While I’m beginning our 3 months in Europe, Intern Anna is filling in for me. We made it safely and smoothly to Croatia from Minnesota despite all of the air travel staffing shortages happening worldwide.

Croatia is a beautiful place to explore the outdoors, one day your loved one with eating disorder challenges will be able to safely travel and eat different foods, walk a lot and not be tempted to use behaviors.

Today Intern Anna is sharing some of how she stays in recovery even when the ed behavior of exercise compulsion tries to draw her back in. Thank you Anna for sharing your hard won wisdom!

I’m thinking of you all while here in Croatia.  ~ Becky

Lately I have been noticing that I crave going outdoors. By, Intern Anna

With the seasons changing and the weather becoming more crisp, I long to get outside more and to stay in the sunshine as long as possible. Not only has this been good for me mentally and emotionally, but also physically.

Since my eating disorder, I have tried to move my body by doing something outdoors. I found that the gym was a triggering spot for me. I knew that I was tempted to do things that were not in line with my recovery. So, I took up walks and biking. Both of these activities allowed me to get outside and move physically.

I loved walking with my friends and family. My mom especially loved walking and it is so nice to have a buddy to chat with. I recently moved to a new area and it has been so fun exploring the new trails and parks.

There were also days when I wanted to walk farther and bike harder. I found that when I felt that way, my eating disorder voice was louder. I began to recognize that my will to push the limits came from an unhealthy goal, not a good one. So I took the opposite action and I turned around when I felt those urges.

I specifically found it harder to continue to bike when I started wearing an Apple Watch. I tried not to look at the miles biked or calories burned but I found it extremely difficult. Eventually I decided that it was not worth triggering myself by wearing it. I got rid of it and found I felt so much better. I felt more free of my eating disorder because I was biking/walking for fun instead of to hit a certain goal.

There are still times in my recovery that I find myself wanting to push myself harder and go the extra mile. Those days remind me of how I used to feel. Now I recognize that those voices don’t want me to be successful in recovery. They are trying to trick me and make me feel disgusted by my body.

I choose to turn around because I want to continue to love my body and love being active. I love to bike and walk and I don’t want the eating disorder to take that away from me. I think choosing to see what great things recovery brings helps me to feel successful.

I am incredibly grateful that I have a body that can bring me from point A to point B and can help me to bike around my city. Doing these activities help me to get outside and clear my mind. Being active while in recovery is possible, it just takes a bit of practice.