Has it really been that long since I was full swing eating disorder? It’s crazy that I had to look at my Facebook albums to even figure out what year this was it was so long ago. I wanted to do a check-in because I know healthy food and exercise obsession is something that a lot of us struggle with. It’s part of my wellness story anyway, and through the ups and down has helped me learn a lot about myself.
Davida and I have spent some much needed R&R together the past few weeks talking about everything from business, to friendship, to wellness, to podcasts. She has really inspired me to finally sit down and just write. I’m so hard on myself when it comes to writing because I have people like her and my sister in my life where writing just seems so easy and seamless. While I always tell people I suck at writing; Davida has reminded me that “no Lee…you don’t suck at it, you just need to sit down and do it.” So here we go.
PS: I cut my hair ^^
If you are unfamiliar with my story…click HERE. That should help you understand things I’m referring to inside of this post!
So. It’s been a full 6 years since I was in the heat of my anorexia and exercise addiction. And then came the binge eating. Funny how it gets easier to say those words as time goes on. I get a lot of questions about my recovery and I want to start off by saying that it DEFINITELY didn’t happen over night. I mean, I was in denial that I was even suffering from any sort of eating disorder until one year into my recovery. A lot of people think that recovery is as easy as eating a damn cheeseburger, but it’s so more more than that. Eating disorders are a form of MENTAL ILLNESS. Mine was triggered by severe depression and anxiety. Like a lot of ED stories you may read, food and exercise were two variables that I had 100% control over. If calories in were less than calories out- I could see the scale drop. Well, letting the scale drop from 155 (what I am now, actually!) to 118 in 3 months is HELLA unhealthy. I have an obsessive personality so if I was going to recover I needed to focus that energy on something else. HELLO FIT FOODIE FINDS.
I give a lot of credit to this blog for helping to center my mind on what really is important in my life. It’s not about looking a certain way or doing the things that everyone else is doing, it’s living every day with purpose and lifting up those around me through positivity (and HUMOR). Woah, humor is a big one. If you ain’t laughin’, we got an issue people. I bring up humor because this is something that I really lost about myself during this dark time. I was so rigid and stark and boring. I am so happy to be back to my “normal” quirky/weird self because something that I truly believe is- “if you’re not weird, you’re boring.”
I still have those moments where I hate the squishies on stomach and I think back to the time when I had a 6 pack and then I image getting slapped in the face with a raw piece of meat….because LIFE IS GOOD. I am proud of my body and what it does for me on a daily basis. I am proud that I can do an 8 mile hike up a Norwegian mountain and feel strong. I am proud that I can hold a plank for 2 minutes. I am proud that I can run a 5k without stopping. I am proud that I have to go up a size in pants because I have giant quads. I am also proud that I have surrounded myself with people in my life who are equally as proud of me for those things as I am.
Having an amazing tribe of people in my life has been key to my everyday happiness. Mark has been a wonderful addition to this tribe within the last year. Whether he knows it or not…he’s a body positive guy and makes me feel beautiful. Plus- he knew me when I was 17 and awkward. It’s the people like Mark, and Linley, and Emily, and Davida, and Lindsey, and Monique and my sister/brother/fam bam that reinsure me on a daily basis that I am not alone in this world of perfection. That it’s okay for me to eat a donut and it’s okay for me to have not one, but two or three rest days a week. WOAH. The cool thing is, I am finally okay with this, too.
I am in a good place right now even though the past year has been really tough for my health. Hello broken foot and worse than average seasonal depression (something I haven’t really touched on). Oh, and I also had a major breakup last May, which was really difficult on my mental health. All of THAT aside…I am happy. As dumb as this sounds- I love my life. I love it because I CHOSE to build it this way.
My message to those that suffer with an eating disorder, depression, anxiety, or any form of mental illness is that YOU ARE ENOUGH. You are exactly how you are suppose to be at this very moment.
All I can say is that I’m genuinely inspired. I’m in the early stages of my recovery, and LIFE IS AMAZING. I mean, who knew that clothes look SO MUCH better when theres a body inside them! Thank you for sharing.
<3 I love your energy so much!! Cheers to you :)
Hi Lee! I discovered your blog this afternoon, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t spend hours looking at your posts! What an incredible inspiration you are. You are truly beautiful inside and out! I absolutely love your recipes and even tried two of them today. In college I struggled with restrictive eating. Although I feel like I have finally found a balance of healthy eating and exercise, I have also found myself binging these past couple of weeks. Your blog has definitely inspired me to make some much needed changes in various aspects of my life– or, at least try to.
Thank you. Thank you for helping me work on self-love. & Thank you for posting beyond delicious recipes. If only the world had more people like you.
Love love love this so much! Thank you for taking the time to comment <3
Loved reading this, Lee. So happy to hear about the good place you’re in right now. You are such a hard worker in every way.
