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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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The important of rest and my exercise addiction.



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I got asked quite a few questions about exercise and as i have not studied exercise so much i will wait to answer those. Either ill do my own research or you will just have to wait 1-2 years until i study courses about exercise and exercise nutrition, hahaha.... or maybe ask someone who is more qualified in the area of exercise... and im more qualified in the nutrition area :)

I got asked about the importance of rest and why it is needed.

And i can say, rest is very important! But of course it is a balance and that balance is different for everyone but also in different stages of life. There is alot of news about how "sitting is the new cancer" and its rather terrifying. Sitting is made out to be the worst thing out there and it scares the people who are already active.... the people who already workout or who already live active lifestyles, its most often those who end up doing even more exercise whereas the people who sit all day and barely get any steps in, its those that dont care about the information. And this is a problem.... because if you are already active, then you dont necessarily need to add in more especially not if the added exercise takes away from other things in your life such as you stop meeting friends or family or dont focus as much on your work or school work because you are just trying to get all your steps in or adding in workouts and suddenly exercise is taking over your life.

Sitting isnt bad... however for those that sit 24/7 pretty much all their life then yes, there is a recommendation for them to try to get 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week atleast, and that can be just 30 minutes of walking 5 times a week to get the health benefits of exercise.
Yes.. that little is enough.

And now you may be thinking about your own 2-3 hours of exercise you do a day and worry that you are doing too little... no you arent. 30-60 minutes 4-5 times a week is enough!! And then of course the recommendation that you try to be active in other ways during the day as well, such as if the store is 10 minutes away... walk to it and not drive like some people do.

Of course PLEASE REMEMBER that this advice is aimed at HEALTHY/not so active people. If you are in recovery and need to gain weight or if you strugle with an exercise addiction then this information DOES NOT APPLY TO YOU. Or not in your current situation. When i was in recovery and had to gain weight as well as struggling with exercise addiction i needed to sit 24/7. It was MUCH  easier for me to be active all the time... to always exercise and be moving rather than to sit down. Myexercise addiction went so far that i would only sit for roughly 30-60 minutes a day... i'd set my alarm at 5 or 6am and then be standing or moving in someway until i would quite honestly collapse into bed at 10pm. I would stand in corners to hide from my parents or hide from the staff at hospital.. i would do crunches and jumping jacks and out walking and running and always doing things... and no matter how tired i was i could not sit down because i was so terrified of resting. IT TOOK OVER MY LIFE. I could not go to the cinema, i could not sit on the train, i panicked if we had more than a 20 minute drive anywhere, i could not travel.... In Ireland before i was diagnosed with my eating disorder i would sit on our indoor bicycle for hours and would do crunches on the pilates ball and run up and down the stairs until i would collapse on the floor crying because i was so tired but still knew i would get up and do the exact same thing the next day. I dont know how many arguements i had with my family because i would stand everywhere and would lock myself in the bathroom for hours just so that i could stand there and/or exercise.  It was absaloutly awful and exercise took over my life, and when i was at Mando i had to be in a wheel chair both because of my low weight but also because the staff wanted me to be still... i wasnt even allowed to go to my room that was 200m from the "common room", and i had an activity monitor on me weekly as the staff knew i exercised but i did it in secret when i couldnt be seen. But somehow each time the activity monitor would stop working or would break......

When you struggle with an exercise addiction then you NEED to rest. Forget the headlines about importance of exercise because the most important thing for you in this stage of your life is to rest and to find balance.

I can say that recovering from an exercise addiction was terrible.. so many fears that i would balloon up, so many fears about sitting and resting and being still. But by being forced to rest i had no other option but to face that fear. However when i was allowed to exercise again i did fall back into doing too much exercise but eventually over time i learnt to find my balance, but i will link to posts about exercise addiction below where you can read my story and how i got better.

Exercise breaks down the body... exercise is a stressor for the body and you need to sleep and nourishing food to combine that (not to mention antioxidants from food helps!).
THe more exercise you do, the more you break down your body. Some people recover better and can exercise more, not to mention maybe they have more time to exercise and others dont recover as well and cant do as much exercise.
Its also about lifestyle and what you have time and enery for. For example if you have a very active job or are very busy in school or work then maybe trying to get to the gym 5-6 times a week just tires you out and stresses you out far too much so then maybe just doing 30 minutes of walking after work or school is enough and is the perfect balance whereas maybe someone has alot of freetime and/or works at a gym and then can do 2 workouts a day and be perfectly healthy and fine. 
Its different for everyone, that is why you shouldnt compare the amount of exercise someone else does because how much varies from person to person and lifestyle.

And dont forget that nutrition is key.... even on the days you dont workout you need to eat. Generally on days you workout/exercise you need more food but just because you dont workout one day doesnt mean that need to cut back alot, you can still eat the same amount.


When it comes to exercise and the headlines about sitting is the worst you have to remember who the headline is aimed at. If you are already active then you dont need to worry.

