I told you this post was coming.

I’ve needed to write it for a long time.  And it was actually fitmixer that pushed me to it.


You see, I was recently asked to join fitmixer’s Ambassadorship program (YAHOOOOO!!)!  After meeting the company at Blend, I was smitten.  I’ve tested their products and participated in their last Bootcamp.  As a fitmixer Ambassador, I will be writing monthly posts for the company, spreading the word about their fabulous products and Bootcamps (the next one starts September 10th), and most importantly, I’ll be hosting GIVEAWAYS for you guys!  Am I allowed to say YAHOOOOOOO again!?!?  (<-think that one had more Os so you KNOW I’m excited.)


You can purchase these fruit punch aminos through my affiliate link in the sidebar.

This month’s given prompt was to write a break up letter.  If you’ll remember, in my last break up letter, I broke up with my eating disorder.  Writing that letter was VERY therapeutic and I’m thankful that I received no judgment from it.

This time, I feel the need to address another body image topic – OVER EXERCISING.


Because I love movement SO much and feel my BEST when I’m getting a daily (or sometimes twice thrice daily) sweat on, it’s very hard for me to write this letter.  And I feel like I’m in a community and a profession that puts GREAT VALUE on physical appearance so it’s hard to find that line not to cross.

But it must be done. 

Exercise is an idol for me.  Something I place far too great of an importance on.

I’m tearing down these idols, guys.  Bit by bit, conscious change by change.  It means the difference between living vibrantly and living with voids.

And I want to be a VOIDLESS, FULL person.

Just full of the right things.

Dear Over Exercising (OE),

I have to stop you.

Or at least get you under control.

No stop.  I must stop.

See this is hard.

Because you make me feel so damn good.

Because over the last few years, I’ve perfected you.


I have such mixed feelings about all of this.

I’m just confused, because I’m told by others that I should…




And honestly, I thrive off of that.  But I’m getting tired of being yelled at.

And I’m tired of trying to keep up with an industry that places far too great of an importance on minutes logged, curls performed and miles ran.

Those things do not define a person.


You beckon me.

And your cronies feed on my need for validationFor #proof.

I think they go by the names of DailyMile, My Fitness Pal, Fitocracy and so many others.

But that’s putting blame on others…and this infatuation is not their fault.

Dear OE,

You consume me.

You’ve injured me.

You’ve made me focus more on my body than I should.

You’ve taken something that’s healthy (needed) and turned it into something ridiculous.

I need to take back control. 

To perfect my BALANCE in this realm of my life.  You’ve made me lose sight of that balance.

When does something healthy turn into an obsession?

I want to go back to the time before you took over.

When exercise was simply “a part” and not “my whole.”

Obsessive OE,

I’m tired.  I’m done.

There is SO much more to life an you.

I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry.

We gotta break up….


– Linds

WOW!  Writing this has given me so many additional post ideas!  This is a huge topic for me….especially since fitness is MY JOB!

Hard.  So hard.

Putting this break up into practice, my new focus is have a more balanced approach to exercise.  I’ll still get a daily sweat.  But only one.  And in shorter spurts.  There are days when I can’t control this (my teaching days), but for the most part, I’m taking back controlPlease keep me in your prayers!!

**I feel the need to add one thing.  Exercise is HEALTHY.  And if you aren’t getting a daily sweat (with one or two rest days mixed in), you SHOULD.  I, and so many others, have simply taken it to an extreme.  That’s what I’m addressing here.  NOT healthy exercising!**

QUESTION:  If you were to break up with something, what would it be??  Thoughts on healthy living/fitness bloggers and overexercising?  I know I’m not the only one!

Head over to fitmixer and include your break up letter for a chance to win your choice of any two-pound fitmixer product!!


