Something that I have found particularly difficult with anorexia is exercise. I have battled with exercise addiction in the past, at one point I’d spend nearly the whole day exercising in one way or another. My parents bought a cross-trainer and it became an addiction instantly.
There have been plenty of times where I have used exercise purely to burn calories and I still do from time to time but now I mostly have a good relationship with exercise. I dance for enjoyment, to socialise and to gain confidence rather than specifically to burn calories. I am a keen dancer and dance with a team that compete and this is great for my mental health. Sometimes it is the only thing I do outside my house but my mental health team aren’t always happy with me dancing.
I find ‘exercise ban’ quite difficult, I totally understand it at dangerously low weights but I almost wish that there was a balance at safer weights because the positive impact dance has on my mental health far outweighs my mental health team’s concerns of burning calories.
Getting the balance right is definitely something I still struggle with and I’m sure many people do. I think exercise is great for mental health but it’s being able to do it in a safe and non-obsessive way that doesn’t feed into the eating disorder.
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