Why are you working out?
I would ask you to stop, and honestly define the ‘why‘ behind your training for the activity you enjoy.
But also speak to a trusted friend to get an alternative view.
We had a guest Sifu teach at our Wing Chun class this year, and he said people learn Martial Arts because they are afraid. This is a sweeping statement but it has an element of truth in it. On one side of the scale some people are skilled, talented practitioners who express themselves through the art. But on the other side of the scale you have people who want to learn the complete Wing Chun system because they are afraid, and hope it will make them stronger through learning how to defend themselves.
The same type of fear can apply to other forms of exercise.
For example my first marathon was an attempt to prove I was beyond the low self opinion I held of myself. I hoped that this external achievement would validate me to myself. But I learnt that once the euphoria had gone, and the amazing highs of the marathon became a normal reality I was left with the same unresolved doubts I previously held.
It took me a long time to realise the lesson that a healthy body cannot coexist in conflict with an unhealthy mind.
The issue with subconscious thoughts is that you don’t know they are there until someone points it out to you. You may think your making healthy decisions but after having a conversation, with a friend or a Doctor can point out that all is not as it seems.
My advice would be to interrogate the ‘why’ behind your training, if it’s for unhealthy reasons such as, if you work out and despite the results you still don’t like the person looking back at you. Or your working out to prove a point to people who have hurt you. Then you are running away from the problem, which will remain unresolved. You can only run for so long before it catches you up. I would advise you to face the fear head on to deal with it. Whether that is a conversation with a friend or whether you need to speak to a Doctor.
I learnt that I couldn’t go out and find myself, I had to see what I already was and work with that. Now I run marathons for me, I’m never going to win a world major but I enjoy it. I may never achieve a good for age qualifying time, but I’m happy with what I have achieved, and I don’t look to prove a point to me or others, but remind myself of the strengths I already have.
For inspiration, have a look at an previous interview I did with Marianne where she talks about her journey and growth from being an ex-anorexic.