Throughout my long and hard battle with anorexia, perhaps the most painful, destructive, damaging, life-changing, and vicious part, was my battle with exercise addiction.
Now, I was the last person on earth who I would ever even think to develop an addiction to exercise, let alone to an eating disorder.
As a kid I absolutely HATED exercise with every fiber of my freaking being.
I participated in many sports but honestly sucked at each and every one.
I was aggressive in soccer but couldn’t really dribble a ball or score a goal to save my life.
I had no hand-eye coordination in baseball.
And even though I’m 5’9”, I was downright pathetic at basketball.
I even remember “running” the mile in 6th grade and cursing every step of those 4 laps. Never mind the fact that I pretty much walked the entire thing and finished in 14 minutes. Pitiful.
Yeah. Sports and me just never got along.
The only sport that I really, finally got into was cross country running in high school. At first I couldn’t run 5 miles without practically passing out on the side of the street in a fit of uncontrollable wheezing. But then I gradually started to get better and found that I have great endurance. I can literally run for 5 or 6 miles straigth without ever stopping once. But I’m still slow as a snail in peanut butter.
And I never came in first, or fourth, or thirteenth, or….not last.
So you can see why exercise was the last thing on my mind….
Before inpatient, I wasn’t totally obsessed with exercise. I was doing a lot of exercises in my room at night and going for walks around the neighborhood, but I wasn’t doing more than about 30 minutes a day.
Ironically, I blame the obsession on my inpatient treatment, or more specifically, on the quack doctor who told me that I should be doing more exercise. I specifically remember sitting in his office and listening to him evalutate my “status.” Well, when I told him that I didn’t really do that much exercise this idiot had the gall to tell me that I needed to do more exercise.
LET ME REPEAT THAT:
A doctor told an anorexic that she needed to do more exercise. Seriously? How stupid can you get?
**Side note: I find it absolutely hilarious that all of the so-called doctors at this place put me in the category as a normal eater because my diet included fish, yogurt, tuna, and lots of veggies and fruits. What they were too stupid to realize was how little of these foods I was eating. It was utterly infuriating that these mail-order physicians thought they had the right to tell an obviously anorexic person that she was a normal eater. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT DOES TO AN EATING DISORDER???!!! IT’S LIKE A FREAKING CHALLENGE! ONCE YOU TELL A PERSON WITH AN ED THAT THEY STILL EAT A LOT, THEY WILL STOP AT NOTHING TO PROVE YOU WRONG!**
Thanks to that doctor, I developed an obsession that consumed me for the next 4 years of my life.
And it nearly killed me.
“Slave to the Machine” is a 4 part series about my obsession with exercise. Part 2 will be posted later in the week. Feel free to email me if you have any questions or want to discuss anything about this series.