Blog Reader Question: Should I Exercise?

Today as I was trying to clean out my cluttered email, I found that a reader of mine emailed me with a question. Here is what she said:

“I recently found out i have an eating disorder and my doctor told me i have to stop all my ‘extra exercising’ and pilates. So that has been hard but luckily i didn’t have to stop dancing or squash. So my question is how do you still do your exercising? Don’t you have to stop it while recovering?” ~Shelly

Dear Shelly,

A lot of people entering ED recovery are very concerned when medical professionals advise them to throw their exercise routines out the window. I know that when I was put in the hospital and instructed to pretty much sit on my behind all day, I became incredibly anxious and my body image worsened considerably. But now that I look back at that dark and scary time in my life, I realize that the doctors were just trying to save me from being murdered by my eating disorder.

You see, when you have an eating disorder you do not exercise for the health benefits – you exercise so you can morph your body into a sickly skeleton.  Doctors realize that people suffering from eating disorders have this view on exercise, and one of the reasons they forbid exercise is so that you don’t get stuck in this dangerous mindset. Doctors also are fully aware that the bodies of eating disorder patients are severely damaged due to weeks,  months, or even years of undernourishment.  They know that if they allow patients to engaged in any physically activity, they are putting the patient’s body in harm’s way.

Shelly, I know this is hard to hear and I know that your heart may be racing now due to the anxiety. Believe me though, once you stop exercising and work towards recovery, you will slowly begin to feel much better. Life without Ed is something that is wonderful. Not being bound by eating disorder thoughts allows one to accomplish all their hopes and dreams in life. Please stay strong Shelly and remember that you can email me anytime when you feel like you need help.

Thank you for contacting me and I know you can win this battle!

Claire

 

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