Exercise in recovery from eating disorders is a controversial topic, especially when the person has a very low weight or when (as it often happens) has been obsessed with it as part of their illness. How can we gradually reintroduce it? Should it be reintroduced at all? This is my story about how one of the stones that used to sink me became a lifeboat.
My workout routine during anorexia
I had work out for 3 hours daily, including videos, a circuit and trotting (walking wasn’t included). If I hadn’t been able to do it during the day, I had to do it at night. If I couldn’t do it one day, I had to compensate the previous or the next one. If I couldn’t do it for several days, as in a trip, I had to compensate several days. That ended up creating in me an “accumulative” mindset: in anticipation that at some point I might not be able to work out because of x cause, I accumulated minutes and hours previously just in case. So in the end it was more time.
I felt strong and fit. But in fact I was breaking my muscles, since my body, in need of some extra energy during the workouts that it couldn’t get from food, was forced to take it from there. No matter how bad I felt, I had to do the planned exercises and the ones from the videos exactly right. In addition, my heart, smaller than normal, was forced to bear an increased pulse rate that supposed an excessive effort for it. I risked my life at every workout session. But I didn’t care because it was my mortification.