Facts About Exercise Bulimia (Is My Partner Suffering From It?) Part 1

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Jed thought that his wife was just determined to lose weight after their baby was born. She would only eat fruits and bread every day and was strict with her calorie counting. After that, his wife would perform a strenuous exercise routine. He didn’t mind it that much until he received a phone call at work. His wife died at the gym while she was working out and had cardiac arrest at age 34.

Sometimes the thinking by patients and family members is that if the effects of the illness are not overt, then how can a problem exist. — Judy Scheel Ph.D., L.C.S.W., CEDS

What Jed didn’t know was that his wife suffered from a psychological problem called Exercise Bulimia. Exercise Bulimia is a form of physical workout performed by a person who wants to shed off unwanted body fats and calories in an extreme manner. This exercise is done in a very rigid way compared to regular healthy exercise. The effect of exercise bulimia on the human body is more on the negative side rather than the positive side.


This type of exercise is done by people with bulimia as a replacement for purging, but the effect is still the same. It can put people’s health and life in danger. The whole situation can become life-threatening when the person purges and uses exercise bulimia, just to get rid of unwanted body fat and calories.


What Is Exercise Bulimia?

Exercise bulimia is classified as a type of bulimia nervosa. It is a workout style that is driven by the intense desire to burn out calories at the soonest possible time. The person with the disorder tracks down his food intake and then calculates how to burn them off.


Instead of purging, the person uses this form of exercise to disable the food intake from turning into excess fats. It is mostly accompanied by anxiety, especially if food and body image issues are present. Clearly, a person who suffers from exercise bulimia also has other mental health disorders to manage.

When weight, body size and shape are seen as synonymous with love, acceptance, and self-worth, young people are vulnerable to the efforts of the weight loss industry. — Dawn Delgado LMFT, CEDS-S

The Difference Between Getting Fit Through Exercise And Over-Exercising

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Getting fit and being obsessed with exercise lies on a very thin line. People work out several times a week to get healthy. Others are facing the risk of getting addicted to exercise coupled with bulimia and anxiety issues. On a worst-case scenario, some people would even do their workout routine if they are not feeling well just to meet their target. This action puts a person’s life at risk.


How Do I Know If I Have Exercise Bulimia?

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Since working out is one of the two means to get healthy and fit, exercise bulimia is hardly recognized at first. It will only be diagnosed as such when the result of rigid exercising surfaces. However, it can still be uncovered with the following questions:


  • Do you intentionally skip events, functions and other essential meetings so that you could work out?
  • Do you feel guilty whenever you miss a workout session?
  • Has anybody told you that you are exercising too much?
  • Do you have a target number of calories to be burned whenever you are exercising?
  • Do you rigidly track down the food you eat?
  • Is being fit very important to you?
  • Do you believe that your self-worth will be defined by how much you weigh or look?
  • For female respondents, is the menstruation flow extraordinarily light or infrequent?
  • Do you often take measurements of yourself?

Combining psychotherapy with nutritional therapies and yoga provides an integrative approach to efficacy and empowers our clients in their recovery process. — Leslie E. Korn Ph.D., MPH, LMHC, ACS, NTP

If you answered YES to at least five of the questions stated above, then you may be at risk of developing exercise bulimia. Now, if you responded YES to ALL THE QUESTIONS, then you have exercise bulimia, and you need immediate treatment.


There is a second part to this article which discusses the risks of exercise bulimia, how to recover from the same mental health disorder and other essential facts about it. It is in the hopes of the writer of this article that you’ve learned something about exercise bulimia by reading this short writeup. If you have a loved one who is exhibiting signs of exercise bulimia, then push for help and treatment immediately.

Talking About Bulimia



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Bulimia is a severe mental health disorder and one that is associated with a number of serious medical concerns. Supporting a loved one with bulimia can be a very challenging task. Your support may well be one of the things that helps them finally tackle this horrible eating disorder. Often it can be hard to know what to say and when to say it and with such a controversial subject, you may be concerned about saying the wrong thing, making it worse or even pushing them away. Below are some tips on how to speak with someone about bulimia at different stages of their recovery process.

The behaviors might get downplayed or even flat out denied by the person who is trying to sustain them. — Lisa Ferentz LCSW-C, DAPA

The First Conversation:

Talking with a loved one about bulimia can be extremely difficult. Not only is this a very controversial and often ‘touchy’ subject, due to the feelings your loved one is likely experiencing (such as shame or embarrassment), it is hard to approach this subject without them becoming defensive or very upset. Below are a few do’s and don’ts to help you engage in a productive conversation without pushing your loved one away.


