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Acorns to Oaktrees

September 9th, 2008 at 12:24 am

Exercise Resistance Part 2

Part 1

Underactivity or physical passivity appears to offer a sense of control over body and feelings, just as disordered eating and over-exercise do. Exercise resistance may simply be another component in the menu of options from which men and women find themselves suffering in this time of epidemic eating and body image problems. If we are to begin to look at exercise resistance as a separate syndrome worthy of specialized understanding and treatment, here are some factors to consider.


  1. The individual strongly resists any suggestion to become more physically active (barring any physical impairments and given several workable options).

  2. The individual reacts with anger, resentment, or anxiety to any suggestion to become more physically active.

  3. The individual describes experiencing moderate to severe anxiety during physical activity.

Item 1. most certainly applies to me. I have an endless supply of reasons for why I can’t exercise. The ones that are really hard for me to deal with are the ones that could be physical impairments. For example, I have a weak knee. It causes me pain pretty much whenever I do anything but not consistently. It’s unstable and weak, but nothing is structurally wrong. To make matters worse or give me a better excuse (I’m not sure which), I fell on it a few years ago. After tripping over my own feet and to avoid hitting my head on a table, I landed with my full weight on my bad knee. It swelled up like a grapefruit, but there was no structural damage. It healed, and in 6 months, I was able to do stuff again. Then I fell again and landed on my knee. This time, it didn’t get better. I used the same therapy regime that I have used since I was a teenager. After a year of that, I decided to see the doc, who sent me to physical therapy, where I learned that doing leg extensions where probably aggravating my knee. The PT showed me how to strengthen the stabilizing muscles w/o leg extensions, and because my improvement had been so rapid, I cancelled the follow-up PT appointment.

Improvement does not mean that the pain was gone. I exercise with pain (another behavior that might be part of an exercise/eating disorder). So sometimes I exercise with pain, sometimes I use the pain as an excuse to not exercise, but since the pain indicates weakness, not aggravation of the injury, it’s not a good excuse (in my mind). And either way, I torment myself about it.

And this is only one way that I torment myself over (not) exercising w/regards to resisting exercise. I could probably go on and on about not having time.

What was my point? I forget. Now there is the benefit of an eating disorder! I can take any issue and turn it into a swirl of thoughts about eating/exercising/being fat/etc. and not actually deal with anything.

Item 2. True. Resentment an Anxiety, for sure. Anger probably follows pretty quick.

My usual response is “Why the fuck don’t you think I exercise?”

Hm. That indicates anger.

The anxiety is usually around not having time or finding a block of time when I can freely exercise.

Item 3. I do not experience anxiety when exercising.

Part 3.

Reference: Eating Disorders: Exercise Resistance in Women

Category: Eating Disorder Tags: , , , ,

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