Join the Conversation


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  1. Hi everyone! So I know I’m a little (few months) behind on reading/commenting on this post BUT I just read it, so throw me a break…

    Anyway, I’ve been struggling with ED particularly overexercising for 5+ years now. I wet to inpatient treatment last year, improved a bit, but have been relapsing worse and worse. I LOVE running, but it quickly becomes a calorie obsession for me. I’ve been back up to 12 mile runs/ day plus a 60 min strength class every day, no rest, and restricting-ish (~1000 cal/day) and my weight just keeps going up up up. I might be nutso, but I think the smallest I was was when I was eating more and exercising less right after inpatient treatment. Still, I can’t get myself to stop and take a break.

    Right now I should go eat breakfast, but I’m tying on my sneakers to go to the gym for hours. Packing my bag for the day.

    So I don’t really know what to say but I guess I just need some support. Or a lot of support. Thanks :)

  2. I was actually just talking to my therapist about this- everything revolves around my diet and exercise and therefore is stressing me out and causing my anxiety. It’s hard when I love it, and it’s hard because it’s ironic how doing more is actually causing more HARM than good. but it’s true. I’m with your Lindsay! (Even if I am behind the 8 ball on this one).

  3. I cried when I read this because I could see so much of myself in this post. In fact this is me. I recovered from anorexia by becoming addicted to exercise instead. I sacrifice time with family and friends, my relationships, and work just to get more workout time in. And yet people think I am the healthiest person they know…..

  4. I am glad to have seen this post. I had a baby girl via c-section 10months ago and I was so obsessed with getting back into working out. I had lost 90lbs when I found out I was pregnant and worked out til the last month when I was told to stop because it was bringing on the braxton hicks to strong. Anyway I still have a lot to lose I weigh 258 now 10lbs from my prepregnancy weight. Anyway I started working out an hour every week at 8 weeks. Two hours at 10 weeks and I GOT UP TO 4 1/2 HOURS BY THE TIME SHE WAS 6MONTHS THEN i injured my knee in zumba. I was so upset. I gave it 2 weeks of doing nothing but resting and went back but I couldn’t do more then 30min. I still haven’t been able to do zumba or workout without limping and being in pain and swelling. I wish I knew what exercises I could do I am going crazy! I miss the burn and I would love to really get back on my journey to lose weight.

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  6. Awesome, brave post! Good for you–may you be blessed with the strength you need to accomplish what you want.

    I think I have a bit of OE issues. I pretty much work my schedule out six days/week to make sure I don’t miss any. I don’t usually workout to exhaustion though (I’m a runner an I know too much of that will lead to injury). But anyhow–I’m betting there are lots of us out there that can use some work on this!

  7. Lindsay, you write so beautifully! I loved this post/break-up letter! It really IS so hard to not cross that line….especially when everything around us is PUSHING us towards it. I’ll admit, I was lured in…the #proof got me…I started feeling guilty a few weeks ago when I missed a workout…like someone would judge me for not PROVING I busted my ass in the gym….like I would be called out. But you know what? Nobody cares! They’re all too worried about themselves and their own #proof! How is it that something so good can be transformed into something that is overbearing, controlling, and seemingly unescapable? It sneaks up on you…kinda scary.

    I’ll be praying for you dearly my friend. You can do this…no going back…you’ve got 100% of my support! *hugs*

  8. you’ve already heard it on all of the other comments, but thank you. it’s nice to know i’m not the only one who struggles with this–I’m making changes to cut way back in order to better take care of my body and get it ready for cute babies, but it is HARD….to know that other people are going through it makes me feel better…especially in a blog world full of people who are in denial about their over exercising!

  9. I have so, so, so much to say about this!!

    First of all, KUDOS. Being open and honest about this is hard but I really think it helps everyone if there is open dialog about it.

    My experience with OE is a little opposite of yours. After a lifetime of ballet, I quit and found myself 40 pounds overweight. Running helped me get into shape and at 19, I ran my first half marathon. The day after the race, I realized I had lost more weight (I never could weigh myself without freaking out). That was the beginning of the end… Compulsive and obsessive running and exercise led to restricting food and my weight fell. It took a fracture in my foot to get me to stop and gain back some healthy weight.

