Q: I am getting over an eating disorder and focusing on my body rather than the food. What is exercise bulimia and how can I avoid falling into another addiction?
I am so happy to hear you are now focusing on your body rather than food to gain a healthy lifestyle. Today's society puts a lot of pressure on us to stay thin and can at times drive us in unhealthy directions to achieve our goals. It is possible to get the same results by eating a healthy, balanced and nutritious diet with moderate exercise.
You raise a good question regarding exercise bulimia. This is when a person is compelled to exercise in an effort aimed at burning the calories of food energy and fat reserves to an excessive level that negatively affects their health. If you find you are missing work, parties or other appointments in order to work out, working out with an injury or while sick or becoming unusually depressed if unable to exercise, you could be developing some issues. Other symptoms to look out for are: working out for hours at a time each day, not taking any rest or recovery days, striving to achieve and master ever more difficult challenges or forgetting that physical activity can be fun. A multitude of problems can arise including injuries, fatigue, dehydration, osteoporosis, arthritis and reproductive and heart problems. If you feel you, or anybody close to you are developing exercise bulimia, please consult your doctor or counselor right away. A healthy mind and body can be achieved through proper nutrition and adequate exercise. Good luck!