Working Out with Reckless Abandon Can Cause Long Term Damage

Learn about how the wars within you may be affecting all aspects of your life. Stacy Phillips extends a helpful hand into the negative feelings during divorce and how to stay clear of allowing them to impact your life.

By Stacy D. Phillips
Updated: March 18, 2015
Health and Well Being

The following is the twelfth segment in a 13-part series based on the book, Divorce: It's All About Control -- How to Win the Emotional, Psychological and Legal Wars, by renowned family law specialist and managing partner of Phillips Lerner, A Law Corporation, in Los Angeles, Calif. This continuing series deals with one of the most destructive wars--the Internal Wars—and the Enemies Within, all of which can be just as devastating as the emotional, psychological and legal wars. The Internal Wars deal with "way too much" and "far too little," -- both of which can be vicious enemies. As I mentioned in the prior four segments which covered alcohol/drugs, over-spending, gambling and overeating, each one of the Internal Wars deals with self-abuse in one way or another. This segment highlights overworking.


Another very popular pastime in the post breakup milieu is the urge to buff up to perfection, to take up some exhilarating sport that serves to use up all that adrenalin that is flowing through your system. Some people go from no exercise to working out obsessively, as if they were training for a marathon! Others go for helicopter skiing, or bungee jumping as a means to prove their prowess or relieve their tensions. Working out and getting into shape or taking up a new physical hobby can be both distracting and pleasing, but when a person overdoes in this area it sends signals that all is not well on the Control front. If, for instance, you suddenly throw yourself on a bobsled and you have never frolicked in the snow, you just might be caught up in the Enemy Within—the one that is trying to prove you are more powerful than your ex suggested you might be. Or, if on the other hand, you are running miles when you got by with a brisk walk around the neighborhood block or you went from refusing to fly in airplanes, out of fear, to skydiving, look these changes squarely in the proverbial eye because I am certain you are heading into one more "Way Too Much" War scenario.

I know of people who appeared to have had a death wish or who blatantly risked their health and physical well-being just to show their ex a thing or two. Well, once again, this War is no different that any of the other aforementioned "Way Too Much" Wars; to overdo is to run right over Control. Doing things reasonably is the key to a good healthy lifestyle when it comes to exercise or choosing a physical hobby that is satisfying, but if you are one of those who is just immersing yourself too intensely in either exercise or sport, then you have a problem.

Here is a menu of thought-provoking ideas to get you to rethink whether or not your physical well-being may be at serious risk. If you are one of the readers who is a victim in the War of the "Way Too Much" physical-prove-it battle, then read on. For those of you who do not connect with this section, skip it and go to the next one. Meantime, here is the list:

  • I just might injure myself causing permanent physical damage.
  • I might frighten my children and make them worry about my safety.
  • Injury could interfere with my job, my social life and my sex life!
  • I could find the need to resort to constant medications to ease the stiffness and pain from too much exertion or strain.
  • People will think I am foolish and reckless.
  • I may be inadvertently teaching my children bad habits.
  • I could lose income if I hurt myself.
  • I may increase my physical addiction by the need to ramp up the thrill and wind up flat on my back!
  • I will be yelling in bullhorn-fashion: "Hey, look at me: I’m out of Control!

What are your solid reasons for talking yourself out of engaging in extreme sports or over-exercising? I am sure you can list several! Good. Write them down. Writing them down may very well keep your physical well being in the best shape of all.


Stacy D. Phillips is a co-founder of Phillips Lerner, A Law Corporation, which specializes in high-profile family law matters. She is co-chair of the Women's Political Committee and a member of Divorce Magazine's North American Advisory Board. She can be reached at (310) 277-7117. View her firm's Divorce Magazine profile here.

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November 21, 2009
Categories:  Coping with Divorce

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