An Exercise Bulimic Goes for a Run

Exercise Bulimia • getting fit and staying safe • from
Walking home from the bus stop on Friday, I struggled to get up the hill. It occurred to me that the only time I leave the house is once a week when I go to work. I have become a physically sedentary person.

Two other events followed this thought.

1. The book I am reading, Afterwards by Satya Robyn, is about April, a woman in her twenties who loses her leg in a car accident. April is training to run the London marathon. She talks about the bliss of a runner’s high, the freedom running brings, and the healing power of physical movement.

2. On Pinterest, positive body image advocate Katesome posted a link to a running program. She wrote:

I don’t normally post work out stuff, but this was so body positive focused and so very focused on enjoyment and being mindful of your body I had to share.

Three things in a row aren’t a coincidence, they are a sign from the Universe. On Monday, I put on my leggings, sports bra and top [thank god lycra ‘fits at any size’] and headed out the door for my first run.

As exercise bulimia is my disease [extreme exercise as a way to control/lose weight often teamed with binge eating], I have to be careful when I embark on an exercise program. Here are my tips for staying safe while working out.

1. Lose the metrics

The only think I measure is distance and time, only as a way to track my progress. If it takes me less time to run the same distance, I’m getting fitter. I may not be able to keep doing this if I start prioritising more mileage or faster times over enjoying myself. I will not calculate calories burned, heart rate or log my food.

2. Listen to your body

I only run until I’m out of breath and then I stop. Once I’ve regained my breath, I start again. I don’t run according to a prescribed interval pattern (like C25K), but I make it up as I go along depending on how I feel on the day.

3. Lower your expectations

If I don’t feel like running, I walk instead. A thirty minute walk is all I have to do. If I run at all, it’s a bonus.

4. Love what you do

I run barefoot on the beach. I stop and take a dip in the ocean. I make sure I’m having a good time all the time. There is no notion of work, pain or pushing myself. I’m honouring my body, my mind and my soul by being in nature. This isn’t a chore.

I hope that I enjoy this approach to exercise so much that I keep it up. I have a history of starting things and then giving them up after a while.

What are your tips for committing to a regular exercise program?
If you have recovered from an ED, how do you prevent yourself obsessing over calories and weight-loss?


About KatieP

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing

2 thoughts on “An Exercise Bulimic Goes for a Run

  1. I feel ignorant, I didn’t realize there was such a thing as “exercise bulimia”. These tips are good for people just beginning an exercise regime, too. I’ll be interested to hear how your readers keep from obsessing over calories and exercise.

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