The fitness and healthy living portion of my life is a pretty big and importation part. When I introduced the #FabAveGetsFit section on the blog I was excited to share this journey that has been transformative, literally. But as I read older entries and I move forward into trying to live a healthier life, I can’t avoid the fact that my past – as far as food and diet goes- wasn’t the healthiest of paths. After MUCH deliberation with myself and what I am willing to share here on the blog, I finally decided that in order to be truly authentic with you the readers, and honestly with myself, I had to share the back story of this obsession I have with my body. My story may not unique or that much different than those of your friends or even yourself but it is my story, and maybe by sharing it I will help someone else struggling with self-hate realize that they can change that view of themselves.
I’ve always been a pretty thin girl. Growing up I was all bones. Physically I never truly had an issue with my weight per say, but mentally I was my worst critique. I never really had to watch what I was eating because I was an active kid. You could always find me outside playing kickball, and when I entered high school I played varsity sports, so I was always moving. However my body dysmorphia (I don’t know if I would qualify as someone with body dysmorphia but my excessive concern for my physical appearance caused constant anxiety) hit an all-time high when I went to college.
In college, with the stress, the lack of sleep, and all the partying it was only natural that my weight fluctuated a bit. It’s not called the freshmen 15 for nothing! And it was really nothing major, but when you’re around other girls with longer legs, or flatter stomachs, and enough self-confidence to fill a room, my own self-confidence hit the bottom of the barrel. Hard. This was also a time when my mom was going through some scary health issues, so stress and anxiety were running rampant. I was going through an emotional turmoil. You always hear about girls that develop eating disorders as an attempt to gain control somewhere in their lives, well ladies and gents, this was the case in my own life. I felt like I was free falling in all other aspects of my life – school, home, disastrous love life – I needed something to go my way for once. So I started obsessing over my weight – cutting out certain foods in my diet, purging myself of food if I happen to slip up and enjoy a hearty meal, and soon it became skipping meals all together.
I started seeing my body transform into a waif-like skeleton of my former self that was already pretty thin. But I felt fantastic and moved onward in my pursuits for control. I remember my grandmother reaching out to me because she was concerned about my health and had caught me purging after dinner one night. I lied and told her I wasn’t feeling well. After that night I noticed that she started to monitor my meals and eating habits, so I stopped coming home as frequently and started crashing on friends’ couches. Looking back I wasn’t trying to escape her judgment but really, I was trying to escape how ashamed I was about my actions.
This continued for a couple of years and I always made sure that I was discrete. I made sure I never got so thin my family or sorority sisters noticed or suspected what I was doing, but it all came to a turn between my sophomore and junior year when my step-father passed away. Eating stopped completely and I found myself reflecting on my actions and what I was doing to my body. It didn’t help that my boyfriend at the time called it quits, I found myself acting out and harming my body in so many different ways that it scares me now looking back at my choices. I faintly remember making a promise to myself, after a not so glamorous night, that my health needed to become a priority in my life. And friends, that’s exactly what I did. I stopped freaking out about my weight, my body, and about food and tried really hard to enjoy the remainder of my time in college.
After dropping the 48 pounds I’d gained during pregnancy (and then some), my excitement and enthusiasm to share my journey and my passion for living an active and healthy life is at an all-time high! I want to let women, especially new moms; know that it is possible to become a better version of yourself and doing so in a healthy way. I figure that if I love every part of my body – the good and the not-so-good (I’m talking to you love handles) – that I will hopefully rub off my thoughts on body image to Remy as she gets older. I truly hope to raise her to have an abundance of self-confidence and self-love and to not give in to society’s standards of what is beautiful.
I don’t have the ever so envied thigh gap and that’s perfectly okay, it’s not realistic for me, and on a daily basis I struggle with the demons of my past, but my clothes fit so much better, my skin has a healthy glow and I’m taking the necessary steps to move my body on a daily basis. Are there still parts of my body I’d like to improve, certainly, but I’m not going to let those parts dictate the way I treat and cherish my body. Every day is a new day to learn to love myself and my body and accept that there are no shortcuts in fitness or in life.
If you are struggling with eating disorders I would highly suggest reaching out to the National Eating Disorders Association to get some help and guidance on how to get treatment.
Or if you just need to talk, I’m always here to listen:)