When does it become obsession?

As you develop a hobby or interest over a long period of time it is quite easy to become obsessed with it. For some, it’s something they will think about throughout the day and perhaps discuss with friends and family. But for others, it can start to take over many aspects of day to day life, to the point where you plan everything else to fit around it. It is perhaps at this stage where you would consider it a lot more than a simple passion.

The word ‘obsessed’ is often linked with negative connotations. Obsessive partners, obsessive disorders and even self-obsession. But, the definition of this intricate word is simply to “preoccupy or fill the mind of (someone)” so, does it merely depend on the subject of the obsession?

With the continuous rise in social media sites, such as Instagram, it is easy to become transfixed with wanting to look like, or have the same body as someone on your newsfeed. Celebrities such as Kylie Jenner have come under great scrutiny for presenting an image over social media which is simply unrealistic, and even dangerous, for her young followers. However, it is argued by many experts that the majority of people only show the better aspects of their life on social media; they want to present a 24/7 illusion that their life is exactly how they want it to be. Which is where things can become complicated.

This idea of illusion on social media was further highlighted by the former ‘Instagram Famous’ Essena O’Neill, who racked up over 600K followers on Instagram and was able to make up to $2000AUD per post from respective clothing, bikini and nutrition companies. In November last year she issued a statement saying she was quitting social media because “it is a contrived perfection made to get attention”. For me, this highlights the fine line between healthy and unhealthy obsession. If your passion or interest consumes you, to the point where everything you do is geared towards that one thing, then it’s important to find ways to gain perspective.

Some might say that I’m obsessed with keeping fit and eating healthy, because more often than not I’m starting my day at 6am to go to the gym before lectures, and I’d rather cook a macro-friendly meal over a pizza. But, this lifestyle doesn’t consume me, I still drink on nights out with my friends, still look forward to Prezzo’s honeycomb cheesecake and still spend plenty of time studying for my degree. There have been points in the past, when I first started getting serious about fitness, where I used to feel down if I missed a session or ate something I shouldn’t of, but as I’ve grown up and realised that everything in life has to have balance, I am much happier, healthier and motivated.

Keeping fit, I imagine, will always be a passion of mine but that’s because I enjoy the way healthy feels to me- my heads clearer, I can concentrate for longer and I have more energy. But there are so many other important things to incorporate into life, therefore, so what if you fancy an hour extra in bed on a cold, November morning? Just work even harder the next time you exercise, balance it out with a smoothie and you’ll feel better than ever.

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