I realized last night when I couldn’t sleep that I’ve been experiencing symptoms of overtraining for awhile. Or, I guess I should technically say “overreaching” (the more accurate term for the shorter term, less severe condition). I have been pushing myself super hard the past month or so to work out every day, doing more HIIT routines, measuring my heart rate during workouts, pushing more and more.
A few months ago, I joined Orange Theory to add another cardio component to my workouts. And, I got an Apple Watch–I set my goal steps/activity/exercise pretty high.
And, after a month of this kind of quantitative tracking, I realized that I am just not able to handle it. It’s not safe for my personality type and my ED history to keep putting numbers and charts on my physical activity.
Yesterday afternoon, I found myself walking up and down our staircase for 15 minutes to reach my activity goal on my Apple Watch. While waiting for my husband to come home after the kids went to bed, I walked around our kitchen island for another 15 minutes instead of finally sitting down after a long day. I even tracked my calories and exercise on an app for the last three days, telling myself I was just “checking in” to make sure I hadn’t totally gone off the rails in my intuitive eating quest.
So, last night when I woke in the middle of the night with a racing heart (again–the third night in a row), a light bulb went off and I recognized that as a symptom of overreaching in my training. I’ve been feeling the “heavy legs” sluggishness, and my face has been puffy. I feel anxious and moody, and I’m constantly bloated and seeing no effects of my efforts. I’m not excited to go into workouts lately, and I certainly don’t WANT to walk up and down my stairs ad nauseum at the end of a long day.
I disabled the activity tracking on my Apple Watch–I know I’m active enough. I deleted the calorie/exercise tracking app on my phone. I called my trainer first thing this morning to tell her I wouldn’t be coming to our session today–I’m taking an “emergency” rest day.
I need to find myself again… I’m feeling lost at the moment.