“Restriction is still restriction whether it is food, fluid, life, relationships. The [eating disorder] is still at work getting what it wants, protecting in its way the need to deal with life and feelings.” – Surviving Anorexia
I’ve been in recovery for 18 months now. Lots of things have changed since I started this journey – I haven’t had a day where I’ve starved myself since 3rd January, 2011. Yet, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Terrifyingly, I’m almost back to my heaviest weight. This is causing no end of panic to my ED self AND my healthy self. I wasn’t healthy at that weight. I’m NOT healthy at this weight. It’s not about being as thin as I can be (really, I want to promise you it’s not) but I know I need to lose some of this weight if for nothing else than my own self confidence, be cause my weight is something I hide behind to stop me from even trying , it’s a wall I’ve put up to protect myself. I want to feel fit again, to feel able the do the things I use to do! Of course, there is the ED self telling me that I’m worthless, stupid, unlovable at this weight…which is not hard to challenge, but challenging I am! I know the number on the scales does not define my worth.
There is this extra “voice” though, and I’m not sure if it’s coming from my healthy self as a warning, or my ED self to stop me from giving it a go (Do you know how ridiculous you’ll look exercising?).This voice is saying any routine exercise – dance class, gym, swimming – is going to turn into a compulsion that I can’t escape from.
So what do I do? The science says everyone needs to exercise in order to be healthy, fit, strong and I’m tired of being afraid of my own body, of my own mind. I really do want just to be healthy, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to say “enough is enough”.
If you have an ED, what are your thoughts on exercise? If you don’t have an ED, what kind of low impact exercise can you possibly recommend for an unfit girl like me? How much is too much?