Okay, I honestly don’t even know where to start this. I guess I’ll start with a trigger earning as this post will probably contain stories, and numbers from the worst of my eating disorder.
Life is pretty damn short when you think about it guys, and I mean I know getting to the gym can be pretty important to a lot of us. This could be for someone struggling with an eating disorder or just an everyday gym rat… (Yes I just used the term gym rat ugh) But for real it is not that important. Chances are there are 2 main reasons for someone working out (in most cases not all, chill). 1. you want to become stronger and healthier as a person. 2. you want to look “better” or a different way then you do now. Listen if number 2 is one of the only main reasons stop you suck. Okay sorry, you don’t suck but like that is such a shitty reason to workout. Before you even begin to think about working out and getting serious about it you need a reality check. Your body will not change until you learn to accept the one you have now. If you hate your body then you are gonna end up getting frustrated in the gym because the changes are not happening fast enough, or they are happening wrong whatever that may be. You could end up restricting, binging out of emotion and frustration, overdoing, and underdoing it. I’m gonna take you guys on a little journey through my relationship with exercise from past to present. So sit back, relax, and whatever you do… do not to what I did *imagine me face playing right now*
Alright so, as many of you know I was a… bigger kid. That being said I was never so big I was at risk I was just chubby. Yeah when I was little it was cute but as I got older I began to be teased for it, always stepping on the scale at the doctor and having her say that I need to be careful, family members and peers mentioning small comments about. It sucked, I hated my body. But you know what I hated more? Any kind of physical activity. Though this was so long ago that I don’t know whether it was more because I was not even close to being physically fit, that I couldn’t do have of it, or that when I did do it I was made fun of for sucking at it… It always surprises me though as I was on a lot of sports teams in early elementary school. I guess in the end the hate for exercise overtook the hate for my body. Now at this time, I was no question the healthiest I could be, but I mean I was pretty happy. Later through elementary school, more so in grade 7 and 8, I was at a new school. With this new school brought TOTALLY different standards. I looked around and I was surrounded by skinny, grown-up girls. That is when I made myself start to watch what I was eating. I was AlWAYS comparing myself to people. I even remember saying that I was not allowed to wear leggings because my mom thought they were inappropriate but that wasn’t the case at all. I felt so massive and gross, and that I didn’t have the body to wear them so I never did. This is when exercise came into play slowly. I was on and off for 3 years (7, 8, and 9) with exercise. Mostly “running,” I say it in quotations because of the fact that it turned into walking and crying because i was so frustrated i could barely run. But grade 10? That’s when it started.
Grade 10, I’ll begin with a phase I went through at the beginning of grade 10. Because i was working out throughout the summer and my body slowly began to change, it began to look really strong. I had bigger legs, i could lift so much heavier, I hadn’t lost any weight but I looked and felt stronger and healthier. Anyway, because of this change, I started to notice and began to get more attention from the opposite sex (lmao at me trying to be formal). Without giving too much personal stuff away let’s just say I had quite a few “love” interests the first half of the year… I can’t say why but I only know that all of the sudden guys liked me, they liked the way I looked. I felt dare I say confidently?? I was no longer the girl “who had a cute face but not a nice body” and I became a girl that guys thought were (cringe time) hot. I loved this attention, LOVED it. I never had this ever in my life. But it did slowly change. At this point, I was working out every second day, and on the day I wasn’t working out I was running 5-8k. No rest days. Some days I even ran that and lifted weights. I remember once being on facetime with two guys I had been talking to lately, while I was running on the treadmill. They told me that I should take more rests cause its better for the body. I didn’t listen to my thoughts were if I stop then i’m gonna get fat again and they won’t talk to me anymore. So I ran and ran and worked out and worked out. I got stronger and stronger until I hit my peak, the end of grade 10. I was in a personal fitness class and man I rocked it all the beginning of the year. I would workout in class then go home and run or workout again. I couldn’t stop.
Then came track, the last couple months of school I was on the school track team. I was by no means really good but I placed. I did 1.5k and 3k, the long distance around the track. All of sudden I was seen as athletic. Shit, I was athletic. Visions from when I was kid would flashback of begin made fun of when i couldn’t run as fast and as long as anyone else and always being the last to finish filling my head every time I put on my running shoes and I began my race or practice. Then it happened, 70 minutes workouts in personal fitness, 5k running intervals in track right after, then I came home and either worked out with weights or I ran again. And what did I eat for dinner after all this you may ask? Spaghetti squash, chicken breast, and tomato sauce. That’s it. I look back at this and I am heartbroken. I was killing myself slowly and slowly. But even though my race times worsened and worsened I didn’t see a problem with it. So even when school ended and track ended throughout the summer I kept going.
At this point, I can not even imagine how much I weighed probably close to 110. And all throughout the summer, I continued to workout, only know I would force my mom to take me to the gym. It got to the point now that I didnt enjoy working out or running. I began to take breaks during my run. I would run 1k and feel like I was gonna pass out. I took this as I was out of shape, I must be getting fat again. So i pushed harder, i would make myself run faster, and long only to leave me more and more tired. I decided to stop running the end of July after a scary run with my dad. I could barely do it, I ran 600m maybe and I almost fell over. I just told my dad it was because i was anxious. I generally thought that was why although I was anxious because i knew I had to stop but I was so scared what was going to happen.