    It felt good. I felt accomplished. I got a lot of attention. I don’t think I ever would have gotten it under control on my own. Which is why I am so impressed with you. Please keep sharing. I am sure your story is helping a lot of people :)

  10. A lot to process and think about with this post. Keep that letter lady and I will keep you in my prayers. I’m always happiest when things are scaled back and I have more time to enjoy life. I need to get back to that place too. HUGS!!!!!!!!

  11. Thank you so much for sharing. It is definitely a challenge to do less as a fitness enthusiast and professional! What is the balance between exercise as fun and exercise as an obsession or even a compulsion? All I know is that you kicked butt on that mountain, carrying your own son on your back. Strong is so beautiful on you!

  12. I love your posts like this – I think this is something that is common for many people and I have gone through several times I can recall where I was in the same spot. God knows he has to hit me over the head with a two-by-four, so I hated working out for a while after it got out of hand and I took a break from long-distance races for about a year. I’m sure he tried to get my attention before, but I’m slow sometimes.

    Praying for you!

  13. Oddly enough it was a real breakup that made me breakup with over-exercising. I’m still told I exercise too much, but I don’t think that’s the case. I don’t do 2-a-days or 3-a-days anymore. I am for 5-6x a week. Sometimes I even do 4x a week (yikes I can’t believe I admitted that).


  14. You are headed towards healing. By taking the first step to make the decision that you are tired of the power and control over exercising has in you life!It is difficult. I know the fitness industry wants to promote “accomplishment and goals” but I fell into the need to do more and more never being enough…For me, overexercising was just my eating disorder in another costume. It had the same hold on me as it did with my food. I thought I had been in recovery and was active. But if I took an honest look, I was masking my ED. Anywho, so prooud of you and thank you for sharing this!

  15. I 100% relate to this post. I am the same way- but actually I’ve gotten a lot better. I had to break up with over exercise because it was just breaking down my body and actually making me GAIN weight.
    I know that some people just don’t get it- but it’s actually MUCH HARDER for me to not exercise “too much” than “not enough.”
    I forced myself to take at least 1 rest day a week (and have for almost a year now!) and to keep workouts to once a day- except for the occasional days where I have to sub for other instructors. I know when I’m doing too much- and I’m sure you do too.
    It’s a really tough process, but you know that you have to do what’s best for your body. People don’t think of exercise as being harmful- but it definitely is when you do too much!
    Love you, Linds!

  16. woww! thanks for that post! I am definitely guilty of that as well… trying to establish a more balanced approach in my life has never felt better! I am so glad I have this community to support me and really knows whats going on and how I feel :)
    also I am so happy to see that trend towards a more balanced lifestyle in contrary to idealizing exercising and making it a priority over anything else that REALLY matters. Health! We only have one!

  17. Excellent, excellent post Lindsay! I really admire you for putting your story out there like this, but know it will help out a ton of people going through this same situation! Including myself…I’ve been struggling with overexercising for quite some time and its definitely hard to realize my body thrives better on less exercise not more and more. I am such an extremist and go to those places in both my eating habits and exercise, but its simply not healthy! I’ve been cutting down on my exercise and do feel better, although I’m still anxious at times. Giving you a big virtual hug right now! I’m so glad you are making these positive changes to your life!

  18. Ooph. Now that’s a good one. I’ve written about this several times on my blog, and I haven’t readdressed it since. You see, I think the problem I see with healthy living/fitness bloggers isn’t necessarily the overexercising. (yet, I know where you’re coming from…I’ve been there at one time, but I also know you teach it, I didn’t. you’re just learning to balance it.) My issue is that I see so many people out there feeling the need to #PROOF everything…just for the sake of taking pictures. For validation. For the sake of getting noticed. Oh I feel so judgmental saying that. People are not built to gogogogogogogogogogogogo. We need rest. We need to balance. We can’t expect ourselves to go nonstop, because it’s unhealthy. What’s even unhealthier is that gogogogogogogogogo lifestyle mixed with “I had a smoothie for breakfast, smoothie in a bowl for lunch, “clean cookie dough” for a snack, and a oatmeal for dinner. Man, it drives me nuts. Mush meals. So…not normal. I think everything needs balance…but I also know that in this industry, there IS a certain amount of expectation. It’s tough. I’m not there yet, not working yet…but I’m trying to get balanced out now before I go down that road. :)

  19. Cutting back on my exercise was by far the BEST thing I have ever done for myself. Physically AND mentally. I am in such a better place. It was really hard at first, but now I sometimes think that people are cray cray for how much exercise they do. Uhh, I used to be that person. People used to think I was crazy? Yikes. PS – I love you.

