Exercising to Excess?

zoewolfSeptember 15, 2007

I am almost 53 yrs. old and for the past few months, I have been riding my mountain bike about 20 miles a day, 7 days a week, plus another 1.5 to 2 hours -- at the hardest level --on my stationary bike. I have lost a lot of weight, and my thighs look like small tree trunks.

My husband and oldest daughter keep saying that I am doing this to excess and it's not good for me. I realize that I will never look 30 yrs. old again, however, I am determined to tone up every possible "sag". (I also do 50 AbSlides a day).

Anybody else think that this is excessive?

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quirk

Yes.

(if you are serious and accurate about what you are doing)

You are exercising at least 3-4 hours a day, every day?

1) Even competitive athletes take rest days from training. Because they know that not doing so is not good for them and is risking injury. 7 days a week = zero rest days.

2) I know people training for a marathon. In fact, I know people who run a marathon every year. They exercise less than what you describe.

3) Doing **anything** 4 hours a day, every day, is bound to be interfering with, you know, your actual life.

4) Your family is concerned.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exercise_bulimia

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/exercise-excess

http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/9605/20/exercise.bulimia/index.html

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 11:35AM
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quirk

i forgot

5) " however, I am determined to tone up every possible "sag"."-- ie your motivation is appearance, not health.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 12:52PM
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zoewolf

quirk,

You're correct. My motivation is strictly appearance (as well as boredom and curiosity) however, I have more stamina now than I did 10 years ago, and I get out of the house doing something for at least 3 hours a day.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 4:20PM
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gweng

Yes this is excessive and is not healthy. Escessive exercising is a form of bulimia. I know because I have been there myself. You should talk to your doctor.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 3:36PM
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zoewolf

Possibly I am in denial, as I see nothing wrong with my long bike rides. It has been raining today, so I didn't ride, although I was up, dressed and ready to go. When my husband saw me, he had a "cow". Said that I was crazy. So I didn't go!

Have been on the exercise bike for only two hours and feel the need for at least one more hour. When I am riding, I am not hungry. And when I am not hungry, I don't eat!

I didn't like the way I was beginning to look -- now I do. But yeah, it's probably a habit now, and I am not sure if I am ready to break it. Or even limit it to two hours a day! I have worked so hard to get to where I am, I don't want to give all that up.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 10:15PM
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jcrowley99

This is sounding more and more like an eating disorder. You really need to talk to your doctor about this. I would suggest printing this out for him to read so you don't mislead him as to your true motivations and feelings.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 2:56PM
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rosepetals918

I dont know. I can't completely agree with everyone here. Zoe, I do think that you are exercising a little excessively. 3 hours or more a day is a little much, however, I think that 2 hours is okay, so I am not sure how much leeway there is with that. You should take days off at least twice a week, and when you feel that you are comfortable with your weight, or you have gone a few weeks with your weight/appearance unchanged, then you should consider weaning yourself down. An eating disorder? Well, based on a couple things you said these people can't be diagnosing you with an eating disorder. People realize that things are not always what they may seem to be and you are not as wise as you hope. Zoe, you should begin to think about your personal habits and not listen to every person that talks to you or posts a comment. Really, who ISNT motivated by their appearance to try and look better? At least you are trying to do something about it instead of jumping over to the nearest nip-tuck shop to get chopped and sewed back up. But realize that there needs to be limits and you need to figure out what those are based on YOUR lifestyle and not anyone else's.
If your family is concerned about your health, then you really should talk to your doctor. He/she might be able to give you tips on how to exercise just as well in less time.
Also, think about your life. None of us on this thing really know what your lifestyle is, if you work 12 hour shifts on top of this or if you are a housewife and spend a lot of time at home. No one can dictate whether this is interfering with your life but you and your family. You should consider their feelings in this as well as your own and perhaps set some boundaries for yourself (and work your way down to them, especially if you aren't ready to work out less yet)
Give your body a break. Do take a couple of days off per week because the constant muscle strain can actually physically harm your muscles instead of what it was intended to do. (that might sound crazy but it is true, they need time to heal)
Lastly, if you are suspecting an eating disorder, you need to think about this: Is this truly affecting your every day life? Is this something that interferes with other activities that you would normally be doing? What are your eating habits when you are not exercising? Are you taking at least 2000 to 2500 calories per day? You need that AT LEAST for the amount of exercise you do to sustain normal body functioning. If you are eating less than that amount of calories, your body works to break down the muscle you are trying to build to nourish itself. That's true! Also, do you do things like purging or binging on food at least 2-4 times per month?
You don't need to answer these questions to the rest of the world on here, you need to ask them to yourself. And it never hurts to get that check up. Always try to keep yourself healthy. I know that you know that exercise is making your more healthy, even if the underlying reason is appearance. That's my motivator too, and I understand where you are coming from. Take care, I hope that I could help.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 9:43PM
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zoewolf

OMG 2000 to 2500 calories a day????No Way - Not even close. On average I probably consume between 500 to 700 calories a day (just an estimate). No I have never intentionally thrown-up. Gross. I finally weighed myself Friday night (something that I had not done in maybe 15 years). I thought that the scale was way off, however my husband confirmed that it wasn't. I am 5'5" tall, weigh 108 lbs., and I am 53 yrs. old. And I can't stop the excercising - in fact I have even added swimming laps for 1-2 hours in an olympic size pool every other day. (I wear a wet suit)

Unfortunately all this has not interfered at all with my life. I don't have a job (however, hopefully I am in the process of getting one with the police department. Passed the oral exam with a 100% now I am scheduled to take the 2 to 3 hour lie-detector test - then the in depth background investigation) Obviously I will no longer have the time to exercise to excess if I get the job. I am crossing my fingers on this one.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 8:35PM
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jenn

You have all the signs of an eating disorder. You agree you may be in denial... your motivation is strictly appearance.... you eat WAY too little (even if you weren't exercising at all, you'd need way more calories than 500-700/day just to maintain your metabolism).... you say it's a habit you're not ready to break.... you don't take days off (unless your husband blows his stack).

It's one thing to ride a bike for 2-3 hours outdoors. If you ride one hour in one direction, you need to ride another hour back home. In addition, you need at least 2 days off per week to let your muscles repair, and a proper diet (with enough calories) is important for that. Rest days are just as important as active (exercise) days.

You've heard what you need to hear... now it's up to you. If it's all about how you look, then you're going about it the wrong way.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2007 at 11:34AM
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