How to stop using exercise as a punishment for what you eat

To a lot of people, Playing sports Weight loss is seen to be intrinsically linked. Among the messages of the fitness industry and its spread Diet cultureNot surprisingly, we have developed a harmful relationship between what we eat and how much we need to work.

to me The 2018 study According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of American adults attempted to lose weight between 2013 and 2016. Approximately 63% of these people chose exercise as a way to achieve this goal – along with consuming less food.

The desire to lose weight starts at an amazing young age: National Association of Eating Disorders Reports show that 40% to 60% of primary school girls are anxious about their bodies and weight – an anxiety that may last a lifetime.

Meanwhile, the fitness industry has had a long period Link to work out and lose weightSpread the harmful belief that sport aims to reshape the body. Together, these messages can lead to a myriad of unhealthy behaviors, including: Addiction practice Or a compulsive exercise.

The Eating Disorders Association notes that there is a strong link between compulsive exercise and various forms of compulsive exercise Eating disorders: Between 40% and 80% of patients with anorexia nervosa are exposed to excessive exercise, and it is estimated that 90% to 95% of college students with eating disorders belong to a fitness facility.

Recovering from any eating disorder or even just unhealthy habits can be an ongoing process, and it is often non-linear. But if you have struggled with exercising in the past, that does not mean that you cannot have a healthy fitness relationship in the future.

This special trip is one Danny Tsuckerman knows all too well. Fitness trainer and owner Very personal training, A body positive fitness center in Brooklyn, New York, has a Resist Suffering from eating disorders since childhood and now aiming to help others reshape the way they view exercise and their bodies.

“It’s very important to remember that exercise is not a punishment,” Tsuckerman told HuffPost. “It’s a celebration of what your body can do. It’s an opportunity for achievement, feeling strong and growing.”

Devising a new perspective can be difficult even if you have never dealt with an eating disorder. Although there is no universal approach, there are some concrete steps you can take to view fitness as a celebration of your body rather than a punishment.

HuffPost has spoken with a few experts about ways to reduce anxiety surrounding food and exercise, how to look for pleasure in movement, and why the fitness industry needs to become more body-positive.

Choose an exercise that you will really enjoy.

You should begin restructuring your way of thinking before the actual exercise. When developing a new exercise regimen, for example, you may want to avoid the kinds of movements you have focused on in the past.

“It is useful to think about restructuring environments that are suitable for compulsive exercise,” he said. Jesse Hagerty, Is a Massachusetts-registered dietitian and intuitive eating advisor and certified personal trainer. “For example, if running is the primary form of compulsive exercise, try attending a dance class or yoga class and limit running while re-exercising.”

In addition to avoiding exercises that may be stimulating or simply unattractive, think about what you find truly enjoyable. A personal trainer in Milwaukee Chrissy King Emphasizes the importance of joy within the movement.

“We spend a lot of time absorbing information about how our bodies are ‘supposed’ to look or what we ‘are’ supposed to eat ‘, and we lose touch with what we actually want and what we desire.’

Chrissy King, personal trainer

King said, “When it comes to movement and exercise, I encourage my clients to ask themselves, ‘What do I really like to do? “ Maybe you really like nature, so maybe your way to go hiking or swimming. It is important to question this because we spend so much time absorbing information about how our bodies are “supposed” to look or what we are “supposed” to eat, and we lose touch with what we really want and what we desire.

For people who have struggled with an eating disorder in the past, reframing your mindset before exercise may also mean talking with a medical professional.

Elisha Container Wilkins, CEO of Veritas Cooperative, Which is a national eating disorder recovery center for children, teens, and adults. “Know your limits. Set boundaries.”

Maintain a healthy mindset before, during, and after exercise.

To get to the right headspace before a workout, Zuckerman suggests starting each exercise with a Mindfulness Practice deep breathing, which can help unify your body and mind.

