Living in a society that puts exercise and body shape on a pedestal, it is easy for exercise to become compulsive. This is especially true in the eating disorder world. A large percentage of individuals with eating disorders have exercise compulsion as well.
We often equate exercise with going to gyms to get on a machine for what seems like forever. Or walking around the weights trying to figure out what to do and avoid looking like you don’t know what you are doing.
Gyms can often be very triggering for those who have suffered or are suffering with an eating disorder. So how can we keep the benefits of exercise without it becoming triggering or compulsive? Engage in movement!
What is exercise?
- Burning a certain number of calories
- A way to manipulate your body size or shape
- Earning food or erasing calories consumed
- Doing it even if you do not want to
What is movement?
- Moving because it feels good
- Stress relieving
- Having fun
- Can be anywhere or anytime
- Because you WANT TO
These lists could continue, but hopefully you can grasp the picture. So now, I encourage you to make your own list of exercise versus movement. Which are you engaging in more?