I’m {Actually} Not Obsessed With Working Out Anymore

Winter is HERE.

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Freezing temperatures hit us like a brick wall this week! However, since mother nature likes to think she has a sense of humor, she’s making it 70 degrees on Thursday. Keepin’ us on our toes.

For the time being, nothing warms you up like some poutine!

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My beautiful friends and I were on a mission to eat poutine from Saus— one of the foods on the bucket list that Rachel and I are determined to complete by graduation.

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If you’re not familiar with poutine, it’s a Montreal specialty that involves French fries covered in gravy and cheese curds. It sounds repulsive, but ohhhh man, it is delicious umami delight.

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Three of us shared a regular order topped with bacon and stout-braised beef, but I’m 99% sure they gave us pork belly instead. We didn’t complain.

I also ate something a little more nutritious—the lemongrass chicken in a whole wheat pita with “Pindasaus” (peanut sauce). So good!

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Thank you so much to Lauren’s dad for treating us! We and our college student wallets are grateful.

Other things from the weekend included…

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My lovely friend Fiona’s pass-in review for Army ROTC!

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street show watching

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a trip to Whole Foods for two jars of peanut butter, two boxes of peanut butter Puffins cereal, and two tubs of Greek yogurt. #Alison’sArk

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Moves and grooves. I haven’t talked about them very much recently, huh?

This whole summer, I took it easy in terms of exercise in order to get my cycle started— only doing some bodyweight strength exercises, yoga, handstands, Pilates, and walking. I gained 10-15 pounds, felt more energized, and most importantly, started feeling more comfortable in my body than ever before.

After I messed up at the gynecologist office here in Boston, I finally got my lab work done and the results soon followed. The results evidenced that there’s nothing wrong with me so far. I know this doesn’t really say anything about something like hypothalamic amenorrhea (if that’s what I have), but being well past a healthy BMI and a very healthy body fat percentage, I just don’t have a clue what’s up. I apparently just need to give my body more time, but in the meantime, I have been exercising more (while making sure to fuel even more).

I mentioned several weeks ago that I’ve been participating in modern dance class twice a week as a physical education class, and I am loving it. I had forgotten how happy dance makes me. The dance class is definitely a step up from what I was doing this summer, in terms of intensity. I’ve also been working out at the gym once a week and doing some bodyweight/yoga workouts whenever I feel like it.

Now, I completely understand if this raises concerns about my whole amenorrhea situation, but in 100% honesty, my workout “regimen” (if you can call it that) is keeping me sane and happy amidst schoolwork and activities. Additionally, my attitude towards working out has transformed in the past year.

Just last year, I would often force myself to go to the gym, even if that meant sacrificing sleep. This year, I work out if I have the time and energy.

Last year, I would take a substantial amount of time to think about the workouts I should do that day/week. This year, I am completely going with the flow. 

Last year, I would do high intensity workouts multiple times a week. Yesterday, I did burpees for the first time in four months and I will probably keep those HIIT workouts to once a week, if at all. 

Last year, I would get anxious at the prospect of missing a workout. This year, I think about exercise, but stress is no longer an automatic response to the thought.

Last year, I would set a timer for myself to do some air squats, pushups, or burpees every 20 minutes if I was studying for a long time. This year, I don’t do that. I do like standing while studying still, but that has to do with my antsy-ness, not fitness.

Last year, I would do workouts that didn’t make me happy. This year, I have never loved exercise so much, because I allow myself to do what genuinely makes me feel good.

Last year, I would kinda-sorta monitor my body. This year, I’m only monitoring how healthy and energetic I feel.

Last year, I was still somewhat obsessed with working out. This year, I’m finally not.

To give you an idea of what a week of workouts looks like these days, here are moves and grooves from last week and this week so far:

  • Sunday: 45 min. yoga
  • Monday: apple picking 🙂
  • Tuesday: stretch and massage day for dance class
  • Wednesday: modern dance
  • Thursday: bodyweight exercises/yoga outdoors
  • Friday: leg strength at the gym
  • Saturday: rest
  • Sunday: 60 min. yoga
  • Monday: 100 burpees (← thought I’d try it. cardiovascular system was hurting ever so slightly. won’t be happening again soon.)

So that’s my update for you. My next gynecologist appointment is next month, so we’ll see what that brings. At this point, I really don’t know what’s wrong with my lady system. For now, I’m moving and grooving, but with a healthier mindset than ever…in my entire life.

Thank you for all your support and understanding in this ever-changing journey. It’s pretty crazy how recovery unfolds itself more, even when you think you’re already at a great place.

So tell me:

Have you ever eaten poutine?

One fun thing you did this weekend!

How has exercise/relationship with exercise been for ya? 


33 thoughts on “I’m {Actually} Not Obsessed With Working Out Anymore

  1. Your words on obsessively exercising speak to me all too well. Before I started recovery, I was forcing myself to work out every single day in to the point that it was no longer fun. It became a chore. I got stuck in the routine & felt that if I broke it, I would be failing myself somehow. I’m not able to exercise at the moment due to my weight but I look forward to being pickier with my work outs in the future!
    Also, I had poutine in Canada this past summer and it was heavenly. Cheese curds for Christmas please!

  2. I’m glad the doctor found nothing wrong. Give your body a little more time and see if anything changes.

    Exercise has always been a fun thing for me. I never really thought of it as “exercise”, but more as playing sports I loved lol. Now, I do have thoughts on my workouts and when I need to do them and what I should be eating, but I find that happens when you get more serious about any sport. It really all depends on the situation.