<3 love running into you around town :)
Your story is so similar to mine and I’m sure so many others. I didn’t find you until a couples years ago, but so glad I can follow along in your journey. You inspire me not only with blogging but by being yourself (hello snapchat). I’m still working on putting myself out there, but thank you to being you and making a positive impact on the world!
<3 How awesome is it that we found blogging, though!?
Hi, Lee! Thank you so much for sharing your story! I CRIED when I was reading it… Because it just feel so familiar… Yes, at a certain point in life, especially when you feel like you aren’t in control of ANYTHING, you want to at least be in control of your body… To make it and keep it PERFECT! And if you’re prone to depression on top of it – here comes the full-blown eating disorder. It’s HARD to fight it. Because no matter how uncomfortable you may feel physically there is comfort in this sense of control… Thanks for encouraging, for sharing and for helping those (like me) who experience same things find the ways back to health and joy!!
Liza! I am so glad this resonated with you. Thank you so much for your comment <3
I love this post!! It is so nice to see people reflect on their past EDs and see all of the changes. I am about to hit my 8th month in recovery and it is SO inspiration to see people that have been in recovery for years!!! Congrats on six years! I love your blog and it has been helpful for me through my journey to know that I am not alone.
That is INCREDIBLE! 8 months is a long time…you should be proud <3
Hooray for happiness!!! Miss you girl!
Thank you for writing this & always being so open and honest. Davida is right– you’re a great writer! Although I haven’t struggled with an ED personally, I know that you inspire and motivate so many people who are trying to recover from one, or may have recently recovered from one.
<3 Thank you for your support!
So happy for you! After 6 years of suffering or half heartedly “recovering” I made up my mind in August that I was recovering from anorexia for REAL! So far I have stick with it and my life is soo much better already. Thank you for sharing your story and giving others hope!
This makes me so happy! I can’t wait to see where you are in a year or even 6 months!
Hi, Lee! Thank you for your beautiful transparency.
What necklace are you wearing in the last picture? I LOVE IT!
It’s called the Mini Midwest Necklace from Paisley and Sparrow. I HEART IT. https://www.paisleyandsparrow.com/products/mini-midwest-necklace
Yes, you are absolutely enough as.you.are! Thanks for just writing (as Davida suggested)… because it’s wonderful to be able to relate to the Fit Foodie on a personal level, whether it be depression/anxiety/ED, etc…
Also, I ADORE your outfit in first pic: plaid, skirt, and booties — too stinkin’ cute!
<3 THANK YOUUU HILLLL my blog bday twin. How did it take us 6 years to figure this out?! Seriously nuts. Doing a post on that outfit!
Congrats to you! You are healthy, thriving and glowing!
Thanks for sharing this, Lee! I have a similar story, but am still working on building a healthy relationship with food and self-esteem. It’s great to hear someone else’s story and be able to identify with it.
This is beautiful 🙂 So glad you can share such a wonderful approach to life and I love this post! I just got back from Mexico at an all inclusive, surrounded by scantily clad bikini wearing bean poles that had me feeling a bit down on myself. I needed this! I don’t want to be skinny! I am a naturally strong person and I want to aim towards the best ME I can be…not trying to fit a mold I feel like fit’s ‘society’s view’ of beauty. Thanks Lee, so glad to see you are doing well and hope each day is bringing new hope and excitement!
Loved this post and love you! You’re crazy fun, obsessive personality has gotten you so far in life and you’ve impacted and inspired so many people along the way (including me)!!! xo-Linds
I just love you.
I’m so glad you posted this today! Today was one of my “bad days” and this makes me feel like I’m not alone. As someone who has struggled with binge eating and depression for as long as I can remember, it is reassuring to see someone else working through their own struggle successfully on such a public platform. Thank you for making my day a little bit easier. 🙂
Thank you for this post! You are wise beyond your years and a true inspiration for those of us that read your blog. I read your words, You are Enough, but believing them is something I struggle with. There’s always “I wish this or I wish that” regarding my appearance. Enough wishing right? Just be happy with the here and now. Thanks for helping remind me of that.
We all have those days where we wish we were this or that. I think that’s just human nature! Figuring out how to NOT obsess over that is key!
This was awesome! Thank you for being vulnerable. I’d LOVE to have you write a post about seasonal depression. It is all too common and so many could relate. Proud of you chickadee!
Vulnerability was one of my “goals” for 2016 🙂
Your story is so similar to mine, it’s crazy! So glad you shared this, your blog has definitely been a source of happiness for me since I’ve been recovering 🙂
Thank you for sharing this with us. So many thoughts swirl around in my own mind about the exercise addiction and disordered eating habits I lived through. This is a time to celebrate YOU and where you are right now — because it is amazing. <3