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:


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

My exercise addiction - answer

How long did your period of exercise addiction last for and how did you overcome it? What made you realise you were addicted and has it had an effect on how you exercise now?

My exercise addiction lasted pretty much all of my years with an eating disorder however it was easily masked as just being "healthy" and because of my cystic fibrosis , though it got worse over the years, just like my eating i guess. 

My exercise addiction started with me just wanting to be more active... i started telling my mum to drop me off half way frmo home so i could walk the rest of the way home, and then i began doing extra runs as well. And then when i was home from school due to illness i would sit on the stationary bike, run up and down the stairs and jump on the trampoline pretty much all the time... just to compensate for what i did eat. But all the time i didnt think it was a problem, just like i didnt think that me not eating or me purging was a problem. However as the years passed i felt more compelled to do exercise and i couldnt sit without anxiety, i always tried to stand and move if i could, and it got to the point where i would get up in the middle of the night to exercise and no matter how tired i was i wouldnt sit. Which then caused me to stand in weird positions - to hide from the staff while i was an inpatient, i.e i would stand in cupboards and such to avoid being seen (yes, that is just as absurd as it sounds), and has lead to me having lower back and hip pains (as well as hip pain being something genetic). I never really wanted to acknowledge it was a problem, just like with my eating behaviours but deep inside i knew my exercise was a problem. I couldnt sit down, i wouldnt let myself rest, i couldnt go to the cinema anymore because that meant sitting and i wouldnt travel anywhere if it meant sitting for longer than 15 minutes.. not only was what i would have to eat a factor to me making decisions, but whether i could exercise or not was a factor of me saying yes or no to things.

While i was at Mando i was constantly attached to an exercise monitor which would track all my movement for 72 hours, though i would just take the monitor off as i knew i was fidgeting and moving all the time when i was supposed to just sit or lie still.

During my recovery it got to a stage where eating was easier than not exercising... i said to myself that as long as i can exercise i can eat, and if i couldnt exercise i wouldnt eat. Exercising during my illness wasnt an enjoyment, it was a compulsion and something i forced myself to do but i hated... i hated standing all the time, my muscles and body was tired. I hated the walks and runs i forced myself to do when i was at home for permissions, but still i did them, and then when i was a day patient i struggled with not exercising even more.

For me to overcome my exercise addiction it was about 1) learning that resting and sitting down and eating all my food was ok. It wouldnt harm me or make me fat, i could still eat and not exercise. The second step was to find distractions for when i wanted to exercise. Sit with my mum, read, draw, write, watch youtube, anything to not exercise.But i went to bed with restless legs, anxiety at full and so much guilty i just wanted to scratch my skin off. But i kept myself together and told myself it would get easier, and it did. Overtime it got easier to be ok with not exercising. The hard thing though is that exercise does have to be part of my lifestyle for the sake of my health/cf health. So i always needed some form of exercise though not while  i was an inpatient. 

Another thing which helped with my exercise addiction 80% was actually to begin swimming, because then i felt like if i spent 1 hour exercise the other 23 hours i didnt have to always be active... it was like a compromise. And then over time to fully beat  my exercise addiction i had to learn that it was ok to just do 30 minutes swimming instead of 60 minutes, or it was ok to not go out and run if i really didnt want to. Progress and listening to my body.  It was a long journey to find balance with exercise and learning to listen to my body.

How has my past of an exercise addiction affected my relationship with exercise now? I am more in tune with my body, and i know i dont always have to push myself. I know i can take a week off if i want to without having a reason, but i also know that if i have the energy and motivation i can workout 10 days in a row and it is ok. I have learnt that food helps to fuel workouts, and i dont need to exercise to earn food. Also my past of an exercise addiction makes me aware of whether i enjoy the workouts i do and that exercise should always be an enjoyment not something i force myself to do. Working out is a choice i should make for enjoyment not just to change my appearance or because i think i have to, and it should definitely not be done just because i think i ate too much. I would say that i have a bit of a healthier relationship with food and exercise compared to others who have never had an eating disorder, as many exercise because they feel forced to but hate it, and others exercise just so that they can eat.

Struggling with an exercise addiction was awful, not only was i mentally tired from not eating, but also physically tired from wearing out my body with exercise. 

I am so happy that i have overcome that part of my life and that now exercise can be done for enjoyment and my health and not for compensation reasons!!


  1. Wow - that was a lot to get through and cope with on your own. It is so good that you became aware of the problem eventually and was able to beat it. I can understand how having been through that has affected your attitude nowadays towards exercise and that now you do it because you genuinely enjoy it. So many people, like you say, treat exercise as a chore and something they have to do.
    I think what you did was a huge achievement and you should rightly be proud of yourself. Thankyou for your answer :)