There is something that I haven’t really ever spoken about on this space of ours. I don’t even know why I haven’t ever written about it? It’s weird because it’s such a big part of who I am and what I value personally – ah well, nothing like the present to start, right? For those of you that know me personally, you’ll know that I really love working out – like, I “addicted” love it.
I’m not one to be in the gym everyday pumping steel or running for kilometers on end. I’m one of those people that just loves the way my body feels after I’ve worked it hard. So whether I have dug a hole in the back yard, mowed the lawn, run 5kms, played a game of squash or lifted half of my body weight – it gives me such a rush that I literally crave it.
Now, before you turn around and say, “yaaaaah, Shaveh that’s just too much – bare minimum is for me” – Please don’t turn around and walk away. I get it – everyone has their “thing”.
My husband’s thing is music – he literally can’t live a week without making some, playing some or listening to something new. When he doesn’t, he sinks into a hole of “the world is ending and everything is too much”……. Yes, it’s true and I’m the exact same when it comes to getting my body to work.
I can tell you that I’ve only come to realize that I need the physical outlet in the last 4 years. Yes, you read correctly, I NEED it! In the beginning it was a coping mechanism so that I could manage the kids and being with them for 24 hours a day. It then progressed into more of a craving and not so much a need.
This is where it became slightly dangerous.
Prepare yourselves, I’m about to get all dark and serious.
Around October last year, the gym that I’m a part of closed down their squash courts and I was devastated!
I had a smooth routine going and getting in a good amount of exercise while being able to hit the baloney out of a squash ball. But in a way the closing brought me to a place of realizing that my body needed a refocus – I needed to get strong. My lower arms were waving in surrender with my hand whenever I said goodbye.
DUDE! I’m too young to have my arms doing that already!
Enter a good childhood “big brother” friend of mine, Masimba Musa (Look him up – he does wonders with people’s bodies 5years old to older than 70 years old) I was having a chat with him and he offered to help me focus in on specific parts of my body that needed to say goodbye to that “wobbly wave”.
He helped me understand that I didn’t have to be a weightlifter, or change massive things in my diet in order to get the results.
So, being who I am – I went all in and gave it full attention. So, while I was starting off slow with the training, I cut out sugar – just to see what it would do to my body and focus in on carbs that did more for me than worked against me.
This took a few weeks of recording what I ate, when I ate and working out regularly and consistently.
I was pumped! Literally, I felt I could take on the world……. But something went horribly wrong along the way.
About 3 months into the “refocus” and starting to see the results. (note, I didn’t lose weight but was firming up – which was the aim) When I did my one catch up call with Mas, I had become particularly aware of the fact that I was having very “low” days. I wasn’t as pumped before a session as I was in the beginning.
I was at a point where I wanted to be working out 2 times a day instead of 3-4 times a week. With this came an unhealthy thought pattern. My mind started to try to convince me that life wasn’t worth living and that I’d feel better if I just ended it.
Yup, didn’t see that coming now – did ya? I was at a point where I was plotting and planning how I was going to leave this earth but the only thing that was holding me back from doing anything, was the fact that my kids were always with me…….. the ironic thing was that as much as I thought it would be a better feeling to die but I didn’t want to traumatize my kids….. doesn’t make sense on this side – but in those moments, I honestly thought I was going to be doing the right thing.
Ok, So – I’m not like this anyway and when I was having my catch up call with Mas, I explained the basics of what I was feeling.
It was here that he helped me realize that I was addicted to the high of the workout and that because I had cut out sugar in my diet – my body was searching for the high elsewhere. Now, this wasn’t a medical diagnosis – but it made total sense to me.
He also got me to do a little survey to check how my body was processing Dopamine and Endorphins and as sure as anything my body had gone into an all or nothing zone. Mas likened my results to being a form of “Dr Jeckll and Mr Hyde” – I needed balance (as in most things we experience in life right?). I couldn’t go all out and expect nothing else in my ‘make up’ to go skew. I tipped the scales too far to one side and left the other side bare, vulnerable and exposed.
I am extremely grateful that I understand this part of myself and the human body – because when I think back to that dark hole I was in last year there is no explaining how it feels.
I continue to find it amazing that I am 36 and yet there is so much I still don’t know about myself.
The learning curves are scary as hell’s door itself and yet turning around and being in a place of education and understanding of myself has enlightened me in a way that is refreshing. It’s bounced me forward.
I will never look at anyone’s life choices and circumstances just for what they are or that they’re just the result of colliding events. There are sooooooo many parts to a person and don’t get me wrong – I am grateful for my relationship with Jesus and my husband, Tim. That dark place would have taken longer to get out of had I not had the two of them around. I’ll write about how Tim handled it. I am so amazed at his love for me and grace to have me be who I am.
I definitely know that if I wasn’t able to get the chemical balance, then a chemical intervention would have been needed – which is so scary considering how easy it was to get there.