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  • Shared Experiences

    Exercising to eat... Please help?

    I want to get better.  I don't want to live my life like this.  I want to start a family.  However, why do I feel like I only deserve food if I have exercised.  If I don't exercise my life is miserable.  I need to exercise between every meal so I can eat normal meals and be a happy person.  But this mindset is not helping my recovery.  Please help?
    • Melanie McGrice
    • Damien Haines
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Melanie McGrice is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian, one of the few dietitians in Australia to achieve that status. Her success has made her an … View Profile

    Hi Mckinley,

    Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle….but when it becomes something that you “have to do” to “deserve” food, it's no longer healthy, but an obsession. 

    Dealing with this is NOT something that you can do on your own.  You need a health professional to help you work through this.

    There are plenty of great psychologists available who specialise in weight management (see or ask your local GP for a referral.

    Best wishes,


  • Damien Haines

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Damien Haines is a registered Clinical Psychologist who brings a warm and empathetic approach to therapy. He emphasises engagement in the world and encourages clients … View Profile

    Hi McKinley

    I agree with Melanie above. It sounds like you may be experiencing some form of eating disorder - ie you eating and your focus on what and how you eat is dysfunctional. I would imagine you have great difficulty in enjoying food, rather it features in your thoughts as whether you deserve to eat or not, how much you eat or do not. I also imagine that it drives you a bit nuts at times and you would like a break from that merry-go-round in your head.

    Please as Melanie said seek out a psychologist who is well practiced at dealing with eating disorders and/or OCD. Talk to them before making an appointment in order to see if you also may “click”

    I wish you well


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