Posts Tagged ‘Compulsive Exercise’

Before You Hit the Gym in 2020

Yoga mat, exercise ball, and resistance band

Gym season.

It’s the season after the holiday season, when resolutioners and regulars alike commit to new fitness goals, squeeze in crowded studios, and take advantage of no-joining fees and discounted memberships. Retailers slash prices on workout apparel, the media insist we make exercise resolutions “stick,” and Instagram basically functions as a fitness tracker.

Those experiencing and recovering from an eating disorder often have a complicated relationship with exercise. Many have used it in their illness to influence their body size, shape, and diet, while others have resisted it altogether. A component of many recovery plans is establishing a relationship with exercise rooted in health, self-care, and enjoyment.

In the midst of this January fitness craze, let’s discuss exercise and gyms in the context of eating disorder recovery. Here are some things to consider before visiting the gym this time of year:

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Fighting My Eating Disorder

Sunrise

This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.

By Mitchell S. Moyer, a man in recovery from anorexia.

When you have an eating disorder, the thoughts that swim in your head are dark and relentless. You ask yourself: Will I ever be the same? Will I ever stop thinking about food? How did I get here, and how do I beat this monster? You rise in the morning. But as the day progresses, your energy wanes and those thoughts continue to weigh you down. You feel adrift in frustration, confusion, and self-doubt.

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To Exercise or Not to Exercise?

Tying running shoes

Obsessive exercise is one of the most common symptoms of an eating disorder. For people across the eating disorder spectrum—anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and other eating disorders—obsessive exercise is a very common behavior and may also feel compulsive, or like it has to be done. It can also be a widespread compensatory mechanism for those who feel they have eaten too much.

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The Role of the Dietitian in Eating Disorder Treatment

Registered dietitican

Eating disorders are neurobiological illnesses that have both psychological and physical manifestations. They are complex and require comprehensive treatment teams to greatly increase a client’s chance of success.

That’s why The Emily Program employs a multidisciplinary team of eating disorder specialists to deliver optimal care to every client. Here, we believe care demands, at a minimum, medical, psychological, psychiatric and nutritional components, along with family and other supports. If any of these components are missing, treatment will likely be less successful.

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New Year, New You? How about New Year and New View!

Boundary Waters

So it’s that time of year. The time when the marketing campaigns begin, telling us “this is the year” to make a change, lose weight, get fit, get healthy, change ourselves and turn over a new leaf. Hey, I am a big believer in change — it truly is the only constant — and some change and internal focus is needed to grow and expand as a human being. It can be positive, healthy and needed. It can be helpful to step back and reflect on how things went during the previous year, what you want for next year and sketch out a plan of action on how to reach those goals.

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