If I havent mentioned it yet, I LOVE stumble upon, an add-on for web browsers (get it www.stumpleupon.com). It lets you pick your genres you like to look at (for me its humor, anthropology, video games, music, crafts, linguistics, history ect ect) and then plugs you into a cloud using a thumbs up/thumbs down system like Pandora or digg. Anyway it always gives me interesting fa articles from outside the fatosphere and this is no exception. This time i stumbled into an article about exercise bulimia from Elle Magazine.
As usual, these may be triggering, please read with care (and take in mind it IS coming from the Evil-Coprorations-Pushing-diets-On-us magazines aka one of THEM)
I think its great that the author (a reality tv winner from a show called stylista…the prize was an internship at elle) was open about the whole thing, and how she realized she needed help. The first article is her journey toward admitting she has a problem. Her addiction started through a sport, having to cut 2-3 lbs to make the rowing team. The old calorie in = caolrie out became the rule for her, the obession…she realized she had a problem when She was taping the show. Her inability to exercise (their gym membership fell through, they didn’t get the contestants a treadmill, they couldn’t run because of the cameras..ect,ect.) leads to a quiet breakdown, and she knew she needed help.
I think everyone has a triggerpoint….I remember being in middle school drinking slimfast and hiding in the library because I was embarassed…..runnning till I fell over to REM. And, like the author of the Elle article, I hid my exercise, doing it late at night when no one would know. Taking the bus to the pool to swim for 7 hours a day, swimming 50 laps or more without stopping. Now, my exercise bulimia fell to pieces when I started purging, (it was oh so much less time consuming for one), but i can certainly understand where the author is coming from…and to a certain extent it’s what the media at large feeds us. I find it problematic that in the same magazine as this article there is also THIS article http://www.elle.com/Beauty/Health-Fitness/ELLE-Make-Better-DVD-With-Brooklyn-Decker, but i suppose it IS a step in the right direction.
the second is the beginning of her recovery journey. I sort of disagree with the slightly oversimplified idea that she could get “better” from an eating disorder in 21 days, but hey, it’s a start. It’s about time that folks start seeing the compulsive exercise as pushed by the biggest loser and other weight loss shows. It’s NOT ok to run 8 miles a day because you ate a muffin. You are NOT supposed to exercise through injuries. Holidays. Birthdays. The road to recovery is a long process full of pit falls. The author speaks about gaining 3-4 lbs over the course of 21 days…but what if your body equilibrium is naturally 50 lbs heavier than that? What happens when you STOP going 2-3 daily 6 days a week? And where is the line? Whats the difference between fasting because you know you are going to a buffet….or starving yourself so you can binge? I think the line is, like all addictions, does it affect your life? are you ashamed of it? do you obsess about it? do you do it in secret?
Anyway some food for thought.