How do you stop exercising to excess when Ana tells you that you must keep going or will get fat?

Been battling anorexia for years and recently have started exercising again to help burn off calories. Now its become an obsession and all I can think of is my next work out at the gym and how I can do more and push myself further. I know this is dangerous but can't stop. My Ed voice is so loud at the minute. I really want to cut down or stop but don't know how to. Told my counsellor and she wasn't much help. Anyone else had difficulty with this, really could do with help and advice from someone that has been there.

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  • hey darl its me...yes I keep tabs on you (I am a mum after all!) What could help you? I know...you!! You know the only thing that pulled me up? I was sitting in my girlfriends car at traffic lights on the way to another sucky modelling job (that is the most shit life - but hey it sounds romantic) reading Cosmo or something like that and lo and behold an article about "side effects" of taking an eating disotder too far - well one that hit home to me was about growing down like fur and weird hair in places you shouldn't. Well I read this to my friend whose prompt reply was thank god you reminded me - hand me the tweezers...Citylife she proceeded to pluck her nose and under her chin - Gross - that was it for me - I took my power back then and there. Been fighting the "good" fight ever since....don't know if that helped at all, try to find your own "no" moment. You are doing the right thing jumping on this site as you need to. Someone somewhere will be able to help, in the meantime don't forget about your best friend you!! Love you Julie.

  • Thanks for your reply. You were right someone has helped. Njam had given me some great advice and ideas to try to help me try to take control again over Ana. Going to try cutting back exercise by 10 calories on treadmill then try 10 less after a few days and try to cut back that way Hoping it'l help block out Ana's voice.

  • I have been there. ..

    eventually there comes a time when you know you need to stop and you do...although I did it really slowly eg. 4mile runs everyday to every other day then to 3x a week then 3miles x3 a week...down to 2 miles and now at 2miles x2 a week. My goals were set by my psychologist and changed every two weeks i think...and then weekly toward the end. You'd also have to follow a food plan. It is by far the most terrifying thing I've ever done but something tells me this is my last chance at a real recovery. If I fail now it will leave me living but wishing I was dead or kill me.

    You have to want to change or at least be prepared to give it a go. You have to be strong because I can tell you that voice doesn't go away. You have to fight it. What you need to listen for is another tiny voice. ..that of your intuition and when it is time to stop and try fighting you will hear it. Maybe your counsellor knows it is not the right time for you. Why set goals for you, you won't really want to attempt? If you don't follow the goals you will only use feeling like you've failed to punish yourself further.

    It's not all bad...anorexia teaches you dedication, perseverance, single mindedness...bloody mindedness even...makes you feel strong or powerful maybe...determination, resourcefulness...it gave me all this plus a sense of achievement a best friend...something that was solely mine. It was all I had I guess, maybe you can relate to that?

    When the time is right you will have to fight and you will need all the things it taught you to do the opposite of everything it tells you.

    Do you want to stop exercising because you want to or because someone is pressuring you to change. You have to think carefully about that because if you change because of pressure from friends or family or because a counsellor tells you to, you will be doing it for them and not for you and then you will resent them for not understanding and making you fat and will go back to your old ways. ..I know. ..its happened to me.

    if and when you hear that tiny voice say now. ..you will know it's time to stop or at least try. ..you feel will fat. ..you will be fat!! (Well sort of)! I'm told it will be worth it so I am hanging on for dear life even if it goes against everything I've ever known. I've heard that little voice...it says now and do not be afraid and it will be ok. I don't always believe it but I'm trying. My psychologist tells me the same and I trust she is telling me the truth even if sometimes I feel frustrated by my size and that her goals got me here. I am grateful for what my life up til now has taught me and thankful I'm still alive...it is a miracle really!!! Truly blessed that I've been given a chance at recovery.

    listen to your inner voice do what feels right for now is my advice. ..hope that helps.

    n

  • Thank you for your reply, what you say makes a lot of sense. I do hear that little quiet voice from time to time telling me to fight back. But it always seems to get drowned out by Ana. You are right about stopping exercising because at the minute it would be because others want me to. I know it will only work when I want to stop or cut back. I'm going to try and do 5mins less each day for awhile and then try to make it 10mins when I feel able to. That way it'l not be too much all at once. I'm seeing close trusted friend tomorrow to discuss an eating plan. Hoping it might help.

  • Sounds like a good start. If you can make small manageable goals that will help. I guess you won't see it or feel it (i still don't myself) but they will be achievements...small signs you can start to take some control. I try to see it as a balance I'm doing small things to make me healthier and bits that sort of tick Ana's boxes and keep her happy. It has to be a very slow change. Slow pace will have less drastic weight change implications too.

    Good luck

    n

  • Oh and Ana will always be louder especially if you've suffered a long time. It's giving that tiny voice the chance to be heard and acted on that might save your life... It is the fight of your life and gets worse. ..I am assured it will be worth it!!! Good luck. n

  • YYYYYYAAAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!!! Thank god!! Bless you & Njam!! Excellent plan for the exercise, cut down. Hope your meeting with your mate was productive...good luck darl, talk to you later - Julie xoxo (ps - hope you 2 can keep being each others "cheersquad" seems like you are a great match)

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