National Eating Disorders Association

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no gym

I'm addicted to exercise and am losing my mind, terrified I'm gaining weight. I know it's the last thing I should be worried about right now but I am - I'm disgusted by my changing appearance. I'm getting in bodyweight workouts and honestly - I'm probably getting stronger. It's just the changes that cause me to panic. I don't want to start restricting.

Hi banneka. We wanted to

Hi banneka. We wanted to bring your attention to NEDA's COVID19 resources to help you during this stressful time. You can find those here. Stay well and safe - and if you need additional support, do not hesitate to contact the NEDA Helpline at 800.931.2237 or chat with them online (

I'm sorry this is happening,

I'm sorry this is happening, this whole situation is very stressful. And i'm sure it's really hard to be cooped up inside, I understand. Take some time to ground yourself, and I hope things get better.


I understand how you're feeling and have definitely had similar experiences. I remember feeling like I wanted to crawl out of my skin because I was so disgusted with myself. Somehow, I have gotten past those sorts of feelings, but it is painful just to recall them. All I can tell you is that you WILL get through it, you are NOT disgusting, and this virus will not keep you inside forever. Since this is your reality right now though, is there someone you can talk to honestly about your feelings? Maybe you can make a list of all the great things you appreciate about your body that might help put things in perspective? Hang in there.

hang in there

I totally understand. The first thought I had when I heard about lockdown was how will I work out? And it caused my anxiety to heighten and I pretty much freaked out. I then googled home workouts, brought some equipment from amazon and started cycling. All in all I have figured out a good workout routine that is challenging. Try to get some home equipment and look on youtube for boxing workouts.

I think when exercise is such a big part of a persons life it helps calm the mind in general, and when thats removed it's like a coping mechanism is eliminated.

Good luck!

I can relate

I also am addicted to exercise and am recovering from an eating disorder (anorexia). I was discharged from IOP the week before everything shut down. I was an ultra-marathoner and an ironman triathlete in another life and after discharge, I just wanted to be allowed to swim, since it's a good way to handle anxiety and good for your body. But the pools closed immediately. I have started walking more--I always hated walking, I thought it was boring and took too much time, but I've grown to really love it and I can walk 3 miles and feel like I've gotten out of the house and done some movement. And I ride my bike, but only for an hour. I've found one place to swim, a deep water lake 30 miles away, and I've driven up there a couple of times. But in general I've had to adjust, and trust my team (therapist, dietician) and listen to what they have to say about how easy it is for exercise to take over my life again. And I have to be super careful not to restrict due to decreased exercise---which I have done a bit of, honestly---we're not perfect, especially not in these conditions. This is a nightmare scenario for us and yet getting through post-treatment in a pandemic, where you are TOLD to isolate, URGED not to go to restaurants or the grocery store, is only going to make us stronger. I have to believe that. I have to believe it. I hope this helps. I hope the urges subside. i hope you learn to like walking. I have seen some stuff on my walks that I've never seen before and I've lived in this neighborhood for ten years!

me too

Hi Texheel,
I can relate to a lot of what you said. I used to hate walking too-- I much preferred the faster pace of running. I am not a huge fan of swimming pools even though I am a good swimmer, so the pool closure wasn't a big deal to me. However, like you I have gained a real appreciation for a walk during quarantine. It is also my way to get out and move around, get some fresh air, exercise and be gentle on my body, enjoy nature, de-stress, and re-center. I now feel like I gain a huge benefit from walking on so many levels. I don't even think about what I "loose" out on from a walk instead of run because I don't see it as a loss anymore!

I'm feeling the same way too,

I'm feeling the same way too, to be honest. I struggle with binge- eating disorder and I started lifting weights a few months ago and I really enjoy. It is really one of the only ways I like working out. When my college residence hall forced everyone to move out, I had to move back home with my parents and I think that is where a lot of my binging starts. The fact that I can't work out at the gym is giving me little motivation to continue eating clean and I have gained so much weight the last couple of weeks.

I work out three times a week

I work out a couple times a week to keep my body in shape. Sports give me a lot of positive emotions. When I work out, my body produces adrenaline, and I feel much better. I have a couple of tracksuits - leggings and a top. They are great for intensive workouts because they are comfortable for different stretching exercises. I do online classes at the gym.

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Hey there!

Hey there! I completely understand how you're feeling. With the pandemic, it's been hard for everyone to maintain their usual workout routines. I'm actually in a similar situation myself - I'm moving into a new house where there's no gym around. But I've been discovering new ways to stay active, like boxing for stress relief. I'm even building a home gym in my new house, and I only have a few details left to figure out. Have you tried a punching bag for small spaces like this one ? I recently discovered some great options that don't take up too much room. Don't worry too much about your changing appearance - as long as you're staying active and healthy, that's what matters most.

If you're feeling overwhelmed

If you're feeling overwhelmed, it might be helpful to talk to a professional who can offer some guidance and support. There's no shame in seeking help, and it takes a lot of strength to reach out.

Also, if you're interested, there are some great online resources that can provide information and support for those who may be struggling with exercise addiction or body image issues. You can visit for more information and resources.