Skinny to strong- how weight training can help with eating disorders

This blog means so much to me, because it’s all about my journey to strength…mentally and physically. ❤️

First of all…there’s a lot of bad press when it comes to the gym and any type of eating disorders/ body dismorphia….it seems the world thinks the gym/exercise is bad for those recovering, but I’m here to tell you, I think that’s rubbish.

Yes, monitor obsessions with training and ensure that over training is not a thing, but I actually think it’s helps the situation rather than making it worse, and here’s why-

1). Weight training makes you strong, not skinny– A lot of cardio and exercise is used when people want to lose weight, it helps to burn fat and burns lots of calories, but weight training is different. As much as weight training burns loads of calories, it also (with the right nutrition) builds muscle and increases the bodies mass, something important when recovering from an eating disorder. We want the individual to gain weight, but in a healthy way, and one that allows strength to increase too!

2). More food needs to be taken on board- To say I sometimes struggle with the concept of having to up my calories, I actually want to when I’m training. There’s nothing worse than working hard in the gym all month to then see no progression because you haven’t eaten enough….it’s like all your hard work goes to waste. In fact, I recently saw on the news that eating disorders have increased since gyms had shut during lockdown…because what’s the point in eating when you’re doing nothing (that’s how we see it).

3). It relieves mental stress- Lifting a heavy weight and putting your body through the pain can be extremely relieving mentally. I often go to the gym feeling like my brain is going to explode and left feeling on top of the world. The chemicals released in your brain are good ones, and it’s a lot easier to push the body to its limits than the mind, it’s a nice change.

4). It’s a great distraction- Whilst at the gym/ weight training…there is nothing else you even think about for that time, apart from the activity you’re carrying out. It’s such a good distraction from all the anxieties going on inside the mind.

5). Changes to the body are positive– Like I said, weight training increases muscle, not the opposite. Whilst other exercise can lead to even more weight loss, weight training can change the body physically, in a good way. As shown in the pictures previous, my body has changed positively, despite gaining weight, I am more defined and a lot lot stronger!

6). It’s a great way to set goals– On hard days, it’s important that there is something to look forward to…a goal to aim for, and weight training is perfect for this. What are your weight goals for this weeks sessions, or how many reps can you do today? Small goals lead to small successes, and with that comes positivity and hope. Plus, going home with a personal best always sets you up for a good day!🥰

7). It increases confidence– Confidence is something that individuals with eating disorders often struggle with, whether that’s body confidence or just confidence in general…but honestly, having a hobby/ goal can really boost confidence levels. Just knowing you are capable/ growing is everything!

8). It helps you to change your relationship with your body to a positive one- When I see the levels I can push my body to and the amazing changes I see in it daily….I just think wow, I am in awe. To spend your whole life hating your body/ food, it’s important that this relationship is changed, and this can really help you change perspective. Be in awe of your body and what it does for you….it really is an amazing machine!💪🏻

Also, I just want to say, each body is different. Each body needs different food, different calories and every body is different. Some people are naturally skinny, whilst others are more curvy…but what I’ve learnt over the years is that we all want what we haven’t got. If you’re skinny, you want to be have curves and if you’re curvier, you probably wish you were skinnier sometimes. But what we can take away from that is….there’s no such thing as a perfect body. Whatever body you have right now, is someone else’s dream. Let’s step away from the way you look physically and remember how incredible and clever your body is. I feel grateful everyday that I have the freedom to exercise, because some people don’t have that option.

In a world that makes you doubt your self worth, loving yourself is a rebellious act! Love who you are, because who gives a damn what anyone else thinks. Do you FOR YOU.❤️

Thanks so much for reading guys, much love, Lou x

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