People always say that exercise is good for you, but what happens when you develop an unhealthy addiction to it, yes I was addicted to exercise?
I don’t know when it began, I guess after the birth of my little girl four years ago.
I had been a small size eight before falling pregnant, but that baby weight stayed on after giving birth.
I tried to eat healthily, and friends and family always commented how great I looked, but the secret was I felt fat and ugly, and I hated my more rounded figure.
Instead of seeking help or doing anything slowly, I fasted; I stopped eating and began exercising as often as I could.
I didn’t know you could become addicted to exercise
I knew something was wrong when I began to do it in secret and felt guilty when I wasn’t trying to lose weight.
It started as silly things like running up and down the stairs 20-30 times a day or power walking as I pushed the pram while out for a walk, but it becomes obsessive.
Then it turned more sinister, the weight was dropping off me, and I no longer looked healthy.
Before my partner left on a morning for work, at 7 am I was up and out the house, running.
He became concerned, but whenever he tried to talk to me about it, I became aggressive.
We argued a lot.
Being addicted to exercise nearly cost me my relationship.
He couldn’t cope with me; he found the food I had hidden in the bin and lost his temper with me.
He was worried, I know that now, but looking bad I was trapped in a vicious cycle, I was addicted to exercising.
An exercise addiction can have harmful consequences although it is not listed as a disorder in the latest revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This type of addiction can be classified under a behavioural addiction in which a person’s behaviour becomes obsessive, compulsive, and/or causes dysfunction in a person’s life.
“It had taken over my life.”
I finally spoke out, broke down in tears and told my mum what I had been doing.
I was withdrawn, so weak, just I was skin and bone.
To be honest, I don’t think she quite understood what I meant by saying I had an addiction to exercise.
I visited the GP, and he prescribed antidepressants, I have been taking them for six months now, and I admit they are helping.
I no longer go to the gym or go running.
I am trying to eat smaller amounts of food more often as I have lost so much weight.
People are quick to tell us that exercise is good for us, but becoming addicted to exercise can have devastating consequences too.
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