I used to run 100 km’s a week to burn off a binge!!
I loved running, the thrill of beating your PB at a race, the rush at the start line and planning my next goals!! However, the thing that got me out of bed before a race at 4am or on the road for a training run every day, was “how can I burn off my last binge” I would run to 8 km to the gym, do 1-2 hours of exercise classes and then run home so days too. I was super fit but I still wasn’t happy with my body, the only motivation for my exercise plan was to burn calories.
Eventually my body started saying “enough is enough”. I picked up multiple injuries and finally I sprained my ankle so badly that I couldn’t run for months. That’s when I realised how much of a habit my binge / exercise routine was. All of the sudden I couldn’t exercise but I was stuck with the habit of face planting into boxes of pastries or bags of chips. So naturally the only thing I could do was to start restricting my calories and guess what? This just made my binge/guilt cycle worse!!!
Since I’ve been on my binge eating recovery journey, I have learned to move my body with kindness, I go hard at the gym when my body tells me she needs a great sweat sesh, but I also have days where I rest or go to a yin yoga class for gentle facia release. Our bodies are such amazing communicators, they will tell you what movement they crave, we just need to tune in and listen.
Movement is vital for muscular and skeletal health but overdoing it can be damaging to your body but also the nervous system. Chronic exercise leads to increased cortisol levels which means increased cravings which triggers urges to binge. Finding that delicate balance between a sedentary lifestyle overexercising is key for cardiovascular health and managing cortisol/stress levels.
Here are my 5 tips on staying active during the day:
1. Set a 30 min reminder to stretch or twist your spine at your desk
2. Make time everyday to move your body in the way you love to move. If you love yoga, do yoga out of love for movement but don’t force yourself to run for example if you hate running. (but who wouldn’t love running? Lol only kidding, that’s my runners bias coming out)
3. Walk the long way round to the kitchen to make a cup of tea, do some stretches while you wait for the kettle to boil.
4. If you can, do a lunchtime workout, the extra oxygen will energise will help beat the 3pm slump.
5. Spend time outdoors, take the kids/dogs/partner for a great stroll around the neighbourhood, the fresh air will work wonders for the whole family.