Oh, if I could count the number of times I say the phrase,
"Yes, exercise is good for you. Until it's an eating disorder symptom, and then it's bad for you."
"Yes, exercise is a good way to reduce anxiety, until it's an eating disorder symptom, and then it only serves to increase anxiety."
Exercise is the "socially acceptable way of purging." Really, using exercise to "get rid of food" is no different than any other form of purging. But, wow, we sure do give people a lot of attention for exercise, seemingly irregardless of situations where it is clear someone's exercise is not healthy, or they are not healthy. Of course, often exercise is a really good thing. But not always. And it shouldn't ever be about appearance.
Although our society is incredibly confused on this point, the intent of exercise is not to control weight or change appearance! If you really look at it physiologically, it's pretty simple. Exercise does NOT make you lose weight. Physiologically, exercise.....makes you hungrier! So, yes, you can lose weight by exercising. But, you also will have to not eat enough to support the exercise, for this to happen. If you follow hunger and fullness cues, exercise will just make you eat more.
So, it frustrates me that our society ruins exercise by making it all about weight loss. There are so many other purposes for exercise. Why do you exercise? (Please, no "to lose weight"s or "to change my appearance"s.)
And, please, rather than complimenting someone who exercises on their appearance, find something else to compliment. Let's try to override society's skewed view of exercise!