Bulimic Exercise Behavior and the Dangers of Social Normalization of Eating Disorders
Ellie Guzman

I think it starts because people feel like they can’t find a way to eat in a way that feels comfortable . People already KNOW that vegetables are good for them, that water is good, and they think that losing weight is all about calories in vs calories out. So a common conclusion to make this whole health thing “work” in their favor is to exercise to make up for how they really want to eat.

I teach food energetics and I like to call this kind of personality type“The Engager” — the type of person who wants to fully enjoy socializing with their friends by eating and drinking what they want, and then doing fad diets or lots of exercise in between. “The Engager” is the type of person who will exercise more on Thursday if they know they are going out with their friends on Friday and will miss their workout or want to eat more than usual. (or, they’ll exercise more on Saturday night to make up for their fiasco on Friday — but it’s more common to work out first because they like to let themselves relax after hard work, than work more after playing too much).

Exercising more is kind of like their way of “cheating the system”. Of validating poor eating habits. Of making themselves feel like their actions with food are okay if they just work harder (because more work=more play, right? — That’s not a concept that works when it comes to health, though we all wish it did!).

I wish people knew more about food energetics, though, because it’s such a great medium between the diet world (which people already know and are trying to make sense of in a way that feels right) and what feels intuitive.

Thanks for the read!

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