The other day while I was waiting for one of my roommates to finish getting ready so we could leave, I started running up and down the stairs at our house. Why, you ask? Because I am constantly feeling the urge to burn extra calories, give my metabolism a little jump-start, calm some of my anxiety, relieve some of the guilt I feel about eating and weight gain...
I don't always give in to the urges (some days are better than other days) and I am not exercising nearly as much as I used to, but little things like this seem to help me so that I don't over-exercise (usually...) - if that makes any sense. And so I find little ways throughout the day to do this. I realize that this is not normal behavior and that it is compulsive, and I am reminded of that every time someone sees me engaging in a behavior (or doing something odd) and points it out to me. Like that night, as I was running up and down the stairs, three of my roommates each asked me what I was doing. I immediately felt embarrassed because I realized that this was not normal behavior, and it was a really random thing to be doing at that particular moment. I have spent over half of my life engaging in ed behaviors that are not normal, so I should be used to it. But I'm not. I know I need to stop these weird exercise habits that I do throughout the day, but I feel like I am trying to stop soooo many behaviors that I have had for soooo long and sometimes, I need to pick and choose my battles, you know?
Another reason why I feel the need to have these little mini exercise spurts throughout the day is because I am really struggling with the weight gain and I notice that sometimes, it makes eating a little bit easier. For example, last night I had dinner with my parents. I was feeling super anxious about what I ate, so I ran on their elliptical machine for 15 minutes (which is not over-exercising, by the way) and I felt a little less anxious and a little less guilty about what I had had for dinner.
But like I said, I am not over-exercising like I used too. There are still those days that I get up early to get a good workout in before work, or those days that I take extra extra long walks (and justify it by telling myself "at least I am only walking and not running!...") but for the most part, I am able to quiet the voice in my head with my mini exercises throughout the day. I just wish there wasn't a voice I had to constantly be trying to quiet. : (
And I hate the anxiety, the fear, the guilt that causes me to feel so compelled to quickly do jumping jacks in the elevator at work. Or to take 30 minute walks outside every day during my lunch break. Or constantly be fidgeting and moving around. Or standing up (or exercising a little) while I'm reading or watching tv. Or anytime I am alone, quickly jog in place or do some jumping jacks or sit-ups for a few minutes... I could go on and on about things that I do, but I will leave it at that and just say that I wish the ed wasn't constantly in my head telling me that I need to be burning calories! It's frustrating. It's embarrassing. And it's not helpful to my recovery.
But like I said, some days are better than other days. So I need to give myself credit for the things I am doing right.