  • Speak in a non-judgmental and caring way.
  • Use “I” statements to communicate this. For example, “I noticed……. and I am worried about you.
  • Give them time and space to communicate how they are feeling. This is not something that will be fixed with one conversation. It is also important to understand the feelings that are underneath the eating disorder, so giving them this time and space is very helpful.
  • Encourage them to seek help and let them know you will be there to support them in any way they need.
  • Be direct and honest, but in a caring way.

Balancing serotonin levels with nutrition is central to managing the range of symptoms that occur along the eating disorders continuum. — Leslie E. Korn Ph.D., MPH, LMHC, ACS, NTP


  • Avoid language that places blame or suggests that you are criticizing them or their behavior.
  • Try not to be a therapist and remember it is okay for you not to have the answer to everything. It’s more about letting them know you are concerned and offering them a chance to discuss their feelings.
  • Don’t focus the conversation on food and instead keep it centered on their feelings.
  • Never try and threaten them or manipulate them. This will likely only increase their anxiety and make it worse (as well as making them less likely to approach you in the future for support).


What if they deny it?

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For people suffering from bulimia, it has often become their way of coping. So denying that their eating disorder is a problem, or that they even have one is a way that they protect themselves. As tackling the eating disorder will require taking a coping strategy away from them, you need to continue to offer them lots of love and support. Be non-judgmental in your approach and let them know you will be there every step of the way if required.

 In order to understand how to treat, understanding what we are treating makes sense. — Judy Scheel Ph.D., L.C.S.W., CEDS

While They are Going through Treatment:


Source: recovery.org


  • Praise – Let them know that you have noticed they are making changes. Tell them you know how difficult it is for them and that you are really proud of how they are going.
  • Separate – Separate them from the eating disorder. Often they can feel as though they are one and the same, and reminding them that this is not the case is very helpful. Separating the two helps them to see that there is a possible future where they can exist without the bulimia.
  • Tell them to rest – Let them know that it is okay to take a break. Tackling the bulimia is likely to take a significant emotional toll on them and this takes a lot of energy. They may feel the need to continue with their normal goals and tasks, but sometimes they may just need a little break. Let them know that this is okay, and sometimes it is necessary.
  • Be normal ­- Invite them to do tasks you used to do together and try not to focus on the bulimia or food every time you see them. This will again remind them that they are not the disorder.
  • Compliment – Give them compliments to boost their confidence. Don’t focus these on their body or weight. Try and ideally choose personality traits that you can praise. If this doesn’t work, focus on other aspects of appearance such as their hair, color of their nail polish or even their new bag.

For further guidance on talking about bulimia or talking to someone who is fighting bulimia, please see the links below.





How I Recovered From My Bulimic Nightmare With The Help Of Total Gym XLS

Setting an appointment with a psychologist was my decision after years of bingeing on unhealthy foods – a habit that I kept from my family since I was a teenager. I did not know what kind of eating disorder I had at the time, but I was sure at the back of my mind that it was something serious. And if I wanted to get out of that nightmare, I had to face the truths that: 1) I needed help, and 2) I could not heal without others’ support.

Denying the problem and thereby denying its effects are not uncommon. Patients sometimes lie also about the severity of their condition, further hampering the selection of appropriate treatment options. — Judy Scheel Ph.D., L.C.S.W., CEDS

When the diagnosis came, and my psychologist revealed that I was dealing with bulimia nervosa, I was no longer surprised. Since I already found out the name of my enemy, my focus turned to various ways that could help me to detach myself from the disorder.

I have tried a lot of therapies and techniques ever since, but what has genuinely allowed me to love myself better and feel more empowered is the Total Gym XLS that my parents gifted to me several years back.


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What Is Total Gym XLS?

The Total Gym XLS is known as the universal home gym for total body workout. The key benefit of getting this product is that you will no longer be required to attend gym classes and pay thousands of dollars annually for membership. There are exercise charts, diet plans, and workout videos that come with the equipment, that’s why you can do this by yourself. The age range and weight capacity that Total Gym XLS can handle are so diverse that whether you reach your 60s or go over 300 lbs., it can still be of service to you.

Its creator must have wanted it to become a full-body workout device because handy accessories are within the box. In case the consumer aims to have abs, lose belly fat, bulk up his or her biceps and triceps or tone the lower portion of the body, you will see an appropriate attachment that can assist you in making any of these happen.


Gliding Board – The consumers can tone any part of their body even if they stay on the board, considering it slides effortlessly on the two poles that are connected to the mainframe. It ensures that the individual will be able to execute different exercises more efficiently.

Padded Board – User’s comfortability remains to be of importance for the manufacturer since they have made sure that the board is well-padded. A workout is hard on its own; that’s why the padding should not make their body ache.

Pulley – This device has several gym accessories included in the package that works when you pull the accessories. Hence, the improvements done on its pulley system will smoothen the training.

