It’s NOT what you think!
And how to tailor an individual plan for exactly where you are today.
OK, so our last post garnered a lot of emails. See it here.
Questions about what the heck we meant when we said, “Exercise is for managing your emotions first not for physical health, and certainly not for weight loss.”
Look, we would sound silly if we told you a sweet by-product of exercise wasn’t weight loss, looking good and feeling good.
But we want to concentrate on the feeling good part right now and set aside the others for just a minute.
It’s important to stop the binging first and understanding the role exercise really plays in stopping it is important.
As I mentioned before most people give little to no respect to flour and sugar as psychoactive drugs. They think of them as weight gain enemies for sure but they never take the next step and ask: “Could I be a drug addict and could my drugs of choice be flour and sugar?”
Just ask this “what if question” with an open mind: “Could that concept be right? Could I have been using flour and sugar as self medication for anxiety, fear, worry and just to rest my brain a little my whole life?”
And because it was virtually always available I just never put it together as a drug?
Could I have developed a little dependency on it?
I know it sounds harsh, but bear with me a minute here.
What if, when you gorged on ice cream with your best friends that time your first boyfriend broke up with you, it became a pattern for living?
Maintenance doses all day in your coffee and tea, little bits here and there during the day but then at night you’re alone and you just want to zone out. Just allow for the possibility (or fantasy if you like) that you used sugar and flour not because you were hungry but because it gave you some sort of feeling of well being, even if that only lasted a few minutes.
I always suggest and encourage journaling to uncover the emotional patterns of your binges. So you can see in black and white how you were feeling just before you binged. (And after too.)
Again, we are delving into a huge topic in a short post but… back to the exercising.
Our belief is if you consciously know that there is a much higher probability that you won’t binge tonight or for few days after a long hard walk then you are more likely to do it than if you’re thinking exercise is to help you with losing weight or “burn calories.”
Don’t even get me started on the burning calories thing.
We want you to think about healing your adrenal glands, your serotonin uptake processes and all the ways the body feels good naturally. After years of abuse and artificial activation, to use a medical term – they are simply beat to hell. They can’t function as God or nature intended.
Exercise will heal them, albeit slowly. But if you concentrate on breaking a sweat or even doing some chair yoga stretches. Feel your muscles in some way for 10 to 20 minute period. Heck I don’t have to tell you how good you feel after a long walk. You have to get creative here. Years of abuse has many of us hiding in the shadows of life. The gym is out for ________ – you pick the reason. Organized classes are sometimes hard.
So let’s brainstorm some ideas together. Some of the video based programs on TV are good, both yoga and even the ones that seem extreme.
Scale the exercises for yourself.
Again, my favorite is walking but sometimes people are even embarrassed to do that. I would recommend, if you are serious, to gather the courage, find a workout buddy and hold each other accountable. Maybe even visit structured classes of some sort together.
The key here is, as the Nike slogan goes, “Just do it”.
Just let go of the ideas of burning calories or losing weight for now. The beginning exercise program is not for that. It’s to heal the parts of your body that keep you using the substances you know you need to quit.
Which, by the way, brings to mind the idea that exercising is not going to do you any good if you continue to use flour and sugar abusively.
Try a few days of abstinence and simple exercises and report back.
We think the tiny shift in the way you view the exercise and the reasons you are doing t in the first place can really launch your recovery from binge eating.
Above all if you need more help, with any of it, don’t be afraid to ask. It’s not just the food that is harmful but the isolation as well.
Get out, exercise and ask for help when you need it.
Those exercises are more important than you think and much more important for recovery from binge eating disorder than for burning calories.