F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

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joanne34
Hi, just a q about exercise compulsion.   Did any of you find this increased during refeeding - particularly as the weight slowly crept back on?

Our daughter was very slowly gaining weight but a month ago stayed the same and then last fortnight had dropped 500g.  We've noticed she is becoming more obsessed with trying to exercise when she can.  Due to lock down we will go out for a walk most days as a family but seeing this compulsion taking hold of he rwe are now cutting back to every other day.   Today she is in a pretty bad way and kept asking if we were going for a walk to which my answer was no based on how she was.  Even putting washing out she was purposely running up and down from one end to the other of the clothes line to get exercise in!

Our gut feeling is to stop her /rein in activity to try and break this cycle rather than continuing with daily walks which we feel feeds the compulsion.

Have any of you found a successful method to deal with this.    I don't want to stop exercise altogether as I think is benefits her to get out for a walk in the sun but at the same time I'm worried that it will be all she thinks about every day?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks
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Foodsupport_AUS
This is very common. My D had an exercise compulsion when first ill but when the restricting hit big time the exercise stopped. We had many cycles in and out of hospital, when ever she was being well fed, the compulsion restarted, then if she restricted it stopped again. I think the ED thoughts about eating made her feel that she had to exercise. 

As to the best method it depends on what you are addressing. Some kids won't sit down at all, others do compulsive extra movements - jiggling, walking the long way etc.. As much as possible it is best to stop it. By all means have a very limited walk outside but it may be all she thinks of all day. I am also not sure that if you stop it she won't think about it all day. 
Some have required progressively longer sitting. Some have required extra food if caught doing unapproved exercise. Close monitoring. 
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Initially weight restored 2012. Relapse and continuously edging towards recovery. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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Enn

Agree with all that Foodsupport says above. 

Stopping all exercise now does not mean she won’t be able to add it in slowly some time in the future. 
No matter what you do please know she IS thinking about that and food all day, anyway.
We had  standing all the time and that started after she came from hospital, and had not had that prior. Don’t know where she learned that but we did tackle it by making her sit for longer and longer periods. Half hour at a time, until she could sit for two hours at one go. 

When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
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joanne34
Thanks.  I know it will be all she is thinking about and we have been letting her  exercise within limits e.g. going for a walk, playing in the garden etc.  However, she is in such a dark place today which triggered us to say no to a walk.  More because of the state she is in, not because we don't want to go for a walk.  Hopefully this dark phase will have lifted a bit tomorrow and we can go for a walk or if she seems a bit better in the afternoon I might see if she wants to  do a bit of badminton in the garden.  Everything is just so up and down.....mainly down this week.   Fortunately, she is eating her food so that is good and next week school work starts up again so she will have some other things to occupy her thoughts.  I think having half term week has been hard as there are less distractions even though we have being trying to distract via gardening, creative activities, going for a walk and so on.   Today is one of those 'I hate my parents......you are making me feel trapped!" kind of days.
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Lonelymum

Hi - my daughter has an exercise compulsion also which she confessed to after weight loss despite intense refeeding. We discovered she was getting up in the night to exercise as well as in the toilet and pretty much at any point when alone. She has slept with me for the last 10 months and she is with one of us all of the time but it has done the trick. She is wr+ with really good signs of brain recovery. She is able to talk about her compulsion now and recognise when she needs extra support. It’s looking really hopeful that she will be able to leave it behind soon. 

Just be aware that ED finds any gap it can so plug as many as you can! 


Good luck x

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Lonelymum
Sorry forgot to say - we also used lots of distraction. Netflix - craft - on line window shopping! 
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MKR
Hi @joanne34,

During lockdown, we had exercise compulsion - and by that I mean distress if caught and distress if exercise delayed. I observed it was highest on days she wasn't tired out by school work.

I agreed to my d going out for 1 hr in the morning (before her online classes started). She soon shortened it to 45 minutes, even 35 and stopped all the bathroom exercise.

With the easing of lockdown measures, her "cabin fever" eased off as well and exercise became less compulsive.

I believe random walks with you and as a family are interrupting any rigid patterns while providing time in the sunshine and fresh air. And some good family time.
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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joanne34
We did end up going for the walk as we all needed to get out of the house and it was so lovely outside.  
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MKR
I am so glad you all had a good time. May all the family walks make happy relaxing memories for your daughter and you!
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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joanne34
Thank you MKR
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