Blog › Forums › Eating Disorders › This my whole, long, awful story. (TW) Feedback and advice needed/desired. › Reply To: This my whole, long, awful story. (TW) Feedback and advice needed/desired.
I don’t know, honestly. I think 95% of people here would say a couple of 1 mile walks a week would be fine. From my perspective, I know I am not able to do this without it eventually turning into a compulsion. Not yet, anyway. And your history-as a ‘runner’-sounds similar to mine so I suspect you have similar addictive tendencies. I think the problem is that, when you get bored, you think: “there is NOTHING to do but exercise.” Whether that exercise is walking, or running, or whatever. I think the challenge is to not answer the question of boredom, restlessness, emptiness, etc., with exercise. And those walks are a way of you answering boredom/restlessness/emptiness with exercise, so I think it is feeding into that in a way. I think that you (I as well) need to learn how to answer that emptiness in utterly new ways. Otherwise we fall back into old patterns. You need to get out of the apartment, I get that, and you don’t have much money. Okay, is walking really the only option available to you? I don’t think so, and if you say it is you are reinforcing the idea of yourself as someone whose primary hobby is ‘being active’ which, in my opinion, is not healthy in recovery. What about being outside twice (or more) a week in nonactive ways? What about going to the animal shelter 2x a week and taking dogs out to let them run in the play yard? Or if you’re not into animals, what about going window shopping for baby stuff? Same goes for reading health blogs. You have to find other things to read I can’t imagine how even dabbling in that wouldn’t reinforce orthorexic tendencies.
Recovery is so much more than eating and resting. You have to learn who you are totally separate from your old ‘hobby,’ getting thin (And ‘fitenss’ and ‘health food’ and all that went with it). If you can’t learn who you are because there isn’t anything else there (which sometimes I think is the case with me because I’ve had an ED so long) then you get to create yourself based on who you want to be.
That said, I am not really qualified to tell you no to the twice weekly walks. I have no idea whether that is therapeutic or triggering to you. I can only tell you the perspective I have, based on my own compulsive tendencies. I know there are some people who recover from drug addiction and can go on to drink alcohol. But if I were in recovery from a drug addiction I don’t think I’d be one of those people who could continue to abstain from drugs but be responsible with an occasional glass of wine, if that makes sense. Because the habit that gets me into trouble is being a one-trick pony: I get stressed, and I want to turn to some sort (any sort) of physical activity to alleviate stress. Even if that physical activity appears moderate and healthy to others, it is reinforcing a destructive habit. Just something to consider.