Do you spend hours every day thinking about exercising?


Do you plan your social life around your time at the gym?


Does your anxiety skyrocket if you miss a workout?


If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then you may be struggling with compulsive exercise. 

Compulsive exercise, otherwise known as exercise addiction, happens when someone has difficulty stopping themselves from exercising more than they should.  Their need to exercise is often overwhelming and produces high anxiety if unable to complete their workout routine. 

For many individuals, compulsive exercise goes hand-in-hand with an eating disorder, and it is one of the most difficult patterns to break.  It can be used as a way to control body shape or size, compensate for calories consumed, and/or a way to cope with other emotional difficulties.

As a former inpatient eating disorder therapist, I have worked with many clients who struggle with compulsive exercise in every level of care.  I know that the urges can be so overwhelming that it can feel like torture to try and stop and them.  And I also know that however much someone might say they really love exercise, deep down they know that they are not controlling their workouts; their workouts are controlling them.

Here at The Catalyst Center, my goal is to provide a non-judgmental space where we can explore the purpose that exercise serves in your life and create a plan together where you are free to actually enjoy movement instead of feeling enslaved by it.

In session, we will work together to:

      • Identify the purpose exercise serves in your life
        What is it doing for you? What are you trying to accomplish? What are you trying to avoid?
      • Get clear on your values.
        Compulsive exercise often eclipses other things that matter.  Together we’ll identify what’s important in your life, how you want to spend your time, and what you want to be known for.  Knowing your values helps provide motivation to engage in other important activities and develop a rich and fulfilling life.
      • Learn and implement new coping strategies.
        The reason behind compulsive exercise is different for everyone.  You and I will work together to custom develop coping strategies that will benefit you specifically.
      • Create an exposure plan to decrease exercise
        While insight and coping strategies are important, in order to fully heal from compulsive exercise we must create a change in behavior.  We will work together to develop an exposure plan that helps you decrease the amount of time you spend exercising and help you rebuild a positive and healthy relationship with movement.
      • Have a team of supportive professionals around you.
        When working with compulsive exercise, it is important that you have the right team around you.  At The Catalyst Center we have a strong network of skilled professionals that we work with to ensure that you have the appropriate dietary and medical support as part of your comprehensive treatment team.

If you’re struggling with compulsive exercise and are ready to take the first step in your journey to recovery, give us a call at 720-675-7123 to schedule your free 30 minute consult.  I’m currently accepting new clients and am excited to support you in creating a supportive and enjoyable relationship with exercise.


Photo credits:

Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash