Find help and online resources for:

Mental health problems


Exercise helped Linn Bæra (31) recover from the eating disorder, writes They point out that physical activity is recommended for most people with eating disorders, but at the same time that many with eating disorders need help to get a natural relationship with physical exercise.

Image: Dreamstime (with licence)

Linn Bæra currently works in Counseling on Eating Disorders (ROS), but the road to where she is today has been long, and she herself has had to struggle a lot with an eating disorder.  


The exercise took control

The deterioriation happened after a sports-related injury, she tells

When sports disappeared as a positive part of my life, I felt that I lost control and that the future became uncertain. My body changed, and when I started exercising again, my training took on a different function. I felt I had to take control of my life, and I did this by taking control of my diet and exercise, says Bæra.

Eating disorders are often characterized by this: that diet, eating, food and exercise get out of control. The relationship to food, body and exercise is compulsive, and behind the over-focus on the external lies an internal chaos - which one does not have the strength to deal with.


Better with physical than mental pain

Linn Bæra tells

I got a lot of pain, but the physical pain was more manageable than the diffuse internal pain, says Bæra.

The training eventually got out of control. Nothing was good enough, neither the number of kilos she lifted, how often or how long she trained. At the same time, she had lots of rules that she had to follow, including going up stairs instead of going to the elevator. In addition to the fact that the training regime became more and more rigid and compulsive, she cut back on food.

She had entered a state of no longer in control: 

I felt it was not okay, but was afraid to do anything else. I tried to fix it myself, by removing some symptoms without doing anything about the interior, but then it only got worse in every way, says the 31-year-old to


A pleasurable relationship to exercise

Linn Bæra received help to get a completely different relationship to the training. The focus was now that the training should be pleasurable, without rules and most often with others. In addition to the content of the exercise, they also worked hard to normalize the amount.

I thought training had to be painful. I had forgotten that it could be fun. So I worked a lot with the fun - to play and do activities with others. Among other things, I started dancing and climbing. Besides, I went away from the rigid and rule-governed regimes. Instead of running 50 minutes, I ran 48, for example, says Bæra.

She tells

Winning back training gave me several important contributions. It helped me thrive in my body again, regardless of weight and shape. It gave me a place where I could find mastery and challenges and an arena to build self-confidence, and it gave me a place I could retire to get refills. In addition, the social gave me joy. When I had the eating disorder, I isolated myself. Now I found new arenas where I could be myself, says Bæra.



Also read