SPECIFIC RECOVERY-SABOTAGING BEHAVIORS Compulsive Exercise
One of the most commonly justified behaviors is compulsive exercise. It is easy to defend a behavior that we are all told is good for us, and even critical for optimum health, but too much of a good thing is bad. The question is when does this good thing go bad? In short, you know you are a compulsive exerciser when your exercise isn’t a choice anymore. Instead of your workouts being about health and fitness, you feel obligated to do it, driven by fear and unable to slow down or stop in spite of adverse consequences to your physical, emotional, or social life.
SIGNS OF COMPULSIVE EXERCISE
Look at the list and check all that apply.
You judge a day as good or bad based on how much you exercised.
You base your self-worth on how much you exercise.
You never take a break from exercise.
You exercise even though you are injured.
You arrange work and social obligations around exercise.
You cancel family or social engagements to exercise.
You become irritable or anxious when something interferes with your exercise.
You sometimes wish you could stop but are unable to.
You know that others are worried about how much you exercise.
You always have to do more and rarely feel satisfied with what you have done.
You exercise to compensate for overeating (or just eating).
Even if you checked only one item on the list, it indicates a need to look further into your exercise behavior to be sure that it is not interfering with your recovery.
CHANGING YOUR EXERCISE BEHAVIOR
Over-exercising is always bad for your body. Injuries, bone loss, and hormone imbalance are just a few problems that can arise. Psychological aspects are also present and need attention; we almost always see issues of intimacy, as well as anxiety and rigid thinking in our clients who over-exercise. Think about it.
Do you turn to exercise when troubled or under stress, rather than seeking help from others?
Do people who love you complain about your exercise interfering with the relationship?
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