5 Ways to Overcome Food and Exercise Obsession

Do you constantly have food on your mind? Do you feel like you have to “burn off” every meal you eat?

In this inspiring episode of Recover Strong, an audio series on The Recovery Warriors Show podcast channel, host Andrea Wells, along with guest Jessica Flint, explore empowering strategies to help you overcome food and exercise obsession. 

Breaking Free from the Food Obsession and Exercise Addiction Cycle

It’s not uncommon to get entangled in the complexities of food and exercise obsession.

You might find yourself always thinking about what you eat, constantly worrying if you need to hit the gym to “burn off” that last meal. 

It can be exhausting, right?

But hey, it’s important to remember that there’s a way out of this cycle. Keep reading to discover 5 strategies to help you have a more balanced approach to food and exercise. 

1. Neutralize your Relationship with Food

The first step to tackle food and exercise obsession is to try to make your relationship with food more balanced. 

Andrea stresses how important it is to figure out why certain foods hold such significance for you and what kind of meanings you attach to them. 

It’s about letting go of the idea that some foods are “good” and others are “bad.” 

Instead, think of food as fuel for your body. 

At the end of the day, acknowledge food as an energy source.

Andrea Wells

This shift in mindset can help you break free from that never-ending cycle of guilt and regain control over how you eat. 

It’s all about finding a healthier approach to food.

2. Overcoming Food Obsession with Mindfulness

Being mindful of your own thoughts and urges is a super helpful tool in your recovery.

It’s like watching what’s going on in your head without being too hard on yourself. This way, you get more control over how you react to things. 

It is important to stay in touch with your body and tune into what it needs right now. 

Ask yourself questions like, “What’s happening at this moment?” and “What do I really need right now?” 

It’s all about being curious and getting to know yourself better. 

This self-awareness gives you the power to make choices that are good for you and your well-being.

3. Avoid Comparisons

Comparing yourself to others can hinder the progress of your recovery. 

Andrea and Jessica share personal experiences of struggling with comparison and how it led to unhealthy eating behaviors and a sense of inadequacy. 

It is crucial to reclaim your natural body and appetite, rather than trying to match others bite for bite.

Everyone’s bodily needs are different. 

Andrea Wells

Remember that everyone’s journey is unique, and focusing on your individual progress is key.

Embrace self-acceptance and celebrate your own achievements, no matter how small they may seem.

4. Feed Yourself Consistently

Keeping yourself well-nourished, not just for your body but for your mind too, is another step to overcoming food obsession and exercise addiction.

Think about it like this: just like you need to drink water, and breathe to stay alive, your brain also needs regular fuel in the form of food to function properly. 

But here’s the thing, what’s considered “regular” and “adequate” can be a bit tricky, especially with all those societal pressures. 

That’s why it’s super helpful to consult a nutrition expert who can guide you on what’s right for you.

Nutritional rehabilitation is an important and nuanced part of recovery.

Andrea Wells

Andrea strongly recommends seeking out a professional who aligns with principles such as being anti-diet and knowledgeable in intuitive eating, as well as being informed by the HAES approach

These professionals are often the most effective in assisting with eating disorder recovery.

5. Embrace Joyful Movement

There can be joy in exercising and moving your body.

Instead of looking at it as some kind of punishment or a way to control your body, think of it as a joyful experience. 

Ask yourself: would you still be doing your exercise routine if you knew 100% for certain it would not change your body size?

If the answer is “no”, then you may be moving your body in ways more fueled by the eating disorder, rather than by the joy of movement.

To embrace joyful movement, think about those activities that you do for the love and experience of it, not because you want to shrink your body.

When you do those things, it’s not about counting calories or reps; it’s about connecting with your body and enjoying the moment. 

It’s about moving your body in a way that truly brings a smile to your face and lets you be in the here and now.


Overcoming food obsession and exercise addiction is a challenging but empowering journey. 

It requires patience, self-compassion, and a commitment to breaking free from harmful patterns.

Remember that your worth is not determined by your appearance or your ability to adhere to strict diets or exercise routines. 

By embracing self-acceptance, seeking support from professionals who understand the nuances of your struggle, and finding joy in nourishing your body and moving it in ways that make you happy, you can reclaim control over your life. 

Take a listen to the full episode and start building a healthier and more fulfilling connection with your body, food, and exercise.

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In the courage club, you can learn to alchemize fear into courage, and finally say goodbye to food struggles for good.

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