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Eating Disorders Blog

'Exercise Bulimia' -- an Emerging Eating Disorder

A new form of bulimia nervosa is getting the attention of medical professionals. Exercise bulimia, also referred to as compulsive exercise, is when an individual binge eats and then uses excessive and compulsive exercise to purge the calories from their bodies.

Exercise bulimics cannot stop themselves from exercising, and use exercise instead of more traditional purging methods associated with bulimia such as self-induced vomiting or laxative abuse.

Robyn Yamanaka, a professional fitness trainer and recovering exercise bulimic was interviewed by CBS News for a story on the eating disorder. She related how her eating disorder "started off innocently, (with workouts) maybe like three or four times a week. ... (But) it got to a point where I was working out three hours a day, if not more. I didn't take a day off for about 6 years. ... I have more health problems than someone who is overweight because I was underweight."

CBS News also spoke with Dr. Maryanne Rosenthal, clinical director of a San Diego-based inpatient treatment center for eating disorders. Dr. Rosenthal commented on the increasing number of cases of exercise bulimia: "I think (exercise bulimia) is becoming epidemic. An exercise bulimic is focused on the ritual of exercising, and that is that method of purging. People think they get a pass because they're not vomiting, they're not taking laxatives, so (they think) they're not really purging. It's very hard to diagnose, because exercise is great right?"


Labels: bulimia, exercise addiction, exercise bulimia

Posted By: Aspen Education Group