Compulsive Exercise Dietitians and Nutritionists
Do you or a loved one struggle with your relationship with exercise? Have you exercised through illness or injury? Is it difficult for you to have flexibility with exercise so you find yourself following a rigid schedule?
Struggling with compulsive exercise can feel isolating and overwhelming. The dietitians at Courage to Nourish are highly trained and experienced in working with individuals of all ages who are struggling with their relationship with exercise. We know how incredibly scary and challenging this can be. Our team is highly skilled in working with compulsive exercise and are here to accompany you on this journey of gaining your life back.
What is Compulsive Exercise?
Compulsive exercise, sometimes referred to as exercise addiction, is when a person is driven to exercise obsessively and frequently. Sometimes, we see compulsive exercise as an isolated concern, but it typically occurs alongside an eating disorder diagnosis. Exercise can be used as a coping tool to process or numb emotions. While exercise can be a useful tool to relieve stress, anxiety or other feelings, it can be a harmful tool if it’s the only tool. Within the context of eating disorders, some clients engage in obsessive exercise to cope with food guilt. This can be problematic as people who struggle with compulsive exercise often restrict their nutrition intake, exercise through sickness/injury, prioritize exercise over other important values, numb their emotions and/or have general anxiety related to food and body image.
How We Help Treat Compulsive Exercise
At Courage to Nourish, our dietitians work one on one with our clients and their treatment team to improve compulsive exercise thoughts, urges and behaviors. We value trusting and compassionate relationships between our dietitians and clients. We value safety and a non-judgmental space so our clients are able to process their relationship with food and body in a way that is met with understanding and empathy. Not only do we work with you or your loved one in individual sessions, but we also collaborate with various members of the treatment team. We also provide text and email support and keep our caseloads small. This can assure you are getting the highest quality of care.
We understand how important exercise may be to individuals who struggle with compulsive exercise. Our goal isn’t to completely take away a coping mechanism that has gotten our clients through some really difficult times. Our goal is to support our clients in having an overall improved relationship with movement and exercise. We work alongside our clients’ therapists so they are able to build a toolbox of coping skills. Additionally, we discuss nutrition with our clients to assure they are fueling enough. If appropriate, we process food rules and food guilt.
Typical Clients We Work With
FAQs About Compulsive Exercise
How do I know if I have exercise addition?
How long does it take to treat compulsive exercise?
Will I need to follow a meal plan?
How can I help a loved one with compulsive exercise?
Supporting a loved one with an eating disorder, including compulsive, can be so difficult. As loved ones, we often want to “fix it.” But, recovery takes time and there’s not much we can do other than offering a listening ear and a non-judgemental space. Read our blog on Supporting a Loved One with an Eating Disorder. Also, visit our resources page and sign up for our newsletter to get more tips on how to support your loved one.
How can I find support for compulsive exercise?
Courage to Nourish is happy to help. Contact us for more information about working with us. We provide both virtual and in person services. If for some reason we are unable to support you, we would be glad to refer you to other resources. You can also read our blog and resources page for more ideas and support on eating disorder recovery.
Have more questions?
Visit our Treatment FAQ page.
About Courage to Nourish
Courage to Nourish is a group of eating disorder specialized dietitians. We have in person locations in Alexandria, Virginia, Columbia, Maryland, and College Park, Maryland. We offer virtual services across the state of Maryland. Virginia, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, and Colorado. We offer individual nutrition therapy. As well as support groups. We would love to guide you in building a better relationship with food.
Interested in finding out more?
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