Eating Disorder Recovery Exercise / Compulsive Movement Rewiring / Neuroplasticity

Exercise And Movement In Recovery

We get very good at talking about the food side of eating disorder recovery.. eating more, overcoming ‘fear’ foods, facing more situations that we have previously avoided that involve food and this is vital to recover from an eating disorder….
However, the parts we are not so good at talking about and most people with an eating disorder would rather avoid acknowledging but which we will NEVER fully recover if we do not face is the exercise and compulsive movement side.

Due to the fact that most people with an eating disorder will barely acknowledge just how ingrained and compulsive movement is to them – be that formal exercise, innocent walks or just standing rather than sitting… health professionals rarely comprehend it and our poor family and friends stand no chance.

Unless we start talking more about it though and really face it head on, not only will we not recover fully but we will never enable other people to realise how severe it is and be able to help us.

I cycled through treatment numerous times over the past decade – I did the food side and I weight restored but the part of the illness that was more crippling to me and that was never addressed was my compulsive exercise or just compulsive movement.

As this was never addressed (because to the world at large it looks innocent or even ‘helpful’!) the eating disorder network in my brain remained strong and full relapse was inevitable.

BUT this time I am doing things differently.

I would rather crawl out my skin than sit still for a full day, let alone longer (especially if expected to eat too!) but unless I do, unless I break every compulsive movement I won’t rewire the full eating disordered neural network in my brain and will never recover.

You can and will weight restore while exercising and moving but you will do so in a very disordered way and only you know what of the movement you are doing is compulsive and what is not…

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