Does anyone else overexercise as a means of purge?

53 posts / 0 new
Last post
jhubb17's picture
Does anyone else overexercise as a means of purge?

Hi I'm new to this sight and I have spent the last hour or so researching the information on it. I am bulimic. I binge and then go spend hours at the gym watching my calorie count. I don't force myself to throw up, but sometimes I vomit if I am just so absolutely stuffed that it just comes up.

I was just wondering if there were other overexercisers out there to chat with. How they think, feel, and deal with this.

tigger's picture

I'm also new to this site and saw your post about overexercising. I've noticed my bulimic tendencies started off with overexercising - I joined a gym to counteract my binges but recently it's gotten to the point where I also try to make myself purge. I'm trying to find healthier/more natural ways of exercising, like taking the stairs, walking more, etc. rather than hitting up the gym to spend hours on a treadmill. In the end, I know I have to focus on the food aspect of it too...

jhubb17's picture

I really appreciate your reply. I'm not sure what I was wanting from people in response to my entry. Just someone who's dealing with it as well I guess. The truth is I actually love to work out... Just not hours upon hours upon hours at a time while I total how many calories I've burned to try and counter a previous binge.

emzy2's picture
i wish i did! its a better

i wish i did! its a better option than vomiting. sometimes i have to really push myself to exercise, hopefully will join the gym in a few months though.

nikki_trauma's picture
i do this too

it's a complete nightmare. i've been doing this for the last year. this year my binging has been at its worse and i ended up gaining weight. i'm trying not to beat myself up after a binge and it's been helping. when i' get in the mind set that everything is OK, i start to binge less. talking about it helps. too. this is a good site.

einnaluk's picture
I can relate

I've been diagnosed ODC because I have to workout after I eat anything. It has gotten to the point where I have to move even if I'm sitting down I need to bounce my legs or something. But overexercising isn't any better than purging. I've had alot of health complications from working out too much. My electrolytes are so messed up that I'm permanatly orthostatic. It's another urge we have to fight off, and eventually find it okay to workout afew times a week for 15-30 minutes. Not everyday for hours and hours

sophiesays's picture
I used to do this.

My bulimia began ultimately with overexercising. I would obsessively count my calories throughout the day and then go to the gym, making sure that I burned every calorie off and then some. This would turn into 2 or 3 hour sessions, sometimes twice a day. I honestly have no idea at to how I was able to maintain that-- there are just not enough hours in the day and how did I have so much energy when I was eating so little?!

I eventually gave this up for forced vomiting. I sometimes wish I could be an overexerciser again... at least exercise is viewed as a "healthy" habit and it's a lot easier to hide behind. :(

nestor's picture
This is how it started for

This is how it started for me..then it was just i purge and overexercise...I'm basically a mess but I know what you're going through. I pretty much have an anxiety attack if I realize I wont be able to work out and I"ve eaten something that day.

just hold my hand i think that would help.

graceismyname's picture
anxiety attack!

I know all about that, too...

I hate it if I cannot run in the morning or if there are just not enough hours in the day to fit at least 2 hours of exercise in... it's ridiculous, but ye more I progress in not binging and not purging the more I exercise.
I know this is not better either, but it is really hard for me not to worry about a possible weight gain... At the same time I understand that this is what I have to let go first... my fears..


dark_blue's picture
Before I learnt how to purge

Before I learnt how to purge I used to over exercise to. At my worst I was staying home from school to ensure that my daily workouts were not interrupted. Looking back now I can't believe just how much of my teenage years have been spent obsessing over my body. I still have to workout at least 5 days a week for 1 - 2 hours to stop anxiety becoming unbearable.

With pain we can grow
Into who we want to be
And only when were beaten down
Can we find our identity

abc123's picture
I can relate. I ran as part

I can relate. I ran as part of a diet plan. I enjoyed it at first.

Now however it’s a different story I can spend hours and hours at the gym, or working out at home. I guilt trip myself to going on long runs. Running when I’m already exhausted or sore or even when I’ve openly expressed I don’t want to.

I hate it when I run; I can say openly I don’t want to do it. But I still force myself to get up and run. It’s become almost a nervous reaction, a gut reaction to eating anything. I know as well that when I run when I don’t want too or when already exhausted from other excursive, I usually run badly. With brings further guilt and shame, which in turn brings other methods of purging.

I’m all too aware of the effects this is having on me, I’m determined to get over it. But it is easier said than done.


I recently joined up too but regardless; welcome to the site. I hope you find everyone here as welcoming as i have.

jillian1987's picture
I'm the same, it's one or the

I'm the same, it's one or the other for me. I'll either binge and then go to the gym for a few hours, or i'll binge and then vomit. I feel like i'm being healthier when i exercise, but at the same time, i know it's no excuse for the binging.

