Ask An Expert Eating Disorders

Adding in exercise once you’re weight restored?

First, make sure you have your recovery professional's green light to start exercising again. You'll also want to make sure you have a plan in place and have someone go with you to exercise.

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Question: What advice do you have for getting back into exercise while in eating disorder recovery once you are weight restored?


Dear C,

This is a big question with so many layers to it. If you happened to struggle with exercise addiction as one of your eating disorder behaviours, just the thought of returning to exercise once you’re weight restored can stir up a variety of feelings and emotions. These may include anticipation, fear, anxiety, excitement, etc. Making this a very confusing process.

However, there are 3 initial steps you may want to take before you head off to exercise:

  1. Above all else, the first thing you want to make sure of is that you have your recovery professional’s green light to start exercising again. This could be a therapist, a dietician, a psychiatrist, etc.  Eating disorders are not just about getting to a certain weight in order to be considered “healthy”; what is really the most important part of recovery is your mindset. Only a professional trained in treating eating disorders will truly be able to make the call if you’re ready for exercise, especially if overexercising was part of your eating disorder behaviours in the past. How you think about exercise and how it fits into your recovery is something you’ll want to address and work through thoroughly with your recovery team before any kind of exercise is added into your routine.
  2. You’ll want to make sure you have a plan in place. Be prepared with what steps you will take in the case of different possible scenarios: What will you do if you get triggered? What will you do if you get the overwhelming urge to do more than you planned? How will you congratulate yourself if you stick to your recovery? (rewarding yourself is just as important).
  3. Have someone go with you to exercise, at least at the start. Having someone safe and whom you can trust to support your recovery when you first start off with your exercise is essential. Not only will this person keep you accountable to your recovery, they will also have your back in case you happen to find yourself in a triggering situation. There is power in numbers.

I filmed a few videos on the topic of ED Recovery and exercise over on Libero’s YouTube channel. Here they are:

I hope this helps! Don’t forget to join our group on Facebook if you’re looking for community and support!

Robyn Baker, CPT, RYT, BS

Ask An Expert Column Disclaimer: Our “Ask an Expert” column is meant to serve as a place to ask a question anonymously and receive a public response from a certified health professional in the form of a Q&A-style article. Although our Experts are certified professionals in their area of expertise, their advice may not be suitable for your situation, and thus is not to be taken in place of that given by your personal healthcare team. Please always consult your own healthcare team before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process. Always use your own good judgment, and consult a licensed mental or physical health practitioner for specific treatment. Do not use this column if you are in crisis. If you are in crisis, contact 911 (in North America), your local emergency number, or one of the Helplines listed in our resources section.

Ask an Expert | Libero Magazine 5
Robyn Baker, CPT, RYT, BS

Robyn is the founder, owner, and operator of Asteya Fitness in Irvine, CA. She believes in health at every size and that the key to health and well-being is establishing and nurturing the mind-body connection through intuitive eating and exercise. She is a born and raised California girl and a proud mommy.

SITE DISCLAIMER: The opinions and information shared in any content on our site, social media, or YouTube channel may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We are not liable for any harm incurred from viewing our content. Always consult a medical professional before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process. Libero does not provide emergency support. If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-784-2433 or another helpline or 911.


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