Squat Stand – Having the right form is essential when you do squats to achieve a better outcome. Some people, however, take a while before they get the hang of it. For that reason, it is a good thing that they can make use of the squat stand that is attached to the equipment. With this, they can practically lie flat on the board and glide with it.


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Wing Accessory – If you like to build muscles on your upper body, the wing accessory is going to be useful to you. It can also be utilized while you are on the board.

Leg Pull Attachment – Such an add-on can strengthen all the muscles on the thighs and legs. It is beneficial for runners and other athletes who want to train at home as well.

Symptoms of depression including sleep disturbance, excessive guilt, feelings of helplessness or hopelessness and loss of interest in activities that used to be pleasurable, can be the byproduct of feeling trapped or stuck in a behavior that they know on some level is harmful to them. — Lisa Ferentz LCSW-C, DAPA

Other Reviews I’ve Seen

One of the men in our neighborhood has the same equipment, and he likes how the attachments and the gliding board seem to make their movements more fluid, as well as the fact that it necessitates them to use their weight to make it function. For this guy, the lack of automation makes it extra helpful for those who wish to lose body fats.

Another person has mentioned that the equipment does not need vast floor space, unlike the typical gym devices. It folds up nicely too; that’s why you can place it against a wall or in the storage room after every use

According to a veteran soldier who has bought it as well, the Total Gym XLS has allowed him to exercise again without putting much tension on his injured body parts. The cushioned board is a great addition too since his backaches have been reduced.


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Why The Universal Home Gym Equipment Might Save You As Well

The Total Gym XLS is not advertised as a tool that treats or combats psychological disorders, but it has become a great help during my recovery period. After all, the equipment has allowed me to gain a little muscle and feel confident about my body again without needing to exercise outside. It comes with most of the devices that can be found in the gym, so there has been no pressure to come out and mingle with people until I felt ready.

Bulimia nervosa afflicts approximately 4% of women and 0.5% of men in the US. Nearly 4% of those suffering from bulimia will die from the disease and nearly all struggling with the illness experience serious medical and/ or emotional effects. — Alexis Conason Psy.D.

Although I’m not saying that you should stop your treatments or avoid your psychiatrist or psychologist now, it won’t hurt to use a similar home gym equipment to strengthen your body and mind. Good luck!

How I Lost My Best Friend To Bulimia

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…people who restrict will obviously begin to lose weight, wear baggier clothing to hide it, move their food around on the plate but not eat it, chew food and spit it out. — Lisa Ferentz LCSW-C, DAPA

Happy and I have been best friends since we were 5 years old. We went to the same school together until high school and only parted ways when we entered college. I took up engineering and Happy was finishing nursing. She always wanted to help those in need especially children with cancer. But all of these are now a forgotten memory. Happy died 3 months ago due to esophageal bleeding and complications from bulimia.

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My Daughter’s Secret Battle with Bulimia

You don’t always think about taking a depression test when you suspect something is wrong with your daughter, especially when they’re in their teens. Even with your child reaches adulthood you can honestly think they’re still growing and going through changes so you don’t automatically think something is wrong. Unfortunately, there are times when it’s not a phase and the child is going through something they cannot understand. Eating disorders are amongst the biggest health concerns for girls around the world and bulimia is one very serious disorder to watch for. However, how can this affect a family and what help is out there?

Anyone who is has an eating disorder is very invested in maintaining the thoughts and behaviors that fuel it, so when a loved one expresses concern they may be met with anger or defensiveness. — Lisa Ferentz LCSW-C, DAPA

Eating Disorders Can Affect Someone’s Health and Well-being

Bulimia is a very serious eating disorder and can affect the body in a variety of ways. For starters, someone who suffers from bulimia can damage their internal organs and can have many issues in later life. What’s more, bulimia sufferers can often become depressed with their situation as most want to become thinner and prettier. Lots of sufferers can find they have a certain idea of the person they must become and it can really affect them badly. There are many types of depression which can surface and it’s tragic because sometimes the help is not given quickly enough. Continue reading

Famous People Who Battled And Won Against Bulimia Nervosa

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Historically, across cultures, humans (and other animals) are known to engage in ritualized behaviors of  purging and regurgitation as methods of altering states of consciousness. — Leslie E. Korn Ph.D., MPH, LMHC, ACS, NTP

Bulimia Nervosa is a snake. This eating disorder creeps up on you and you’ll never realize how sick you really are until the symptoms are majorly affecting your life. It doesn’t pick its victims – this disorder hits kids, teens, adults, rich, poor, famous or the regular janes and joes. While some were lucky enough to overcome and mentally heal from this dangerous condition, there were some who perished due to this disorder.

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