She said, “Sit in a comfortable position on the floor and relax your neck, shoulders, hips and anywhere else you feel tense.” “Breathe in and count to five, hold for seven, then breathe for five. Repeat as many times as you need. Once you feel more relaxed, set a goal to exercise.”

“Approach each exercise by checking your body and knowing how you feel that day.”

Danny Tsuckerman, fitness coach

Zuckerman added that it helps to know your triggers so you can look for them during a workout.

“For some people, setting any type of goal can be a trigger, so if that makes you anxious, just focus on slowing your breathing so you can be there in your workout,” she said.

“You can even keep a log to jot down the type of exercise you’ve had and rate your feelings,” she said, adding Any such record would have to be about your emotions and Not Workout log.

Wilkins noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has occurred It influenced the way people practice, Which led to a state of severe anxiety for some people.

Changes in movement and daily activities can increase anxiety about exercise in particular, and isolation, news and social media can feed that anxiety as well.She said. Wilkins recommends implementing coping strategies such as journaling, creating art, using mindfulness apps, and keeping lines of communication open with loved ones.

It is also important to listen to your body. Choose an exercise based on the needs of your body that day, rather than what you “planned” to do or feel you “should” do.

“Approach each exercise by checking your body and seeing how you feel that day,” Tsuckerman said. Feeling energized and like you to conquer anything? Do some kickboxing or whole body workouts. Feeling the pain? Work on flexibility and mobility. Feel tired? Try rebalancing your yoga flow. It’s all about listening to your body and doing the exercise that will make you feel good about Inside “.

Be aware that it may take time to completely detangle food and exercise.

This connection has burned on our minds for years. Getting rid of it will likely take some work.

“We need to reformulate how eating and exercise are related in our brains,” Hagerty said, noting that fitness trackers and weight loss apps make it look as if our bodies are “like bank accounts.” The reality is completely different.

“If we intend to gain strength, improve cardiovascular conditioning, and get endorphins that give you a good feeling from exercise, we need to provide our bodies with adequate and consistent energy,” Hagerty said. “If we were only training in order to ‘burn’ or ‘earn’ our food, we would be left exhausted, both physically and mentally. Think of it like this: We need to eat in order to move, not move to eat.

Think of food as an energy source, not something to “throw out” after a workout.

“We need to eat to exercise,” Wilkins said. “We need to save fuel … to be active, just as we fuel a car.”

“If we are only training in order to ‘burn’ or ‘earn’ our food, we will be left exhausted, both physically and mentally. Think of it this way: We need to eat in order to move, not move to eat. ‘

– Jesse Hagerty, dietitian

For people with a history of eating disorders, Wilkins emphasized the importance of use Techniques focused on recoveryFor example, journaling or talking with a friend to deal with anxiety surrounding food and meals.

Of course, food can be much more than just fuel. As King said, “Food is a community. Food has a cultural meaning. Food reminds us of our families.”

King said to think about food Purely Because energy can remove pleasure from it – and it’s okay to give ourselves permission to simply enjoy food. “Food helps us survive, but it can also be fun because it means so much more than that. It’s the way we have experiences, it’s the way we share love,” she said.

The fitness industry has to do as well.

Ultimately, this is not something that individuals have to change on their own. The fitness industry has constantly The idea lasted This exercise should lead to weight loss, when in fact, the exercise is for all bodies.

There is still a high percentage of exercise professionals with a weight bias.Wilkins said. ”Many exercises related activities have now started to include The body is positive Affirmations are part of the routine, but there’s still a long way to go.

King agreed that the fitness industry had an important role to play in how people approach exercise.

“A lot of people have fitness with the idea that the goal of moving your body is to manipulate or contract your body,” she said. “As people in the industry, we have to start separating these things. Because in reality, that doesn’t have to be the point at all.”

This story is part of Don’t Sweat It, the HuffPost Life series about improving your relationship with fitness. We give you a guide to Latest thinking about exercise and why we’ve been adapted to dislike it in the past. Positive mental health and fitness experts will also provide guidance and show you how to find a routine that works for you. Find all of our coverage here.


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