When the healthy becomes unhealthy.


It’s the start of a brand spanking new month, folks. Do you ever set a monthly goal for yourself? I do, but typically end up forgetting about it by the time the first weekend rolls around. But July was a different story.  On July 1, I set a goal: one full month of hitting at least 10,000 steps every. single. day. I was determined to make it happen.

I am proud to report  that as of about 9:00 last night, I can say mission accomplished.

Reaching this goal has been an eye-opener. It was good for me. And not so good for me. I saw what could happen when the healthy becomes the unhealthy.

Here’s what I learned:

  • Having a goal that provided me with focus, drive and a feeling of working on something healthy on a daily basis – that was all a good thing.
  • Having a goal that I thought about ALL THE TIME –  when would I get my steps in for the day? just exactly how would I do it? – that was where a little of the craziness began.  I’ll admit, it felt like an obsession, and obsession is never good, even under the guise of trying to do something good for your health. Let’s say, for example, someone was to tell you they saw me at a neighborhood party, chatting with friends while at the same time walking in place because the hour was getting late and I wasn’t sure I’d hit 10k. That is what I would call a bit obsessive, no?
  • I am tired of pacing.  Back and forth and back and forth. Or in circles. Every time I was on the  phone  at home or at work, I felt like I had to keep my feet moving at all times or else I was missing a “step-ortunity.”  Same with any time spent watching TV. I would walk in place during the program and sit and rest a while during a commercial now and then. Granted, I don’t watch much TV but for the last month, what I did watch, I watched in motion.
  • On the plus side of that, I discovered that I am capable of being much more active overall throughout the work day than I had been. When you have an office job, it is so important to be sure you get up and get moving every now and then. I was constantly offering to deliver paperwork for my colleagues to other parts of our building, or offering to mail their letters in the mailbox across the parking lot of our business complex.
  • The whole “do what you can, when you can” approach does work. I found creative ways to keep the step count accumulating  This included clearing the kitchen table off one plate, one bowl, one fork at a time (which goes back to that obsession).  Anytime  my husband wanted to meet for happy hour, I made sure I picked a location where I could walk to from work.
  • There are tons of free walking workouts on the web. These came in handy on rainy days at lunch time.
  • I miss exercise. There were many days when I got to the 10k mark simply by going on an hour walk and then moving more throughout my regular day. Those were my favorite days. The easy days. But on the days when I didn’t take a walk – did not carve out some time for INTENTIONAL exercise – those were the days I was scrambling to get to 10k any which way I could, come hell or high water,  and sometimes even close to midnight. On one hand, the result is craziness. On the other hand, it did teach me the importance of planning TIME for exercise in advance.
  • Focusing on one goal does not automatically mean you are going to lose weight. There is still that whole matter of mastering the art of making healthy food choices. You have to have your head in the game in both areas if you want to see success. Big lesson learned there. If I had spent as much energy keeping up with my food journal as I did with hitting 10k every day, I suspect I would have seen some changes on the scale.

So folks, clearly  I need a stepcation for a while! I do plan on making a new goal for August but it won’t be anything 10k related. Not sure yet what it will be but I think something along the lines of 3-4 workouts of any type per week. And to focus on getting back into my running again. And tracking on WW.

How about you? Have you ever had a goal you suspected may have turned into an unhealthy obsession? What will your goal for August be? Hit us up in the comments! We love hearing from you.

My old-school calendar I keep in the kitchen. One sticker = one day of at least 10k.

(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)