Life without Anorexia

My motto is
'Dont let the sadness of your past & the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present'

My life at the moment is completely different to how it once was. I spent 5 years sick with anorexia nervosia and depression as well as struggling with self harm and overexercising. I spent 2 years in different treatment centres.
And since 2012 i have been declared healthy from my eating disorder.

I have been blogging for 7 years, and my whole journey is written in my posts. I now represent healthy and happiness. I want to show anyone struggling that it is possible to recover, no matter how hard it may seem.

I now blog about recovery, my life, veganism and positivity!

If you have any questions leave them in the comment section as i am much quicker at answering there, otherwise you can always send an email: lifewithoutanorexia@hotmail.com

Translate

Friday, December 13, 2013

How i stopped over exercising (Repost)

Ive been asked by a few people, several times if i could write how i stopped over exercising, as that is something which is quite common when you have anorexia.....
   For me, it became one of my big problems and was very hard to get rid, as i felt the need to compensate for eating, and could never relax.

Im not so sure that i can give a fully concrete answer, how or why i stopped over exercising, got over my problem... 
  Im not even sure i can give tips how either.... Its pretty much the same as starting to eat again. You just have to not exercise. Not go for that walk, not do those sit ups, not go out running or whatever it is... just the same as eating.. but instead you have to eat. You have to stand out with the anxiety... face the anxiety head on. Not shy away.


  Because there will be anxiety. But the anxiety wont kill, if you dont let it kill you.


  An over exercising problem is dangerous... just as dangerous as not eating. 
There is a new 'diagnos' - but not a new thing - called anorexia-athletica, which is basically the diagnos of being an overexerciser, where exercise controls your life... 
  And then there is of course, the overexercising due to anorexia and compensation.
  If you over exercise and dont eat enough, your body isnt getting enough energy, enough vitamins or nturients.. you are wearing out your body... your organs. And it can happen that your heart will collapse... there is only a certain limit that your body can take... only a certain amount of abuse and pushing.
   And of course, HAVING to exercise... forcing yourself out in the rain and cold to do you Xkm run isnt fun. When exercise steers you life.. when you miss things because they interfere with your exercise routines... if you arent already secluded and isloated enough because of you eating disorder... then having an exercise problem pretty much isolates you completly. Between your problems you dont have time for anything else....
  
But onto how i recovered from my exercise addiction/problem.
  Trying to stop exercising, cut down on the amount of hours i spent doing some form of exercise was hard.... i guess it started when i was admitted to Mando, for my last time (in April 2011). I had been admitted 3 times previously & also been an inpatient in the pschiatric ward with 24/7 bedrest for 2 months, but whenever i got the chance i would exercise... so my exercise problem just got worse.
  But then in April, also when i decided to actually recover from anorexia. I was on complete lock down. I was put in a wheelchair 1) because i was so underweight, and my heart could stop & 2) because they wanted me to do absaloute 0 activity. Of course, i tried anyway.. getting up, walking around, doing one thing or another... but the staff had complete control over that. I was pretty much put on 24/7 watch... which you already had when you were an inpatient... but that i pretty much had a staff sitting beside me all the time.
  And then i had to have an acitivty monitor on pretty much all the time.. but i didnt care about the results. They always showed too much activity, because in some way or another i was moving and sneaking in some type of exercise.
   I was told by my case manager that i wasnt allowed home until my exercise was cut down to zero... of course, i was all like.. but im sitting 24/7... i dont have any exercise. Which at that point i didnt... 
   My first few permissions home, i had an acitivity monitor on, and had to have a wheel chair. So that there would be the bare minimum of exercise involved. Of course, the voice in my head was screaming... telling me that there was my chance... i could exercise. But i didnt.
   I was with my mum, the whole 4 hours or so that i was at home. 

Friends and family are your EDs worst enemy. Trust me. They wont let you stand, they'll tell you to slow down when you suddenly want to start power walking. They'll find it weird if you just sit with a black coffee and everyone else is eating cake, or you keep saying you've already eaten for lunch.. or when you are continuously working out? 
  When your with friends and family.. you try to act normal. 'normal/healthy people' dont understand how someone wtih an ED is so scared to eat, or the desire to exercise continuously.

