When is the right time to start exercising again?

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hilkaye6's picture
When is the right time to start exercising again?

I was on an NCAA Rowing team for 9 months before I ended my 150 days of being BP free. Because I couldn't seem to get a handle on my bulimia, I quit the team to take the huge load it was off of my shoulders. I started to do better in school, I was able to work more, and I was able to work out when I wanted not when a coach wanted me to. More importantly, I could finally take naps again! Anyway, despite having time for myself again, my bulimia worsened. It's so much worse than it has ever been (BPing between 1-4 times a day as opposed to 1-4 times a week), and I've been bulimic for 3 years now, minus that 150 day stint. I mostly feel the need to BP on days that I don't have time to exercise, which are more frequent now because I work nearly every day. However, I've also been advised not to worry about the exercise until I get my eating habits back to normal and quit the purging. Does anyone have any advice as to when it is a good time to start exercising again? I would love to start running again and getting back to the gym as soon as possible, but if it's more wise to tackle one obstacle at a time, then I'd be willing to do that as well. Just wanted some feedback, thanks!

adrienne's picture
i wonder the same thing

i haven't consistently exercised in over two years. seems like everytime i start, i get obsessive. i finally went back to the gym today and am just focusing on fitness. i hope that i truely can find that balance so that it isn't about the eating disorder.
i hope you can figure this out too. maybe others will have some good advice for us both.
good luck on your recovery!!

nikkiw7684's picture
Good question

I too have been trying to figure this out. I have been bulimic for about a year and a half and also exercised compulsively the whole time. I am currently in recovery and seeing a therapist along with a coach who also suffered from an eating disorder and every time I ask if and when I can start exercising again so i don't feel so lazy (and truthfully I am freaking out over the weight I have gained since I've been in recovery.. not a ton but enough to make me go crazy) Anyways they both say the same thing every time, as soon as I can do it simply because I want to. Which translates into when I don't feel like I have to do it to lose weight. They tell me to not focus on doing it for weight loss but rather as in a stress reliever or basic health reasons. I have figured out this is a lot harder to do than I thought it would be because there is a fine line between 'healthy' and unhealthy for people with ED. I still have yet to establish the line where I can just go for a walk outside without it leading to another two hours of exercise. For now I try to exercise lightly a few times a week just because it feels nice to be outside, and when that little voice comes in and says I need to keep going and going to burn more calories I stop right away... not after another mile but right then and there! Hope this makes sense and helps a little!


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spunkie's picture
a strong vote in favor of exercise:

I am on my 7th day of not bingeing or purging (a hard habit to break, especially since i have been b/p-ing 2-5 times a day until last week). Exercise really really really helps me. I don't think I would have had the confidence to stop b/p-ing without the overall benefits exercise has afforded me. Not obsessive body-image focused exercise, but the kind of exercise that makes me feel like i'm really learning how to use my body. Exercise gives me confidence and pride in the things my body can do and can learn to do. That has been so valuable in helping me reset the way I relate to my own body. My body is NOT an object on display for others. My body is a tool to be used by ME. I enrolled in a boxing class (awesome stress relief). I am also doing exercises to improve my balance, coordination, and agility. I have also started to do some yoga. Body image focused exercise is deadly. Body function focused exercise is extraordinarily rewarding. The key is to do things that are fun and make you feel good about your body. With the right kind of exercise, I am finally learning to live in my own body.

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