Of Wobbly Thighs….and Exercise Bulimia (Part 2)

After the devastating realization that 7 kilos later I was still the same dress size, I had this urgent need to either go run or swim. The feeling was so strong that I found my way to the sports goods shop and bought myself a pair of PUMA pants to wear on the track next week.

Later that same afternoon, as I lay in bed while checking my emails, my thoughts wandered over what my Monday workout would consist of. Whether I would attempt 1.5kms of continuous jogging, or swim 30 laps (now at 23). I came across an interesting email subject that had an  article on Exercise Bulimia. Having never heard about it, I explored further.

A basic definition of Exercise Bulimia is:

a subset of the psychological disorder called bulimia in which a person is compelled to exercise in an effort aimed at burning the calories of food energy and fat reserves to an excessive level that negatively affects their health (Wikipedia)

On further examining the indications of compulsive exercise, I discovered that I could associate with a few of the indications (highlighted below):

  • Missing work, school and other important events in order to work out
  • Working out with an injury or while sick
  • Becoming unusually depressed if unable to exercise
  • Working out for hours at a time each day*
  • Not taking any rest or recovery days
  • Defining self-worth in terms of performance
  • Justifies excessive behavior by defining self as a “special” elite athlete**
  • Depression or agitation when unable to work out
  • Amenorrhea, the stop of a woman’s menstrual cycle***
  • Isolation from others while working out

*I stopped my Sunday workouts which would easily last 2.5 – 3 hours

**A former swimmer asked why I am on the track last week and told her how I had a target to lose 20Kgs asap hence found it (jogging) more rewarding compared to swimming

***Mine just regularized. I cannot afford to lose them at any cost.

I sat and thought to myself that I had spent the whole week eating the wrong foods and then obsessing over working out the next morning so that I could negate or burn off the calories. And I know I pushed myself pretty far. I was guilty of consuming all sorts of junk food from cakes, to fries to Ice Cream, with the conviction that I would burn it off next week.

Plus I find myself wanting to be at a constant state of movement. With my new routine, all I am doing is obsessing about getting better and pushing further. Run longer in spite of my legs burning me. Swim longer even though my chest is heaving and I sound like I’m drowning. All with the intent to burn the fat ASAP!

My first “Official” month on the FLL Program indicates a “factual” loss of 3.5kgs. But in actual, I only lost 1.1Kgs (due to all the fluctuation and food mismanagement).

Having read more on Exercise Bulimia, I will have to slow down and now focus on Eating Right instead of assuming I can sneak in a chocolate or a cupcake here or there, because I will push it off tomorrow.

My goal for this month is to have an ACTUAL weight loss of 5Kgs! without caving in to the cravings.

I will still keep up my workout but put in a day or two of rest because I am still nowhere near where I want to be.

Let’s win this!


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