T Nation

Life Outside the Gym?

So a discussion I had a couple of weeks ago with some users on the flame free confession thread has led me to do some introspection and think about my life and the gym.

I’ve come to the realization that training and nutrition occupy most of my thoughts and mental resources. When I have spare time, I tend to spend it reading or watching videos about the gym, and when I’m not doing anything that requires much focus my mind tends to wander and I end up thinking about the gym.

On training days, for the first part of the day (I train in the evening) I actually think a lot about the workout I’m going to do (often fearing it to some degree), then the time comes that I train; after that I go home and cook dinner and shortly after I go to bed and the cycle starts again tomorrow. If I have a bad workout, like I did yesterday, I end up thinking about what I did wrong during this time and I get a bit of anxiety.

My main thoughts are

  1. I’m weak
  2. I’m small
  3. I’m not as lean as I would like to be
  4. I’m hungry (despite eating 3.2k cal a day)
  5. Have I wasted my training time so far since I’m still weak?
  6. Should I do 5/3/1 for a year and see what happens?
  7. I probably can’t even bench properly since it always feels weird, how on earth am I going to get stronger?
  8. Other ones related basically on the fact that I am not where I would like to be strength- and size-wise

On top of that, I also read about training and nutrition for leisure even if I’m not necessarily applying what I read to myself. I think I just enjoy the topic.

I mean, I also do other stuff during the day, but nothing catches my interest quite as much as training and nutrition, what’s more I am an anxious person by nature so I think overall that isn’t healthy for me.

I think I should change that but I’m not quite sure where to start. Should I look into different hobbies? If so, do you have any ideas?

Any kind of thoughts are much welcomed.

I feel personally attacked by how accurately this sums up my mindset.

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Girlfriend/Boyfriend or whatever you are into

probably not the solution… i’m currently having a hard time even meeting a girl that i would want to be in a relationship with. i have a couple of “friends with benefits” so if i want sex i get it, but when i was in a relationship last year i can tell you that led me to lots of anxiety more than anything. i had terrific moments with her and totally enjoyed the time we spent together, but still i can tell you a girl is not the fix i’m looking for.

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Don’t care lol. Get out more if you’re having trouble meeting someone or cross your fingers and hope to get lucky

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i do get out, every day in fact, it’s that i live in a small city and i’m having troubles meeting new people. and the ones i do get to meet are largely uninteresting (lots of girls that are around 14 and i’m almost 19) or i just don’t feel much attraction for them. i have a small group of friends that is pretty unfulfilling to me as well.

again, i think this has more to do with myself than with any other people around me. i need to “fix” myself first so that my life isn’t going to depend on whether i find “the right one” or not.

How about study/work and progressing that?

Bro, you are handsome. Just like me. And you’re not fat. That’s enough. We don’t need to build our bodies to look good. Leave that to the ugly people.

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haha lol i’m not handsome but that’s not what i’m getting at. and on a rational level, i know that my life definitely doesn’t depend on me being big and lean, but that still doesn’t seem to help with anxiety and stuff.

like i said, i’m trying to find an interest, a hobby, a passion, whatever that can give some depth and meaning to my life outside of the gym.

CAREER.

Prepare for that. The right time to ponder about existential stuff is when you are financially well off and facing an incoming mid-life crisis.

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Well, thanks for summing up my existence …