 Ok... im rambling and going onto complete different things...
   Basically, i was saved from my exercise problem by being admitted. It was so hard to not exercise while i was at home, but my mum didnt let me out of her sight... i wasnt even allowed my own door to my room, as i was someone who would lock myself in my room and self harm, exercise and never leave. 
   I once locked myself in our bathroom and stayed there all night, basically more then 12 hours i stayed in the bathroom refusing to come out, until my mum threatened to call the police... (Now, i can laugh at that... i.e, the police getting a call from my mum telling them that her daughter had locked herself in the bathroom and was refusing to come out... Of course, its not a laughing matter...)
   After that i wasnt allowed locked doors... 

Like any problem, you have to face it head on.... its not going to kill you if you dont exercise. 
   And you have to think like this... if you want to recover... and need to gain weight.. is exercising going to help? Basically, all that you're eating, wont make a difference if youre just going to burn it off? I remember when i started thinking like that... but Ana had something to say to that aswell....
   It felt like something bad would happen if i didnt exercise... i knew i had to gain weight... but it was like i felt better if i exercised... which doesnt help. When gaining weight ad recovering, it is better to stop with exercise completely.... it doesnt help to go for an hours walk everyday just to try to ease your anxiety. Because then you are not facing the anxiety, you are compromising. Cutting down on exercise, but still exercising.

  Nothing bad will happen to you if you dont exercise... instead good thigns are happeneing, because you are resting. You are allowing your muscles and organs to rest, to not constantly be stressed by exercise. And you are allowing yourself to gain wieght which your body and organs so desperatly need. Giving your body the energy and nourishment it needs.

It takes time to recover from.. it wont just happen over a day... each day you have to just... relax. Of course, doing normal things like walking to the bus, going shopping, standing and doing the dishes or whatever is fine... i mean, if you are at home it is just natural to have some sort of activity in your life...
 When you are healthy and have gained weight, when exercise no longer controls your life then you can begin exercise - normall again. Because yes, i am someone who believes that everyone should do some form of exercise everyday, whether its 10 minuts of stretching, yoga, swimming, running or just a walk with a friend or your dog... i believe its just healthy . But its when exercise controls your life, where you get anxious if you dont exercise, or if you feel like you'll die if you miss a workout or you cant eat if you dont exercise... if you feel like that, then its a problem .Then its an addiction.
   
I was on complete 0 activity for several months, and then i started with a 20 minute walk with my dog, and my mum had strict control.  But then when she realised i wasnt abusing my freedom, she started to realx a bit more. And i started to develop a healthy balance of activity and relaxation.
  Relaxing was my hardest problem... i am very restless, and can find it hard to just sit still and watch tv or do work... i always have to do something else or jump up and like get a glass of water and then go sit down again...
  but ive gotten a lot better... i.e im normal now. I can just sit and relax and watch a 2 hour film, but i do have to like scroll through tumblr or draw or something... but i dont have to jump up and walk around like i did before!!! :)
   
In time, i started swimming, and then i did a bit of dancing and then i  started running again, which was a huge thing as that was something i had abused while i was sick... but i didnt run to burn calories.. which is very important. You should find the exercise you enjoy, that you do it because you like doing...  because you find enjoyment... there is no point pushing yourself to  do an activity you dont like, especially not if you dont need to lose weight.....


Dont just exercise because everyone else is, of because you feel you need to... exercise because you enjoy it. Try different forms of exercise. I mean i have tested so many diffferent forms and i love, Running, walking, dancing, strength training (especailly circuit training & heavy lifting!), kick boxing, swimming, rock climbing, hiking etc  THe only thing which i dont really like is cycling haha!

Exercise should be fun... even if at times its tough, i mean trying to reach a personal best or a new record isnt always easy. But remember that every workout doesnt have to be your best, you dont have to reach a PB every workout. Just enjoy your workouts.
   And remeber to  REST & EAT MORE! That is sooo important!!! Listen to your body. If you are tired, too stressed, dont have any motivation... then rest. Dont force yourself.

