Another Side of Me -The Exerciser

Up until now I’ve really only written about my 30+ year battle with compulsive eating. But I’m ready now to present another side of me, another compulsive behavior that I have — I go to the gym four days a week like clockwork and have to do deep breathing exercises if I’m not going to get a workout in.

I have been a tomboy my whole life and have always played sports or worked out in one way or another. Thank goodness that was the case, because I’m sure it helped in counteracting all the calories I was ingesting. There were many years where the calorie intake far outweighed, literally and figuratively, any exercising I was doing, but I still kept at because somehow it was just a part of me.

Even when my body felt like it was in an over-sugared, carbohydrate-induced coma, when I felt like a slug and did not feel comfortable in my own skin, I would still work out. Never excessively to make up for binging, just whatever normal workout I had planned for that day.

I was a runner for 11 years, beginning in my late 20’s. I ran a marathon, a couple of 1/2 marathons, some 10 milers and other various smaller races. One would think doing all that running would have turned me into, and kept me, a thin person all those years, but my compulsion/obsession/addiction to food never allowed that to happen.

A little over two years ago, right before I discovered that I had in fact had an eating disorder all these years, I learned a had a torn meniscus in my left knee and had to stop running as my full time form of working out. I joined a gym so I could continue exercising by doing mostly low impact cardio workouts that would be kinder to my knee.

The gym, combined with discovering OA and going to therapy changed my life in so many ways. At the gym, I mixed up my cardio routine to include not only running, but also the elliptical and the precor. And guess what, you can do strength training at the gym! Even doing minor weight lifting speeds up your metabolism, and though the scale may not show it at first (as muscle weighs more than fat), your clothes fit looser because muscle speeds up your metabolism, so you burn calories at a faster rate even when you aren’t doing anything. How sweet is that?!?!?

So with two years of abstinence under my belt, and two years of a whole new workout going on, my body, mind and spirit has changed for the better. The gym gives great stress release and some time to myself, it allows me to give myself some nurturing. I still struggle with food compulsions and obsessions, but I have the gym to get me out of the house away from the food, keep my body in good working order and help me mentally as well.

P.S. I have not been on the scale for one whole week and I’m surviving. 🙂

One day at a time. Nurture myself. Awareness. Letting Go.

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4 Responses, Leave a Reply
  1. Shelly Cellak
    20 January 2010, 10:36 am

    Hello! from your blog it looks like you struggle to stay “binge free” on a daily basis. I represent University of Michigan Psychotherapist, Eating/Weight Disorders Expert and author of “The Hunger Within” Marilyn Ann Migliore. If you haven’t read it yet – i recommend you get a copy. It will help you deal with the psychological underpinnings that fuel and drive your desire for compulsive eating. It’s an enlightening journey to recovery and follows three characters that I’m sure you’ll be able to relate to. for more info, please visit her site:

    best of luck!


    love2eatinpa Reply:

    hi and thanks so much for writing with the book recommendation. i will definitely check it out.


  2. Mary Kate
    26 January 2010, 4:36 pm

    i can so relate to this ! i have always loved to exercise and have to do deep breathing when I can’t work out! it is what kept my from ballooning in my weight and was my purge after eating so much food. I didn’t throw up i just sweated it out. I have a healthy relationship with exercise now love my body….big booty and all!


    love2eatinpa Reply:

    you are an inspiration on many levels! i am fortunate that i have always had a healthy relationship with exercise, never went overboard, just did my thing. i can say now that i like my body, love is a pretty strong word. 🙂


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