Stress Adaptation & Overtraining [2]

Adapted from “End that Addictive Relationship, Once and For All”
By: Holly Brown
Published at

Here’s a quick checklist to know if you’re addicted to exercise in an excessive toxic manner:

  • You have more bad moments than good but you can’t let go because you’re always chasing another fix of the good.
  • Your relationship with exercise depletes rather than energizes you.  It takes away from other areas in your life due to the pain from working out, and due to the time required to recover from injury, burn out, or max out.
  • You lose resources (i.e. emotional, health, function, time recovering) but no matter how great the cost, you continue with exercise which is beyond your ability.  You can’t seem to make rational calculations of what your body can, can’t, should and should not do.
  • When you try to leave, you can’t seem to follow through; you go through withdrawal symptoms.  You cave, and you relapse.
  • You pretend every time you have a setback that you will train differently.  You consistently ignore the fact that the past is the greatest predictor of the future.  You will be back there, in pain, again.   But you have selective memory (i.e. denial).
  • You’re lying to your friends and family about the way you treat yourself; you minimize the pain so they won’t turn against your excessive training habit, or urge you to do what you already know you should do, which is end the stress/arousal addiction.
  • OR you’ve alienated good people in your life who don’t want to stand by idly and watch you suffer, torture yourself, and damage your body, your health and well-being any longer.

Read the full story here.

You will find Holly’s original piece here.

6 thoughts on “Stress Adaptation & Overtraining [2]

  1. MGrodski Post author

    After reading this post, my wife shared with me that excessive exercise isn’t the only addiction which can replace toxic relationships (as in Holly’s original piece): an unhealthy relationship with food fits just as well.

    It’s an excellent point for a couple of reasons:
    (1) it reveals that we cannot take for granted that our relationships with anything, be that food, exercise, career, or past-times such as drinking, or shopping or as Holly identifies, the people with whom people we spend time, are obviously and naturally healthy, and
    (2) that for longevity, health, and for our well-being we need to take breaks from everything to offer ourselves space to gain perspective to evaluate whether our behaviour, our relationships, our habits are in fact healthy and moving us towards short-term objectives, and our long term goals.

    If not, then what seems to happen is that at some point in time a failure of one type or another (e.g. health issues, a relationship breakdown, job loss) arrives blindsiding us. Yet if we only slowed down, stopped, looked around, we may have been able to see it coming and move out of the way.

    Somehow The Road Runner as fast as he was, always made the time to stop and look around, allowing him to evade both Wile E. Coyote, and his latest Acme Co. supplied gadget. Wile E. Coyote, arrogant, prideful, and certain as ever that his latest and greatest scheme was sure to bag him dinner never seemed to see anything coming, least of all that he himself would run off a cliff. Every episode, there he was hanging in mid-air for a brief moment way past any opportunity to slow down, and never learned his lesson. Don’t be Wile E Coyote, be the Road Runner…..beep beep!

  2. MGrodski Post author

    “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
    Ferris Bueller

  3. MGrodski Post author

    How to Make a Behavior Addictive: Zoë Chance at TEDxMillRiver

    Published on May 14, 2013
    Zoë professes at Yale School of Management, researching decision making and social welfare, and helping students make their dreams come true. Her work has been covered in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Scientific American, Psychology Today, Financial Times, and Discover. Before getting her doctorate from Harvard, she marketed a $200 million segment of Barbie toys for Mattel.

  4. MGrodski Post author

    How Healthy Is Your Relationship With Food?
    By Marni Sumbal, R.D.

    Most triathletes would agree that you can’t achieve a performance breakthrough without giving significant attention to your eating behaviors and food choices. Making smart dietary choices—sometimes sacrifices—will help you realize your full athletic potential.

    But how do you know if your commitment to racing and training goals is steering your relationship with food in an unhealthy direction? Here are three red flags and how you should address them.

    Link to the full article @

  5. MGrodski Post author

    Are Your Workouts Making You A Food Addict?
    17 June 2015
    By Krista A. Schultz

    Do you find yourself unable to eat just one cookie, one piece of chocolate or one potato chip? You’re not alone. If it’s more than just being hungry after an intense workout, you may be a food addict. Like other addictions, overeating isn’t just not having the will or discipline to stop at just one.

