Neefer Sews, Crochets, Crafts, Swims, and Blathers about Kids

Acorns to Oaktrees

September 2nd, 2008 at 7:43 pm

Exercise Resistance (part 1)

We talked about this in group today. DebTherapist handed out a very interesting article from WebMD on Exercise Resistance in Women. If you can find the article, let me know.

Exercise resistance is an entrenched inactivity pattern that is resistant to intervention or treatment. Many professionals (heck, people in the general population, too) assume that inactivity is due to factors such as a harried lifestyle (one of my favorite excuses), industrialization, laziness (one of my judgemental thoughts), and, in overweight individuals, the discouraging factor of physical difficulty or discomfort in moving. Behavior modification counseling programs, use of specialized personal trainers, and other types of motivational strategies to encourage a physically active lifestyle are ineffective.

The above statement is about several groups of binge eating disordered people that were studied over a period of 3 years, starting in 1993. My therapist noted that while the study focused on one subset of the eating disordered population and while it may not affect 100% of people afflicted with eating disorders, exercise resistance is common to all eating disorders.

For many with a history of body image problems, moderate to severe overeating histories, and/or a history of repeated attempts at weight loss, exercise resistance is a common syndrome that requires specialized treatment. Remaining inactive or physically passive appears to be an important aspect of the psychological defense system within the eating disorder itself, providing a balance of sorts from the psychological discomfort that accompanies exercising. This psychological discomfort varies from moderate to severe anxiety and is related to a profound sense of physical and emotional vulnerability.

I had never considered this. Exercise = emotional/physical vulnerability

This is a revolutionary concept to me. And at this point I wasn’t buying in. Afterall that would mean (partially) silencing the negative voice in my head telling me that I’m lazy. And it runs contrary to what I’ve been told all my life.

At this point, though, I wasn’t buying into this. I’ve been told too many times that it’s really because I’m lazy people are lazy, they don’t exercise. Usually, the message is delivered as a should, too, so there’s an implied moral superiority and a message of shame or that the non-exerciser should be ashamed for not exercising.

Part 2.

Reference: Eating Disorders: Exercise Resistance in Women

Category: Eating Disorder Tags: , , ,

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