Exercise and eating disorders in the fitness industry


Angelique Taylor

Having fulfillment with your own appearance may not come easy; however, when we look past this we soon realize the progress that has really been made that we unfortunately ignore.

Maximus Hemming , Staff Reporter

The fitness industry has become a major focus when it comes to addressing issues of eating disorders and exercise addiction. With the cultural acceptance of the “fit” lifestyle and the thin model, a major concern for the mental wellbeing of fitness enthusiasts has been magnified. 

It is not uncommon for those in the fitness industry to have a deep-seated fear of being “not thin enough,” regardless of what their natural body type should be. This has created a heightened sense of insecurity and pressure to reach an “ideal”. 

For these individuals, the goal of reaching their “ideal” can become an obsession, leading them to become overly focused on diet and exercise, propelling them toward an unhealthy lifestyle and risking the development of eating disorders. 

Moreover, suffering from an eating disorder while in the fitness industry can create a dangerous double-edged sword. On one hand, the individual is driven to obsessively work out in order to attain a certain body type, but on the other hand, over-exercising feeds into the eating disorder by depriving the body of much-needed nutrients and energy. This unhealthy cycle results in an extreme deprivation of essential vitamins and minerals, potentially leading to an over-reliance on a restricted diet in order to maintain the caloric deficit. 

Given the serious potential harm to the physical and mental wellbeing of fitness enthusiasts, there is a need for greater public education and awareness, as well as support from professionals and organizations. To mitigate the risk of eating disorders amongst fitness enthusiasts, healthcare professionals should offer expertise, resources and guidance for those who may be struggling. Additionally, fitness brands and organizations should encourage both healthy eating and exercise habits, stressing a balanced approach in order to promote a healthy lifestyle. 

Ultimately, we must ensure that the line between healthy and unhealthy habits is clear. Exercise can be a great way to stay fit, but overexertion or drastically restricting caloric intake is never recommended. Staying mindful of our limits and focusing on overall wellness instead of chasing an unattainable ideal should be a priority for everyone. 

Instead of trying to be the “perfect” version of yourself, stop aiming for that and instead strive to be the best as you possibly can be that is both physically and mentally healthy for yourself. It’s okay to go all out for the best and become the best; however, everyone does have their limits and sometimes we do not always realize that until it is too late and we are long gone in a state of obsession where we try to achieve something that is simply out of reach, and we must accept that fact.