Thinking Out Loud: The Relationship of Exercise & Eating

April 06, 2017

Joining in the Thinking Out Loud party today albeit a tad late.

This April marks two years since I started my recovery journey. I remember sitting in my dietician's office hearing her ban me from exercise altogether back in 2015. So I stopped exercising altogether. I make it sound like it was a ridiculously easy thing for me to do when in fact it was the complete opposite. I resisted, I cried, I protested. But in the end here I am. Going from running, Zumba classes, Blogilates, row machines to nilch. It was tough. It still is tough sometimes even 730 days later especially on pleasantly warm mornings where I can imagine my feet hitting the pavement or at random moments when I pass by the on-campus gym that I used to frequent several times a week. 

It struck me the other day that before I began recovery deep in the midst of my eating disorder I was exercising to be able to eat. You know, the whole calories in < calories out sort of deal? (Not a real thing by the way) Now, in the back of my mind, I feel like I am eating to exercise. Definitely not to exercise to the point of organizing my days around exercise like I had in the past but exercise nonetheless. Trying to meet my meal plan (key word: trying) and restore my weight to get to where my dietician will give me the OK to start back up again again. Aside from the occasional yoga and daily walks to and from classes, I am still not involved with any major exercising. 

Thinking about it further, I don't think either of these mentalities is truly "healthy." I say this in quotation marks as this is what health is becoming to mean for me. Though both eating and exercising go hand in hand when it comes to health, I don't think one is supposed to compensate for the other. One should not necessarily be contingent on the other per se. Yes, sometimes we need a good stretch to feel less uncomfortably bloated and yes, pre and post workout meals are needed at times. I shouldn't have to eat to exercise or exercise to eat in the long run (no pun intended). Instead, here are some of the answers that I've uncovered for myself in asking why eat and why exercise:  

Why Do I Eat?

  • Because it is one of life's most basic needs
  • To properly nourish my body
  • Because my brain needs to think straight
  • To have crazy fun Thanksgiving grocery store runs with my family
  • Because I am a coffee shop person
  • To literally get a taste of a new culture
  • To test my experiments in the kitchen
  • For the satisfaction of a post-buffet belly 
  • To celebrate Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Days

  • Because food is just gosh darn delicious. For example, this toasted coconut cream pie
  • Because there is nothing like freshly made bread
  • To participate in life

Why Do I Move?

  • To take fail jumping shots
  • To be able to stroll along the beach and feel the sand in my toes and the water at my soles
  • Because I can

  • To bond and connect over shared experiences
  • For the thrill of it 
  • To teach/try something new to/with friends

  • Because it makes me appreciate my body
  • For views like this
  • Or this
  • And this!!!!
  • Because I feel empowered
  • To feel the breeze in my hair as I bike down a hill
  • To participate in life

Why do you move?
Care to share something that has been on your mind lately? 

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  1. HAPPY TWO YEAR RECOVERY ANNIVERSARY! Girl that’s huge!! You should be so proud of yourself. That’s 730 days in which you chose life.

    1. Thank you friend! 💕 Would not have been able to get through it without the support of this online community.