  3. 33 degrees? Count me outtttt. You could not get me to leave my room knowing it was that cold out. No way. Nope.

    You’re finding your love for exercise, and I think it is amazing. I don’t know if I am there yet, because I definitely don’t look at my daily run like you view dance, but this encourages me. Maybe this is what I need: to step out of my comfort zone. Thank you for continually inspiring me Alison. 🙂

    As always, I love following your journey toward a holistic health. You are the most strong-willed blogger I follow. Your ability to let go and let God take control reminds me of how we are all capable of so much more. ❤

    One fun thing I did this weekend (because this comment is already long, so might as well keep it going!): I went and painted ceramics with one of my best friends!

  4. I’m so happy for you girl. And I think your body probably does just need more time to get back on track hormonally. I know it took me a while to get my regular cycle back. You definitely show girls that it is possible to get back to a balanced and healthy relationship with exercise, rather than being all in or all out. ❤

  5. I’ll take your word about the poutine😁🙈😂
    And girl I think you are a rock star. You are growing so much and it’s incredibly refreshing to see. Have faith that everything will work out. It may take time but you’re being good to your body now and me thinks it’s just sorting itself out and learning to trust you again
    All my prayers and love and best hugs for you!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. One of my Canadian friends made me poutine once. I was skeptical, but it.was.awesome.
    It’s so nice to see you truly enjoying exercise and finding what you love! Aside from the obvious benefits, I work out largely to manage symptoms of chronic pain. I used to make sure I got to the gym almost daily, figuring that only a “real” workout (machines, weights, etc.) would be good enough to help me feel my best with respect to pain. Now, I’ve learned that any sort of exercise and lots of movement helps. So, I do workout videos and bodyweight circuits in my dorm most often because it’s most convenient, and that helps manage my symptoms, but still gives me the freedom to hit the gym when it sounds fun. Who knows if I’m in as good of shape, but I’m probably a little more sane 🙂

  7. Your attitude is so amazing! I really respect your commitment to both your physical health and your mental health. As someone who is also going through hypothalamic amenorrhea (or some other mystery condition) and who loves to run & move, I know what a huge accomplishment this is and I hope you feel really proud of yourself! If it gives you any peace of mind, I have actually read a number of studies that suggest adequate fueling is substantially more important than reducing exercise in contributing to the resumption of menses. In several studies, experimental groups in which women continued with their current exercise regimes but significantly increased their caloric intake met with success; moreso than women who cut exercise but did not increase caloric (especially fat) intake. If you’re interested, I’d be happy to link you to the articles (I’m a massive science nerd, so reading primary literature is something I do for fun…) but either way, I thought maybe that piece of information would be helpful as you begin to return to exercise with a healthy & fresh mindset. Finally… PB, PB Puffins, & Greek yogurt seems to be all I ever buy at the grocery store these days… Sooooo good!

  8. That poutine is amazing, and it is definitely 100% pork belly… and looks incredible!
    I’m glad you are now at a place where you find exercise and movement enjoyable – exercise can be such a stressor on our bodies but can also help us calm down, relax and restore. It really is finding that balance and you are definitely on your way there. 🙂

  9. I’ve never eaten poutine before…it doesn’t sound exactly like my type of food, but I always say I’ll try anything once. I don’t have a very good relationship with exercise, but I’m trying to improve it. I have too much of the rigid, must-work-out-at-least-three-times-a-week-or-I’ll-get-fat still left, as hard as I try to change my mindset. I am working on only doing that sort of exercise which makes me feel strong, empowered or happy, and only doing it when I feel like it. But I am a very habit-driven person, and often just start going on a routine and then get sucked into a rut. But it’s all a work in progress. 🙂

    One thing I did over the weekend was play around in the new iPod touch that my cousins gave my sibs and I as a thank-you gift!! It was a lot of fun, and I look forward to exploring it and learning more of how the iOS works. 🙂

    • I totally understand being habit-driven and determined to stick to a routine, especially when it comes to fitness. For me, it took a long time of working to let go of my obsession and finding other productive things to do — with other people preferably! 🙂 I truly believe in you, Hannah. Praying for you!

  10. Hey Alison, Marina here! I know it’s been a while – just wanted to drop by and see how’s everything 🙂
    And btw, who doesn’t love some poutine?! 😀

    Have a great weekend!

  11. ‘This year, I work out if I have the time and energy.’

    I love this, because I think that I’m growing towards this again. I don’t take my watch running when I go running just cause I love running as much. I don’t feel as guilty if I miss a workout, but I’m not 100% to that point yet. I’m hoping, by next year, I can be to this point that you are at, because you seem so free and easy about moving happy!

  12. I definitely have some working on this to do. I am making myself get up at 5:30 every other morning to workout (mostly lifting or a walk) because I really don’t have time with college now. So I know I should be focusing on just recovery right now but being at a healthy weight always messes with my mind and makes me feel like I “should” be doing it. I don’t know, it’s all a hard concept.

    • I 100% understand the struggle and internal battle with this Emmy. I think it’s necessary to really be honest with yourself as to your intentions when you work out and take action from there, especially if you feel like you’re forcing yourself and sacrificing quality sleep to work out. Of course, do what you KNOW is best for you! ♥︎

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  14. GOALS. All I have to say. It’s so amazing how far you’ve come in your relationship with exercise and fitness. While mine is improving, I still have a lot to work on. It’s something I really enjoy yet I know there is also a lot of compulsion surrounding it. It’s definitely a process, but hearing from people like you gives me so much hope! 🙂

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