It’s funny…I’ve had this post written for months, it just hasn’t ever felt right to post it. I had coffee with a yogi friend (Hey Justyn!) this morning and was inspired to inspire. What I mean, is I was inspired to open up about my story…My eating disorder story.
Before I start…here is a previous post leading up to this one that would be a good read to catch you up…The Story: Part 1,
Fitness and Healthy Living have been an important part of my life since I can remember. I grew up in Milwaukee in a healthy household playing competitive sports with an extremely active family. I went to the University of Minnesota for college where I studied a mixture of things: Health/Fitness and Design. I was very involved in my college’s student government and had a lot of friends. While at school, I had a love/hate relationship with my health. Body image has been something I’ve struggled with since high school, and my junior year of college I developed an extremely poor relationship with food and exercise. A family history of depression mixed with the stress of school left me in a terrible state of mind. I began to control exactly what I put in my body and how many calories I expended each day. I was eating anywhere from 1100 – 1300 calories and taking exercise to the extremes (40 minute HIIT workouts, long runs, etc.). For the amount I was working out, I definitely didn’t eat enough. While some people would say 1,300 calories is perfectly normal for a female, I wasn’t eating enough for the amount I was working out and was restricting myself from certain kinds of foods: (healthy) fats and carbs.
What made things so extreme for me was the calorie counting. Once I started that, things went downhill quickly. Why? Because I knew exactly how much food down to the calorie I was consuming each day. High fat foods and carbs became the enemy and fruits/vegetables were a godsend, they were my safe foods. When I say quickly, I mean quickly. I dropped 30 pounds in less than 2 months. I didn’t have 30 pounds to lose. I went from probably a healthy 6/8 to an unhealthy 0 and 150 pounds to 118. (don’t forget, I am 5’8″) I also went from a D cup (which is what I am now) to about an A/B. I had no definition in my face and I was skinny…not fit. Thing is, I thought that looked good.
Looking at the above photos, you may think that I look pretty normal in all 4, but mentally, I was not. I am a muscular person and have been since forever. When I was at my thinnest, I had no muscles in my legs, my upper body was very dainty, and I lost my girl bumps (boobs and butt). That’s just no fun. Relationships dwindled, school was put on the back burner and my happiness level was at about a 1.0 on a 10-scale. All of my energy was put towards how I looked and what other thought of me. I thought that being “skinny” looked good.
Holy zambonie that makes me sound like a huge Debbie Downer! Well let me tell you, I was the most positive depressed person you’d ever meet. I did what it took to overcome my eating disorder by surrounding myself with positive people, blogging, yoga, meditation and regular visits to a therapist. My first step to recovery was realizing that my relationship with food and my body, wasn’t normal or healthy. I knew there was no way I’d be able to live so restricted and things needed to change. I didn’t get better over night, but I began doing things differently such as incorporating workouts that weren’t so vigorous like as yoga and walking, and eating ALL foods in moderation instead of limiting myself to certain ones. I didn’t have the smoothest of recoveries. A little something called binge eating snuck up on me. I could not control my hunger and intuitive eating was an absolute struggle. Remember when I said I had “safe” foods. Well, those foods are the ones I binged on….like an entire 3 pound bag of grapes. No human should consume 3 pounds of grapes at a single sitting…let me warn you…you will feel like complete shit afterwards.
2 years ago, when I set off into recovery, I met Blake. This is when things changed for the good. I so badly wanted to feel normal around food and feel good about myself. I wanted to be able to go out to restaurants and not even think about how many calories I was consuming or what it would take to burn it off. Blake helped me intuitize (yes, I created this word) my eating. Blake is probably the most intuitive eaters I have ever met. He eats when he is hungry and stops when he is full. Easier said then done people.
About 3.5 years later- here I am today: happy and healthy. I live for myself and for those that I love. I’m only 23 and I feel like I have gone through so much. Of course I still have those days where I feel like I ate too much or feel blah about how I’m looking. That’s normal. I also still suffer from depression and am working on weening myself off my anti-depressant. Taking a step back, I really do love where I am at and feel so blessed every single day. My family, Blake, and close friends (Linley, Carly, etc) supports my recent career move and I am so excited to be in a place (health-wise and finance-wise) where I can venture into my own happy place each day and call it my job.
Today I couldn’t imagine not eating avocado or Greek yogurt because “there’s just too many calories.” I also couldn’t imagine running 4 miles in 31 minutes (okay, that was pretty bad ass…and I hope to do this again soon!). Today I believe strong is healthy and muscles are sexy.
I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. Everything that has happened in my life up until this point has made me who I am today. Once I started loving myself for who I am, life started playing in my favor. I think everyone is beautiful in their own way and deserves to be loved by all. So let’s wake up every single day with unconditional love for our bodies and the life that we have created for ourselves.
If you have questions about ANYTHING I am very open about my story and would be happy to answer. Use the comment section below to do so OR email me at fitfoodiefinds(at)gmail(dot)com.