At my most recent meeting with my nutritionist, she removed my exercise restrictions! I am finally moving from the weight gain phase in my recovery to weight maintenance! Also, I no longer have the same drive to obsessively exercise that I had when I first entered treatment even though I still remember that when I entered treatment and the nutritionist kept cutting my exercise allowance, the exercise cuts felt like the worst thing ever. I plan to go to the gym/dog park and dance more than when I was on exercise restrictions, but I no longer feel the need to exercise 15+ hours a week. It is incredibly freeing to no longer have exercise restrictions and even more freeing to no longer feel the compulsive drive to exercise. I have been learning how to work on my internal well-being instead of my physical appearance; as a result, my priorities and values have changed.
As a future doctor, I still highly advocate for regular exercise, but I also now understand that exercise is not universally helpful for everyone. For example, anorexic patients who do not take in enough calcium can develop micro-fractures when they over-exercise and stress out their weakened bones. I had to get a DEXA bone scan when I was in treatment to verify that my bones were healthy enough for my small exercise allotment back then…and they were, but the doctors definitely had me scared about the possibility of micro-fractures in places like my spine. I have moved past all that now…into the world of getting to go to the gym and work out like a normal, healthy person! 🙂 I’m so happy!