, it's an escape from work and home, I have friends there, I'm comfortable there. For someone who has such a difficult time fitting into new places, the gym has become a sanctuary of sorts. And yet, I know intellectually that what I'm experiencing is a warning sign of exercise compulsion. I also know my temperament lends itself to this sort of thing. I got a very serious "discussion verging on lecture" on the dangers of over-training - which apparently he can speak to from experience - and though our talk was cut short by another client (why do people do that? If I see my trainer with a client, I leave or wait until he's finished), I expect it'll come up again. He has offered to give me more to do if I don't feel like I'm working hard enough, or if I'm moving beyond my program. Which I'm not, I don't think. I just need to learn to use my program more effectively.

So yes. This is stressful for me tonight, but I know it's for the best. This is about learning to do this properly, and I can't do that if I'm always nursing overtraining injuries or overworking myself.


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