Why Quitting The Gym Made Me Healthier

So from the title of this post, I’m sure a few of you may be a little confused. ‘But Emily, surely quitting the gym means you’ll be less healthy?’

No.

I’ve found so many benefits from quitting the gym. (not just the extra 56 quid I have in my wallet a month!)

For those of you who don’t know me, this time last year, I was an absolute gym junkie, and regularly posted selfies wearing a sports bra and leggings.

Exhibit A:

As much as I thought having abs and biceps made me happy. The burn of an insane workout felt like a drug to me. It was numbing some very real feelings. I finally realised I was using the gym and ‘clean eating’ as a distraction from other areas of my life that I was not happy in. (disclaimer, of course I fully support clean eating, but not to the restrictive lengths I went to.)
If I looked in the mirror and couldn’t see defined abs, or I  saw a little bit of fat on my hips or thighs, I would freak out then workout. Along with being super restrictive on what I ate. Protein and meal replacement shakes made up a large portion of my diet. I was sad and I didn’t even know it.

After a change in my life, (I won’t bore you with the details) I made the decision to quit the gym. It was the best decision I could have made!

I felt this weird sort of freedom! I wouldn’t feel guilty for not working out and going to see my friends or just having a relaxing evening with a bath and a book, I wasn’t spending all this money a month that made me feel like I had to go, or I was throwing that money down the drain. I worked out because I wanted to.

My workouts became fun, I  started to go to classes that my friend teaches with my sister, I started doing yoga every now and then in the morning, I began to go for walks along the seafront whilst listening to an audio book or podcast, as well as YouTube workouts and DVDs.

I feel like I have my life back. Exercise now is so different to how I viewed it last year. I now see ‘health’ as something all encompassing, something that doesn’t just mean having a 6 pack and killer quads. Health is eating to feel good. Sometimes that means a chicken salad with quinoa, sometimes that means a slice of cake at a birthday party. Health is moving to feel good. Do what brings you joy. Not just what will give you the tiniest waist.

I want to be healthy, in my mind and body. Being happy is healthy. Being obsessed is not.

Don’t waste your life thinking that how you look is going to make you happy. It’s not. How  you feel will bring you happiness. So do what makes you feel good and enjoy every moment of this short amount of time we have on this planet!

Until next time,

Emily x

 

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