My Story!

I've never been one to be completely confident in myself or how I looked. I've always been my harshest critic even to the point where it's not healthy. Growing up I didn't give much thought to what I ate but I was on the swim team and ran cross country so I never really had problems with my weight. Still, I was never happy with my body and always thought that I should be thinner. My family and friends would compliment me or say nice things but I thought they were just trying to be nice. I felt as though they had to say that stuff to me because they loved me, not because they actually believed it. To me, it just seemed like empty words because when I would look in the mirror I couldn't see what they were talking about. So in my skewed perception, they had to be sugar-coating it. On good days I was just able to ignore or hide the things I disliked about myself but I never accepted them. Every time I looked in the mirror I would see the imperfections, I nit-picked at the little things that I desperately wanted to change about myself. I hated that I did it but at the same time I couldn't stop. It's a cycle that wore me down to the point where I had little self-esteem and a skewed body image. But I'm sick of that and I'm sick of the little voice inside my head that would tell me I'm not beautiful because I know that I was created for a purpose. I truly believe that every single one of us was perfectly crafted and we are all amazing in our own way. My journey has been getting to that point of acceptance and silencing that inner voice.

I reached my breaking point in late 2013 once I realized just how unhealthy I had been towards my body. It all began in January 2012 when I had to stop running due to a shin injury. Since I couldn't exercise as much, I decreased my calories drastically. When I was running I ate anywhere from 1800 to over 2000 calories a day since I was logging 35+ miles a week but that all changed once I had to stop running. I stuck to 1000-1100 calories (sometimes less) and monitored every little thing I ate for fear of gaining excess weight. I lost about 15-20 pounds in less than 2 months and had no idea how much of an obsession it was turning into. Pretty soon I stopped getting my periods but I was addicted. I loved the fact that I had lost weight and was terrified that I would gain it back. My mom threatened to take me to a nutritionist, a therapist, or anyone who she thought would help. I refused because I didn't want to go back to my normal weight. I never told anyone this I just said that I was fine and perfectly healthy. I knew I was afraid that if I woke up one morning and saw that old number on the scale again that all those insecurities would come flooding back. It came to the point where I was weighing myself multiple times a day to make sure that I hadn't gained any weight. I allowed those three digits to define myself and keep me happy. Except I was never happy with my body and wanted to keep losing more weight. I thought that if I eventually got to a certain weight that one day I would wake up completely happy with my body. Now I realize that it would never happen for me but back then I didn't want to face that reality. I was going about everything the wrong way and not taking care of my body. Before all this began, I had been eating healthier since I started running again my sophomore year of college but I took it to a whole new level once I lost the weight. I kept to a strict diet to make sure that I wouldn't gain the weight back but the problem was that I wasn't nourishing my body. Even after I picked up running again in early summer 2012, I didn't increase my calories or protein or anything. I deprived myself of any treats or cheat meals because I was afraid. Going out to eat gave me anxiety because I wouldn't always know exactly what was in my food. It was insane and stressful but I felt like I had to stay at that weight to be happy.

By spring 2013, my body couldn't keep up with what I was putting it through. I remember getting intense cravings for peanut butter or any kind of fatty foods. My body was trying to tell me that it needed fuel but I kept ignoring it. This led to many binge eating sessions because I wouldn't be able to control myself. I was hungrier than I had ever been. Looking back now, I know that I had pretty much destroyed my metabolism but I didn't care about the inside of my body, only that I looked thinner on the outside. Part of me knew that it wasn't healthy and that I needed to gain weight but then there was still the part of me that wanted to keep the weight off. It was a constant struggle and those few months were the hardest for me. It was a battle between wanting to be healthy and scared of being/feeling fat. Slowly I gained about 10 pounds back but my body still wasn't healthy because I was going back and forth with restricting and binging. It took another full 6 months before my periods came back. After I gained the weight back I felt such a mixture of shame and desperation to be thin again. I was frustrated with myself but at the same time I knew it was healthier for my body. I kept all this hidden from my family and friends because it was easier for me since it was such a personal issue and I'm not always open with my emotions. I'm done with hiding now and I want to be able to help others who are dealing with self-esteem problems because we are all beautiful!

By the fall of 2013, I was at a healthier weight and decided to focus more on my physical health rather than my weight or physical appearance. I threw the scale out the window and haven't looked back since. That number doesn't define me. It doesn't reflect anything about my life and I'm done with it having control over me. I am learning how to live free of those old anxieties, and have found peace with myself and balance. My focus now is on maintaining that balance, and I started writing this blog to track my journey. Since I have found balance, I have experienced such a peace in my life. It's a slow process but worth every step! 

Summer 2012 at my lowest weight (I'm the short one of course)

Spring 2014 at my healthier weight

No comments:

Post a Comment