Exercise

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    • #14848
      Emily H
      Participant

      I was doing pretty well with food then noticed my perfectionism doesn’t like having nowhere to go. Normally it would focus on dieting. I’m getting the urge to start obsessively exercising. The urge to diet has transferred itself to exercise. It doesn’t feel so much about losing weight, but needing a source of motivation/sense of achievement and only being able to see this in terms of using punishing perfectionism to motivate myself into action. I do actually like exercising for all sorts of non-weight/appearance reasons, but can’t get myself to the gym without making it into another Grand Plan. These thoughts are triggering binges.

      • This topic was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by Emily H.
      • This topic was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by Emily H.
    • #14854
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      What an interesting post, Emily.

      I wonder what might happen – or what you fear might happen – if you didn’t act on your urges to exercise obsessively?

      Do you think it would have something to do with feeling that you are in some way “not good enough”? Is the punishing perfectionism, whatever form it takes, your way to “prove your worth”?

      Or do you think it’s something else?

    • #14863
      Emily H
      Participant

      I have given this a lot of thought. In answer to your first question, my fear is if I don’t act on my urge to exercise obsessively I will never exercise sufficiently and my health will suffer. I find it hard to motivate myself to exercise, buy and cook food or clean my house unless I gear myself to do it all perfectly — then the reward is sufficient to make it feel worthwhile. I tend to lump all these things together, so when I’m not dieting, I get anxious about tackling the other stuff and tend to an all or nothing approach. I am also anxious that if I continue to allow myself to be very ambitious (perfectionist) regarding exercise, is this going to sabotage my efforts to not think in this perfectionist way regarding food? For context, its relevant that I have been in binge mode for a week following an episode of overeating triggered by drinking alcohol. If I’m honest the urge to exercise was largely related to feeling fat on this occasion. I’ve since watched your videos on relapse and found what you say about the ‘big all or nothing’ mindset very helpful. I’m now going to try what you suggest to tackle this, as I definitely am either ‘on’ or ‘off’ the ELO plan. My tendency towards a compliance state is more pervasive and hard to spot than I had realised. So, whilst I feel confident and determined to continue to tackle the food issues using the ELO techniques, I still worry how I am going to motivate myself to keep fit, which is very important to me, without using the ‘I’m fat must get in shape’ motivation that I have always used in the past. I would welcome any advice on this last point.

      • #14867
        Gillian
        Keymaster

        Emily,

        The best thing about what you’ve written here is that you found the info on Relapse in Week 6 helpful, and you intend to follow the suggestions in those videos to tackle that ‘all or none’ mindset of yours.

        See how you go with that first of all.

    • #14865
      Sally G
      Participant

      Hi Emily,
      Your post compares to my other fix in the absence of food which is spending money. When I am ‘in control’ of my eating and feel calm and ok about it, I shop to fill that gap. If I am watching what I spend, I tend to overeat to fill the gap.

      I do think that sitting and feeling the feelings will help, but I struggle with it because on the surface, I like both activities although I absolutely understand that the aftermath of overeating or over-shopping is miserable and makes me feel dreadful.

      Good that you recognise it and you are finding the course useful. I will also watch the videos on relapse if you think they are helpful.

      Regarding your last point, what non-weightloss goals do you have from exercising?

      I started outdoor swimming in lockdown, it has been a game changer as it is not something I associate with weightloss. It is totally a headspace thing. My whole life (I am 53) I have joined and not attended endless gyms, plodded along the pavements feeling like a big whale etc. Could you do a form of exercise which is doesn’t get you really out of breath and feeling like you are burning loads of calories, but that just makes you feel good?

      • #14866
        Gillian
        Keymaster

        Sally, it’s a very good idea to find some form of exercise that you find pleasurable. So many people miss that bit out, so I’m pleased you’ve got that.

        What you describe with your overeating/overspending is cross-addiction, though, and I’ve spoken about that in another thread here on this forum. I don’t think that’s what Emily is describing; it seems to me that she’s saying all kinds of activities go together in an ‘all or nothing’ way.

    • #14868
      Emily H
      Participant

      Thanks for your thoughts, Sally. Wild swimming sounds fab. You reminded me how much I love dancing and what good exercise that is that I totally don’t do for weight loss. I do jive dance classes and have really missed them during lock-down. Roll on July/August and I should be able to start again.
      Gillian, I have just been thinking about the fixed versus growth mindset idea in relation to my original post. I have always been in the fixed camp of course. In regard to exercise, I never really do much in terms of ongoing commitment that results in changes over time/meeting goals like lifting more weight or running further, which I would really love to do. I tend to go to one or two gym classes and suddenly feel ‘like a fit committed exerciser’ despite only dipping my toe in. I’ve just realised that this is how I approach the Eating Less course. I sit with addictive desire really well once and feel like I’ve got it! Then have nowhere to go when things don’t go quite so well. I also haven’t made any deliberate changes to my eating, and am only just seeing how scary this is. The fixed mindset approach means I don’t get to see much change/many benefits or rewards either in eating differently or in exercising. This might explain my issues around motivation. I am now going to explore how I can begin to cultivate a growth mindset.

      • #14870
        Gillian
        Keymaster

        Emily,

        This sounds excellent, and I do hope you take a good look at the two Relapse videos – and the client stories – in Week 6. That really is the best way forward for you.

        I know it’s scary to step out of an all-or-none mindset, but will lead to less of a roller-coaster ride, and being more relaxed and even joyful around food. It will help you a lot to identify and prioritise non-weight benefits, btw.

        One last thing, and that is to see if you can keep this conversation about food? I do get that it’s intwined with exercise, but it will help you a great deal to deal with one thing at a time – and I’m not going to comment on the exercise side of things for you.

    • #14869
      Sally G
      Participant

      Thanks Gillian. I am also trying to overcome ‘all or nothing’/perfectionism 🙂

      • #14871
        Gillian
        Keymaster

        Sally,

        As I’ve just posted for Emily, the way to move out of the all-or-none mindset is in Week 6.

        However, you’ve said you didn’t yet go through the the course and it would be important to do that first, as Week 6 on Relapse very much depends on what I’ve covered previously.

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