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Compulsive Exercise Disorder Treatment & Therapy in Austin Texas

Compulsive Exercise Treatment

Compulsive Exercise Disorder Therapy Austin TX

Compulsive exercise disorder occurs when an individual exercises so much that it negatively affects their mental and physical health and disturbs their social functioning. The need to exercise feels uncontrollable. Sometimes referred to as the “healthy addiction”, compulsive exercise often co-occurs with eating disorders.

Compulsive Exercise Treatment

How can something healthy like exercise become a negative thing?

Compulsive exercise has been shown to affect not only mental health but also physical health. Those struggling with compulsive exercise disorder may experience higher anxiety and stress levels, low self-esteem, and depression. Physical complications include chronic bone and joint pain, increased risk of injury, persistent muscle aches, loss of menstrual cycle, bone density loss, altered resting heart rate, and fatigue. In addition to health concerns, compulsive exercise disorder can affect one’s relationships and lead to social withdrawal or interpersonal conflict.

What are the most common signs of compulsive exercise disorder?

  • Using exercise as permission to eat
  • Fear that not exercising or sitting still will not burn calories
  • Feelings of guilt, anxiety, depression, or irritability when unable to exercise
  • Using exercise to compensate for eating more (“purging” calories)
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Skipping social events or activities in order to exercise
  • Exercising despite illness, fatigue, or injuries
  • Using exercise to manage or avoid emotions
  • Putting exercise before everything else
  • Maintaining a strict workout schedule
  • Exercising alone or in secret
  • Planning life around exercise
  • Pushing yourself too hard when exercising

How can therapy for compulsive exercise help?

Therapy can provide a safe, nonjudgmental space to examine your beliefs around exercise and self-worth. Your therapist will work with you to identify and deconstruct unhelpful and limiting beliefs to make room for flexibility, self-acceptance, and a more peaceful relationship with movement. Together, you will work to gain a deeper understanding of what role exercise has played in your life. Since exercise is often used as a coping tool for managing difficult emotions, your therapist can facilitate identifying triggers that lead to compulsive exercise and will be at your side while you try out new coping tools. Therapy for compulsive exercise can help you cultivate confidence and self-worth outside of exercise.
Compulsive Exercise Treatment

Our Approach to Compulsive Exercise Treatment in Austin, TX

How does exercise look different when practicing intuitive movement?

Overall, movement becomes fun again! Think of the things you liked doing as a kid, and allow yourself to participate in that kind of movement again. Exercise is no longer seen as a punishment or compensation. You no longer think of what exercise you “should” do but rather listen to what your body wants you to do. Instead, you exercise for mental wellbeing over physique. You allow yourself to make modifications while exercising rather than pushing yourself too hard. You’ll focus on being present in your own body during movement rather than comparing yourself to others around you, and you allow for rest days. You listen to your internal cues and honor your body’s needs. With intuitive movement, you choose movement that brings you joy and comfort. You disconnect body image from self-worth. As a result, you have autonomy again.
Compulsive Exercise Treatment

Start Compulsive Exercise Treatment in Austin, TX

Are you ready to begin exploring your relationship with exercise? Autonomy Therapy can help you. Our therapists specializing in Compulsive Exercise Treatment will help you heal your relationship with exercise to find a more balanced life. Get started today:

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