T Nation

Addicted to Exercise?

"Orthorexia, or orthorexia nervosa is a term coined by Dr. Steven Bratman, a Colorado specialist, to denote what he considers to be an eating disorder characterized by a “fixation” on eating healthful food.

Bratman coined the term in 1997 from the Greek orthos, “correct or right”, and orexis for “appetite”[1]. Literally “correct appetite”, the word is modeled on anorexia, “without appetite”. Bratman describes orthorexia as an unhealthy obsession with what the sufferer considers to be healthy eating. The subject may avoid certain foods, such as those containing fats, preservatives, or animal products."

I think I’m becoming completly obsessed with my training, even if I am not a competitive athlete. It’s more than a hobby. My personnal life and my studies are not suffering from this addiction, but I can’t deny that there are a few consequences.
Missing a workout will make me agitated or even anxious. Let’s face it: I am completly addicted to exercise. When I turn in, as my head hits the pillow, I am thinking about my next workout. When I get bored at school I devise programs on my worksheet. Rest days are a pain in the ass, even if I am completly sore.
Physical training had a lot a very postive consequences on my life and on my personnal developpement. It turned me into a complete athlete, it gave me a lot of self confidence and it improved my health and physical appearance. But sometimes, I feel that it is becoming an ebarassing obsession.

Am I the only one to experience that?

I consider my obsession to be a healthy one, especially when I think about the alternative. Being obsessed prevents us from falling back into a crappy lifestyle. As long as it doesn’t severely hamper other areas of our lives, there’s nothing wrong with it.

What the are you whining about when you’ve said it has no negative impact on your studies?

You’ve got priorities in life, and I’m not saying there aren’t people who could have a psychological addiction to this, but if you blow off a party everyonce and a while because you have to get up early to work-out, that’s not addiction. It’s having your health be a high priority.

You’re only addicted if you physically are incapable of stopping yourself from exercising. Your next workout day: don’t go. If you start shaking and crying and you piss yourself, you’re addicted. If you don’t, you’re searching for a problem where there isn’t one.

It’s not negatively impacting the rest of your life. When you’re bored, you think about it. It’s better than thinking about World of Warcraft. You get agitated if you miss it. I get agitated if someone reschedules an appointment of mine at the doctors office at the last minute. It’s apart of your life, of course you’re going to be agitated if you miss it.