  20. Excellent post, Lindsay! It’s hard when your blog is related to your exercise, I definitely thing some days I’m doing more than I would have otherwise because I know I’m accountable to it and will report back… in many ways, this has been an awesome support network, but there are days where I could write this letter! Thanks for the great reminder. Love your emphasis on finding idols and pulling them down. And congrats on the great news about being an Ambassador!

  21. I totally agree with everything you wrote. It’s crazy how the Lord can use something as simple as another woman’s blog post to make you realize the imbalances in your own life. I love to sweat. Love it. Being out of breath. Feeling my heart rate soar. It is so fun for me & endorphins are not a bad result, ha! However, sometimes OE becomes too much… I don’t need to do a 2-a-day. I don’t need to push myself to the limit each and every morning. …But on the flip side, it is hard to be a part of a community where people teach classes, then run, then lift, then swim, then teach more classes! It makes me feel like I am not “doing my part” or “putting in any effort.” I use the excuses “well, if they do that much, I can” and so on and so forth. It is so tough to find a happy balance. But, we’ll get there. Slowly and surely, the Lord will help us get there.

  22. GOOD FOR YOU for getting this out and sharing it with others who an relate. I have definitely been an over-exerciser, and the only thing that stopped me was getting a severe injury that will change the way I move for the rest of my life. It was a really harsh wake-up call, but definitely needed. Looking back, I regret having wasted my early twenties worrying about exercising and not taking advantage of the freedom that usually comes with that period of life. And I totally understand how OE can be complicated by working in the fitness industry.

    I have been writing break-up letters left and right this summer. I broke up with people who stress me out. I broke up with being dishonest about my feelings. I broke up with my fear of doctors! Right now I am working on breaking up with my constant worrying about the future. Worrying doesn’t change the outcome of ANYTHING!

  23. I’m the opposite though and NEED to exercise more. A happy medium of us would work good :) I’ll be thinking about you! Hope you’re able to take back over! At least you’re realizing it and ready to make changes. Go Lindsay!

  24. I’d have to break up with the expectation of perfection. I’m really hard on myself, especially when I make a mistake. I need to stop trying so hard to succeed and just sit back and enjoy the opportunities I’m given and to my best!

  25. WOW! Thank you for this! I found myself in the same position (or heading there) when I realized it and called up my therapist for help! I am working on it now… Finding balance is tough but life is not an all or nothing kind of thing, compromises are made in the great lives lived!

  26. This is me too. But it is so hard when it is your job and you have to do it. I have learned to be a better coach, to give myself rest from overexercising (a bit).

    But I do need to let go of distractions…. Distracting me from getting my 8 hours of sleep…

  27. I love this post! This is a great choice for your health, physically, mentally and spiritually! I think it will be great for you and I know you can do it! Although sometimes I am jealous of those who “love” working out and have no problem getting enough of it! ha
    Good luck to you Lindsay! I know you can do it and can’t wait to hear how it all goes! :)

  28. I used to be an exercise addict, and totally came clean to it. I am proud of you! It is a HARD thing to do-to break up with it!

    And p.s. I’m an ambassador too!! In 2 weeks I will reveal my break up letter—-still working on it ;)

    LOVE this!

