It’s a way that many (ex)-dysfunctional eaters go after anorexia or bulimia: The “fitness lifestyle”. And as a first step – building muscle and eating more – this is really a very good thing (at least for the body). But is it enough just to polish your body? Will I automatically become more satisfied if I only work on the outside?
Isn’t the typical “Cleaneating” fitness thing actually just a (addiction) shift?
Who trains the body, but not the soul, usually remains trapped in a vicious circle of food thoughts (#cleaneating instead of #nofood), diet craze, calorie counting, weighing, eating attacks, CheatDays, focusing on an “ideal figure” and co.
From “wanting to be thin” follows “need to look trained”. The visual wishful thinking changes, but the focus remains on something that has been imprinted as a “physical ideal”. Is this fulfilling in the long run or just another type of (eating) disorder
Training only for the body” alone is not enough, although it is
The displacement of the eating disorder
I myself “wasted” a few years working more on my body and less on my soul after my anorexia period. Strict strength training and “Cleaneating” determined my life afterwards. “Diet phases” alternated with “muscle building” phases. Eating with friends did not happen, the fitness training and the next meal determined the daily routine. One will suspect it: You won’t get any more satisfied on the inside.
Why “fitness after anorexia” is still usually helpful? You have a goal, you combine muscle building with eating more (initially necessary for the head: with a “better conscience”, because you train), you confirm to yourself that you can become stronger and focus on a trained body instead of starving. This can help to develop a confirmation and a bit more inner strength.
If the mindset “trains” itself as a result, fine thing. One must not lie to oneself: Does it really have to change from “ideal slim” to “ideal supertrained” or isn’t it perhaps sufficient to simply rebuild the starved muscles with training? So completely without pressure and ideal imagination, as it has to be absolutely?
Do the goals always have to focus only on the outside? Does it always have to be the (according to the trend) “ideal and perfect body” (and who says in general life what is “ideal”?). The psyche and how much pressure you put on yourself plays the biggest role.
Fitness as therapy?
This “fitness as therapy” thing is both a curse and a blessing. Strength training is super, without question! But this total focus on the visuals CAN lead to the fact that some psychological things aren’t automatically “so great”… And with formerly especially anorexic girls, it often leads to them being trapped in the vicious circle of food thoughts, clean-going delusions and calories. And that’s exactly why it’s so important to work on the personality and not just on the six-pack.
If I had had the personality I have today, I would have spared myself a few years in which food and the desire for “the perfect figure” ruled my thoughts.
But all the more I can enjoy my life today, WITH enough exercise (and I still like strength training) and without any compulsive eating habits. It has become “normality” and a minor matter. And that’s exactly what I give to others today to take the shortcut where I took a detour. Don’t make it too difficult for yourself!
Why strength training is a good thing.
Especially after anorexia or underweight, strength training is probably the best kind of sport you can do for your body. Because of malnutrition you have not only lost fat, but also a lot of valuable musculature, which supports you and above all prevents injuries and osteoporosis.
Quite a few affected people have been writing me recently about preliminary stages of osteoporosis that have been diagnosed in them. It was the same with me, by the way. 😉 Strength training is the be-all and end-all, how you help your body to a supported musculature again.
And of course the appropriate nutrition. (At the end of the article I link you two more articles, which describe a bit more the HOW)
The focus on training helps many affected people to be able to eat more in the first step: “I train, therefore I need power”, “Otherwise the training was for nothing, so I have to eat”.
The right train of thought – at least for physical health. It is important to bring the body in front – or in front – so that you can continue… BUT BUT IT AS well! Don’t just leave it at training for the body, but also work on your inner self if you really want to get rid of the eating disorder.
Both – the work on body AND soul is essential – in order to be able to enjoy life “freely” to the full again…. If you are not satisfied inside, a trained body alone will not help you to a happy life.