In fact, there's even a name for it: Exercise Bulimia.

'Exercise bulimia' - where sufferers engage in compulsive exercise in order to 'make up' for calories consumed - is a seldom-discussed issue.

Battle for Control: A Memoir of Anorexia, Exercise Bulimia, and Other Compulsions

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  • Little did I realize that while I started off loving it - it would soon consume me. The he lay term 'exercise bulimia' - says it much more plainly than the more official 'non-purging eating disorder'.

    Little did I realize that while I started off loving it - it would soon consume me. The he lay term 'exercise bulimia' - says it much more plainly than the more official 'non-purging eating disorder'.

  • My friend totally agreed with my observations. She said she knew, because she had been a victim herself. However, for her, it was not exercise anorexia, which is exercise in the absence of meaningful eating, but exercise bulimia! And she admitted that it was a long road to recovery for her. ‘Running was a way of purging the calories from my body,’ she admitted to me. She said this with great emphasis and emotion, so I knew it was her soul speaking. She admitted that at the ripe old age of 40 her body constantly aches from the exercise abuse that she had put herself through for years and years as a young woman trying to control her weight. It is aches that she has to deal with now and most likely for the rest of her life.

    This type of blogging is ubiquitous on the Internet. Suddenly a light bulb went off in my head. It felt like self-destructive behavior to me. I thought, all this crazy exercise, despite horrible knee pain, IT band pain, ankle pain and so forth was a way to eat all they wanted, guilt free! They could burn off all they had eaten through compulsive exercise. I thought it was exercise anorexia (It was really exercise bulimia, but I didn’t have it quite pegged yet).

    Exercise bulimia is a devastating illness...

    You're panting from exhaustion, your legs are shaking and you feel like you're going to pass out. But... you only have 100 more calories to burn. That's about 8 minutes if you keep up at this pace. So you grit your teeth and run your heart out for another 8 minutes on the treadmill...

    You're feeling shattered - but triumphant... You burnt more calories today than you consumed. What an achievement.

  • Exercise is almost always associated with good health. However, people suffering from exercise bulimia take exercise to unhealthy, obsessive limits.

Exercise Bulimia and Drunkorexia: The Lesser Known Disorders

It is worth noting that Exercise Bulimia does not always manifest in a low weight. The key components of Exercise Bulimia are behavioral and mental. An overweight individual who works out excessively, refuses to take rest days, and feels guilty if she eats a cookie and is forced to skip a day of her routine, could still be suffering from Exercise Bulimia and would benefit from treatment.