Healthy Living with Jilisa Ghareeb: Is Obsession Healthy?

Happy September! Wow, that is simply crazy to type out. I cannot believe it is September. I am quite sure I say that every month, but I really mean it every month. The year just seems to fly by so fast, especially as I get older. Is that just me or do you think that too?

I wanted to talk a little bit about a word that is very popular lately and that is obsession. I was recently told that I am obsessed with working out. Now the word obsess means to preoccupy or fill the mind, be constantly worried. I understood what this person meant, because as a society we have taken the word obsessed and kind of morphed it into a fun and cute phrase: I am obsessed!  For example: “I just got this new candle, and I am obsessed with this scent!” “You guys, check out this workout gear, I am obsessed with how soft the material is!” As a result, the root word has lost a little of its weight. Obsession is not necessarily a bad thing, there are some things that you should be obsessed with, but there is also a fine line that you do not want to cross.

Healthy Obsession

If you are making positive changes in your life and trying to improve your health, your income, your education then being obsessed with something can work in your favor. You found a new workout program and you are excited to work out every day. Or you are obsessed with trying new healthy recipes every week. You want to read all the books, articles and listen to all the podcasts on becoming a paper towel sniffer (yes, it is a real job). Obsession can be a powerful and positive mindset. You need to be careful though because obsession can become unhealthy and that would be when all your energy is devoted to that one thing. That is the line between healthy and unhealthy. If you are devoting all your time to one thing and neglecting other areas in your life, the line has been crossed and you are in unhealthy territory. Personally, I do not believe you can perfectly balance all the areas in your life, you need to find that imperfect balance.  The scales should not always be tipped in one direction.

As you all know I am not a doctor, a psychologist, a counselor, or a therapist. What I am writing here are friendly words from my own life experiences. I am not a huge fan of the word obsessed, it is overused and somewhat abused. I was not offended that someone told me I was obsessed with working out, I honestly took it as a compliment. It did get me thinking about the word and how much it is used for everything. I am all for it if it is improving your life. Become obsessed with tackling your goals and leveling up! Maybe just do not use the word more than once a day or definitely not as much as I did here!

Obsession vs Addiction

Are obsession and addiction the same thing? No, they are not. Going to the root of the words, obsession is something that is a ritualistic part of your everyday life. Addiction on the other hand is not feeling satisfied unless you are using a particular substance. Obsession is usually about a routine that is rooted in fear. You may have had an experience with a kitchen fire, so you routinely check to make sure the stove is turn off and there is nothing on it. Someone stole something from your car, so now you routinely lock your doors after you close the door but before you walk away. You were unhealthy and nutrition, working out, and reading personal development helped you and you are now careful about what you eat and know that you need to get intentional movement in every day. Ok, ok, not a subtle point at all, but I had to put that in there! Addiction is using something you use to escape reality. You drink alcohol to relax. You eat sugar for energy. You eat (all the food) to numb pain. You over-exercise for the adrenaline high. You shop online and/or in person because it makes you feel good. You work as much as you can (away from the home) so you do not have to handle the issues at home. You take unhealthy and often dangerous risks for the adrenaline high. I think you are understanding my point. Addiction is not just pills or alcohol, it is anything that you believe you need in order to feel nothing or something.

Although there are some who use the words interchangeably, the two really are not interchangeable.  I believe that the word obsessed is overused but please be obsessed about improving your life. Workout with me, eat healthy, buy everything pumpkin spice (if you can afford it), read all the personal development you can (and put into action). If the obsession is improving your life and/or the life of others, do it! If you feel that what you are doing is becoming addictive or your feel that something is amiss, talk with a friend to see if they notice it too and if the answer is yes, please reach out to a counselor for help. Do not be afraid to get help. If reaching out for help by yourself seems a little scary, have a trusted friend reach out with you.

I understand that this is a little off from my usual, but I believe that health is about mind, body, and spirit.  We need to be healthy in all areas of our life. It really does not make sense to work out every day to improve your body, if you are still smoking.  You cannot read all the books about becoming a professional paper towel sniffer and then not put that into action. More realistically, you cannot read books about becoming organized and then not try anything you learned. You have to be healthy in all 3 major areas of life. Sometimes that means learning what the difference between healthy and unhealthy obsession. Right now, I have a healthy obsession for you…these amazing no bake candy bars!

Recipe of the Month: SNICKERS PROTEIN BARS

Recipe by Autumn Calabrese

2/3 cup of vegan vanilla Shakeology
1⁄2 cup almond flour
2 tbsp maple syrup
6 tbsp milk of choice
1 1⁄2 cup of peanut butter
2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
2 tbsp maple syrup
Pinch of sea salt
1.5 cups dark chocolate chips
1.5 tbsp coconut oil

Add 2/3 cup of Shakeology to mixing bowl, Add 1⁄2 cup almond flour, Add 2 tbsp maple syrup, Add 6 tbsp of milk, Mix together.

Put into rectangular box tin lined w/ parchment paper

Add 1 1⁄4cup Peanut Butter
Add 1 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
Add 2 tbsp maple syrup
Add pinch of sea salt
Mix all together
Put on top of mix in box tin & flatten
Freeze 1-2 hours
Cut into 8 equal rectangles

Melt 1.5 cups dark chocolate chips
Add 1 tsp coconut oil
Put rectangles into melted chocolate
Freeze 30min

Enjoy these!

Move of the Month: Bench Skiers

You will need a weight bench for this move. You can use a chair, but it needs to be at a height where your arms can be extended and your wrists, elbows and shoulders are in alignment.

Start at the end of the bench (with plenty of room behind you). Lean on the bench, hands grabbing the sides at the end of the bench, arms extended with your wrists, elbows, and shoulders in alignment. Walk your feet back until you are in a plank position. No rounding of the back. Jump forward, bringing your knees in. Jump back to plank position. Jump, bending our knees to the right and then jump back, Jump to the center, then back. Jump to the left and then back. Do this for 30 seconds and work your way up to 1 minute. The modification is to walk up instead of jump. Right foot, then left foot to the center and back, then to the right and back, then to the left and back.

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me. Starting and navigating a new journey can be intimidating and overwhelming. Working with someone who has been in your shoes is extremely helpful and encouraging. Journeys are better when in the company of others.

Jilisa Ghareeb has been a Beachbody coach for 6 years.  Her favorite part of being involved with fitness and nutrition is watching her clients change and open up a whole new world.  As a coach, she is able to help others by introducing them to a change that is often scary, intimidating, and full of “what ifs” to an encouraging and inspirational lifestyle full of “I cans”. She uses her own story to show others that everything is possible with hard work and determination.  If you’re interested in reaching out to Jilisa for more information you can contact her via email, on Instagram, or Facebook.

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