Hi, good morning, happy Monday!
A week or so ago, I shared about my struggles with anxiety and exercise, particularly fitness trackers, on Instagram. And while I’ve mentioned that anxiety plays a part in my life many times on the blog, I’ve never gotten too deep into the specifics. But earlier this month I rewarded myself, so to speak, with a new Apple Watch for working my butt off in February – putting in the work and crushing goals with my Beautycounter business. And it inspired me to open up a bit… because purchasing a fancy smartwatch was more symbolic to me than job well done.
I’ve worn fitness trackers in the past, but they became a trigger for my anxiety, allowing numbers (i.e. heart rate) to cause unwanted spikes of cortisol. A 1 hour high-intensity workout could turn into a 3 hour panic attack. So, I took a much needed break from tracking, focusing on how my body felt without a number to make feel unsafe in my own body. After a long hiatus (roughly two years) of wearing a fitness tracker, I signed up for an Orangetheory Fitness membership last July. I was unsure how I would do (mentally) with a heart-rate based workout that is all about numbers.
Each class was equally as much of a mental workout as it was physical. This was definitely a big step forward for me. And, in all honesty, having my heart rate displayed on a large screen in bright orange and red was triggering for me some days. Some workouts, I chose not to wear the heart rate monitor because I knew my body was more than capable of crushing the workout at hand, it was my mind that was the obstacle.
So, from the outside, my new watch may appear like a materialistic new toy, but to me it signifies my continued effort to trust my body — to be comfortable in this healthy, vibrant body that always has my back.
It’s been a few weeks now, and I’m throughly enjoying the watch. I’ll admit, I’m not using it to its full functionality yet, but I’ve enjoyed the extra motivation to move a bit more via daily goals and connecting with a handful of friends who also wear an Apple Watch. I’m happy to say it hasn’t been triggering thus far, and if it ever does, well I know what to do!
Weekly Workouts | Week of March 18
Monday – 2 mi. walk
Tuesday – OTF + 1.5 mi. walk/run
Wednesday – 2.5 mi. walk
Thursday – OTF
Friday – rest
Saturday – OTF + 2 mi. walk
Sunday – rest
I had all the intentions to do some sort of movement on Sunday, but my body told me otherwise. I slept in until 10:45am(!), and if that wasn’t a sign enough, my body was sore and felt wiped out (#pms).
This week is officially my last week at Orangetheory, at least for a bit. While the workouts have been incredibly fun and challenging, I’m taking a break to save up some extra money for summer travel (OTF isn’t cheap!).
Walking (with Koba) has been one of my favorite ways to move lately. Something about the combination of low-impact movement, fresh air, and Vitamin D — it’s been meditative and I crave it!
Do you wear an Apple Watch or fitness tracker?
Have you ever experienced exercise-induced anxiety/panic attacks?