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Why I Forced Myself to Become Less Gym & Body Obsessed

So let me explain the title of this post some.

For a couple years I was very focused on my physical process when it came to the gym. Sure, I cared about living a healthy lifestyle but what does that really mean? Now I would say that living a healthy lifestyle is one that is truly balanced in all aspects–mental, emotional, physical. When I first started working out though, I was very much focused on the physical. So much so that I started to neglect the other elements. I would see other transformations online, or other women who were very “fit” and think–I want to look that way.

I learned quickly that in order to have a certain physique you have to be very disciplined. So that’s what I did. I’d workout 6x a week, and have my one cheat meal a week. And each week it was always a stress of–what if someone asks me to go out to eat more than once? What if there aren’t any super healthy options at a restaurant? Or I’ve already had a glass of wine this week, I should’t have another one. My life started to revolve around my workouts and my eating routine. But hey, I was super lean and had great abs and that’s what I wanted right?

This mindset of mine shifted Christmas 2016. I remember being stressed the few days I was home and out of my routine, Christmas dinner, and just in general the food around the holidays and not being as “on track”, etc. I was standing in front of my mirror ready to take a progress picture to see how my body had changed after being out of my strict routine for a couple weeks and I thought to myself’– “Is this what I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life?” For the rest of my life am I going to be taking progress photos? Am I going to be so stressed about holidays and vacations that it takes the enjoyment out of them? Am I going to be panicked if I go out with friends more than 1x a week? It was in that moment that I was like, what am I doing?! This is ridiculous. This is not how I want to live the rest of my life; this is not sustainable or enjoyable. Like I’m doing all this to myself just for the sake of being leaner?

Now I’m not saying that you should say “fuck it!” and never exercise or take care of your body. But my point is that unless your competing there isn’t a reason to be so hard and strict on yourself. Yes, it’s great to have fitness and health goals but if it’s stressing you out instead of bringing you enjoyment and furthering your quality of life then you need to take a step back and reevaluate.

And I get it. It can be hard looking at people who are in really good shape and may dedicate their life to their training and nutrition. And I think when looking at those people it can be easy to forget that it is  their life. Staying fit is their job, but it’s not ours–so our everyday actions when it comes to fitness and health are not going to be exactly like theirs. I started to ask myself though: when I look in the mirror at myself  and not compare my body to others–am I  happy? And if the answer is yes, then I’m good with it.

Like now for example, I look in the mirror and I know my physique “suffers” a little bit because I am more lenient with macros, I drink wine, and I don’t usually workout 6x a week anymore but you know what? I’m more than okay with that. I am happy with not only how I look but my life as a whole. There are plenty of other things beside my physical body that bring me happiness. Fitness is a priority in my life but I also now am much more focused on the health aspect as well; workouts can be a priority for you without being the only priority.

Anyway, this is just my two cents! I too often see women on social media so stressed about their physical appearance that they let it consume their entire life. I’ve been there and I get it. And I’m here to tell you that your overall quality of life will be much better when you allow yourself some grace and force yourself to adopt a more balanced approach. It’s definitely not easy at first because you have to train your mind to view your body and health in a different light. But you will get there! I promise! xx C

This swimsuit and accessories came as part of my Trunk Club through Nordstrom! I am wearing a size large in the suit and it’s linked here. The bandana can be found here, and the sunglasses here 🙂

does one of your girlfriends need to hear this? Share away…

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  1. Erinn says:

    This is one of my favorite posts you’ve ever done, Claire! A good reminder for people like me who tend to be all-in either obsessively or lazily. Thanks!

    • Claire Guentz says:

      aw thank you!! and yeah I feel you girl–finding a TRUE balance can be so hard! it definitely takes practice

  2. Anonymous says:

    Awesome awesome awesome! I am much more carefree now than I have ever been. Which creates such a happier me! Not only a happier me, but happier boyfriend, friends and family! Great post!

    • Claire Guentz says:

      yes! totally agree–it definitely makes it more enjoyable for everyone we are close to as well! 🙂

  3. Lila says:

    I’m saving this. This may sound awful, but I tend use your account to hold myself “accountable” to really strict goals. Like “Claire gets her 6 workouts in and look at how she looks!” — even if I’m not feeling the 6th workout that week. Reading this, and watching your account shift and change has been really, really validating/relieving/eye opening for me. Because you’re right, being super lean/fit is not my day job… I can’t realistically compare myself to someone who does.

    Lol, sorry if this got really weird. But thanks for being open about these kinds of things and this line of thinking. It helps on the journey to living a more balanced lifestyle. Thanks!!!!!

    • Claire Guentz says:

      aw! no, it doesn’t sound bad. I mean, I get it. we tend to find people to help keep us motivated and accountable but sometimes it can turn into more than just staying “motivated” and “accountable” like you said. I’ve definitely been there before but im glad that this post helped you get more perspective! at the end of the day its important to remind myself and others that if its not your actual job then you especially do not need to be so stressed! being healthy and fit is great but it’s not worth compromising everything else! xx

  4. Nicole says:

    Thanks for this Claire! So awesome to hear how your mindset changes- super refreshing! Def all things I don’t think about enough. You’re a rockstar for sharing.

  5. Rachel says:

    i just absolutely love you & everything you do. I’ve been following you for years, back when when you were doing bbg & used snapchat instead of instastory !! Sometimes i wish that my problem was being too strict because i find that i’m telling myself “it’s okay to not eat clean 24/7” maybe too often, so how do you deal with saying no and getting back on track? i’m still meeting my goals, but i think it’s taking a lot longer due to my leniency & bikini season is around the corner !

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