If anyone has actually read this far... Congratulations... if you havent ... no problem... what im going to say next basically sums up all that ive written... which seems to be a hell of alot...!! XD
Friend and family are the most important part of your recovery. Make sure to schedule in coffee dates, or go shopping, or just sit and watch a film or go for lunch... things that interfere with your 'regular' exercise times. You want to break your routines and habits, start new healthy ones...
   Keep yourself busy. Keep your mind and thoughts busy, thinking about other things.
   And then of course... face the anxiety head on... dont be scared. Do the opposite of what the 'voice' tells you to do. Plan spa days, lazy days. Film marathons... and dont feel guilty for not doing anything.
  I mean, how much fun is it really to be killing yourself (literally) at the gym? spending hours doing things you dont want to do? now you have the chance to read hte book you never got the chance to do, to watch films or series. 
 And when you go for walks, dont push yourself forward, power walk to exericse... but actually look where you are going. Take in the scenery. Stop and take photos if there is something you see which looks pretty or whatever.... that its ok to walk without power walking... which was something that i had hard to accept. For me, i didnt understand strolling... it was powerwalk or running, nothing less... but now i can actually stroll with my dog!! haha XD

If there is anything just comment or mail me!

I understand that this post is very messy and very badly written, and i apologize... there just came so much out at the same time... but at the same time.. there was nothing important to say?
 i hoope youve gotten some good information or tips though :)



Now i love exercise!!! And it is not a compulsion... i dont do it to burn calories or to compensate. I do it because i love it!!! It makes me happy, it makes me feel good, physically and mentally! I vary my workouts alot... from running, to powerwalking, to circuits, to Bodypump, to outside training to Bodycombat to kick boxing etc etc :)
   I am happy and healthy and so glad that i got over my exercise addiction!












7 comments:

  1. I had to stop exercising. but, unlike you, I didn't have any IP to force me to do it (gotta love insurance….). I had to chose it for myself (although my OP team had been asking me to stop for YEARS- they couldn't do anything if I did it at home).

    The only reason I ever stopped was because I finally hurt myself bad enough that I have had to give up most of my favorite sports. I'm so sad that it took so long for me to get the wake up call and gave me what is mostly likely a permanent injury, but FINALLY I did.

    I made other plans. I talked with my friends about other activities- I wasn't one for just sitting and talking at coffee (sometimes, sure, I enjoy that, but if that was what I did in place of exercising, it wasn't going to be enough). So, I've learned some new activities that I have done with friends and by myself. I learned to paint and crochet- two activities I would have NEVER done before because they were too sedentary.I've started enjoying watching TV and just sitting on the ground with my dogs.

    There are so many things out there besides exercise to do! I am starting to get back into exercise but am keeping it restricted right now and making sure I have time for my new activities!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Its great that you overcame your exercise addiction, and its horrible that you ended up with an injury. I can say that I have gotten back, hip and knee pains from when I was sick. Which can flare up and means that sometimes I cant run.... but I gues you learn from your mistakes.
      Its great that you've learnt to do other things instead of exercising. .. its important wuth family and friends and other activities, whether you exercise regularly or not!!

      Well done on your progress! !! I am sure your text has inspired others to know that they can also beat their exercise addiction!

      Delete
  2. you're sooo skinny! are you really at a health weight?? do you know approximately what your weight is?? I've been in recovery for a while but i still don't have my period....so i have to gain more :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I am at a healthy weight. .. infact I weigh more than my goal weight. I dont care about my BMI or my weighy. But I know that they're both at a healthy level.
      If you havent got your period back, then your body isnt at a healthy stage. Dont try to control your weight, let your body take care of thatm it takes a while for it to comr back, but it should in time. Dont worry about the scale or the number.

      Delete
  3. Izzy's not super skinny--she's muscular. From the pics of her when she was sick, to now, being healthy, this is a great improvement. Proud of you for beating your exercise addiction Izzy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much!! That really does mean alot!

      Delete
  4. This is just what I needed to read!! I used to get up at 545 am every morning to run but now im too lazy but i still do HIIT training at least 45 mins every morning... If I dont I feel so restless and agitated... But like you said I will face my anxiety and try my best!! Thank you so much xxx I love reading your blog

    ReplyDelete