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

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Finding the balance with exercise

Hi izzy, it would be great if you could write some info about how you re- discovered a healthy exercise balance after recovery? It's still the bit I am struggling with (although I've cut out pretty much all exercise!), I'm itching to start running again but I don't want that to spiral back into obsession! Any thoughts on exercise after recovery and that balance would be great!

Beginning to exercise again after having 0, or very little activity .This can either be very hard or very easy.
  For those who didnt struggle with an exercise addiction before their ED, it can be quite easy to start exercising as you never had that compulsion while you were sick to exercise. But of course, it can just as easily turn into an exercise addiction afterwards, if you havent truly fought the voices in your head.



One of the hardest parts i think about beginning to exercise again is that you expect to have the same results. Have the same endurance, speed or even strength as before. You think that you can just go back to running 10km twifce a day everyday. But thats not how it is.
    When you begin exercising again, you need to take it slow.... begin with 1-2 days a week. And its usually best to do something new, try a new exercise. Infact i know many who when they had an ED they pushed themselves to go running everyday but now when they are healthy they've admitted that they hate running and dont do it. When you go back to doing something you did when you were sick, it can trigger thoughts and memories. So sometimes its best to try something new.
  While i was sick i did alot of walking and running everyday, and that was what i started with again when i was allowed. 30 -45 minutes walking 3 times a week was what i was allowed in the beginning. And then later i was allowed to jog/run 30 minutes 2 days a week and allowed 2 walks aswell.
  For me it was tough to start running again, because i just didnt have the endurance anymore... I could run 100m and then have to stop. But i built up my speed, endurance and strength over time.


One thing which happend to me though was that i began doing cardio a little obsessively again. Not because i wanted to burn calories, it wasnt like that. It was more that i felt i wanted to exercise.... i liked exercising, but i didnt know anything other than cardio. So i would either run (10-15km) or spend 60-80 minutes on the elliptical. It felt like i couldnt do less than an hour, because that didnt count as a workout.

And that is the wrong sort of thinking!!! Going for a 30 minute walk STILL COUNTS as exercise and a workout. You dont need to be swweating, almost puking, pushing yourself to your limits everyday, thats not healthy. And i cant imagine your body likes that, because mine sure didnt exercising like that. And it did lead to me becoming depressed again and burnt out. I began bloating loads as i was undereating, not eating enough for the exercise i was doing. My body was in starvation mode, i felt tired but at the same time hard to sleep, concentration wasnt as good, mood swings etc etc and because i was bloating my first thoughts were to eat less, exercise more? But infact, i knew what i was doing was wrong. That the amount of cardio i was doing wasnt good. So instead i did the opposite. I took and rest week and ate MORE. And i began feeling a lot better. And then i successively cut down my cardio and began doing other things like walking, gym classes, soemtimes using free weights. And then i learnt more about strength training, did that more and then i cut out cardio to about 10%.


   
What i think is important is to vary your form of exercise, not just do the same thing over and over. Because then you can 1) get bored but still push yourself to exercise even though you dont want to (which you SHOULDNT do!")
  
But also to set up goals. I think that was my problem before, i just wanted to exercise. I had running goals - run 20+km, which i did do. But otherwise, no goals. Some people think its best to not have goals, because then you begin competing and pushing yourself all the time. But i infact think it can be good to have goals, whether its just to feel happy. Or to maybe run 5km without stopping, or lift x kg etc etc
  But also set up a workout plan..... this can either be a good thing, or a bad thing. But decide that you will exercise 3 days a week for 60 minutes, and NO MORE. But of course, its most important to listen to your body!!!!!
   One of the bad things with workout plans is that you feel you have to stick to it. That even if you are really tired, you had planned to workout so you push yourself to go, but hate every minute of it. And thats wrong!!!
   You dont need to do anything. Exercise should be something you enjoy, you shouldnt force yourself to do it, and then hate every second of it.


I listen to my body and there are somedays where my body wants to exercise, but my head says no.... then i know there is no point going. Because yes, even if i could physically exercise and have no problem, if my head isnt in the game then i know that i would just feel stressed and angry, so instead its better to do something else. Relax, destress your mind!!!
  For me, theres nothing worse than having a bad workout! hahaha

Listening to your body. This really is my KEY POINT. Hahah, forget the rest. ;) No but seriously, if you dont listen to your body your likely to over exercise because you dont know your limits. You need to know that after being sick, starving yourself. Your body is working hard to recover, and exercise puts stress on your body. So you neeed to take it slow, and if you feel tired, know that its ok to not exercise. You have the rest of your life to exercise, if that is what you want. Your body knows best!!! 
   And also food, you have to remember to eat MORE!!! This is important, its better to eat more rather than less!



To find a balance, you need to take it easy in the beginning. Listen to your body. If you enjoy what you are doing, then do it. If you hate exercise, then DONT DO IT. Of course having daily exercise/activity is just good for your health, but you dont need to do an hour everyday tjust to be healthy. Vary your workouts, set up goals, be happy, be healthy and enjoy exercise. It shouldnt be a burden everytime.

4 comments:

  1. Hey hun! this post helped me alot, i think i am still in denial about my ED habits. Like i have come SUCH a long way from my over exercising days, when i wouldnt let myself go a day without doing stretches and planks in the mornings and walking everyday without fail... now i walk cos i like to get outside and it makes me feel good. Altho i do still have to fight the voices urging me to go faster, longer etc... but its better. however, my eating has suffered. im still restrictive and i still long to eat ice cream etc. But its hard cos i feel bad - i am bloating like crazy.. probably cos i eat alot at night (im less hungry and dont eat much in the day but i eat alot of biscuits, muesli, nuts etc at night) so i dont feel like trying new things even tho id like to.
    is the bloating cos i am eating too little and still walking even such a small amount? (half an hour some days) i hate it, it makes me feel bad for eating at night and doing less activity, but i know that i need to do that to heal... what to do?

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  2. Another reason to start off calm is that you might be surprised how light things like walking can actually build up the results for real! I had started with my walks of 30 minutes and when I was allowed to start jogging after a few months I was shocked - I had no problem jogging/running the whole 30 min straight through! :)

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  3. Deeeeeear Izzy i like you and your blog so much!!! XXX

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