Signs You Might Have An Eating Disorder If You Over Exercise?

Do you love hitting the gym? Do you enjoy pushing your physical limits? Do you feel stressed out when you miss your workout? It may not be as healthy as you think—for some people, excessive exercise is a sign that you might have an eating disorder.

Exercise-Related Eating Disorders

For some, the motivation to exercise comes from a darker place. It's not about staying fit to improve your life; it's a compulsion that rules over your life.

Anorexia is a common eating disorder characterized by a person's fear of gaining weight. People with anorexia will starve themselves because, in their minds, they always weigh too much. One type of this disorder is anorexia athletica, which occurs when a sufferer adds a stringent exercise regime as a means of further controlling his weight.

Body dysmorphic disorder is similar to anorexia athletic, but instead of being afraid of gaining weight, sufferers have a fear of becoming too small. Driven to work out incessantly, they're obsessed with increasing the size of their muscles.

Bulimia is an eating disorder commonly associated with binging and purging. Most sufferers will induce vomiting or use laxatives to rid themselves of the excess calories after binge eating, but there is another type of this disorder: exercise bulimia. Instead of purging, sufferers attempt to sweat off the calories.

Warning Signs

Consider how your fitness habits affect your life: do you work out much more than most people? Do you push yourself so hard that you can't stop, even when you hurt yourself or when you're sick? Does working out actually make you feel better, or are you just scared of what might happen if you don't work out?

When you're not working out, are you thinking about it, talking about it, or doing other things to control your weight, such as counting calories? Do you look to exercise when you're struggling and facing challenges? Do you feel stress or anxiety overcome you when you can't work out enough? Do you work out so excessively that it gets in the way of work, your home life, or responsibilities?

Too Much of a Good Thing

In this day and age, the majority of people don't get enough exercise. With a busy life and a push-button world, it takes discipline for people to get out of the chair and fit in a workout. Being physically fit is commendable as long as you don't take it too far. When it becomes an all-consuming compulsion, it can be as bad as any other addiction.

If you think your exercise habits might be out of your control, talk to your doctor. Like with everything else in a healthy lifestyle, moderation is key.

Sources: CRC Health, Self, Very Well Mind

Photo: Pixabay

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