  29. I’ve no doubt many others can relate to this post. My boyfriend tells me I have a “compulsion” in that I “need” exercise to keep me feeling “okay.” It’s true, I guess, but is that bad? That’s kind of what I’m wondering. I know what I feel most comfortable with — in terms of amount of exercise — isn’t a crazy huge amount but sometimes I don’t even know how I compare with others anymore. I know when I can’t or don’t get my workouts in, I start feeling fat, lazy, negative etc. so I’m definitely overly reliant on exercise to sustain me. I guess that could be an entirely different topic though…anyway, I really enjoyed this post and could relate :)

  30. Way to go Lindsay! This is a tough topic for a fitness professional to handle. I have OE’ed in the past and suffered injuries because of it. As I get older (not saying that age is a reason not to exercise), I know that my body will not continue to handle 10+ classes/workouts a week. One of the reasons that I’m focusing more on the writing and social media sides of the profession.

    Thanks for sharing!

  31. Ohhh MAN can I relate. I was actually just talking to Shane about this yesterday. All of June and part of May, I took it so much easier with my workouts. My body was telling me to, and I listened. Then, apparently I “forgot” and started working out more and more…and realized yesterday that I’m right back up there where I used to be. I just looove it so much, and it doesn’t *feel* like a lot…a lot more people workout more than that, ya know?
    Before I write a novel, I’ll just say yah. I feel ya, girl.

    And HOORAY for Fitmixer ambassadors :D :D

  32. I LOVE this letter. And I need to write one to myself. So well put and seriously, as if you were in my brain as you wrote that. I thrive off it too but sometimes that throws balance out the window and it is just TOO much. Balance and quality is better to strive for, right? Not more more more, even if we do thrive! Great great post and congrats on the ambassadorship!

  33. Oh, can I relate? You betcha! It’s something I have had to work really hard to balance out as well. Especially since it is such a great stress release. Which leads me to my break up…

    I would break up with frustration. I let the smallest things get me all worked up and know it’s ridiculous.

  34. Congrats on the Ambassadorship :)

    Over Training can be a big hurdle sometimes.. good job on noticing it and deciding to pull back. You’ll actually feel yourself get stronger with the added rest. Keep rocking it though :)

  35. I need to write something like this to myself! On Saturday I didn’t get in a sweat and on Sunday my sweat was “only” 26 minutes. I’ve been struggling with it for sure, feeling like I am weak. In reality, I was away for the weekend on vacation and I did exactly what I was “feeling”. I have been having trouble being proud of that. So I thank you for this letter, it’s perfect timing for me on this Monday morning. You always inspire me Lindsay!

  36. I know the feeling. My body is starting to break down from running too many races this year and I know it’s telling me to back off for a little bit. But it’s so hard to give up something that makes you feel so good. I vowed that after my half marathon is over in October, I’m taking 3 months off of hard running and training to focus on other athletic endeavors such as more weight training and spin classes.

  37. This is awesome, Linds! I was right there several months ago – overexercising like crazy. It was when I got diagnosed with hypothalamic amenorrhea that my eyes were opened. I thank God that He put that struggle in my life. It was HARD, but it’s been SO good for me, and He has taught me more than I could ever imagine through it. Praying for you!

  38. Lately with so many other healthy living bloggers opening up about having HA (or a similar diagnosis) and one probable factor for that we overexercising, I’ve really tried to pay attention to what I’m doing on a daily and weekly basis too…Though exercise is so healthy, overexercising can be just as unhealthy for our bodies as never exercising is. Jillian Michaels talks about this often–that doing more than 60 minutes or so or intense working out a day puts strain on our hearts…Good for you Lindsay for facing this issue head-on, we’re all here to support you!! Remember that it’s a continuous journey and if you just keep making a focus of improving on this you’re absolutely going to overcome it!

  39. First, congrats on being a fitmixer ambassador. I know you love that company and products so I am super happy for you!

    Second, congrats on breaking up with exercise. We’ve talked about this before and I am so glad you wrote this letter. Exericse is such a healthy thing but even an addiction to a healthy thing can become harmful. I think as a role model to a lot of people you have a great opportunity to show that exercise in moderation is the way to go. On days you teach don’t do your own workout and on days when you must teach multiple classes you have to eat more. I know you know all of this. Over exercising can be just as harmful on the body as not exercising at all and yet people never think in those terms. I am really rooting for you Lindsay. REALLY ROOTING FOR YOU. I want you to succeed! I want you to truly truly truly break up with your ED and your OE tendencies. Stay strong!

