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Exercise and Diet Obsession, COVID-Style

I retired from critical care nursing in the wake of the COVID pandemic. I had been an avid runner prior to my retirement, and I was then able to start a rigorous exercise program as well. While I had been thin prior to retiring, my new regimen became an obsession, as I focused on exercising, running, and eating “right.”

Then, in September 2020, I broke my ankle and had to stop running for six weeks, but I continued to follow a strict exercise program. I started to lose more weight, causing great concern for my loved ones. I had an issue with eating starting at age 16, but ever since college I had been doing well. I married and had three children. After divorcing at age 40, I lost some weight, but that time the “eating disorder” was not the cause. I didn’t reach an alarmingly low weight and was able to regain a normal lifestyle, remarry, and raise a family.

It was not until I became a runner that I became obsessed with exercise and diet, and then the obsession was greatly exacerbated by the pandemic. I have found it very difficult to overcome an eating disorder that had been latent for 40 years, especially during a time of high stress and anxiety.

I am currently in counseling, but I know that won’t be a quick fix. I have cut down on my level of exercise, and am trying eat appropriately. The medical community has yet to recognize anorexia as a serious problem, and therefore it presents insurance hurdles as well.

Those of us with this problem need to speak up and be heard, lest it result in dire consequences!


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