Eating Disorder Recovery Exercise / Compulsive Movement

Lower Level Movement

A Post Originally Written For Instagram Towards The Start Of My Recovery:

I want to start talking a bit more about some of the other eating disorder symptoms, aside from the food related ones, that often get overlooked – all that weird stuff those of us with an eating disorder often do without realising for a long time that it is illness related.

Sitting in the garden earlier today, I was facing the fear of consuming even more calories as I sipped my creamy milkshake…. At the same time as the fear of the milkshake was present, there was also the ever present discomfort and anxiety at the fact I was also sitting down and spending much more time keeping myself sedentary.

At that moment if I was honest, I would say that the anxiety and angst at the fact I was sitting was greater than the fear of the extra intake.

As I am eating more over the past weeks, the compulsion to move more, through walking, keeping ‘busy’, pacing, even just standing instead of sitting also grows much much stronger.

In the past, through treatment attempts, my eating improved and the weight increased but the movement compulsions were never even touched on and it was these that kept the illness very strong and pulled me right back.

Learning from experience, I know unless I address EVERY eating disorder compulsion, ritual, routine, restriction and behaviour and do it together, I will never be illness free. ….
PLUS, it is often the movement issues and behaviours that can leave us so disabled by this illness. 

The lower level movement compulsions can be as big a reason for not being able to socialise with an eating disorder as the food fears are. ..
Being able to spontaneously do things like go to the cinema or the theatre (which I love) has been impossible with this illness due to fear of sitting for long periods and that is not a future I want!

Therefore, now – alongside eating much more I am finding ways to cold turkey not just the obvious exercise but all the lower level movement compulsions that to an outsider seem harmless but to me are crippling.

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