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Aircraft Spotting
Airbrushing
Airsofting
Acting
Aeromodeling
Amateur Radio
Animals/pets/dogs
Archery
Arts
Aquarium (Freshwater & Saltwater)
Astrology
Astronomy
Badminton
Baseball
Base Jumping
Basketball
Beach/Sun tanning
Beachcombing
Bicycling
Bicycle Polo
Birding
BMX
Blacksmithing
Blogging
BoardGames
Boating
Bookbinding
Church/church activities
Coin Collecting
Collecting
Collecting Antiques
Collecting Artwork
Collecting Hats
Collecting Music Albums
Collecting RPM Records
Collecting Sports Cards (Baseball, Football, Basketball, Hockey)
Collecting Swords
Crafts
Crochet
Crocheting
Cross-Stitch
Darts
Dominoes
Eating out
Electronics
Embroidery
Entertaining
Exercise (aerobics, weights)
Falconry
Fencing
Fire Poi
Fishing
Floorball
Floral Arrangements
Fly Tying
Football
Four Wheeling
Freshwater Aquariums
Frisbee Golf – Frolf
Games
Gardening
Genealogy
Geocaching
Ghost Hunting
Glowsticking
Gnoming
Going to movies
Golf
Go Kart Racing
Gunsmithing
Gun Collecting
Gymnastics
Gyotaku
Inventing
Jet Engines
Jewelry Making
Jigsaw Puzzles
Juggling
Kayaking
Kitchen Chemistry
Kites
Kite Boarding
Lasers
Lawn Darts
Learning A Foreign Language
Learning An Instrument
Leathercrafting
Letterboxing
Locksport
Lacrosse
Macramé
Magic
Making Model Cars
Marksmanship
Martial Arts
Matchstick Modeling
Meditation
Microscopy
Model Railroading
Model Rockets
Modeling Ships
Models
Mountain Biking
Musical Instruments
Nail Art
Needlepoint
Owning An Antique Car
Origami
Papermaking
Papermache
Parachuting
Paragliding or Power Paragliding
Parkour
Piano
Pinochle
Planking
Playing music
Playing team sports
Pole Dancing
Pottery
Powerboking
Protesting
Puppetry
Pyrotechnics
Quilting
Racing Pigeons
Rafting
Railfans
Rapping
R/C Cars
R/C Helicopters
Reading To The Elderly
Relaxing
Renaissance Faire
Renting movies
Rescuing Abused Or Abandoned Animals
Rock Balancing
Rock Collecting
Rockets
Rocking AIDS Babies
Roleplaying
Saltwater Aquarium
Sand Castles
Scrapbooking
Scuba Diving
Self Defense
Sewing
Skeet Shooting
Skiing
Shopping
Skateboarding
Sketching
Sky Diving
Slack Lining
Sleeping
Slingshots
Slot Car Racing
Snorkeling
Snowboarding
Soap Making
Soccer
Socializing with friends/neighbors
Speed Cubing (rubix cube)
Spelunkering
Spending time with family/kids
Stamp Collecting
Storm Chasing
String Figures
Surfing
Surf Fishing
Survival
Tatting
Urban Exploration
Video Games
Violin

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Personally i love messing around with lasers.

Instead of thinking about the gym you’ll be thinking about the next time you can burn your neighbors cat LMAo.

Definitely. It reads to me like you’ve taken what should be a healthy hobby and allowed it to become an unhealthy obsession. You can always do other physical activities / hobbies (rock climbing, swimming, etc…), take up shooting (gun or bow), reading (one of my favorites hobbies I try to read every night before bed), so on and so forth.

Anxiety is such a weird issue. Pretty much everyone on my wife’s side of the family has anxiety ranging from a depressingly destructive level of OCD to just general anxiety about medical issues and money. It’s hard for me to understand it because this concept has always just come easy to me; the past is in the past and cannot be changed. The future isn’t here; yet, and worrying about what might be is fucking pointless. The present is what matters and if you’re miserable in the present, fix that shit.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t think / plan for the future. Quite the contrary. Physical activity in the present sets you up for a healthy future. Saving money in the present sets you up for financial stability in the future. However, dwelling on the possibility of negative outcomes in the future is what should be avoided. It’s easy to dwell on such negative thoughts.

I can’t remember if it was you or not, but there was a thread where stoicism was brought up and, while I’m not exactly the most versed in the philosophy (I actually am not a big fan of philosophy in general), I think the study of the stoics would be helpful to you.

The art of manliness (.com) has a primer on stoics if you’re interested. It’s easy to find on their site. I personally really like Ryan Holiday. The Obstacle Is the Way and Ego is the Enemy are two of my favorites reads and I usually hit them both up every few years.

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I"m not surprised.

Volunteering?

Have you ever given your time and energy to something that benefits others but not yourself?

What was the last thing that made you feel proud? (None gym related)

What was the last thing that made you feel happy? (None gym related)

What was the last thing you looked forward to? (None gym related)

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I would advise that you should learn to deal with the anxiety issue first. That shit will follow you around. There is no shame in getting some help for it. Counselors / therapists who specialise in CBT will be able to provide you with the tools for this and if you practice them regularly they are tools for life and for any situation. No more than half a dozen sessions will have that issue cleared up no problem.

Until you find someone develop a breathing exercise session. One the Seals use is box breathing to assist with emotional arousal control and if its good enough for them. Look it up on youtube, there are some good vids there. I always do a ten minute session after a workout after stretching. Sets me up for the day.

Developing your body is great but you must also develop your mind, they go together. Make time.

Good luck matey.

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Didnt expect anyone to be haha. Anything that burns explodes or detonates is the best.

Seek psychological help.

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