Running after an eating disorder

7 messages
07/08/2010 at 21:24
Hi all,

I have been out of therapy for my eating disorder for a year now and have taken up running again. I did a 10k race for life in June and am now looking to do a half marathon at the beginning of october. Now i am upping my mileage more my longest run in the week being 11 miles and i run about 20 - 25 a week I am really struggling to know if i am eating the right amount of food and things to maintain my weight.I also struggle knowing how much running I should be doing every week and whether i am doing too much. I have no problem soing the running i do just don't know if I can compensate for it by getting enough food in me. I do still have some issues around food ut i find when i can run i worry less about what i put into my body. I tend to eat no more than 2000 calories a day and I don't weigh myself so I don't become obsessive over it. My ultimate aim is to try and do the marathon next yr if i get a place of course and would like anyone who has been in this situation before to provide me with some advice if possible. Thank you so much. Running makes me feel strong and makes me feel capable of something but it obviously raises some issues when it comes to food.

Thank you so much xxx
07/08/2010 at 22:47
Best of luck Anna.
08/08/2010 at 08:24

hi anna,

just make sure that what you do eat contains the nutrients required to keep your bones and muscles strong.

good luck.

08/08/2010 at 10:03

Hi Anna

Congratulations on your recovery.  It's great that running is helping you feel good about yourself.

I suggest you should be very cautious about doing a lot of running without being sure that you can replace the calories.  Do you still receive input from a medical professional or someone like a dietician?  If you do, I would discuss the running with them and get professional advice.  If you have been discharged, I would recommend you visit your GP and see if you need specialist support with your diet while you adjust to your training regime.

08/08/2010 at 18:57

Hi Anna,

 well done on your progress so far.  Like Katie suggested I to would be very cautious about taking on too much. Excercise, especially running, is very addictive and it is very easy to get carried away and not look after yourself as you should.

Getting advice from a dietician or nutritionist is a very good idea. I would also reccommend weighing yourself regularly, maybe once or twice a week, just to make sure you arent loosing weight.  If you find it hard to stomach eating more food, there are plenty of alternatives on the market. Most health food shops have a wide variety of protein/carb drinks which you can have between meals, just to ensure you are getting the nutrients you need. There are lots of good running books on the market, some have meal plans which are very helpful if you struggle with knowing what to eat, and how much etc.

Bear in mind you can burn around 100 calories per mile, so you will need replace this just to maintain. Also it can be very tempting to skip meals on the days you dont excercise, you try to convince yourself that you dont need to eat as much as when you do run. Be very wary of this.

 I suffered with an eating disorder in my late teens and have tried on numerous occassions to get back into excersing but old habits die hard and It is all too easy to slip back into your old ways. It has taken me 10 years to get to a point where i can excercise sensibley and know my limits, and its been very hard. You should definitely discuss this with your GP before even thinking about applying for a marathon.

Good luck with everything

08/08/2010 at 19:54
As much as I try I never seem to get back my speed I rejoined my local running club and attend each week but still I'm at the back of the pack. I suffered a back injury over 3yrs ago which took me till now to get any sort of fitness and still trying. I used to be able to run at 8min miling now it's more like 10.5 -11.0min. I am 62yrs old but still enjoy my running but get frustrated at not being able to runn faster any advice would be helpful thanks
09/08/2010 at 12:57

You say you don't want to eat over 2,000 calories a day yet if you're running 11 miles in one go, you're going to need to eat over this amount in order to fuel your body properly.

You needn't fill up on junk though - high-cal/good fats snacks such as nuts/cheese/seedy bread (or just more carbs) will all help bulk it out a bit and give you the energy you (and your body) needs to run well and healthily.

Try not to replace your eating disorder with running though - what may start as a healthy pursuit could wind up as a full-blown obsession/addiction which could potentially be as dangerous as your ED.

Good luck. 

Edited: 09/08/2010 at 12:57

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