ABC News Nightline published a short article recently about Kathryn Schreiber, a woman who was obsessed with working out 4 hours a day. While many would label her dedication as an accomplishment, she thought of it as a never-ending curse. For two years she would exercise religiously, not taking any days off even if she was sick. If Schreiber attempted to limit her time at the gym she would be overcome with anxiety and depression. Kathryn suffered multiple gym-related injuries because of her extreme exercise routine, one of which was a herniated disc that she refused to have operated on because she would miss time at the gym. Kathryn isn’t alone though, many people seem to be taking exercise to extreme. Over 10 million people have signed up for strenuous boot camp training at gyms like CrossFit in the last 3 years. While high intensity workouts are currently all the rage, doctors say that they can lead to kidney failure and dangerous injuries if not monitored properly. Thankfully Kathryn has started to limit her gym time to about 2 hours after realizing her addiction.
Is extreme exercise the result of our society putting so much emphasis on having the “perfect” body? I would think so. You see so many models and actresses who are either frighteningly thin or Photoshopped to look so. Eating disorders are on the rise for both sexes and diet pills/programs are billion dollar industries. Where does it stop? By trying to be a fabulous version of yourself and not someone else’s idea of “perfect” is a great place to start. You have to live life with moderation. You can have a piece of cake and exercise responsibly. Don’t stare into the mirror looking for all the things to fix, look at everything you are blessed with and appreciate them. In the end it won’t matter how thin you got or what size jeans you wore, how you lived to enjoy life will be all that matters to you.