Fitness, Mood, and Body Image

I have come to realize a few life facts…

is directly related to:

When I’m focused on fitness and loving what I’m doing, my mood is great. I feel strong and empowered. When I no longer have a fitness goal, my mood is no longer so stellar.

I’ve also learned that:

is directly related to:

When my mood is amazingly happy (like when I finished my marathon!) my body image is awesome. I can actually say that recently I’ve looked in the mirror and thought Wow, there is nothing here I’d want to change!

But when my mood is not so amazingly happy (like three weeks post-marathon) my body image is not quite as awesome. I find myself getting caught up in the comparison trap every now and then.

The funny thing about this, though, is that marathon training actually made me gain a few pounds. (I do not weigh myself regularly, but did so every few weeks throughout training.) And now, with my appetite being back to that of a normal person and not someone running thirty to forty miles per week, I’m actually back to a more “normal” weight for myself. (Again, I do not weight myself often <Mom>…marathon training was a long process.) Obviously a few pounds more or less on me is not going to make a physical difference…this is just an observation that proves the irrationality regarding body image.

But I can’t rely on the highs from marathon training to provide me with a positive body image. I’m not going to be going on twenty mile longs runs anytime soon, and ultimately that is not a healthy way to solely achieve some kind of happiness.

I need to learn:

I need a solid balance between fitness, happiness, mood, and positive body image. That is my mission!

What are your tips for achieving balance in life?

ang

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6 thoughts on “Fitness, Mood, and Body Image

  1. I love love love this post! I couldn’t agree more with everything you’ve written. I’ve been working out around 5 times a week and I always feel SO much better, both mentally and physically. I think my working out is connected to my healthy eating as well. I’m not sure if that’s normal, but for me when I skip a few days, my eating habits go downhill. No good! When I’m motivated for fitness, I’m motivated for health in general :)

  2. I agree so so so much with everything you said – unfortunately my body image/mood also affect my relationships, so I have to make sure I keep everything in line and balanced, so that I can be the best wife/sister/friend/daughter etc that I can be. Fueling for fitness is equally important to me, too!

  3. Excellent post, so glad you took the time to step back to see what was triggering the body image issues that were starting to peek out. I tend to agree – the more active I live my life, the happier and more “me” I feel. But you’re also right that there is a need to keep the balance. You don’t need to be training for a half or full marathon to be working hard and feeling proud of your accomplishments. You can kill a new type of workout and that is a great goal. Or you can finally touch your toes (ahem, me) and call that a goal and be proud of it. Big or small, if you are a goals person (like me), focus on every victory, not just the big ones and you’ll find yourself flying high and keeping the balance. Great post.

  4. Great post…I totally resonate with this. When I’m marathon training (aka right now), I do rely on those long runs and the endorphins I know I will get from them. But when that is gone, I do need to find balance. I did a rare elliptical workout today and found it was nice to change it up. But it IS to get overly concerned with exercising. What has helped in the past is trying NOT to be obsessed with cardio and spread my fitness out to different areas. In turn, in can affect different parts of you moodwise as well. I’m thinking…spinning, yoga, swimming, hiking, strength training…and also not relying on them FOR your happiness but just knowing that it adds to it.

  5. A beautiful post! I can relate to everything you have said between the links of fitness, mood, and body image. Even if you are not running 20 miles any time soon, you can still have balance :) Figure out what type of fitness you absolutely love :) For me it is lifting. I love the empowerment I get when I lift :) I walk taller and much more confident :) !! You can find balance girl <3 You don't have to go the full 20 miles to find it! xoxo

  6. I find my balance by forming a plan, sticking to it, and celebrating the smallest of achievements. I used to determine my worth on what I looked like, how thin I was, but now I’m just… healthy. When I’m too busy with my life, running and serving others, I’m to busy to worry about myself. You’re an amazing inspiration, and I always wander by when I need a little of that. Keep blogging :)

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