Even though I stopped running I still kept working out, I remember my parents really started to get nervous about how much weight I lost during this time. They started to weigh me, I started to see the number get lower and lower. I was scared but I was also scared to gain more. I didn’t know what I was doing. I was always told that getting better and working out and doing more exercise was the best I could do for my body.
Tuesday, August 11, 2016, rolled around and I had my mom take me to the gym. I did my workout, having to take a break every 3 reps of everything because I got extremely dizzy. But I didn’t stop, it was just because I was out of shape I told myself. That same day I went to the doctors for an appointment, she weighed me and was worried but she trusted me. She had me have my blood work done. I went out shopping with my friend that afternoon and I remember trying on a pair of leggings in lulu lemon. I turned around to look at my butt and I saw my tailbone and spin. I saw them sticking out so far. I was a skeleton. As ironic as it sounds I got a call from my mom telling me I needed to meet her outside right away. My blood tests came back and they were bad. I went t emergency and had a blood transfusion. was admitted into the hospital as “anorexic teen” Now I’m not going to get into this too much as This post is all about exercise but if ya wanna read more on that check out my journey post way back. I was good in the hospital I did what I was told and I gained enough weight to be discharged. But it didn’t stop there. I came home every night n worked out in my room, in secret. I had to keep the fat off and stay fit. Believe me when I say this I COULD NOT STOP. It was secret. You name the exercise I did it. I would tell my parents I was taking my dogs for a walk and run.
November rolled around and I finally broke, I went to my checkup at the eating disorder hospital and they admitted me. I was terrified. I screamed and I wanted nothing to do with it. My mother full of tears and nothing but my skinny boney body to keep me warm. The weirdest part was part of me was relieved to be admitted. I wanted to stop exercising so so bad and I wanted to eat but I could do it. But now I was forced to stop and I was almost relieved to have the control be in someone else’s hands again. But the exercise didn’t stop there. Day after day I would complete secret exercising in the hospital. From in the shower to you name it I COULD NOT STOP. There was no part of me. My parents taught me, nurses caught me, doctors caught me, other patients caught me. I was drowning in guilt. Until a nurse on my unit started a stretching light yoga class for the girls on my unit. It changed my life, she changed my life. She introduced yoga into my life and I have been doing it ever since, though it started as something to relieve the urges it turned into something that relieved so much guilt and just brought me so much happiness.
After being discharged I continued to practice yoga on my own, this quickly turned into something more. BUT this time I caught myself. I talked to my therapist and said I could feel it starting to turn more into exercise and I could feel my ed starting to take over more and more again. I stopped practicing on my own and I started at a studio. Hot yoga, now I was in an environment where i couldn’t overdo it and it was under the watch of a teacher. It helped so much and slowly I got better and better. Near the end of August 2017, we went on vacation, and my dad surprised me with being able to run with him for the first time in a year and a half. I ran 3.6k, and I was barely out of breath at the end. i smiled the entire time. I ran that better than when I was training every day and you know why? Because my body was being fueled, rested, and was stress-free.
This lead to the last step. The part I had been waiting for the entire time throughout my recovery- to workout again. My passion the truth of my passion was lifting. My therapist, my family, my doctor, and I all came to the conclusion that I was ready to start working out. This time under supervision. With a personal trainer.
The first day of my training, 3pm on Wednesday. It has been that day and time ever since that day in late August. I was so so nervous but so extremely excited at the same time. My trainer also trained my therapist so I knew that it was all good to go. I met him and we instantly clicked! We had such similar personality types and he was just so easy to talk to. To this day I still train with him, I look back and see how freaking far I have come from that first day of training and how mentally stronger I’ve gotten every damn time.
Now I go to a class at the same gym once a week, train once a week with my trainer, workout once at home, and do an MMA kickboxing class with my sister twice a week. I ride my horse, and practice yoga and I’m an average teenager. I no longer let the thoughts of exercise to burn calories fill my mind and instead I focus on the overall health of my body and what the exercise does to me. Never to what I look like. So many people comment on my exercise level. But to be completely honest they wouldn’t be. I am eating for what I do. I am in the process of a bulk right now and it is going well. Exercise holds such a special part in my life and it did in my recovery. I have a mind and body that needs the feeling of being challenged physically. I could not be more happy with my relationship with exercise today. I can honestly say that a healthy, and an enjoying relationship with exercise is so worth the long road to recovery and having to stop exercise during weight restoration and such. But remember exercise isn’t life. You do it to IMPROVE your life. So if the exercise you are doing is damaging your physical health, damaging your mental health (all my homies with ed’s who workout without a clear mind frame im lookin atchu), and overall does not make you happy, stop. Just stop reevaluate what you are doing and make a change. Because exercise isn’t a punishment its supposed to improve your full mind and body health…
So yeah that’s like an undetailed (believe it or not) life story of my relationship with exercise!! Remember that I am always a text, dm, call, door knock (okay this one is more of a metaphor) away. I love offering my advice, and my past experience with people who are going through similar feelings I went through. You are never alone