The problem in todays society is that there is unfortunatly an epidemic of obesity and far too many people are inactive and alot of illnesses are arising because of peoples lifestyles and what they eat as well as too little activity. However for those people they need a whole lifestyle change and its not just sitting that is the worst but its about their whole lifestyle and the food they eat. The advice for someone who sits all day everyday, does absaloutly no movement, eats junk food or far too much processed food each day as well as maybe smokes and/or drinks alot of alcohol, that is NOT the same advice to someone who is maybe already aware of what they eat and lives a regular lifestyle with normal exercise. 

According to the articles ive read about exercise its actually far better to do a little movement every hour or so than to just do 60 minutes at the gym and then nothing else for the next 23 hours. That is out of health benefits i.e so for people who are very inactive its better recommended that they try to do some activity every 1-2 hours throughout the day than to try to fit in 60 minutes at the gym and then do nothing else for the rest of the day.

There is alot i could write about this and this topic is rather debated. But i would say... just be aware of what advice is aimed at you. I.e are you already active then you most likely dont need more exercise in your day. If you do absaloutly nothing then maybe aim to add in 3 x 30 minutes walks a week. Are you struggling with exercise addiction or need to gain weight, then dont panic about resting all the time that is the BEST AND HEALTHIEST thing for your body right now and later on in life you can exercise.
There is a split in society where some people are so inactive it leads to health problems and then there is the other side where some people are so active it also leads to health problems. And then there are people inbetween those two extremes. Some would say that overexercising isnt a problem and that all exercise is good, however i know from experience that that isnt true. Too much exercise isnt good and that exercise can take over your life not to mention that my exercise addiction has left me with injuries due from the wrong form and never allowing myself to rest.

Also dont forget that our society is sort of built up on being as inactive as possible... people want comfort and things to be close and to not have to move. So in a way society also has to blame for peoples inactivity... but once again, its the people who are already aware and active who choose to take the stairs and to walk and to move more, whereas the people who need that exercise activity are the ones who dont take the stairs or walk or move.

Anyway, i could write alot about this but i will end the post here and instead link back to old posts about my exercise addiction and advice about exercise and why resting is important!!



As you can see, i have written alot of posts about this topic and i think its important to talk about!

Of course just like i want to help people to rest and find balance with exercise i also want to help those who hate exercise to begin to like it and do some form of exercise!

5 comments:

  1. Thank you for writing this post :) It's really helpful.
    Exercise addiction is so horrible like you say, I'm so glad that I'm over that horrible phase where I would panic about just sitting down in the car or sitting down when socialising.
    It can be hard to find the right balance, but I think I'm getting there now and just trying to relax and realise that actually I'm active enough and healthy enough and that is enough.

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  2. Omg thanks for writing about this today :) I was trying to research and find assertion about my exercise addiction because its really causing me so much trouble :( I'm recovering from anorexia but i find that this "you dont need to work out to eat" is really hard but thanks!!

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  3. I think that rest is very important when it comes to exercises, not only considering your health, but also your performance on the whole. I realised, that if I do HIT five days in the row for at least 45-60 minutes, than on the six day I am not able to keep up the pace...and it makes little sense to push yourself for another 60 minutes. So it is better to have variety in your exercise routine, even have some days when walking to the supermarket for 10 minutes is the only activity.
    I have a question, today I was not very tired (or I at least I thought so, maybe having a workout at 6.30 am before uni is not alsways the best idea, even If I feel great afterwards) but after 20 Minutes I have such a strong feeling of wanting to throw up. So instead I did some light streching for 10 Minutes and made breakfast afterwards? Have someone experienced something like this? I normally workout in the morning, so it is new to me to feel nauseous during a workout.

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  4. I also had strong exercise addiction, and it was horrible, while others were sitting comfortably before the7. lesson at school if i was not standing, I would just run up and down the stairs or hop around or something, when in reality all I wanted was to be still. Now I can handle it much easier, when socialising its not a great problem to sit, but Im still a bit afraid of long journeys and going to the cinema. But at least I dont feel like crying during the lessons at school because of feeling lazy, fat, etc...

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  5. I used to find it very hard to be still and just relax, even before my ED. I have always been the type of person that was "always on the go" - if my family were sat watching a film after a short while I would be up and busying myself in the kitchen doing cleaning or whatever. I think boredom played a huge part too, I just got so bored sitting around and felt I had to be "doing something"
    Its got better over time - I discovered I really enjoyed doing cross stitch so that meant I had to sit down to do it. And now with my ED and having to have bedrest everyday sitting still has sort of been enforced, that and the fact that I am so tired these days has made it easier.
    I`m not so sure my inability to stay still was borne out of exercise addiction though, more like my inability to relax and also a degree of boredom. But it wasn't pleasant while that was happening nonetheless. Its horrid feeling you have this constant internal motor running when all you really want is for it to stop.

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