It sounds so easy to just eat healthy, and exercise, and thats how it used to be, if only i could get back to it!

mei_mei's picture

I used to vomit then over exercise on the same day. Then I switched to over exercising only , at a point where I went to the gym twice a day. After a while I started vomiting again till some time ago where I reduced the b/p and exercised moderately. Today is the 3rd day of my recovery, and I feel good!

joyful gracey
joyful gracey's picture
Tricky problem

I too have this problem Overexercising is my main compensatory behavior, although I do sometimes throw up too. I have some recovery now, and I still exercise quite a bit, but not as crazily as before. Right now it's hard to know how much is 'too much' because exercise helps my mood in general, but it's so connected to the bulimia I'm sometimes not sure what's okay. I love the feeling of exercise, but I know there are times it feels like a bulimic chore. I feel it's toll on my body so I suppose I just need to listen to my body. I think it's easy to be in denial about this behavior because I can hide behind it being 'healthy,' but it's really not.

beautifully_broken57's picture
Wow! i m starting to c a pattern here!

I'v been b/p for about the last year now, i confessed it to my hubby n was doing so much better, n now my b/p's have just been spirally out of control..........i realised i was overexercising instead of b/p! i never even put the two togther, i was excerising at least 2-3 hrs a day n probs w b/p. so which is the lesser of the two evils?

That that don't kill you, only makes you stronger..........

jaseesmom's picture
I do overexercise as well.

I do overexercise as well. In addition to purging, I will exercise for hours at a time. In an effort to not absorb any calories and just burn off what I ate, I will hit the treadmill for sometimes an hour an half and then go back on the treadmill a few hours later. Since I have a treadmill at home I am constantly on it. I will also go to the gym and hit the weights as well. This is a vicious circle.

mom2twogirls's picture
I have been over

I have been over exercising/undereating alternating with binging for the past year. It started after my 2nd daughter was born and I wanted to be back to my tiny self too fast and I got obsessive. Now it's out of control. If I can't exercise 3+ hrs a day I get angry and it is interfering with my ability to parent, my interest in my friends, my husband etc... I have tried to find a therapist in my area who specializes in eating disorders and there is no one. I am hoping that maybe I can get support here. Yesterday I made a committment to healthy eating, less exercise. I'm taking it one day (one hour actually) at a time and will go from there.

wormyeyelid's picture
I often exercise till blood

I often exercise till blood comes up my throat. Then I purge through self-induced vomiting because I feel so nauseous.

Miss H
Miss H's picture
i sometimes try to run after

i sometimes try to run after a binge but it feels like my belly is moving around inside my body and i get really really bad pain that i can't carry on. I did the marathon a few years ago and it was the only time when my eating was okay, coz basically i didn't feel the guilt that i do now after eating a tiny piece of stilton and crackers...part of me wants to do the marathon again as it helped me, but i'm too depressed at the mo to motivate myself to run.

little shell
little shell's picture
yep. i've never been able to

i've never been able to make myself vomit - so i've always done the massive over-exercising bit. coupled with massive restriction during the following day(s).
i never even thought of myself as bulimic, because i don't vomit, until doing a bit more research and discovering non-purging bulimia is a real thing, too. i hate it so much - and it's come to the point where i am so uncomfortable eating in front of other people - especially at work - and regardless of portion size.

"you can call me crazy - but i think you're as crazy as white paint on the wall.."

sunnyleaves's picture
it started the same for me

i didn't really realise I had a problem- I was exercising loads and binging but just didn't connect it to a bulimic pattern of behaviour at all

then i had an injury and couldn't exercise and that's when I started to try and purge by vomiting instead - and really quickly that became a daily part of my life

i don't know what else to write except good luck and lots of love to everyone here who is trying so hard like me to find the right healthy balance again in their lives, to accept what has happened in the past and to put their energy into have a much happier future


laryssa's picture
That's exactly how it started for me too

I was training for Bloomsday (a 12k race in spokane) for about 6 days a week, when I developed really touchy IT band syndrome from overtraining. I went to a doctor, who put me on complete rest for a week and then I had to majorly cut my distance. During this time, I gained weight and felt absolutely horrible about my binges which were getting even worse, and I started vomiting.
For me, purging with exercise seemed to keep my binges further apart. However, once I started vomiting, it just went completely out of control. My binges went from a couple times a week to several times a day, and now here i am =S

-- Laryssa

jlowe's picture
I did the same on a cruise in June

Eating and hitting the gym was at least half of my day on the cruise. But after that I don't exercise any more, because purging is easier :-) & :-((((((.