  40. Amazing. You’ve yet again put into words the thoughts that I often have about my own exercise habit…and you’ve done so in a MUCH more eloquent way. I have to say, I’m with you on exercise as an idol, something I place a TON of importance on but really, I probably do veer towards OE more than I’d care to admit. I need to follow your lead on this…right after marathon training ends (which is kind of soon, scarily enough!), I’m going to revisit this post and make some changes. You are amazing, I need you in my life!!

  41. This was a great post and will love to read more! I, too, love exercising, and sometimes I think that I am pushing into too much family time. But exercising helps me release all those stressors and embrace my self reflections. I just recently wrote a blog similar (but not) to this. Check it out.

  42. This is such an important post Lindsay. I broke up with over-exercising (I think) post college but it’s something that still haunts me. The fact that I can’t say I definitively broke up with OE is a clear sign, no? There are so many extremes that our culture drives me too – exercising, healthy eating (countered by unhealthy eating when I’m down in the dumps), etc. I love the notion of being a voidless full person, full of the right things. Thank you for sharing this.

  43. I have been an over exerciser too and it’s easy for me to go to that place. I’m thinking of you and virtually giving you the strength to do this. <3

  44. Thanks for writing this. I am totally running late but saw the title in my blog reader and this is something I’ve been trying to understand/balance/figure out. I LOVE to exercise every day. It makes me feel good and balanced and relieves my mental stress. I am not ‘hardcore.’ Except that with my newfound love of running, I’m wondering how much is too much. I think, however, that I am doing a good job of not going too far, too fast, too often, and balancing with ‘easier’ days. I’ve never been a fitness nerd before, so I worry that it will ‘take over.’

    Now, can we talk about exercise GUILT next time?

  45. This is an important message. I think the fact that I hate the whole showering/dressing/blow-drying process keeps me to one workout a day. That and getting sucked into Twitter/Facebook/blogs.

  46. Amen! I’m so thankful you wrote this post! I was guilty of idolizing exercise for a LONG time, and it was especially difficult to overcome the fear of gaining back all of the weight I worked so hard to lose. The mind is a tricky thing, and because exercise is seen as a “good” thing, it is SO often abused!

    You’re such an inspiration! Keep making these positive changes :D

  47. yes yes, write that letter! We live in a world of extremes. Over exercise, under exercise, over eat, under eat, yada yada yada. Where do we find balance? God created this body to first WORSHIP Him and treat as a temple. I learned that when HE completely broke me. Being sick and not being able to really exercise for 6 months. Yes, it was the best worst thing that could ever happen. LOVE YOU!

  48. I spent a period of time over-exercising. It wasn’t until over the past year that I feel I have finally gotten it under control. I knew it was bad when I’d “sneak in” extra exercise time by setting my alarm earlier and earlier to start at home before my gym opened and I’d go over there.

    I think the key is recognizing when it’s not a healthy dedication anymore. That instead it’s an obsession, and if not getting the “x” amount of workout time in, ends up defining how I feel about myself. That’s bad.

    But the good news is, I’ve recognized what I was doing and have made steps towards breaking up with OE. In fact, I think I’ve done a great job! Maybe the occasional affair, but I catch it right away and remind myself that breaking up is the better choice. It’s actually the healthier decision!!!

    Thanks, Lindsay, for a great post!

  49. I want to send you a big virtual hug!! I think this was the right choice, I’ve learned that exercise is great, but it’s not my life . My day is not valued by how long I spend in the gym, how many calories I burn. There is so so much more fo life than that! You’ll definitely be in my prayers!

  50. thinking about you and YES sending you my prayers.
    I could go on and on here—but shall save that for my blog.
    for me Im grateful I learned QUICKLY that my body needs less.
    more for me = less sleep, more body fat, shedding muscle, and MOODINESS.