I want to talk about something very personal, but very important. After having a conversation with a trainer at this gym today - telling her about "my story" (which needs to be updated, and I will do that soon), I brought up a point that I've never talked to you guys about.
First let's recap the basics of "my story." I went from being unhealthy, not in shape, never exercised, to being obsessed with eating as few calories as possible and weighing the lowest I could. I did an hour+ of cardio every day and probably ate less an 1000 calories. My lowest weight I ever saw on the scale was 89lbs. This was in 2012 I believe.
That summer when I came home from university, my mom took me to see a Dietitian. Because you know, she was concerned and that makes sense. The dietitian told me that I WAS HEALTHY BECAUSE MY BMI was in the healthy range. I'm 5ft tall p.s.
She gave me "tips" on how to eat more, increase portions, all that jazz. And said come back in a few months.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? This Dietitian saw a 20 year old girl who weighed 90 some lbs, with zero muscle mass, bags under her eyes, and no energy, and told her she was healthy.
THANK GOD I figured my life out and found recovery, gained weight, started eating more, and stopped all that crazy cardio. But what about the girls who don't figure it out? What about the girls who believe what their Dietitian told them? I'm not saying every Dietitian is like this. But, that scares me. A Dietitian cannot diagnose someone with an eating disorder (it's not in their scope of practice), but they can refer you to another doctor - your family doctor, a psychologist - who can get you HELP.
Eating disorders are NOT about eating and they are NOT about food. They are NOT about weight or getting "fit". They are about CONTROL. It's an obsession, and it's 100% a mental struggle. Dietitians know this.
Three years later, and about 20lbs gained. I can say that a lot has changed that doesn't even have to do with the scale. I found balance in my life. I don't obsess over food, and weight, and exercise like I used to.
BUT there are still days where it haunts me. Am I good enough? Do people look at me and think I'm weak? Why did this happen to me? I'm educated. I was raised in a good family. I was loved. WHY.
If you're someone who's struggling with an unhealthy relationship with food, or exercise, or suffering from an eating disorder - remember that it's a MENTAL disorder. It's in your mind. Thoughts are just thoughts. You cannot always control them, but you can acknowledge them. And know that they are not always true. If you have a triggering thought, be conscious of it, then decide if it's rational or not. If it's not, recognize it and move on. Thoughts are always going to be there. They're always going to haunt you. Some days more than others. But what makes you recover and be successful is HOW you deal with these thoughts. Use a journal. Write things down. Post motivational quotes or reminders to help you remember what is true. Trust the process.
If you need further help. GET IT. If you know in your mind that you're unhealthy and suffering then tell someone. It's the strongest thing you can do.
It's still therapy for me today to talk about my struggles with people. It was only last month that mom and I sat down and really talked about what I went through. She had no idea. And like I mentioned before, I told the trainer at the gym this morning what I've been through. She even learned from me. She asked advice on what to say to someone who she was concerned about at the gym.
Be a fighter and be strong. Your struggles happen for a reason.