You’ve probably seen us say “work out less to live more,” because it is true.
Our society has taught us that more exercise is the answer – to lose weight, to maintain it.
But that is not correct. We are speaking from personal experience as well as learning from mentors.
More exercise doesn’t automatically mean change in your body.
How much exercise do you do right now?
Are you happy with the way your body looks? Are you happy with the way you feel?
We want to share some things with you in hopes this will resonate if you’re still struggling with over exercising.
Just like with eating super clean there’s a fine line with working out too much. We’ve always been into sports, being active and exercising. Working out gave us that high. We got stuck in the feeling of working out like crazy.
However, we started NOT feeling healthy
We started to suffer from adult acne, digestive issues, dealt with binge eating behaviors and never felt thin enough. We fought these battles for years. Our eating disorder went through several cycles in hopes of finding that one diet or the next workout to “fix” us. Since we looked at ourselves as not good enough “broken” girls.
We became obsessed with eating super healthy and obsessed with exercise.
Not the fun kind either. The kind that we had to go to extremes to maintain our current weight. Even though we desperately wanted our bodies to “look” different. The kind that started to cause us to be unhappy in pretty much everything in our lives. Sure we seemed happy on the outside but deep inside we were depressed. Exercise and diet were our lives. Our obsessions. They gave us a sense of control even though our bodies started doing things we didn’t want to happen. We thought we were in control? Why is all this happening to us?
The pictures on top are back in 2009 and 2010 when we first started to be open-minded to doing fitness differently. Bottom pictures are us in 2015. There are not HUGE changes in our bodies but we FEEL a difference. We feel stronger. We feel happier. We feel more confident. We love our bodies in completely different ways. We accept ourselves. We work out for different reasons now and it changed our lives for the better.
Excessive exercise sucks, especially when it comes from doing long hours of cardio.
Too much exercise can raise your cortisol levels and put a toll on your adrenals. Yes, exercise is a good thing but sometimes too much of a good thing isn’t always the best. We know we will probably get some heat from this but in our opinion, we are against long hours of exercise.
When you do too much cardio you probably notice you have cravings, always seem hungry and are never satisfied and always thinking about food. Who wants to feel like that? On top of that you might feel tired all the time, no motivation, no sex drive, depressed, worrying all the time, hormones and metabolism going crazy and guess what your body STILL isn’t changing. You still look the same way.
The more we worked out the more unhappy we became.
What we look like has such power over so many of us. Our leanness gives us some sense of identity and achievement.
Now we do want to mention that we aren’t saying that if you are wanting to look better or look more “toned” is a totally bad thing. We do feel as long as what you are doing isn’t taking over your whole life and you’re doing it in a healthy, loving way it can be done.
Everyone has different body structures and will look different at different weights. Even as twins around the same weight we look a little different. Does that mean one twin is better than the other? No.
Some of us really struggle with not basing our self-worth, happiness, our day and confidence on the number on the scale. It becomes a game in a way. It did for us.
“Oh, I just need to drop 3 more pounds, then I’ll be happy.”
“If I can just get the scale to say 110 pounds I will love my body.”
There wasn’t enough because we always needed more.
Do you see that there’s a fine line of going to extremes to get “super lean”?
As once we get to a certain number we think that we’ll be happy but yet the opposite happens. We end up wanting more. We still don’t feel enough.
It wasn’t until we start having major skin issues that we knew things had to change. That’s when we knew we needed to love ourselves now. Our mindsets needed changing.
“Getting lean” took over our lives for years. We thought it would magically make us super happy, healthy and wealthy. We were so focused on what our bodies “had” to look like to be successful that we started to put less attention on other areas of our lives.
When all we do is anything and everything in hopes to change our external things, hoping it finally makes us happy. It doesn’t. We don’t get happier. We catch ourselves thinking we need to do more because external validation is a temporary fix. We workout for the wrong reasons. We focus only on the number on the scale which already sets us up for failure.
We think the more exercise we do the better person we are. “Oh look at me I did 90 minutes on the elliptical. I am a super star.”
For so many years we did fitness wrong and for the wrong reasons.
Fitness should light you up.
You shouldn’t feel like you have to workout for hours for it to count or to be “super fit”.
Your happiness and self-worth is an inside job.
This is where we are now mentally with our fitness.
Yes, we want to look good but it goes beyond that. It starts from within. We don’t value our worthiness or success based off how long we worked out or how fit we look today.
We work out the way we do now because we don’t want our skin, hormones or digestion to go all crazy on us again from working out too much to get super lean. We have a more balanced approach to fitness and this has allowed us to actually change our bodies (give us more shape and more muscle mass) than ever before.
We landed on HIIT training and home workouts. We were intrigued and started doing it. We fell in love with it and kept going. Our bodies and mind were starting to change in a positive way. It was a journey. Things didn’t happen overnight. We’ve been doing this for 5 years and plan on doing it forever.
Throughout our 5 year journey, we learned that we like variety in our workouts. We like hard workouts mixed with less intense workouts. We like moving our bodies differently each day because that gets us excited and not bored.
Over time our health slowly started to get better. One area at a time which was another motivator. Because we do want to look good but even more to FEEL better. If you think about all the years we abused our bodies no wonder it took so long to regain our health.
We feel happier. We feel stronger. We have more clarity. We are more productive. All from how we do fitness now.
We’ve been able to maintain our weight for years while continuing to put on lean muscle mass, gain our periods back (Lori was able to get pregnant twice) and most of all we actually enjoy what we do now.
We live way more stress-free. Exercise is fun for us, not daunting like it was before.
When you see yourself as working out for life it changes how you exercise. It changes your mindset. It changes your body. You realize it’s okay if you take an extra rest day. You realize you’re okay if you do or don’t exercise while on vacation. You realize it’s a journey.
If you’re still struggling with the long hours of cardio mindset and your body isn’t changing or if you need more support and guidance on how to change how you workout and why you workout, we would love to help!
Let go of the old way of exercising and start this fall season with something totally NEW! RE-COMMIT to YOURSELF.
Lori and Michelle