Why I Didn’t Workout In Recovery & Why I Don’t Regret It!

Why I Didn’t Workout In Recovery & Why I Don’t Regret It!

Trust me, I know. Not being able to work out in recovery is hard.

It bothers you because it makes you feel like you’re different.

It makes you feel deprived & incapable.

Safe to say: It makes you feel like cr*p.

The harsh reality of recovery is that you must feel those things momentarily to properly heal, restore weight, replenish energy levels & get your health back. I promise you that it’s worth it.

Not being able to work out, let alone perform simple daily tasks during recovery, like groceries or going to the mall to buy things I needed, was so freaking hard for me. As you guys most probably already know, I’m someone who constantly needs to be on the go & occupied.

But after a few weeks of trying so freaking hard to put on weight, it finally hit me. I reached a plateau because I was MOVING TOO MUCH to compensate for the increase in my food. My therapist & nutritionist kept telling me that was the most probable cause but I guess I just chose to close a blind eye. When I finally accepted that I had to lay low & just chill, I started to slowly but surely gain weight & feel more energy. It wasn’t easy, but like I said, it was worth it.

In retrospect, now I know why working out or doing everything to be overly-active to compensate for food consumption in recovery can be counter-productive:

First things first, put it this way: You put all the effort in the world into upping your food intake & letting go of safe lists & comfort foods, but then you exercise your life away until you burn it all off. All your effort, the daily struggle & fight with your mind to get rid of the anxiety surrounding fear foods, the discomfort associated with eating that you work through… all of that hard work goes down the drain, because you’re not actually keeping any of those calories in! This can make you feel discouraged, hopeless & adopt the mentality that recovery just doesn’t work. Truth is, it works, IF YOU LET IT & find the strength to let go of the need to be active in pursuit of the long-term goal: HEALTH.

Second of all, exercising in recovery can be a trigger from a mental standpoint. Most eating disorders are characterized by needs to restrict, starve, deprive & compensate. If you engage in behaviours that teach your mind that it’s acceptable & right to compensate for the food, your mind will learn to hold onto that sense of control & it risks becoming an obsession. You may get rid of one problem (control over food) but you may end up causing another (obsession with exercise). Guys, as harsh as this may sound, you have all the time in the world to exercise. But recovery isn’t the right time. You have to focus on getting away from the need to compensate & do everything to regain your HEALTH!

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1 thought on “Why I Didn’t Workout In Recovery & Why I Don’t Regret It!”

  • Hi Kelly,
    I am having the most difficult time trying to hold back on my hyperactivity. Struggling with an eating disorder for over 12 years, I am trying to gain my weight back because I can’t take it anymore…the suffering is too much. Do you have any suggestions on how to slowly decrease activity in order to gain one’s weight back? I eat fairly well, and quite often through out the day, but I can’t seem to add any weight on me. Exercise gives me pleasure, and that’s an issue- but it’s also an addiction and I think it’s a culprit in forcing me down. How did you get through it? Did anything help you ease the anxiety? Did you at least do some minimal activity? Are there certain activities that are detrimental and I should stay away from?
    p.s. I have no doctor and have not been with one since 18. I am now 25.
    p.s.s. I just want to express how inspirational you are. I hope, one day, I can find the strength that you have developed and live well. Thank you for being so amazing, sharing your story, and exuding hope for those that are struggling.

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