Recognizing your trigger is really important. For me it's negative mood such as anxiety, boredom, and loneliness. It's a middle state between being emotionally stable and being completely depressed (crying excessively). After b/p, sometimes I manage to go back to the emotionally stable state, and sometimes fall into the completely depressed state.


Miss H
Miss H's picture
If I binge I have to purge,

If I binge I have to purge, but then if possible I'll exercise loads after too. And on a day-to-day basis I have to do some exercise. Today I didn't exercise and then I ended up feeling guilty and bingeing.

Exercise keeps me sane.

lilly84's picture
Hey there, I was exercising

Hey there, I was exercising for 4 hours everyday and purging, I was really lucky in some respects..... I broke my foot, which has slowed me down BIG TIME!! I am trying to create a healthy balance and only do 4 - 5 hours a week and rest when I need to. I found that this is such an emotional rollercoaster that sometimes all I want to do is exercise for a couple of hours but my body just wont let me do it any more. As I'm becoming more intune with my body I'm taking note when I'm sick and I stop myself from over-exerting myself. It's so hard because when I don't exercise I get really upset and angry and I struggle not to purge on the most healthy of meals, but I'm slowly getting there. I have learnt that a great thing to do is meditation, now I know it can be hard to sit there because you think sitting still is making your ass fatter by the minute but even if you sit still for a few minutes a day and try and clear your mind it can help.
I'm trying really hard not to spend every waking minute at the gym right now (especially because I'm not employed at the moment :( and I feel like I have too many hours in the day that aren't being filled with exercise) but I'm certainly working on getting there.

Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.
Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music.

gabby2904's picture

I can't make myself throw up, so after a binge I go to the gym for 2-3 hrs come back home and take laxatives, one pill nolonger works for me so I take 3. I feel depressed and sick, I cant explain the emptiness I feel. I dont know how to control my binge, i either eat nothing or everything, and when i do eat anything i get desperate thinking that im goin to get fat and then I start binging and totally lose control. I want to stop this, it makes me hate my life.

misswistful's picture
This is the same for me. I

This is the same for me. I had anorexia and at times in my life have been very thin. Now I have bulimia I must exercise everyday and I hate it now. I use laxatives and I can't throw up, never really tried. I either binge or eat nothing its a sad lonely way to live. I am a single parent and I work and between that and the time i spend exercising i have no time for anything else. I wonder where my life went. Everyday i wake up and my first thoughts are when i can run and if i will eat.

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

gabby2904's picture

I can't make myself throw up, so after a binge I go to the gym for 2-3 hrs come back home and take laxatives, one pill nolonger works for me so I take 3. I feel depressed and sick, I cant explain the emptiness I feel. I dont know how to control my binge, i either eat nothing or everything, and when i do eat anything i get desperate thinking that im goin to get fat and then I start binging and totally lose control. I want to stop this, it makes me hate my life.

bubber's picture
All in combination

Yes, I over-exercise as a means of compensating for my calorie intake during a binge ... and then some.

Or I will exercise on days I haven't binged, as a "reward". The fact that I've burned off extra calories from my day's allotment (which is a low number I adhere to strictly), makes me feel that I have a little buffer zone and I am keeping things under control.

Miss H
Miss H's picture
I can't exercise after a

I can't exercise after a binge as I get the most EXCRUTIATING stomach pains- like a stitch that won't go away. So I try and exercise regularly to make me feel better about myself. and i tell myself it is not about losing weight it's about getting good endorphins instead of bad ones- so then i feel happier and more ready to face the day

lovelyxolady's picture
Yep overexercise was how i

Yep overexercise was how i became bulimic.
pretty much my life was bingeing, over exercising, and more exercise, and more exercise. and then eventually i started puking because it gave me a high and i liked it. thats when i started to binge more, vomit, and then exercise for a couple hours before bed. even though i couldnt sleep at all.
buut yaa. now im back to the non purging part of bulimia...lame. i think :(

Join the Recovery Program & Support Community. Tell me more


A daily checklist to help you stop bingeing and stop purging

Access your Checklist HERE





The information provided in this website is for information purposes only. The information on this website is NOT a substitute for proper diagnosis, treatment or the provision of advice by an appropriate health professional. Please refer to the full disclaimer and copyright. If you do think you might suffer from an eating disorder, it is important that you talk to your General Practitioner, as there are many physical complications that can arise from being at an unhealthily low weight or from losing weight very quickly, or from purging. We advise you to seek professional help with working on an eating disorder.


Copyright © 2013. All rights reserved.