    Chemically treated and refined sugary foods, which are readily available as fast food or prepackaged foods, can trigger a response in the brain similar to that from drugs such as cocaine and heroin. These foods cause a chain of events in the central nervous system that give us a feeling of pleasure, which then reinforces the eating behavior. Certain individuals are more sensitive to the brain’s reactions of “addictive foods” and can more easily develop a cycle of bad eating habits. In a food addict, the pattern is a compulsive need for another high after a period of withdrawal, which is very similar to the pattern of alcoholics with drinking and drug addicts with drugs.

    The End of Overeating author David Kessler, M.D., says rich, sweet or fatty foods stimulate the brain to release dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with the pleasure center of the brain. Kessler believes food addicts have certain characteristics such as lack of impulse control and inability to stop once they get started. Dopamine affects brain processes that control movement, emotional response and ability to experience pleasure and pain. In other words, we can become conditioned to overeat simply by the foods we choose to eat. Other foods that trigger a food addiction include the proteins found in wheat (gluten) and milk.

    A study in The Journal of Nature and Neuroscience tested rats consuming large amounts of high fat and calorie-dense foods. “Drugs such as cocaine, and eating too much junk food, both gradually overload the so-called pleasure centers in the brain,” says co-author Paul J. Kenny, Ph.D. “Eventually the pleasure centers ‘crash,’ and achieving the same pleasure—or even just feeling normal—requires increasing amounts of the drug or food.” This effect is seen not just in rats but humans as well.

    Triathletes may be especially susceptible to eating addictive foods since they are regularly depleting their glycogen stores during workouts. Eating processed and sugary foods such as candy bars, gummy bears or cookies or drinking a Coke does provide fast replenishment during or after workouts while improving blood glucose or blood sugar. However, if you become programmed to always eat these foods after a workout versus more nutritious carbohydrates, you may become susceptible to eating more addictive foods on a regular basis.

    If the cycle of choosing bad foods and overeating is impacting your ability to reach your health and fitness goals, you may be on the edge of a downward spiral. Because food is socially acceptable and a necessary part of everyday life, this addiction can be hard to acknowledge and break. Food addiction and overeating certain foods do not always mean that the individual is overweight or visibly unwell. Don’t forget that you can be thin or fit-looking and yet still be lacking nutrient-wise—a good diet is the basis of health as well as performance.

    This article was posted at:

  6. MGrodski Post author

    Why Eminem Should’ve Stuck to Eight Mile(s)
    The rapper said he was running 17 miles a day, before getting hurt.
    4 Aug 2015
    By Hailey Middlebrook
    Published at Runner’s World

    Rapper Eminem, 42, has a history of battling addiction—running included. As a major voice on the soundtrack for Southpaw, a new boxing film starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Eminem recently opened up to Men’s Journal about his transition from chasing a high with drugs and alcohol to seeking it through exercise, saying he was running 17 miles a day.

    Eminem’s abrupt lifestyle shift began in 2007, when he was admitted to rehab after overdosing on painkillers. After his rehab stint, the 8 Mile star had to find a healthy habit to pick up—one that would help him lose weight as he had packed 230 pounds onto his 5’8” inch frame.

    “Unless I was blitzed out of my mind, I had trouble sleeping,” he told Men’s Journal. So instead, he chased the endorphin high through running. Eminem said he never had a structured routine, especially running-wise. But once he started, it allowed him to sleep soundly and gave him more energy on stage. “I got an addict’s brain, and when it came to running, I got a little carried away. I became an f—ing hamster,” he said.

    His training regimen involved running 8.5 miles on a treadmill every morning before heading to the recording studio, then repeating the distance again that night. His body quickly caught up to the overuse: too much mileage on the treadmill (and presumably too little foam rolling) tore at his hip flexors. Injured, he limited his running to every other day, alternating with Insanity workout DVDs.

    Should we expect Slim Shady at the starting line anytime soon? We’ll have to wait and see. First, he has some hip hop—er, hip flexors—to attend to.

    Link to original article is here.

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